In 2013 I began to receive more confidence in my authority to step out and pray for other people and began to see healings in others’ lives. Interestingly, I saw many that I prayed for healed from scoliosis and back pain at a very high success rate which was an issue I had to personally overcome in my own life.
One day I got a call from a lady who lived somewhere in Indianapolis and said she felt led to call because she had found my ministry website www.restoredtofreedom.com. The woman said she could physically see demons in her home and they would get on top of her in bed and grab her arms and dig their claws into her forearms and also harass and scare her seven year old daughter. I was very excited to take on some demons because I felt I was getting stronger in my authority and was finally up to some real challenges. The woman put me on speaker phone and I listened to the Lord and He told me exactly what to say to command the demons to be gone from her home in Jesus name and she saw and felt them all leave instantly. I listened again to the Lord and He told me demons were there because her mother that lives with her needed to get her life right with the Lord or else they could bring more demons back with them than before. So she talked to her mother and she gave her life to the Lord and they never had an issue with them returning again. It was a great learning experience for me concerning the authority because I would later start praying for more people over the phone and seeing amazing results of victory over sickness and demons.
On my birthday January 2, 2014 I asked the Lord to give me a special word just for me as to what He wanted me to know. He told me once again that He would heal me from everything the rest of my life as long as I did not get into fear. He also added that He wanted me to go on a 21 day fast of only drinking water. Up to that point I had only fasted a few times in my life because I really liked eating. I fasted for 3 days when I was a senior at Purdue and felt like I was going to die I was so hungry and weak by the third day. I remember taking an exam in my Supervision class believing I failed it because I could not remember anything from studying on an empty stomach but I actually received an A along with very few other students in the class. The last time I had fasted was for a week in August of 2013 and I only drank water then as well. I felt very weak the last couple days of that fast but made it through. I was up to the 21 day challenge and during the entire process learned much I was not aware of which matured me spiritually.
During the first few days of the fast I decided to study from a non-Christian perspective the benefits of a water-only fast. I was amazed at what I found on the internet. Many sites talked about how the body would go into a self-preservation mode and start going after various sicknesses and diseases and actually heal the body. I learned that our body uses as the primary source of energy a sugar called glucose, most of it coming from the food we eat. The glucose in excess is then stored in the liver and transformed in a reserve of glycogen. When we fast, the same healing process that happens during our sleep takes place. The glycogen is then used to recover damaged tissues and, when finished, the body shifts over to ketosis, using fats as the main source of energy. Usually the ketosis process starts after the first three days of fasting and, after seven days, the body, in order to preserve its protein (muscle), starts turning nonessential cellular masses such as fibroid tumors and degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses, or any other compounds in the body into energy. Consequently, the body starts healing itself from all kinds of diseases and infirmities! Perhaps this is why the Bible mentions fasting almost as many times as praying!
I learned that detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph glands, and skin. During water fasting, all the toxins in our body are expelled, creating inside the body an ideal environment for healthy growth. This is responsible for healthier skin, teeth and gums. Amazing!
Some of the most common diseases reported to have been healed through fasting of 21 or more days drinking only water are: high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), irritable bowel syndrome, adult onset diabetes, heart disease, degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, acne, uterine fibroids, benign tumors, and systemic lupus erythematosus. You may also experience better sleep, more energy and of course loss of excess weight. This really amazed me but also made an impact on me because I now realized why it was so important to take periodic fasts so that the body would heal itself naturally. If you think about how many people today are overweight and eat foods that are high in fat, fried, high in sugar and salt – it is no wonder so many are living a life full of sickness and premature death. Their bodies simply cannot get a break in order to repair themselves.
When I started my 21 day water only fast I knew that I needed to lose a few pounds as it was right after the holidays and I had gained 8-10 more pounds than I normally felt comfortable weighing. I also reviewed information on the internet from various Christians like Jentezen Franklin and Bill Bright (who once did annual 40 day water only fasts) and others on the spiritual benefits from fasting and learned:
- It is a biblical way to truly humble oneself in the sight of God (Psalms 35:13 NKJV – But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.”; Ezra 8:21 – Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of A-hava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.)
- It brings revelation by the Holy Spirit of a person’s true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance and change.
