Tag Archives: consecrate

Precipitating The Latter Rain 11/40

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!

It is time once again to examine our reasons to commit to The 40.  We must constantly refresh the reason behind the fast or we will be drawn away by the enticements of the world to what may seem better.

Why have you committed to press in to The Lord through fasting?

Whatever your reason may be for going into this fast, today, I want to give you another one. Fasting precipitates the Latter Rain.  The former generation experienced what they refer to as the Latter Rain and there have been many prophecies about the former and latter rain coming together in these days ahead using the passage Joel 2:23.  Though this is the passage used by so many about the coming releasing of The Spirit in a mighty way, few know the context in Joel during this time.  Another passage of scriptures you may know well is Joel 2:28-32.

Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and  on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This may be one of the most referred to passages in the charismatic church especially since it is referenced by Peter in Acts 2:17-21 when the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples in such a powerful way.  Again, it seems that no one knows the context of what is happening in the book of Joel preceding this.  We often overlook “minor” details that can lead us to a true revelation to how God wants to bring about what He has promised conditionally.  It is especially important to view the context because this passage starts with, me paraphrasing, these things will take place after something else happens.

If you read the book of Joel, this is a time of tremendous devastation in the entire land of Judah.  An enormous plague of locusts had come and stripped the entire country of all vegetation.  Famine and drought as well as starvation and death of man and animals was taking place.  This was the worst possible moment in the people’s lives, and they needed a solution.  The prophet Joel came with a solution:

Joel 1:13-14 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.

The solution for this crisis is humility, repentance, prayer, and fasting.  This plague was a result of the people’s constant refusal to turn to God and follow His ways.  Therefore, He allows the effects of their disobedience to come upon them.  Turning back to Him is the only way to change their situation, and fasting is a sign of a true repentance and humbling of the heart.  

In case the people did not want to take the advice of a mere prophet of God, The Lord Himself gives the solution for their problem in the very next chapter:

Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

Here, God calls for repentance, fasting, and prayer.  Fasting is a true evidence of a desire to change and come into line with God and His purposes instead of partnering with our own flesh.  This is what will cause the grace and mercy of Heaven to be made evident in our lives.  This is not just a call for certain group of people like the holy priests or pastors.  Vs. 15-17 tells us that it is for:

  • People
  • The Congregation
  • Elders
  • Children
  • Babies
  • Newlyweds
  • Priests

No one is left out of this call to come to the Lord in repentance, fasting, and prayer.  No this is not a mandatory thing.  However, this is what is referring to in Vs. 28 after you come as an entire people in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer then God will pour out His Spirit.  The apostles received The Holy Spirit after waiting and in unity in The Upper Room for 10 days.  We know they were praying together, but I believe they were fasting as well.  The outbreak of The Spirit at Azusa was a result of 10 days of fasting and praying together.

Here we are, committed to The Lord and each other for The 40.  What can God do with our hearts that come to Him in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer?

Jesus, I ask that you will take this simple offering of my life, my commitment to you and use it for Your Kingdom.  I desire for The Great Outpouring of The Spirit that has so often been talked about.  I come to you in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer right now.  Come and move in a mighty way that you may receive the glory that is due Your name!!!

Practical – 

  • Read Joel 1-2
  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you can partner with Him in your personal prayer time
  • Ask Him to reveal how to call your community into humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer
  • Be obedient to all that He speaks.

Be blessed with the power to partner with Holy Spirit in precipitating the Latter Rain.  May this lifestyle propel you into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Propelled Into The Next Level

It has been a great to joy to sit back and watch how God has used Katie to take over most of the encouragement this year.  With what God is speaking now, I felt it necessary to share this encouragement that will help propel you to the next level in your relationship with God.

Are you in a place of weary waiting?  Have you stood on the promises of God and cried out for so long and nothing seems to happen?  Do you desire a change of circumstances? Are you desperate for doors to be opened? Are you hungry for new power to be released?

Do you desire to be propelled to the next level?!?!

Many may not receive this as a word of encouragement.  Most will ignore it and continue in the same old way of life. Some will accept it as truth, but few will take this word of encouragement and put it into practice and be powerfully propelled into new levels with the Lord.

The principle I am going to speak of was followed by every major player in both the Old and New Testament. Moses, David, Elisha, Peter, Paul, John and so many more all followed this principle and were propelled into new levels of power when they did.  It seems strange in knowing all this that anyone who truly follows Christ would be unwilling to participate in this practice.  It is never easy for any of us to deny our flesh and follow in the footsteps of Christ.  However, obedience will rocket us into the exponential increase that we all desire. 

