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Direction & Protection 24/40

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!

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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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!!!

Call to Go (Southeast Asia)

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I remember now why I do not take showers in the morning in Asia. The bone-chilling cold water should be reserved for after sweating all day in the heat. However, I am truly awake now as I write this.  This is just one of the few things when God has called us to go, we must give up to say yes.

Your will, your way, your wants and desires are always difficult to give up. “I want it my way.” You may not ever say it out loud, but this is the way you are. I know this, because this is the way I am.  Graciously, the Lord granted me several confirmations that this was a trip I was supposed to be on. I do not often get such clear direction and continually receive confirmation I am supposed to go. I usually just give Him my Yes out of faith.

After the 30+ hours of travel, I can say thank the Lord for giving me the ability to say Yes. Sitting on a plane for any extended amount of time is physically uncomfortable, to put it mildly. However, for me, it has always been hard to sleep so it becomes that much more difficult. But none of this matters because I have said Yes to Jesus and His call for me to go. Unfamiliar places, faces, food, accommodations… None of this really matters for I have given my whole-hearted Yes to Jesus and His way.  

The people here are worth it because He loves them. Even more than that, He is worth it and I love Him!!! Right now, in your life, what is of the greatest value? What do you love the most? What would you hold on to if everything else was stripped away? What if God called you to give that up to Go for Him?  Could you do it? 

My prayer for you is that you hear the call of the Lord to Go and that you say as Isaiah did, “Here I am, send Me!!! No matter the cost, no matter the price I will follow You and say Yes!!!” Jesus is worth flying to the other side of the world and giving up so much! In the same way, He is worth it to lay down your fear, pride, selfishness, to walk next door, up the street, down the fruit aisle… Or wherever else He may have you. He is worth it to give all that You have to speak His good news!!! He gave first, and He gave His best for you.

What do you have to give the Creator of the Universe??? 

I give You my, Yes and my obedience!!! Here I am!!! Send Me!!!

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Eternal Destiny

Daily Encouragement – 

My Child, I am continually speaking words of life and love to you. You may not hear or see all the ways I pour my love over you daily. Come to recognize these things and hear My voice more clearly so you never doubt My love!!!

It is easier to trust and wait when you know I love you. It is easier to obey when you really know i have your best interests in mind. 

I am preparing a way before you even as I am making you ready to follow Me. I am touching and changing your heart for the journey ahead. I will not let you down, and I will never let you fall. 

It is your job to walk with Me no matter how fast or slow I seem to be going. You may not know the way or even where we are going, but I do. Press in to Me and walk with Me into your eternal destiny!!! I love you My child!!!

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Hear Clearly, Obey Completely

Daily Encouragement – 

I love you My child! I am continually speaking if you will stop, wait, and have ears ready and willing to hear. You must first listen and hear Me before you can obey Me completely.

Come closer to Me and hear all I am saying. You are My child, and I will never hide what I am doing or My desire for you. New revelation is always being made manifest if you will press in for understanding. 

When you pray, I listen and act. Always remember to constantly have your ears ready to hear and act upon what I am saying. Obedience is impossible unless you hear Me clearly and understand what I am saying. 

Remove every obstacle in the way so you may hear Me clearly, obey Me completely, and do all that I have for you. I love you My child!!!

Luke 11:28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Pure Unblocked Relationship

Daily Encouragement –

I love you My child. You are the one I want to be closer to than ever before. Come to Me and receive all that you need today. 

I am filling you to overflowing. I am showing you great and mighty things. Your ears are hearing the mysteries of the Kingdom.  How can it make sense that the Creator of the universe loves you enough to die for you?

 I did this so I could have pure unblocked relationship with you. My side is clear of all obstacles. Now, it is time to remove the roadblocks from your side. Take the fear, worry, troubles, and sin and give it all to Me. Remove the doubt, pride, selfishness and let it be burned up in the fire of My love!

I will come as close as you want Me to. I will reveal as much as you want to be obedient to. I will share as much as you are willing to put into use and share with others. Use it all for My glory and pass it on! I love you My child!!!

John 7:37-38 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 

John 15:5, 16 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
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Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
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Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!