- It is a crucial means for personal revival because it brings the inner workings of the Holy Spirit into play in a most unusual and powerful way.
- It helps us better understand the word of God by making it more meaningful, vital and practical.
- It transforms prayer into a richer and more personal experience.
- It increases the power in one’s life to see more authority over the enemy when commanding spirits that are afflicting someone.
The Lord told me to read Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV “14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him’. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.’ 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
So the Lord was telling me that in order to cast out certain strong evil spirits from people that I would need to do a longer fast than just a few days or a week. Thus doing a 21 day or longer water only fast would help me to gain strength over them. The pastor that married me and my wife, Owen Mason from Lafayette, had told me that he also had completed a 21 day water only fast and it was by far the hardest thing that he had ever done and he almost gave up after day 16. It is interesting when you keep food from your body that long, how much you actually think about food throughout the day. It seemed to constantly be on my mind and it was extremely hard when you drive past restaurants and can smell the food cooking.
So I began my task and was looking forward to it wholeheartedly as I wanted to get stronger in the spirit and tell my flesh what to do and break through into a higher level of authority. I really wanted to be able to command any spirit to be gone from any person in the world.
Galatians 5:16-26 NKJV “16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
I will say this – many men (and women) may want to act like they are extremely powerful in the Lord and may be able to pray prayers that sound very strong and impressive – but a 21 day water only fast will definitely prove out who is all talk and who is truly strong in the Spirit. I have met many people who can act like they are the most spiritual people in the world but when it comes down to denying their flesh food for a few days you will quickly separate the men from the boys. I personally know of two men that did 40 day water only fasts and I have the utmost respect for both of them. I believe that someday the Lord will call me to do a 40 day water fast but until then I will wait patiently. Talk with your mentor or pastor and see how many days they have denied themselves anything but water and you will see who they really are in Christ. Moses, Elijah and Jesus all did 40 day fasts with no food. There is truly something that happens in a man when he denies himself all food and drinks just water for 21 or more days.
Since I had already completed a seven day water only fast a few months prior I knew that I would have no issue with the first week. Also for those of you that may have questions about what goes on with your body – usually after about the third day you no longer excrete waste as your body no longer has food stored up to eliminate which is a benefit to the whole process of purging toxins.
I enjoyed reading the Bible and drawing closer to the Lord during the first week. During the 2nd week there were times that if I stood up too quickly I could have fainted as I was not used to fasting more than a week. There was one time that I did stand up too fast to walk to the bathroom from my bedroom and I actually fainted falling to the floor and slightly bruising myself. I came back to consciousness immediately and recovered quickly as I drank some water. Fortunately my wife was on the phone in our bedroom and did not know that I fell or she would have tried to get me to stop as she was fearful of me doing it for 21 days. I will say that drinking only water for 21 days caused me to lose my enjoyment for the taste of water as it became somewhat repulsive to me. I looked forward every day to brushing my teeth so that I had a little taste on my taste buds but never allowed myself to swallow any of it. I started to develop a rash on my stomach and inside of my arms around day 15 and it lasted until after I had gone off my fast. Fortunately I had read that a rash was possible as the toxins left my body so I was not shocked and did not ever get in fear. My tongue became whiter and pastier and if I ever stood up too fast I could become very light headed, dizzy and might easily faint. It was an amazing experience for me and one that I will forever treasure even though it was the hardest thing that I have ever done to this point in my life.
During my fast I was teaching ten men every Thursday evening in my Westfield home about The Believers Authority and as a part of that I would purchase Papa John’s pizza and a giant cookie for everyone. After you have not eaten for several weeks the aroma of Papa John’s pizza in your car is tantamount to being tortured. It was extremely tempting to not cheat and eat just a tiny piece but I knew I could not because God would know, as well as the demons! One thing that I had never thought about before I did the fast was that I was really missing the feeling of actually chewing food and after 3 weeks of not chewing it is a great feeling to resume eating again (be sure when you resume food to start small and mild in the beginning. Broth and cooked vegetables are best).