For those who truly desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, let us hear what He has to say about this great power available for all who partake in it.

Matthew 6:16 “…when you fast…”  

What did He say?  Is that in red? Did Jesus actually say the “F” word?  Why didn’t He say IF you fast”? Isn’t fasting just an option for true extremists?

How many of you have been in church for years and never heard anything about fasting?  Obviously, this verse must be taken out of context or some obscure part that no one ever reads.  I am sorry to say that this is right in the middle of probably the most famous sermon of all time “The Sermon on the Mount”.  From this discourse we get, “The Beatitudes”, “The Lord’s Prayer”, “Love your enemies”, and many of the other more famous words of Jesus.

You can read the context for yourself in Matthew 6, but here is a quick refresher.

Matthew 6:3-4But when you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

“When you give” is a passage that probably comes up regularly during offering time in the church. Here, the Father rewards the giving that is done out of a right heart.  Nobody would deny these words of Jesus as being essential to growth in the Lord.

Matthew 6:6 “…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Here is another widely known passage that is followed by the Model Prayer.  Everyone would affirm that it is necessary to pray and learn how to pray more and better to proceed in your walk with God.  The Father who sees these prayers will reward you for the time spent praying and crying out to Him.

The passage from Matthew 6:16-18 continues in the same parallel repeating twice, “…when you fast…”. The thought is completed as verse 18 ends your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Surely Jesus would not put fasting on the same level as giving and praying in the essential steps to being propelled into the next level in The Kingdom.  Whenever I bring up this topic, people groan and look at me like some sort of alien. “I like food too much”, or “that is too hard,” or “you are crazy”, are some of the common responses that I have received just by bringing up one or two verses as I have mentioned above.  I encourage you to study fasting throughout the New and Old Testament and see the great men that walked it out and what they gained as a lifestyle of fasting with prayer out of a right heart.

img_6674.jpgIf nothing else, Jesus Himself left us the perfect example. After Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3, He was led by The Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This was the time of testing that would prove who Jesus really was.  What did Jesus do to prepare and continue to stand strong in the midst of the greatest onslaught of the enemy? At the beginning of Matthew 4, we see plainly that Jesus fasted forty days. He gave up the worldly way of gaining strength and power and took up the spiritual empowerment of fasting and prayer.  Because of this, He was ready for all the enemy had to throw at Him.

Later in Matthew 17:20-21, prayer and fasting come up again as a dynamite combination that allows the impossible to be accomplished through your life.  So many of us want a secret formula that will help us overcome the enemy, or the secret weapon that will destroy the enemies’ hold on our lives. Here it is:

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.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

If you need more incentive here are just some of the benefits of fasting and praying with the right heart:

  1. Corporate Freedom (The Salvation of a City) Jonah 3:1-10

Here an entire city, over 120,000 are saved because of repentance, fasting and prayer

2.  The Healing of the Land2 Chronicles 7:13-14

If you study it out, the main outward expression of humbling yourself before God is fasting.

3. To Influence Government and Save a PeopleEsther 4:16-17

Esther, Mordecai, and the Jewish people fasted and prayed and God brought deliverance.

4. Personal Freedom and BreakthroughIsaiah 58

This is probably the best place to view many of the numerous blessings of fasting and prayer out of a right heart.

5. Empowerment of the AngelicDaniel 9:3-4, 20-21

6. Opening of the Eyes to Spiritual RealmDaniel 10:2-11, Acts 10:30

7. Gaining UnderstandingDaniel 9:3-10:12

There are many more benefits and blessings that can be found throughout Scripture if you care to study the topic further.

Before I end, I want to give a few simple definitions of fasting.

Lou Engle states “Fasting and prayer is designed to humble yourself, reveal your flesh, and purify your worship“.

David Hogan says “Fasting is a good way to get hungry“.

A personal definition that I have come up with is giving up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.  We do this because we love Jesus, and He is worth it!

I want to encourage you to begin cultivating a lifestyle of prayer and fasting into your Christian walk.  Every new level in my personal life has been marked by a new commitment to prayer, fasting, and spending time in The Word.

THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO INCREASE!!!

