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Humble Yourself 23/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press on in The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride and for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God and his judgment was delayed until a later time.  The fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy for a time before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching The Kingdom.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three full weeks were fulfilled…  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us, and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, we will daily be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before you today. I recognize my utter dependency on you.  Without you I can do nothing. Thank you that I can come boldly before your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to you in humility and repentance today.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelation of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are propelled into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

        –

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Advance 22/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Well done!  We are now past the halfway mark, past Daniel’s precedent of 21 days, and beginning week 4 of The 40.  Do not waver! Do not falter! Press into Jesus, and be propelled into the next level with Him!!

This morning, I felt The Lord highlight one word, “Advance“.  This word means a lot to me for different reasons, but one of the reasons is this is an official military term, in my mind at least.  As we move forward into uncharted territory, God is leading and guiding.  He has gone before us to direct us in the right way we should go (John 10:4). Yesterday, the focus was on Touching The Kingdom, and the seeking of direction and revelation through humility, hunger, repentance, prayer, and fasting.  This should be our way of life until we receive our orders.   Then, we must “Advance” into all God has for us.  

Even understanding a proper definition of advance gives us a clue into what God is speaking to us today. 

Advance: 

  • Move forward in a purposeful way (Help us all to move forward with Your plans and in Your purposes Lord!)
  • Accelerate growth or progress of (We desire to progress and grow in You, Lord)
  • Raise to a higher rank (Thank you for raising us up to higher ranks in The Kingdom as we faithfully carry out our assignments at the level we are now.)
  • To lift up (Lift us up into heavenly realms with You)
  • Bring forward in time (Bring us all forward in time that we may be mature believers on mission with You!)
  • My personal definition would be the effective assisting in hastening a process or bringing about a desired end.  May we all be advanced in our own lives, and be used to advance The Kingdom of God today!

    In the Word, we can see this happening throughout the entire Bible, but we will focus on what is taking place in Acts 13.  The setting of this passage is the rapid growth of the church.  If you remember, they were first called Christians at Antioch, literally meaning “little Christ”.  The gospel is being proclaimed, and persecution has taken the life of James the apostle.  This was the first of the apostles to be martyred.  Peter was set to be killed as well, but through constant prayer, God miraculously delivers Him.  This is where we pick up in our reading.  

    The church is at a pivotal point in history. They must come to a decision if the persecution and death is too much and they should calm down in what they are doing, or if they should continue to advance The Kingdom in spite of all this.  

    Acts 13:1-2 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 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 have called them.” 

    The response of the early church to the persecution and death of James and near martyrdom of Peter is to gather together and minister to The Lord. 

    How was this done? In Acts 2:42, 47 and 6:4 we find some clues: continue steadfastly in apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer, praising God, and ministry of The Word.  In this passage we see, they also fasted.  Fellowship, worship, prayer, and fasting are literally ministry to The Lord. As they ministered to The Lord, Holy Spirit revealed what they were to do next.  

    It is interesting, they did not have a vision-casting meeting. They did not form a committee to talk about business. They did not try to figure out the most logical business model to follow. They gathered the leaders to worship, prayer, and fasting.  It is a sad fact that in many churches today, call a church business meeting and everyone shows up, but call a church prayer meeting more crickets show up than people.  However, if you call a prayer meeting without food and call a people to fast, this is like what happened in the early church. Only hungry people allowed.  This is where Holy Spirit brought revelation of what was to happen next.  

    When Holy Spirit released this revelation, they did not end the meeting and say lets get to work. Why? Because this was not the point of the meeting.  They were there to worship God with everything they had to give.  As a result, when they received revelation this is what they did:

    Vs. 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

    They continued in worship, prayer, and thanksgiving. What Holy Spirit revealed in a time of worship, prayer, and fasting was commissioned and sent out by worship, prayer, and fasting.  The focus was ministering to God and the commissioning and sending out of Barnabas and Saul for the advancement of The Kingdom was part of this ministering to God.  No man or even church was glorified in the sending out of these men. 

    Verse 4 begins with “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…”  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a work of Holy Spirit for the advance of The Kingdom.  This is before Saul had prove himself to the church.  He is still in the care of Barnabas and there is probably still those who do not fully trust him.  That did not matter when Holy Spirit had set him apart to send him out. In the very next chapter Saul is violently persecuted and stoned. The strength knowing Holy Spirit had called him and sent him out enabled him to return to the very cities that this took place.  