I could feel my body getting weaker yet my spirit felt stronger and the Lord told me that I was gaining more authority in the spirit realm against demons and it would be used later in my ministry. After 21 days were up I could not wait to eat and had to ease slowly back into feeding my flesh again. I had wanted to be set free from eating processed sugar and indeed I was as fruit was my new sugar that I desired. No more cookies or desserts. I had lost 30 lbs during the 3 weeks and went from 183 to 153 pounds which was seven pounds under my high school graduation weight. I felt great afterward and could hear the Lord’s voice even clearer as He was telling me I still had many things to overcome in the future. I was now more than ever in my life equipped to handle all the enemy would do to come against me.
In March of 2014 I attended my first Power and Love School (PowerAndLove.org) near St. Louis where Todd White was speaking, a man the Lord told me I should meet. For those of you that have never heard of Todd let me try to explain him to you. He is unlike anyone you will ever meet as he is the real, authentic and genuine deal – someone that I had the utmost respect for while watching his many street healing videos on the internet and seeing him interviewed on the Sid Roth show. Todd’s parents were divorced when he was young and one summer his mother put him in a Masonic home and was to pick him up at the end of summer but instead left him there for several years. When Todd came out of the home he was a very angry young man who had lost all of his faith and became an atheist. He soon became a drug dealer and one night was dealing and pretended to be a policeman in order to get free drugs and started to read the person his rights. Then he took off in his vehicle but the guy pulled out a gun and shot about five times from a short distance as he drove his vehicle away. None of the bullets penetrated his vehicle and he heard the Lord for the first time speak to him saying “I took those bullets for you, are you ready to serve Me?” Eventually he became a Christian and had a desire to truly love on hurting people. It took him praying for about 700 people before he started seeing healings but now he ministers at a very high level, healing people through Christ and teaching others to do the same. Personally I think I would have given up after the first ten people if I had not seen anyone healed that I prayed for so this was amazing faith and perseverance on Todd’s part. It was such an honor to be able to meet him for the first time. I went to shake his hand to thank him for flying all the way from Hawaii (a close friend of his lost his son in an auto accident so he flew from Philadelphia to Hawaii before coming back to St. Louis) and instead of shaking my hand he said “No dude – I hug” and gave me a great big hug!! He was awesome. He wears long dreadlocks and has a great singing voice and had only been a Christian for 10 years. I felt the Lord was telling me I would soon be doing street ministry and more just like Todd but I could hardly imagine I would have the faith to do what he did.
On Father’s Day in 2014 I went swimming at a water park in Plainfield, Indiana and my 19 year old daughter Ashley, stepson and wife noticed a small bulge in the middle of my back on my spine. I could feel it when I touched it but did not get into fear as I now knew my authority. I never spoke to it though nor commanded it to go so around August the bulge started to grow rapidly. It grew to the size of a golf ball and I would not take my shirt off anymore and did not show it to my wife because she did not have the same level of faith for healing I had and would have recommended I see a doctor. I commanded the growth to go but it did not dissolve. A week had passed and when I slept on it I felt pain in my back and also when I drove I felt pain. My stepson hugged me once and could feel the bulge and was grossed out (which made me feel sorry I allowed him to hug me). I did not get into fear though and knew it had to go because I knew my authority in Christ and that this was just a lame attempt by the enemy to see if I would flinch and get into fear. After the second week I continued to thank the Lord that it was gone but it still did not dissolve. After the third week it was as big as ever and as painful as ever and it literally felt like I was sleeping on a golf ball! By the fourth week I was becoming really annoyed it had not dissolved and to top things off my wife started complaining that she was having vision problems of blurriness and talked about going to the doctor. I finally had enough of what was happening and asked the Lord what was going on because we had always been healed of every infirmity for the previous 5+ years. He told me that He wanted my wife to be in unity of spirit with me especially in the area of physical healing and later there would be a similar physical infirmity that she would have to overcome so He wanted her to pray for me and I would pray for her and the problems would be resolved.
