Monday, January 25, 2010

Fasting Weekly

Notes on Mike Bickle sermon
"Fast Weekly: Positioning Ourselves To Freely Receive More From God"

-> The Holy Spirit is preparing the church for the greatest revival/pressure in history
-we don't earn God by fasting
-Fasting positions ourself to receive, we don't "earn" anything
-the early church called for 2 days of fasting a week
-it's not radical -- christianity doesn't work the way God intended without fasting
Matt 6:17 > "when"
-"the father sees" - if He cares enough to put attention to something, you can assure yourself that it's important
-God responds > "He rewards"
Hebrew 6:11 > "you must believe He rewards"

Rewards (internal)
-allowing us to encounter Him on a new depth > changes our heart
-God enlarges our capacity to experience Him and feel Him in our Spirit!
-the grace of fasting -- there is divine help
-don't presume yesterday's victories and strength will be your strength today > ask God for help!
-God strengthens your resolve and determination to follow through!

-->8 Reasons for fasting in the Bible

1) Fast for increase of power of God in ministry
-disciples were praying for demon to leave. Jesus said, only by prayer and fasting.
-John the baptist
examples in history of revivals:
-John Wesley > insisted 2 days a week
"the man who never fasts is no more on the way to heaven than the man who never prays"
-John G. Lake > used in healing the sick more in church history than anyone else
-5 year period > 500,000 documented healings
-deeply connected fasting and prayer with power

2) Grow in prophetic revelation of end times
-Dan 10:12
-insight about generation when Lord returns
-Dan 9:3, 21 > Gabriel gives "skill" to understand God's plan
-If you have any ministry that prepares people for end times, fasting is VITAL! > 2 days a week
-You will not be prepared unless it's a regular thing in your life

3) Dreams and Visions
-Joel 2
-operate in prophetic anointing
-You will need supernatural grace to understand. Only done by fasting.

4) Fulfillment of God's promises
-it's not a guarantee, it's an invitation
-He's inviting us to respond to Him
-If we respond, it is a guarantee by fasting

5) Fasting to stop a crisis
-when there is no remedy for a nation, fasting is the only way
-God's vehicle for involvement is through fasting
-You're lining yourself up to God
ex. Hannah > crisis of barrenness
-pressed into God > God healed her and gave her the prophet Samuel
ex. Joel 2 > agricultural crisis and military crisis > fasted for remedy

There is an escalation of darkness in our world > CRISIS
-the greatest problem in our nation is the way our church compromises (passivity, letting go of essential truths, etc)
-it allows other crisis' to get worse! (abortion, slavery, all injustice)

6) Fasting for protection
-Esther fasted and prayed for protection
-we will need this in the days to come

7) Fasting for direction
(for life, ministry, family, etc)
-Acts 14 > Paul

8) Fasting to grow in our intimacy with God (internal)
-Matt 9:14-15 > the bridegroom fast
-to feel the desires God has for us and to desire more of God!
-John taught disciples to fast regularly (God calls him greatest man born of a woman)
-because Jesus was in their presence, there was no need for fasting. He said there is a day to come where it will be needed > Jesus will be "taken away"
-this nearness, you will not have but you will long for it when I am gone
-if you fast, you can have the nearness. you have to cry out for it.
-position your spirit. He will show us how He feels about us and we will have a greater desire for Him
-when you receive more, you will desire more!

--> 5 Rewards of Bridegroom Fast

1) leads to tenderizing of hearts
-softening to be able to FEEL His presence in a greater way
-more prophetic dreams

2) changes our desire
-positioning ourselves to get rid of any addictions we may have

3) increase of understanding

4) Makes body healthier

5) strengthens sense of identity
-more confidence, even in our weakness

--> 4 Types of Fasts

1) No food, just water
- the point is to change and encounter

2) Liquid fast (light liquids)
-not the same intensity
-helps sustain strength in hard seasons

3) Benedict fast > 1 meal a day
-takes longer to see affects of fasting, but still powerful when you get there

4) Absolute fast > no food or water for a day

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