    My encouragement for us today is that as we gather together daily to worship, pray, and fast, whether together in body or spirit, Holy Spirit will bring wisdom, understanding, and revelation that only comes from Him.  As He does, may we all be strengthened with might to advance The Kingdom and walk in what He has called us to.  Nothing can hold you back from advancing to the next level with Him if you are living and walking as His partner.

    Practical –

    • Ask for revelation of how you can minister to God today
    • As you minister to Him, seek wisdom, revelation, and understanding that only comes from Him
    • As He reveals, ask for the strength and ability to obey
    • Continue in Worship and ministry to Him
    • Obey all He directs you to do

    Be blessed with the ability to truly advance The Kingdom in partnership with Holy Spirit. May you receive wisdom, understanding, revelation and might as you minister to Holy Spirit.  May this propel you to the next level with Him!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    The Memorial 20/40

    You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

    Well, here we are at day 20, the halfway point.  At the beginning of the fast, it may have seemed impossible to fast The 40, but here we are halfway to completing our commitment.  If you have been here from day 1, congratulations. If you jumped in some time along the way, good job. If you fell and messed up, no problem.  Let’s get up and continue on together in God’s great grace and mercy.  We have the eternal reward of seeing Jesus in a special way today.  Let’s run this race to receive the prize!

    Today, is a special day that we remember and mark as a memorial.  We see it as an encouragement to continue, but it is an important spiritual marker as well. God looks on and remembers all the special times we give to seek Him in a special way.  If God is truly “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”, then special times of seeking Him will receive a special reward.  I am sure we would all like to see some scripture backing up this encouragement.  For this, let us look at Acts 10.

    This chapter is pivotal for Acts and especially for us as Gentiles.  Until this point, we have seen the apostles going out and ministering to God’s children in Israel only.  At this moment, God changes the mind of the apostles to include all people everywhere in the preaching of the good news.  God was opening the door for them to go out and preach the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. To do this, God needed someone that was seeking Him.  Someone who was doing something special in The Kingdom. He needed Cornelius.

    Acts 10:1-2 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

    Cornelius was a well-respected Roman leader who was known for fearing God, giving and praying always.  Here was a Gentile seeking God.  He had built a reputation as one who would seek God in a special way, so apparently, he had been doing this for years.  We find out later in the chapter, that not only was he seeking God, giving generously, and praying continually, he was also fasting.

    Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

    Cornelius, a non-Jewish person, had built a lifestyle of seeking God in a special way.  Here was a man that God could use to bring about the most radical change in The Kingdom since Holy Spirit fell in Acts 2.

    Acts 10:3-4 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

    What does this verse say? Cornelius’ fasting, prayer, and giving went up as a memorial before The Lord. The eyes of The Lord were looking for someone who was seeking Him to change the very course of history for the rest of eternity.  Unknowingly, Cornelius had built a huge neon sign in the spiritual realm that said, “Here I am, use me!” God did not have to look far or hard to see the great memorial that had been built up for years by this man that had no real guarantee of receiving anything for any of these things he did.  His desire and intention was to seek God and bless His people.  God sees the memorial and says, “Here is a man I can use.”

    Cornelius obeys the instructions above and beyond what the angel speaks, it seems even better than Peter.  A reluctant Peter comes and cannot even finish a proper sermon before the hunger and expectation in the people that Cornelius had gathered together was rewarded with the outpouring of The Spirit.

    How long did Cornelius cry out, “Here I am use me”? 

    How many years of continuous prayer, fasting, and giving were being built up before the time was right for God to move in a mighty way? 

    How much time did he spend in the secret place not seeming to receive anything?  

    Was Cornelius fasting and praying somewhere while the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the upper room? 

    How big was the memorial that was built up before God?

    On that day, when Holy Spirit fell on him and all the people he had gathered together in obedience to the word, it was all worth it.  He would not have traded one shekel, one meal, one hour that went into the building of this memorial in The Kingdom.  At this point, his spirit was crying out more than ever, “Here I am use me!”

    This is my encouragement for you. No matter how you may have struggled during the first 20 days, Jesus is worth it.  The memorial being built in your life is greater than you could imagine. How many have been willing to go The 40 that God might look on the earth and see these memorials all over the earth saying, “Here I am use me!”?  This is who I want to be. I want to be used for The Kingdom. I want to be a laborer in the harvest. I want to be the most useful instrument in The Kingdom. If there is no one else willing to do the dirty work, may my sign continue to say, “Here I am, use me!!!” I know this is your heart as well.

