Author, The Fasting Edge (2011)
Other books: NY Times Bestseller Fasting and Right People, Right Place, Right Plan;
Senior Pastor of Free Chapel Church with over 14,000 members
Weekly program Kingdom Connection broadcasts worldwide on networks like TBN, Daystar, and local broadcast stations in the United States;
Founder of Kingdom Connection Media Ministry
Attended Barton College with Major in Music
Married with 5 Children
Steve Willis: Winning the Food Fight
The 700 Club
CBN.com - A FASTED LIFE
Fasting has been a lifestyle for Pastor Jentezen Franklin since he was about seventeen years old. As a child, observing his parents fast and pray had a great impact on him. They were wonderful models of fasting and prayer when Jentezen was growing up. He has had some encouragement that this legacy is being passed on to his children. Once, his daughter asked his son Drake to pray for her illness. At a family mealtime they were surprised that Drake refused the food. Later he shared with his family that he was fasting for his sister’s sickness. Jentezen continues to fast throughout the year. Every Saturday from sunup to sundown he fasts. He says it is a special time with the Lord and it helps him be more sensitive to what God is saying.
On January 8th, Jentezen and his church Free Chapel will be starting a 21-Day fast. They have been doing this fast annually for the last twelve years and have seen great things happen individually and corporately. Jentezen loves to challenge pastors, especially after the holidays. It refocuses people on what really matters. Fasting at the beginning of the year is like giving God the “first fruits” of the year and sets a pattern for God to flow. It’s like giving one’s whole self to God.
SPIRITUAL EDGE LOST AND REGAINED
The purpose of The Fasting Edge is to motivate people to fast. Jentezen says the church has become dull and it’s time to get its edge back. It can happen to all of us. We keep going and going and sooner or later we lose our “edge.”
Abraham Lincoln used a dull ax head as a part of his campaign speech. Being a skilled woodsman he knew that a dull ax makes for far more work and it can be much more dangerous than a well-sharpened one. Solomon also uses the analogy of a dull ax head in Ecclesiastes 10:10: “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.” A part of the “wisdom” would be to take the time necessary to sharpen the ax. That applies to our spiritual lives. Jentezen says if we have been in a place that seems barren or we seem to be striving in our own strength, perhaps the Holy Spirit has led us to this place to regain the edge. Fasting can help get that edge back. It is a short season that produces a lasting effect.
In II Kings 6, Elisha had a group of young men that he was mentoring. They had outgrown their old quarters and were building a new one. The men were cutting many trees and one of the young men lost the ax head in the
nearby Jordan River. When this man cried out, Elisha asked, “Where did it fall?” The man showed him and Elishathrew a stick in the water and it made the ax head float. The young man retrieved it for himself. Just like the young man in the story, your “edge” may be lost but with the presence of the Holy Spirit you can get your edge back. Jentezen says the church in America is losing its edge but we can get it back. Humbling oneself is a part of it.
Another result of fasting is it cuts through all the junk. It opens the door for the Holy Spirit to come and do surgery on all the weak, withered areas of our lives and replace them with life and power. Don’t hesitate to let God into all those areas of your life and trust Him to bring healing. When God brings healing, it’s time for you to “clean out” the things that have no place in your life anymore. Let God have His way in your life and you can get back your edge in every way.
Fasting and prayer is a choice, an invitation, and a privilege from God. It should not become rigid or legalistic. You won’t be a better Christian if you do or don’t fast. It takes prayers to a higher level and it’s getting your mind and heart on the things of God in a deeper way. Some results of fasting are you can get your joy back, you are more sensitive spiritually, and you can recapture a dream. God is asking, “Do you want more of Him, more in the Spirit?” and fasting opens the gateway to the supernatural.
THE YEAR OF DEFINED DIRECTION
Jentezen says 2012 is going to be a year that God will give defined direction. Some people have been going through a time where their world doesn’t fit the word. Like in the popular movie “The Karate Kid,” the main character Daniel was told to paint the fence by his mentor, Mr. Miyagi. For weeks, Daniel painted the fence but did not learn any karate. Finally, he got frustrated and asked Mr. Miyagi what was going on. Little did Daniel know that by doing chores he was learning the techniques he would need for fighting. Just like Daniel, we may not know it but we are perfecting skills we will use later. Continue to be faithful and God will reveal things in His time. Jentezen feels like the Lord is saying expect miracles. The assignments He gives will need miracles, so expect miracles.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY
At the beginning of 2012, Free Chapel will be building a food distribution warehouse in Haiti during the fast. When the church did the fast in 2009, God reminded them of the passage Isaiah 58:7 where it talks about giving bread to the hungry. God has been turning the congregation’s hearts to the poor. Jentezen was reminded that the shepherds were poor and they came first to Jesus, and then came the kings. God watches what you do with the poor, and then releases the kings. God placed the vision on Jentezen’s heart to feed hungry children, widows and orphans. That vision became Free Chapel’s Mission: Bread of Life effort. Then God led them to Bobby and Sherry Burnette who already had a well-established ministry in Haiti. Within six months, they were sending them shipments of 270,000 meals each month. They doubled their commitment and the first shipment of 540,000 meals arrived one week before the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010. Free Chapel continues to feed hungry and homeless earthquake victims, but most importantly, they are sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ. They built a housing complex with 100 homes, Kingdom Connection Village, which is almost complete.
One of the goals for the 21-day fast this year is for all of the funding for the food distribution warehouse to be raised. CBN’s projects like the Flying Hospital and OB has inspired Jentezen with relief projects. Free Chapel also has a medical ship in the Amazon, “The Chosen Vessel,” with full surgical units.
Jentezen was born and raised in North Carolina. He grew up with two brothers and two sisters in a Christian home; his father was a pastor that traveled throughout North Carolina. When Jentezen was sixteen, something happened at a church service – he fully committed his life to Jesus and yearned to do something great for God. Jentezen majored in music in college with a full scholarship to Barton. He played the saxophone. During his second year of college his older brother Ritchie, who was a preacher, called Jentezen to play saxophone on the road with him. He spent three weeks on the road with him, and Jentezen has been in ministry ever since. He has been preaching for over 25 years, 22 of them at Free Chapel. After he got married to his wife Cherise, they moved to Atlanta, GA. They started Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA and a few years ago, they started a Free Chapel in Orange County, CA.
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