From Monday, August 26th – Friday, October 4th God has called me to consecrate a 40 day fast for several reasons not the least of which is Revival and souls for The Kingdom.  I encourage you to fast one, two, or all of the three major areas that we are controlled by:

  1. Food
  2. Media
  3. Sleep

Allow God to lead you into the next level of fasting that you may be propelled into the next level with Him.

A word of advice when fasting food more than three days, please study the right way not only to fast but also to break a fast. Often the world understands the health benefits of fasting better than Christians understand the spiritual benefits. Because of this, there are many websites that can aid in fasting and breaking extended fasts.

If you would like to carry on further study here are the three best books I have found on prayer and fasting;

  1. The Atomic Power with God thru Fasting and Prayer by Franklin Hall
  2. Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince
  3. The Jesus Fast by Lou Engle

May the Lord truly bless you as you prepare to be propelled into the next level with Him.  Always remember:

Hebrews 11:6 “…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

May you receive the fullness of The Great Rewarder!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Call to Commitment

We have now been In India for two weeks, and I have yet to write a blog.  Returning to this beautiful place that I love to do ministry so much has not been different than any of the other previous countries.  Yes, there is more poverty, and this is a third-world country.  Yes, it is illegal to preach Christianity here.  Yes, the conditions are different, but the Spirit of the Gospel is the same and compels us to minister in the same ways, if not more, as we did in all the previous countries.  Counting our ministry in New York City, this is our seventh country to be ministering for the Lord in, and we just hit six months of traveling.  I do not think that anything has been like I expected, but the changes have been even more dramatic for my wife.  This is the main reason that I encouraged her to write the first few blogs.  India is the only third-world country she has ever been to, and the first time she has been in Asia.  The experiences to her are much more new and shocking than they are for me.  All of this being the case, she has written some amazing blogs from a first timer’s perspective.  I pray that you are able to experience this culture that is so different from ours in her unique perspective.

Last weekend, we were told that we would be traveling with Pastor Binny to preach to some youth in a neighboring state.  True to Indian culture, we met up with the pastor about two hours after we originally and planned.  Everything we had been told was not entirely accurate, which is very common here.  After staying the night at his mother’s house, we traveled through some very jungle-ish regions (where we saw many monkeys and were told elephants were often seen) to a small village in Andhra Pradesh where a church was holding Fasting-Prayer.  In India, it is very common, usually weekly, that churches will hold a 24-hour or all-day time where everyone in the church gathers to fast, pray, sing, and be taught.  Most of the people will spend all night and/or day here and then have a community meal afterwards.

Prayer and Fasting Church

With the plans being changed, I was not sure if I would be able to share the message that I knew that God had given me.  First, I shared about God’s ministry that had brought us here, and Katie shared the word that God had been speaking to her for India.  After this, Pastor Binny preached a word on faith.  I thought this was the end of the teaching, but about an hour before the fasting prayer was to finish Pastor Binny invited me to share a message, if I had one.  I was glad to be given the chance to share the Word I knew that God had given me to share.

Prayer Fasting Church

Here is the first part of the message that I spoke to the church, but is just as important to you wherever you are:

God began to speak to me about what made the prophet Daniel able to say at the end of his life that “…the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).  At this time, Daniel had experienced the greatness of God in so many ways.  He had escaped death many times, slept with lions, watched his friends last through the fire, survived many changes in rulers, and even governing kingdoms.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that the key to why Daniel was able to continue through all these things and make such a bold statement at the end of his life was found in Daniel 1:8 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”  Here, the scripture is talking about how Daniel chose at a young age not to eat food offered to idols; however, this revealed his desire was not to be disobedient to the Lord in any way.  This commitment led to Daniel and his friends being tested and later honored.  Both Daniel and his friends would be tested over and over again whether they would keep this commitment or value their own lives, status, power… more.  In spite of everything, they made this commitment and stuck to it.  Because of this, their strengths and great exploits are recorded and still bring encouragement to us today.

Meditating on this, God showed me four things that are keys to complete commitment to the Lord.