At last, I took off my shirt and showed her my back for the first time. She was shocked and thought I needed to go to the doctor (which I knew she would say) so I told her to stop talking fear and just command the bulge to go and I would pray for her vision to be healed and our problems would be solved. So she prayed for me and I prayed for her. From that day forward she no longer had any vision problems. But the bulge in my back remained just as big and painful as ever. So I went to bed in full faith knowing that it would dissolve away. I did not get into fear because I knew it was already gone in the spirit since the prayer was spoken and now I just needed to wait in peace until the bulge manifested in the physical and shrank, so I thanked God for healing me. The next day came and it was yet the same size and as painful as ever. I refused to get into fear because I knew that I knew it was going to go. Finally on the third day I noticed that it had become just a tiny bit smaller, maybe five percent, then I knew it was finally going to go. Little by little every day it began to shrink and by the end of the third week it was completely gone. Some have asked me ‘what was it?’ I respond with ‘I don’t know’ since I never went to the doctor, silly. I suspect it could have been a cyst or a tumor but it really did not matter to me. In my mind I knew whatever it was had to go because of my faith. So my question to the reader is – where is your faith? If you had a golf ball sized bulge appear on your back that lasted 7 weeks would you stay in faith the whole time or would you become fearful for five minutes or days or weeks? From my personal experience when I have stayed in faith the Lord has healed me every single time. Every time from everything! Yes my faith is extremely strong now but seven years ago when I first started learning about my authority there would have been no way I would have been able to be free from fear with a painful bulge in my back, but that is how faith works. As you grow in it you are able to withstand more significant circumstances without becoming fearful. The enemy wanted to scare me but he could not and now I am extremely strong in the Lord. I know that the enemy will never stop – as I will continue to have even larger mountains to stand up to; perhaps not physical but definitely circumstantial.
When I see people get into fear concerning physical afflictions I tell them they have to go to the doctor because you are no longer in faith and you are on enemy territory so you must go to the doctor. I believe that the Lord waited so long to heal me for several reasons –
1) To help me learn that no matter how long something is on me, as long as I stay in faith and not fear He would heal me.
2) To help my wife see that if she would ever encounter an infirmity, He would heal her as long as she did not get in fear (interestingly she ended up getting a cyst just a few months later).
3) To allow other people to hear my testimony in order to encourage them that as long as they stayed in faith and did not allow fear to enter in then He would do the same for them.
Hear me clearly on this – faith for healing is not for the weak of heart. If you do not have the faith to believe you will be healed then you need to go to the doctor because you will not be able to be healed. Faith and fear are opposite. Does God want to heal all His people? Absolutely yes. Can He heal you if you are afraid and in fear? Usually not. Although if you are a non-believer I have seen people get healed much more consistently because the Lord wants to draw them to Him which healings do all the time.
This is what I have seen play out because our lack of faith will stop what God can do. Think about the Israelites in Numbers – Caleb and Joshua believed they could overtake the giants in the Promised Land of Canaan but the other ten spies were afraid and said no. Because the Israelites were in fear, based upon the word of ten spies, they could not cross into the Promised Land and had to wander in the desert for forty years until all the faithless people had died. Faith is an individual position and not to be taken lightly. If you want to compete against your spouse on faith (which I would not recommend) you are on dangerous ground. Do not say that you have as much faith as your spouse if you know you do not because faith is not a competition and sooner or later you will be tested and fail. Yes, God would want all His people to have faith like Abraham, but it takes time, it takes overcoming tests from the enemy, it takes humbleness, and it also requires fasting and denying your flesh to get stronger in the Lord. Above all it is an individual mindset you cannot acquire from your spouse. Please do not berate your spouse if they have a stronger faith than you. Also, do not denigrate a spouse that has the weaker faith. You who are stronger should never flaunt your faith or diminish your spouse that has less – if you do then the Lord will correct you and it is never fun to be corrected by Him. Recognize where each of you are and continue to help each other grow in faith so that the enemy will never have the upper hand on either of you or the marriage.
Joyce Meyer talks about a woman that was attending Bible studies in her home and would get really sick from being pregnant and could not attend the morning studies. Joyce would verbally make fun of her because Joyce had never had morning sickness with any of her babies. The very next time Joyce was pregnant, guess what? She was sick the entire pregnancy. Why? Joyce said the Lord wanted her to learn not to be so judgmental of someone else. So make sure you never put down anyone who does not have the same faith as you. Instead, be loving and gentle and pray for them to come up to your level.