Sunday, July 24, 2011

BURNING: Pierre Aglow February 2011 Newsletter - B

Commitment TWO: from ‘Seven Commitments of a Forerunner’
by Mike Bickle, International House of Prayer, Kansas City, MO

[You, too, can commit to the ‘forerunner’ ministry. In the next months, we’ll publish the remaining ‘Commitments.’ ]

“God is beginning to prepare forerunners from many different streams in the Body of Christ worldwide… The forerunner ministry is not reserved for some elite group—it is a calling available to any who are willing to prepare for it. --Forerunners Proclaiming the Coming of Jesus


A. We must cooperate with the Spirit so that we may walk in the intimacy and power that the Scripture promises. One way to do this is to fast weekly. Fasting is, by definition, abstaining from food.

B. Jesus said, “When you fast,” implying that fasting occurs regularly in a disciple’s life. 17When you fast… 18your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Mt. 6:17-18)

C. Jesus promised that the Father rewards fasting. This proclamation alone makes fasting important. Some of the rewards are external, as our circumstances are touched by God’s power. Some of the

rewards are internal, as our hearts encounter Him in new depth. The idea that fasting changes us internally is new to some. It tenderizes our hearts. God gives grace to fast to any who ask.

D. I urge people to fast at least one day a week. Two days a week is better. It is a false notion that fasting is extreme Christianity and is optional. Fasting is basic to the Christian life. There are exceptions: those pregnant or who have health problems should consult a doctor before fasting.


A. We fast to experience more of God’s power in our ministry. When the disciples could not set a demonized boy free, Jesus told them that that kind of demon could not go out except by prayer and fasting (Mt. 17:21). Many who led revivals fasted regularly, e.g. John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and Charles Finney. John G. Lake (1870–1935) sought God with much prayer and fasting. God released powerful miracles through him. In South Africa, within a five-year period, he witnessed 500,000 healings and led many thousands to Jesus.

B. We fast for prophetic revelation of the end times. Daniel sought God with fasting and prayer and received prophetic insight into God’s end-time plan (Dan. 9:1-3, 20-23; 10:1-3, 12-14).

C. We fast for the fulfillment of God’s promises to our family, city, or nation. The Lord has plans and promises for each family, city, and nation. We contend in prayer and fasting for their fulfillment as Daniel did for the fulfillment of God’s promise for Jerusalem (Dan. 9:1-3; 10:1-4).

D. We fast to stop a crisis (individual/national). Mordecai and Esther called a fast to cry out to God to reverse a national crisis—the imminent destruction of the Jewish people (Esth. 4:1-3; 16).

E. We fast for protection. Before Ezra led a group back to Israel to help rebuild their nation, he fasted and prayed to God for protection on the journey because of the danger (Ezra 8:21-23).

F. We fast for direction. Throughout the NT, the church fasted for supernatural wisdom and direction. Paul and others fasted and prayed for direction for their ministry (Acts 13:1-2).

Mike Bickle: Seven Types of Fasts in Scripture (continued)

G. We fast to grow in intimacy with Jesus (we refer to this as the Bridegroom fast, Mt. 9:15). Jesus said that after His death the apostles would mourn His absence and would fast out of desire for Him. This fast is motivated by the desire to encounter Jesus, rather than for power in ministry.

14Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of

the bridegroom mourn as

long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Mt. 9:14-15)

H. Fasting before our Bridegroom God is a catalyst to speed up the depth and the measure in which we receive from the Lord. Fasting positions our hearts to be expanded as we encounter Jesus. Our spiritual capacity to receive from God increases. We do not fast to motivate God to love us, but to receive the affection that He already has for us—it is not to move His heart, but ours.

I. Fasting is always voluntary. The level at which a person fasts from food should be determined according to age and with regard to various physical limitations. Those with an illness or with any history of an eating disorder should not fast except in consultation with their doctor. Minors are discouraged from fasting food. Minors who desire to fast are encouraged to consider non-food abstentions, such as TV, movies, internet surfing, video games, and other entertainment.

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