    What can God do with a community of people who say “Here I am use me” with their lips and their lifestyle?

    Jesus, give me the strength of spirit and resolve to continue throughout the rest of The 40 and beyond in a memorial building lifestyle.  I desire to be the one whose lips and lifestyle loudly proclaim, “Here I am use me!” 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you to continue in your daily commitment
    • Continue to pray “Here I am use me” with your lips
    • Become increasingly obedient in your day to day life in all Holy Spirit reveals

    Be blessed to receive revelation of the memorial you have created by recognizing the answered prayers and receiving the promises of God in an increasing measure.  May you be used mightily for The Kingdom as your heart and character line up with The King’s!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    The Heavens Declare 17/40

    You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

    As we approach the halfway mark of The 40, know this, God is with you.  He has promised to never leave you or forsake you.  Another tactic of the enemy to pull you out of The 40 is to make you feel alone.  I pray that you are encouraged by the community and words that are being shared here.  It is always easier to share struggles with someone who is going through everything right alongside you, and that is why we are here.  However, Jesus is even closer and able to help far more than those in your spiritual family.  Never forget, He is here to help, love, and support you no matter what.

    I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of GodHe is faithful to us and every one of the promises he has spoken over us.  He blesses us with His abounding grace and abundant mercy. He overwhelms us with the gifts of heaven, and too often, we forget to be thankful.  In some way, we think that we deserve for God to be this good to us or that we have earned it by our right living.  We must learn to be thankful at all times and declare the wonderful works of God continually.  What did Jesus say about this?

    Jesus reveals something interesting when He is told to make his disciples be silent:

    Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

    The rocks in creation who have done nothing but sit there from the beginning of time are thankful for who God is and would cry out giving glory to God in their own way if we they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given wisdom to see the glory and speech to say it?  David also has some interesting things to say along these lines:

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

    Creation itself is continually declaring the glory of God just in the day to day things that happen.  Sadly, we get used to seeing the beauty of nature and it no longer impresses us.  The beauty of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst.

    After an extended time of bearing the punishment of their people by being in captivity in a foreign land, the people of Israel return to the land of their inheritance.  Everything is broken down and in disrepair.  Nehemiah leads the people into a time of returning to the law.  They read the law for seven days straight and agree to obey it.  They set about to keep the feasts in the word and worship God.  This is when we see the people worshiping God in a special way:

    Nehemiah 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

    The people have been reading the word for day, and this causes them to come to God in worship by repentance, confession, prayer, and fasting.  They read more of the word and then worship more, and then they begin to bless the Lord:

    Nehemiah 9:5-6 “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the LordYou have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

    Your fasting is worship to God.  Your prayers are worship to God.  Your repentance and confession is declaring the glory of God.  As we spend time seeking Him and pressing into all that He has for us, true worship with come forth from our hearts and our lives that will declare God’s glory in a way that no other thing can.  How can the choice to give up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice give glory to God?  By this, we are saying, “Jesus, I love you more!  You are worth it!”  What joy comes to The Father’s heart when his children voluntarily give Him a gift from what little they have to give.  This is true worship and truly declares the glory of God to all the hosts of heaven.  Today, we choose to worship God once again with the sacrifice of our humble hearts.

    Jesus, I choose to declare Your glory today.  In my thoughts, words, and actions, help me to recognize and declare Your glory.  Help me to continually give you worship in everything I say and do.  In all I do may I glorify Your Name!

    Practical – 

    • Set a time to watch a sunrise, sunset, or spend time watching at the stars
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the glory that creation is declaring to you in this
    • Commit to worship God in thought, word, and action today

    Be blessed with the God given ability to recognize the glory of God in the tiniest of details.  May your very life declare the glory of God in all you think, say, and do!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Empowering The Angelic 12/40

    You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

    As we proceed into day 12, I want to continue to encourage you to make special time, maybe even some extra time, to pray and seek the face of The Lord.  Often, we can get into routines in life, even with fasting, that cause us to pass over the true blessings that come.  I remind you, fasting is never mentioned in the Bible without prayer, humility, and repentance unless it is demonic fasting.  Try fasting a little sleep in the morning and getting up a little earlier to spend special time seeking The Lord.

