Tag Archives: continually

Real Repentance is Real Worship 28/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement.

Here we are on the last day of week four of The 40. It is amazing to think that now we are 2/3rds of the way through and have less than two weeks to go. I remind you that God is doing amazing things beyond what we can see in the physical realm. Be encouraged that you can press in to Him and press through to accelerate into the next level in The Kingdom.

Yesterday, I began a discussion that will continue today.  If you remember, in Revelation of The Truth, we looked at one of the major precursors to revival taking place in and through us.  The revelation of God’s word and the truth contained therein must bring about a proper response. The word itself is power, but our response to God’s word is what brings transformation.  

Today, I want to encourage you in responding rightly to God’s continuous revelation of truth.  God is always speaking, and we must be always asking for open ears to hear and willing hearts to obey what He is saying. Since our response is key to revival taking place in us and through us, let’s look at a place in scripture that demonstrates this.  

Nehemiah 8:18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner. 

Nehemiah has brought back a portion of the Israelites into their homeland that God had taken them out of as judgment for their constant rebellion.  At this time, Nehemiah begins to act as a governmental ruler who is deeply devoted to God.  He has come to help organize and rebuild the city both physically and spiritually.  Part of this task involves restoring the prescribed feasts and gatherings that God had instituted for the worship and remembrance of past testimonies throughout Israel’s history.  During this eight day feast, the book of the law is read every day.  The revelation of truth is coming to the people for a week during a time of celebration and joy.  Then the eighth day happens.

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 eighth day was a day of sacred assembly. The constant revelation of the truth, even during a time of celebration and joy, causes the people to see the ways they were no longer aligned with God and His holiness.  As a result, they come in humility, fasting, and repentance. Their response to this revelation is not merely mental assent, but demonstrated itself in practical application.  

When revelation came, they fasted and mourned, and then separated themselves from the foreigners.  At this time, their had been many who had intermarried with foreigners and whose children could no longer speak their native language.  God had forbid this so that Israel would not be led astray to worship the demonic idols of the land.  They begin to confess and repent of their sins even as they separated themselves from them. They stood up and took responsibility for not only their own actions, but also the rebellion of past generations.  After this, they aligned themselves further with The Lord by further revelation of truth.

Then it says something interesting in verse 3, “…they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God.”  A heart in right response to the revelation of the Truth is transformed from former sin to repent and confess.  This repentance and confession is an worship to God.  When we turn from doing things our own way and pleasing our own fleshly selfish desires, this is an act of worship to God.  If your heart is in continuous right response to God, you will be always ready to confess and walk in worship when His revelation comes forth.  This constant repentance, when revelation takes place, puts us in a constant state of being brought life again and again.  This is revival.  Revival starts with our right response, repentance, confession, and worship, to the revelation of truth.  

My encouragement today is to seek The Lord more than ever before. As we do this, our hearts must be ready to receive, ready to repent, and ready to worship so that true transformation may take place in and through us. Repentance and confession is a special act of worship that touches the heart of the Great God of Mercy and Grace and causes Him to pour out the blessing of life continually upon us. It is from this place that we are changed and empowered to bring lasting change to others. Let us be found today, tomorrow, and increasingly in this place that true worship may arise before The Throne of God and we may be able to accelerate The Kingdom in and through our lives!

Jesus, I desire to come to You continually. May my heart forever be in a place of right response to Your revelation. I desire to truly worship You as I repent and confess of everything that brings me away from progressing deeper in communion with You. Help me to worship You rightly and forever be in a place to receive Your continuous life-giving Spirit. Help Holy Spirit life to flow out of me in increasing measure that my family, friends, neighborhood, region, and nation may be revolutionized by You in me!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation of truth
  • Be quick to repent, confess and worship God
  • Ask for the power to live in obedience
  • Look for ways to release the life-giving Spirit through your words or actions today

Be blessed with the ability to walk in true worship by repentance and confession as the revelation of Truth comes in increasing measure.  May the Life-giving Spirit flow into you and be released out of you as you The Kingdom is accelerated in and through you today!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Revelation of The Truth 27/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement.

On this day, day 27, we have come to know we cannot walk alone especially in our outlandish commitments to The Lord.  It is by His grace and mercy and walking with a community of faith that we are able to accomplish everything He has for us.  I pray that you have a close community that will be praying and standing with you especially when the enemy comes in to distract, deceive, divide, and destroy.  Please know that this community is here to spur you on to greater love and greater works in The Kingdom. You are not alone!