4 Keys to Commitment –

  1. Consecrate yourself to the Lord.  All of us start in a state of unholiness and dishonor because of sin.  However, through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven and are brought to a state of righteousness.  We must then chose to walk in a holy way or return to our former fleshly ways of living and thinking.  (When we are cleansed, we become “…vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Timothy 2:21).  
  2. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).  This does not come naturally, but is a continual progression throughout our entire lives learning to love Him with everything we are, everything within us, and everything we have.  This is in direct opposition to our flesh that wants to please and love only itself.
  3. Stir up the giftings that are within you (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  Timothy is reminded to stir up the giftings within himself.  He is not told to pray for God to stir them up, but to stir them up himself.  He is encouraged to act and use the gifts that he has so that they may grow and be pruned into greater and more powerful ones.  This is evident by how the next verse talks about not fearing, but walking in power, love, and all wisdom.
  4. Be completely obedient in all that you do (Luke 17:5-10).  Here, the apostles ask the Lord to increase their faith.  Jesus responds to them by telling them a story about being obedient servants.  No matter what the size of faith you have, you are able to do great things!!!  However, it is obedience to the Lord that not only causes His power to work through you, but causes you to be given more faith and the ability to do even greater things.

As Followers of Christ, we are called to be committed, changed, and active in each one of these areas, or we will not be fully effective for His Kingdom.  I encourage you to examine your commitment to the Lord.

Are you walking as a fully committed Follower of Christ?  

Are you succeeding in each of these four areas?  

Are you strong and carrying out great exploits for Him? 

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal a few specific ways you can work on one of these areas this week!!!

Pray that the Lord will strengthen you in every area and that you would never settle for less than the very greatest of exploits that God has planned for your life.  I bless you with knowing God, being completely committed to Him, becoming strong and carrying out great exploits for His glory!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Importance of the One

As our time in Norway draws closer and closer to an end, God has been speaking to me more and more about the importance of the One.  When we set out on this faith journey a month and a half ago, I thought it would look remarkably different than it has.  The majority of our time so far has been encouraging and strengthening individuals in an intimate setting.  We have been so privileged to encourage and build up Kjetil, his roommate Simon, his parents, and another couple that is a part of a small house church here.  Besides this, just sharing with the people we meet at different gatherings and settings seems to be how God is using us.

I have been feeling a little discouraged on and off that we have not had opportunities to speak to any churches or ministries so far.  In discussing this with my wife, she unleashed some powerful revelation and wisdom upon me, that I knew, but needed to be reminded of at that moment.  When we are ministering, encouraging, and strengthening individuals, this is building the church.  Each person is a vital and integral part of the church and every effort we make to strengthen and encourage them is making a difference in the church and the Kingdom of God is being built up.

My wife’s wise words reminded me of some ponderings of the past.  One of the first things I think of is a quote that was said to the famous D.L. Moody by a very little known friend of his.  Henry Varley, during conversation in a park, said to D.L. Moody, “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.”  After dwelling on this word for a short time, Moody’s response was, “I will try my utmost to be that man.”  Moody went on to be one of the most influential preachers in the U.S. and U.K. of his time.  This one man was changed by one comment, and millions of people were saved because of it.

What would happen in our time, if our attitude was the same? What if two or ten or 1,000 people stood up and said that we will be fully consecrated and obedient to the Lord to the best of our abilities?  Looking on all the revivals, movements, and godly happenings of the past, they can all be traced back to one man’s decision to follow the Lord completely.  Any organization, company, or business has one man that they say founded this company.  This man of vision, perseverance, and hard work gathered people around him to make the dream come true.  Loren Cunnigham and YWAM, Reinhard Bonnke and African Crusades, Billy Graham and U.S. Crusades, Bill Johnson and Bethel, Mike Bickle and IHOP, Lou Engle and The Call, Heidi Baker and Iris Ministries, Sean Feucht and The Burn 24-7, Stephen Evans and the Central American Crusades, Jack Hayford and The Church on the Way… these are just some of the well known people of our time who decided to be completely consecrated and  obedient to the Lord.  Each of these people in their own way have made a difference.  This does not even say anything about the people of the past who stood up no matter what the price to them in order that Jesus’ name would be glorified in and through them.

My challenge to you is that you would think about this statement, “The world has yet to see what God will do with YOU, for YOU, through YOU, in YOU, and by YOU if YOU are fully consecrated to Him!”  The world needs what you, completely consecrated and obedient to God, have to offer.  Really think about this and what your decision will be.  If you do not choose to be this kind of man like Moody did, you are choosing to fade into the oblivion of cultural Christians and not become what God has created you to become, one who turns the world upside down (Acts 17:6).  You are created for greatness!!!  Whether you become great or not depends upon your decision whether to be completely consecrated and obedient!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!  “With everything that I am and have, I will be that man!!!”