Fast and Seek the Lord
Jenny Speed shares the second in a series of six articles for wives whose husbands are unrepentant of moral failure.
Esther did not ask the people to fast for her ungodly husband, and she did not fast for him. She called for a fast for herself. She needed a plan! She needed to hear God’s voice about what she needed to do.
Many times I meet women who say they are fasting for God to change their husbands, and I tell them that this focus is wrong. They need to be fasting for God to change them. We need to give up on tying to change anyone except ourselves. A key to your husband finding brokenness is you finding it in your own life. Taking your eyes off how you have been wronged and realizing your own sin will cast you on Jesus, your only hope.
The story of my husband Paul coming clean really starts with me fasting. I had fasted for Paul in the past, but now the focus was on my own life. After 13 years of frustration in my marriage, I began to become desperate. Paul and I had just gone through the John Regier counseling material, and Paul once again seemed to not have any problems, so I assumed I was the whole problem. All the marriage counselors and pastors had been telling me that for years anyway, so I began to fast and asked God to free me from whatever had me bound.
I realized that I could not change Paul, but I could ask God to change me. Bitterness was the first issue that really came to the surface. As I fasted, I realized the stronghold was much stronger than I had ever imagined. I was completely unable to help Paul remove sin from his life, because I had so much in my own.
God spoke to me through Matthew 7:3–5: “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” As I began to pray about the bitterness in my own life, my focus came off of Paul and onto myself and my sin. Fasting was the first step towards freedom for Paul and me. As I became free from bitterness, God was free to use me as a light in Paul’s life to draw him to the truth. I had to get about of the way!
A lot of women tell me they’ve tried to fast but can’t do it. When you get desperate, you can do a lot of things you think you can’t do, and fasting is one of them. Fasting is never easy because it’s brings death to the flesh, and the flesh never wants to die. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17).
Fasting puts down the flesh and strengthens the spirit so that you can hear what God wants to speak to you. It is saying to your body and your mind, “I don’t want you to be in control, I want my spirit to be in control.” God instructs us to“walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16). According to Isaiah 58, fasting also frees us from bondage. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6).
A friend once told me, “There’s no way I can fast! I get so sick, I feel like I’m going to die. I can’t even go without one meal, so there’s no way I can fast three days.” We talked about the purposes for fasting, and I encouraged her to try just one meal a day for a few days. After skipping a few meals and surviving, my friend has now been fasting two days a week for over six months. She has seen God move in incredible ways in her life and in her husband and her children!
Your fast may be different from my friend’s or from mine. If you’re willing to follow God’s instruction, He will show you what type of fast you are to take and how long to keep it.
Paul & Jenny Speed
Paul and Jenny Speed reside in North Carolina with their six children. They have shared the concepts of openness and brokenness with hundreds of families across the United States, and the power of their testimony has prompted many to seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing. To contact Paul and Jenny with questions or comments, visit their website at www.witministries.com.