    We do not realize the true power we have here on earth.  Originally, dominion of the earth was given to Adam.  Adam forfeited this power to the enemy when he sinned in the garden, but Jesus gained the power and authority back after rising from the dead.  Through Him, we now have all power and authority in heaven and on earth.  Because of this, we have the ability to empower angelic forces.  Let’s take a look at this passage:

    Daniel 9:3-4 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,

    Here, Daniel has come before The Lord in repentance, humility, fasting, and prayer.  He is crying out for revelation for what is about to happen to him and his people.  He comes in the right way with a humble heart and begins to seek God.  Vs. 5-19 record his humble prayer of repentance for his people even though he is probably the most faithful and righteous of his people at the time.  He owns the sin of his people, confesses it, and repents.  Immediately following this, an interesting thing happens. 

    Daniel 9:20-21 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.  

    Gabriel, the messenger, comes to deliver the answer to the what Daniel is seeking.  What I would like to point out is the passage being caused to fly swiftly, some translations may say extremely exhausted.  Whatever is taking place in the Heavens, we find out later there is war taking place in the spiritual, Gabriel is worn out.  However, he is caused to receive strength to bring that which Daniel is seeking.  Daniel is not praying to empower the angelic, but his prayers of humility and repentance, aligned with the heart of God, give the angelic messenger strength to bring forth that which he was praying for.

    Do your prayers empower the angelic? Are you seeking God with humility and repentance?

    You the child of God have special access to The Father.  You have the right to come boldly before The Throne of Grace. You have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm.  However, you cannot obtain these by works or spiritual pride.  You must come humbly in repentance, fasting and prayer to receive all that The Father has for you.  I will leave you with this scripture to reflect upon:

    James 5:16 The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. 

    Humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer should be part of the lifestyle of the people of God.  As we walk out this lifestyle, our prayer will be heartfelt and persistent and we will truly be the righteous believers we were called to be.  Our prayers have great power and are empowering the angelic for the work they were designed to do.

    Jesus, I desire to come to You continually with a heart of humility and repentance.  Because of Your blood, I enter boldly into Your presence and receive the power and authority that has been given to me.  Help me to live a lifestyle that will allow You to release the angelic to work in my life.

    Practical –

    • Commit some extra time to seek the Lord during The 40
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal specific areas, for you to bring before Him in confession and repentance.
    • Ask Him for wisdom, understanding, revelation, and might.

    Be blessed to continue to walk in a lifestyle of humility and the heart of God.  May you forever be empowering the angelic as you come boldly and rightly into His presence.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Freedom & Breakthrough 10/40

    You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

    Congratulations, you have made it to double digits, and by the end of the day, you will be a quarter of the way through the fast.  For those who have elected to fast on only water, the experts say that today or tomorrow all hunger and weakness should be gone and the physical health benefits should begin to be readily seen over the next few days.

    Whenever I am called to fast, I return over and over to Isaiah 58.  This is an amazing chapter that focuses on two things:

    1. Fasting the proper way

    2. The many personal benefits of fasting

    Vs. 1-5 are speaking of a people who had regularly scheduled fasting times.  Set times each months, they would fast, supposedly to honor God, and expect to receive the heavenly blessing from these fast.  However God rebukes them because of their selfish and evil motives:

    Isaiah 58:5 Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast?  Is it just a day to starve your bodies, make others think you’re humble, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast?  Do you think I, Yahweh, will be pleased with that?

    A proper fast is not for others to see, but for God to come in and purify our heart and our desires.  If we continue fasting to hear from God, but are not obedient to bring our other fleshly desires into control as He reveals them to us, our heart is wrong and we forfeit all the spiritual benefits that we would have received.  A change must take place and a humbling of our hearts where Holy Spirit is given the right to search out and place His finger on any area that is out of order.  When He highlights this area, we must say, “Yes sir, I give this to you right now.  Change me and make me new that I may never return to that old selfish, sinful way.”  As our hearts are set right and our focus is to allow Holy Spirit to renovate and restore our hearts and desires, we will reap the benefits of the fast that follow.

