Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Want To Find Out God's Plan? This How The First Christians Did It

Derek Prince - Want To Find Out God's Plan? This How The First Christians Did It

Derek Prince - Want To Find Out God's Plan? This How The First Christians Did It

This is an excerpt from: The Secret Power Of Fasting

Now there are many examples in the New Testament of fasting, I just want to take two kinds of examples. They're what I call the individual fast and the corporate fast. In the ministry of Paul in 2 Corinthians 6, he gives a list of the ways in which he approved himself as a minister of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5: But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God And then he lists many different ways in which he commended himself as a minister of God. And he says this: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings. So, Paul says one of the ways that I proved that I was a minister of Christ was by fasting. And then in the same epistle, chapter 11, verses 23 and 27, he gives a somewhat similar list. He says: Are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool, I am more. And then he gives a whole list of ways in which he proved he was a minister of Christ.

And in verse 27 this is part of the list: in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness So, he says I fasted often. And notice he says hunger and thirst is one thing, fasting is another. Hunger and thirst is when you can't eat because you don't have anything to eat, fasting is when you could eat, but you deny yourself. That was one of the ways that Paul proved himself. as a minister of Christ I believe Christ's ministers should prove themselves that way today. I've spoken about my own experience, but I'll just mention this. After all, it's not much use preaching if you don't practice it.

When I was saved I had been a nominal Christian, I'd given up on Christianity, I turned my back on the church. I was looking for the answers to problems in other places. But when I was saved and baptized in the Spirit and I didn't even know the words, for what had happened to me, I had to read the New Testament to find out what had happened to me one thing within a month, God just made it clear to me that He wanted me to fast every Wednesday. I didn't read Wesley's journals in those days and I had no one to preach sermons to me. I wouldn't have known where to find fasting in the Bible. But I just had this inner conviction that I was to fast every Wednesday. And for the next four and a half years, throughout the rest of World War II, every Wednesday I fasted. I was in the desert on a lorry with ten other soldiers and we were just thrown together.

I mean, when you're in a desert there's only one place for shade, you've got to be there whether you like them or not. And I lived with those soldiers. You know that we were in Egypt and the Moslems have a month that they call Ramadan, did you know that, when they don't eat? At least they don't eat in the day time, they eat up a lot at night! They more than make up, for what they don't eat in the day time. My fellow soldiers called Wednesday Ramadan because you can't fast in secret when you're just living with people continually all the time and you never can get away from them. I would say that I would never had made the progress that I made if God hadn't showed me that key.

There have been times, I remember, in Kenya when I was there in educational work, I said to myself I'm too busy to fast, got too much to do. So, for a few weeks I didn't fast. The results were so disastrous that I decided I could never be too busy to fast. I'm talking about something that I've experienced, you understand? I believe passionately in what I'm telling you. Let's talk about corporate fasting in the New Testament, just two examples from the book of Acts. Acts 13, this is one of the most significant moments in the book of Acts. People have called this the beginning of a missionary program. Actually, the word missionary is not New Testament. The New Testament word is apostolic. And this is the first sending forth of apostles in the record of the book of Acts.

And it happened in the city of Antioch in Acts 13:1-4, we read this: Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul [who later became Paul]. So, there were five men who were recognized as prophets and teachers. The next verse says: As they ministered to the Lord and fasted How did they minister to the Lord? By fasting, by turning away from every activity and simply being in God's presence, and waiting for Him to speak. The New International Version says as they worshiped the Lord and fasted. This is one of the most crucial points in the history of the church. How did it come about? Did they sit down and think of a plan? Or work out a system? No. They vacated from everything of their own efforts and waited for God to speak. And the way they vacated was to turn away from food.

Who knows for how long, maybe a day, maybe two days I don't suppose it was lengthy. But they just took time off from every other occupation and distraction in order to hear from God. And God spoke. It says: As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I've called them. So, they heard from God His stratagem. Do you know one of the great problems of the church today is very seldom does the church get God's stratagem. Very seldom. We have our own plans, our own programs, our own systems. And most of it God has not initiated. And God is only committed to finish what He begins.

Paul says in Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this very thing: That He who began a good work in you will see it through. Jesus says, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. What He begins He'll end. But what He doesn't begin He has no commitment to end. The important thing is to find out what is God beginning, what is God's plan, how can we hear from God? And the early church set the pattern. They took time off from everything, including eating, and they said we have to hear from God. And they heard. And God said, Now I have a plan. I want you to take two men, Barnabas and Saul. Send them out. They didn't send them out immediately.

Listen. It says: Then, having fasted and prayed, they laid hands on them and sent them away. So, they fasted again. The first time they fasted to find God's will, the second time they fasted to commit those two men to carry out God's will. And then the next verse says: So they, being sent out by the Holy Spirit And the word sent out there is a beautiful Greek word which means sent and accompanied. The Holy Spirit didn't just say go, He said go and I'll be with you. And that's the beginning of apostolic ministry. At that time, they were called prophets and teachers but in the next chapter of Acts, chapter 14, verse 14, it says: When the apostles Barnabas and Saul When did they become apostles? When they were sent out by the church.

You see, an apostle is a sent out one. This is tremendously important because it indicates a scriptural way that we can institute apostolic ministry. How many of us can believe for prophets and teachers? Can you believe that there are prophets, and teachers in the church today? I certainly believe there are. If prophets and teachers wait on God in fasting, seeking Him, it opens a scriptural way for God to send forth apostles. How many of you believe there can be apostles in the church today? It's a good thing because they're put in the church to perfect it. If they were withdrawn the church would never be completed. So, the most decisive moment in that period was the sending forth of those apostles. What brought it forth? Tell me in one word. I didn't hear you. That's right.
Are you Human?:*