FASTING - A SEEMINGLY WEAK MEANS
Mike Bickle from the International House of Prayer, Kansas City writes, "Fasting is a great gift in the grace of God that enlarges our capacity to receive more of Jesus. The Fasting Key describes how, through the seemingly weak means of fasting, God is strategically awakening the Bride of Christ to the beautiful presence and unrivaled power of her Bridegroom King, Christ Jesus."
FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL HOLINESS AND PURITY TO EXPERIENCE GOD
Mark Nysewander, until very recently the senior pastor of Bethany Missionary Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has ministered as an evangelist, missionary, church planter, and pastor around the world. Thus, his is a truly well-rounded ministry of many gifts. Thousands, who came across Mark Nysewander, have been greatly blessed by his ministry. He is a Christian mystic in the best Christian traditions and understanding. He focuses on individual holiness and purity, and greatly rejoices in the Christian disciplines as a means to experience the presence of God, and shares this experience for the edification of the Church. He does not glorify the disciplines as an end in themselves.
INCREDIBLE KINGDOM OF RESOURCES
The present book is a great testimony to the faith of Mark Nysewander. His goal in writing this book on fasting is to "discover this lost key to incredible kingdom of resources." He is one with Henry Gallus who wrote, "If the millions of Christians took fasting as seriously as they took praying and giving, in a matter of weeks a wave of righteousness would sweep over this world, which would be felt and recorded by revivals everywhere" (p. 13).
THE THREE ESSENTIAL KEYS JESUS TALKS ABOUT
This book, The Fasting Key: How You Can Unlock Doors to Spiritual Blessing, begins with a discussion on the three essential keys Jesus talks about in Matthew 6: prayer, giving, and fasting. Mark Nysewander says that fasting is a forgotten key, not a lost key, although it may appear to be a lost key because hardly anyone practices it, and most people would treat it to be a relic of the past.
HARDEST OF THE THREE KEYS TO PRACTICE
I believe that it is perhaps the hardest of the three keys to practice, because it deals with our physical body! Remember how Job suffered and agonized because of physical infliction! He lost all his belongings, but declared: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked will I depart." The last and most devastating affliction that came upon Job was in the form of "painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head," so unbearable that Job was about to lose his balance.
When something affects our body, it hits us harder. It was most difficult for me to fast even for a few meals in my early days of Christian life. Coming from the Hindu background, I was used to "fasting" only in the sense of eating some alternative food, usually more tasty than the routine diet, on those "holy" fasting days! To fast for long and to continually focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and intercede on behalf of others was a new spiritual experience!
ABSTINENCE IS NOT FASTING, FASTING IN SPIRIT IS ANSWERING GOD'S CALL
Pastor Mark argues convincingly, based on the Word of God, that abstinence is not fasting, that fast is not a command, not an option, but a passion for Jesus, that fasting brings results although the results may not necessarily be "always exactly and immediately what you want." We should not fast for maintaining our spiritual image to show to the world. Fasting is not a merit badge; it is a useless if you wish to feed your religious spirit. "Fasting is not for religious looks to impress people, religious acts to get God's blessing, religious spirits to hide sin or religious ritual to fulfill duty." Fasting in spirit is actually answering God's call, according to Mark Nysewander. Satan fears fasting (Isaiah 58:6):
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
To loose the chains of injustice
And untie the cords of the yoke,
To set the oppressed free
And break every yoke.
FAST WITH MERCY
Fast with mercy. Nehemiah says,
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4)
Fasting brings about transformation. It becomes the door to revelation. We receive illumination through the Word of God when we fast. We also receive illumination through the gifts when we fast. The writer does not fail to recognize that "physical health comes through fasting."
AN ELEGANT BOOK WITH MANY THINGS TO LEARN FROM AND APPLY
This elegantly written book has fifteen short chapters that deal with various aspects of fasting: Fasting as the Lost Key, Fasting as the Useless Key, Fasting as the Master Key, the Door to Revelation, the Door to Healing, the Door to Holiness, the Door to Protection, the Door to Answers, the Door to Presence, the Door to Deliverance, the Door to Guidance, the Door to Provision, the Door to Anointing, the Door to Revival, and the Worn Key (Wade in and go slow, Pull back the reins of your appetite, Watch out for the enemy).
I found this book very stimulating and encouraging introduction and exhortation to anointed fasting.