    Vs. 6 begins this way ““Is this not the fast that I have chosen…“, and what follow are the many varied benefits of fasting with a right heart:

    • Loose the chains of wickedness
    • Undo heavy burdens
    • Set the oppressed free
    • Break every yoke
    • Share your bread with the hungry
    • Shelter the poor homeless
    • Clothe the poor naked
    • Recognize and provide for those around you in need
    • The light and favor of God will shine upon you
    • Healing will come forth quickly
    • Righteousness will lead you
    • Glory of God will follow you
    • The Lord will answer your cries
    • He will continually be your Guide
    • He will faithfully satisfy your soul
    • He will constantly strengthen your bones
    • You will be given the right to
      • Rebuild long-deserted ruins
      • Raise up foundations of generations
      • Repair the cities
      • Restore the communities

    The list of benefits in these seven verses is almost overwhelming.  You could write books on each one of these topics and God’s amazing power to work through one whose heart is set to follow him in obedience, humility, prayer and fasting.  I encourage you as you continue to walk The 40, return to this passage over and over for encouragement when difficulties arise.  Confess and repent of anything revealed by Holy Spirit, and return to the place of right fasting with a right heart.

    God has designed you for a plan and purpose.  You are called to be totally free and walk in Kingdom breakthrough in every area of your life.  Partnering with Holy Spirit in fasting and prayer with a true heart of humility and obedience will bring about freedom and breakthrough in a way that will quickly propel you into the next level with Him.

    Jesus, I pray that you will help my heart to be continually set on you.  May my desires line up completely with You and Your word, and my actions continually be obedient to what You speak.  I want to lay down my life as a sacrifice that you may use me as an instrument of righteousness to build Your Kingdom however You see fit.  Help me to partner with you today in humility and obedience.

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any selfish or ungodly desires in your heart
    • Bring these before the Lord in confession, repentance and humility
    • Meditate on the benefits listed in Isaiah 58
    • Ask yourself, “What can God do through my life given to Him completely with a heart of humility and obedience?”

    Be blessed today with walking in new levels of humility and obedience to every leading of Holy Spirit.  May this humility and obedience propel you in receiving all these benefits and more that you may advance into the next level with Him.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Accomplish The “Impossible” 9/40

    You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

    Most of us have started The 40 with high expectations, however, now the real work begins.  The day to day living it out can be hard since we must constantly seek to overrule our flesh and give ourselves to the Lord.

    Now is the time to encourage ourselves in The Lord the benefits of keeping The 40 and continuing to walk with Holy Spirit in spite of what our bodies might be telling us.

    Prayer and fasting gives us the power to accomplish the “impossible”.  Of course, we know that “nothing shall be impossible with God”, yet we still live our lives with “impossible” situations which do not seem to respond to us.

    Jesus’ disciples had this same problem while He was on the mount being transfigured.  A man whose son is assaulted by demons asks for their help.  Though they try, they can do nothing about it.  When Jesus returns, He easily casts out the demons and heals the boy.  He does not seem to be impressed with His disciples’ efforts either.  The disciples come to Him and ask why they could not do the same.  This is His response:

    Matthew 17:20 “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

    We do not know what was going on in the disciples’ minds, but Jesus did not ever shy away from directly addressing what people said in their hearts.  I believe the disciples did not see a response and had blamed it on not having enough faith.  Jesus directly confronts this with The Kingdom Truth that the smallest amount of faith can do the mightiest things in His Kingdom.  They had let doubt creep in and this kept them from pressing in to see transformation take place.

    Then, Jesus says something else interesting that some translations completely leave out.

    Matthew 7:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

    What kind is Jesus talking about? 

    Some would say demons, but I think He is talking about the unbelief.  Unbelief is a pesky little problem that constantly assaults our media-driven culture.  If we cannot see or hear something happening, it is quite hard for us to believe.  We can never see the shifting in the heavens when our eyes are on worldly circumstances.

    If unbelief keeps us back from doing mighty work in The Kingdom, we should be quick to follow Jesus’ cure for it, prayer and fasting.  This dynamite duo is able to demolish and disintegrate the demonic unbelief that has built up in our lives.  This is how we say, “God I trust You to take care of the unseen as I partner with You in the physical.  I need you to do the “impossible” work of overcoming these spiritual obstacles in me while I do the possible work, with Your help, of prayer and fasting.”

    Jesus, help me to know that you have given me a measure of faith.  This faith has the power to overcome every seeming impossible thing in my life and those around me.  Help me to join with you in prayer and fasting that all unbelief within me will be destroyed and Your mountain-moving faith will be displayed for all to come and glorify You. 

    Practical – 

    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the things in your life and around you that you have labeled as impossible
    • Pray that every ounce of unbelief is removed from your life
    • Participate with Him in doing the impossible whatever He shows you to do

    Be blessed with the power to remove all doubt and do the impossible as you walk with God in obedience and humility.  May this propel you into new levels in The Kingdom!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!