“And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” (Acts 9:9)
There is something about this verse I can’t get away from. The dealings of God in a man can be unusual and against our carnal thinking and traditional ways. Let me ask you something.
Have you ever gone three days without food and drink and just stayed still in one general place with little to no activity? If not, then how do you know what’s on the other side of that?
I’ve been on longer fasts at times, especially in my youth, but I was taught to drink lots of water when fasting. Naturally, that is sound advice. Water is a healing agent with many benefits to your body. But if you go through the Scriptures there is a pattern of the three day fast, which I’ve always known, but I’ve never paid much attention to the “without water” part. I just always thought it was unhealthy and not really the best for your body.
In Esther 4:16, we find Esther exhorting Mordecai to persuade the Jews to fast.
“Neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day”
No drink. No water.
This was clearly in preparation for her highly risky attempt to see the king. It was a time of preparation.
THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS: ACTS 10
When the Lord opened the door for the gospel to go forth to the Gentiles, he prepared both Cornelius and Peter to meet.
“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour.” (Acts 10:30)
For three days Cornelius had been fasting. Now it was the fourth day when the Lord visited him and sent an angel to deliver an incredible message, by which Cornelius prepared his household to receive from Peter. It doesn’t say what kind of fast it was, but in the Scriptures I believe three days without food is the most common fast.
After this preparation in Cornelius’s house and also in Peter’s heart, imagine the anticipation and expectation that was present upon Peter’s arrival. As a result here is what happened:
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”
This is the first time any Gentiles had ever received the baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Jews that were with Peter were astonished for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
I’m presently in the middle of attempting a three day complete fast, but for the first time ever in my Christian life, without water.
A PREPARATION OF THE HEART AND LIFE
This is my conviction. There is a preparation of the heart and the life that is necessary for what is coming. Just think of Paul. Picture yourself blind, without sight, and nothing entering your mouth for three full days. Can you imagine the deep work the Lord began doing in Paul and can do in you! What an introduction Paul had to kingdom life! What a way to purge him of all his religiosity! What a fearful encounter to the beginning of a glorious transformation in the life of Paul! And all this, after seeing a bright light and hearing God’s voice on the road to Damascus.
There is so much in Paul’s encounter. The Light from heaven! The audible voice of Jesus! Falling to the ground! Having his eyes open but not being able to see! Trembled and astonished. Then direction from the Lord to go to the city and wait. (Acts 9:1-9)
All this followed by Ananias’s vision and Spirit-directed visit to minister sight and the baptism in the Holy Spirit to Paul (Saul), and then water baptism. (Acts 9:10-18)
The activities of the Early Church were supernatural. Prayer, visions, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, hearing from heaven, Divine movements. It was all a part of the way the glorious Church began.
Besides the deep preparation of hearts we see here in these two accounts of Paul and Cornelius, the other takeaway is that this is often the missing ingredient in getting people baptized with the Holy Spirit. The preparation of the heart!
Concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit, although many individuals receive wonderful anointings of the Spirit and do need instruction on how to yield their tongue to receive their prayer language, we often get the cart before the horse when it comes to new converts. In other words, it is important that spiritual things are made real to them and that there is a depth of consecration and hunger in their hearts to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
He should know something about the meaning of the baptism and develop a definite hunger and expectation for it instead of being pushed along too fast.
Saul had a tremendous conversion experience on the road to Damascus and was blinded and did not eat anything for three days. He also had a heavenly vision. Now granted, we are not all converted the same way, but the principle remains the same.
It is also true that once we are saved there is no need to wait or tarry for the Holy Spirit, but the new convert or long waiting saint may need a vision for it, and a clear understanding, faith, and expectation built into his heart.
As with all spiritual blessings including healing, it is important that the heart be thoroughly prepared to receive.
Faith, spiritual hunger, heart preparation, and consecration are the definite ingredients that multiply our efforts in ministering this sacred baptism.
ACTS 2, ACTS 13 — THE SAME
What were they doing in Acts 2 before the initial outpouring of the Spirit? Praying. Waiting. With anticipation. With faith and expectation. They heard from the Lord. They knew they were in the right place at the right time obeying what the Lord said.
What were they doing in Acts 13:1-3? Seeking. Waiting on the Lord. Fasting. We don’t know how long it was, but again, the results were phenomenal. Those ministers had to be sensing change.
For Peter to have gone up to the housetop to pray. At lunchtime! C’mon! There is no way the impetuous Peter would be praying when it was time to eat! LOL! He had a burden! He was sensing change. That’s why he was on that roof top.
GET READY, MAKE ROOM
This is where we are, people, as the body of Christ. Great change is coming and now is. Those who are spiritually-minded can sense it. It’s high time for the deep preparation of our hearts and lives. Only our full consecration is required for a greater deluge of the Spirit’s workings and power. Heaven will come and respond to the sincerity of our hearts.
Get ready. Make room for Him.
Three days of being still. Without food and drink. Don’t talk much.
I propose we start there.
Fruit will abound.