Something happens when we fast that opens us up to receive in a way that nothing else can. We are caused to look past our own selfish desires and look to God for everything that we need.  We become little by little less self-sufficient and increasingly God-sufficient. He has everything that we need and gladly gives us it all as we seek Him.  It may not come in the time or way that we want, but God’s blessings are continually being poured out upon us, and it is easier to recognize this when we are fasting.  

We are going to focus on one of these blessings today: the birthplace of repentance that leads to revival.  We have heard that often a revival of repentance precedes a spiritual revival, but how does a desire for repentance come?  The prophet Jeremiah lived in a time of great rebellion, disobedience, and stubborn hardness against The Lord.  Somehow, Judah thought that since they were God’s chosen people that He would bless whatever they did and be with them no matter what their lifestyle.  Jeremiah was sent to repeatedly warn them to turn from such thinking.  If they would turn from their sin and seek The Lord, He would forgive and truly bless them the way He desired.

This is the setting of today’s reading. Jeremiah is confined and cannot go out to the people. So he writes the words of The Lord and sends Baruch with the revelation of Truth:

Jeremiah 36:6-7 You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord ’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” 

Even though the people of Judah are not living according to God’s standard or law, they have regular times of fasting where they would gather at the house of The Lord.  These religious acts did not do much because their hearts were wrong.  Because of this, the full blessing of the Lord could not come upon them.  However, in the fasting, Jeremiah knows they are receptive to the revelation of Truth more than at any other time.  The purpose of the revelation of Truth is to bring the people to repentance.

Vs. 9-10 Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord ’s house, in the hearing of all the people. 

All the people come together for the religious fasting and Baruch is obedient to do what he is commanded. All the people are gathered in religious fasting in their most holy place, and they receive the revelation of Truth.  The land had recently undergone a reformation and cleansing of the land under the reign of King Josiah, however, they are quick to turn their hearts away again.  They gather to fast, probably instituted by The previous king, but are devoid of understanding and obedience.  Next, we see some of the people and officials response to the revelation of Truth.

Vs. 16 Now it happened, when they had heard all the words, that they looked in fear from one to another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.”

Conviction comes to the hearts of these leaders of the people in such a way that they know they must present this revelation to the king.  They are truly convicted by this revelation of Truth and bring it to the King.  It seems the king is convicted by these words as well, but his response is anger not repentance. He cuts up the scroll, burns it, and tries to have Jeremiah and Baruch killed.  Sadly, even after the revelation of truth brings conviction to some and the people are already gathered in fasting, repentance never comes and Judah goes into captivity not long after this.  

As we continue in fasting and prayer, God will bring continuous revelation of Truth as we seek Him.  However, we must be quick to repent in every area we are out of line and come to Him.  In this way, revelation of Truth leads to repentance, and repentance brings revival.  The revelation of Truth cannot bring revival on its own.  Our hearts proper response to this revelation will be repentance for our own actions, and the lifestyle of our people.  This proper response by us will lead to a change in the people around us, and then God can send a mighty revival to the land.  

My encouragement for today is to continue to set your heart to seek God.  As you do, be carefully listening for Him to bring the revelation of Truth, because it will come.  As these words come may your heart be soft and pliable to align even more fully with God’s great purpose and plan.  A right heart response to the revelation of Truth will be repentance that leads to revival.  Even though it may seem that this revival is only taking place within you at the moment, know this.  Revival within you will come out of you.  The people with revival continually flowing inside them are the ones that God uses to ignite revival in their families, regions, and nations. These are the ones that are accelerated in The Kingdom.  This is who we are designed to be!

Jesus, here I am Your child. I come to You and ask for new revelation of The Truth. I know that You are The Truth, and I am asking for new revelations of You. As this revelation occurs, help me to be able and willing to align myself even more fully with You. Give me a heart of repentance for every area that is out of order, and bring me into a revival of relationship with You. Jesus, give me new revelation of who you are and draw me closer than ever before!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit for revelation of Truth
  • Ask Him to give you a soft and pliable heart
  • Walk in a heart of repentance
  • Align yourself to obey all He asks of you

Be blessed to receive continuous revelation of Truth. May you receive revelation that leads to repentance in the mind, body, and soul.  May this revelation lead from repentance to revival in you.  May this blessing transform who you are and flow out of you to bring transformation in your family, friends, region, and land!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Increase Expectancy 25/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast.

Here we are at day 25!  It is hard to imagine before The 40 that we could be so far in and a little over two weeks from completing the commitment God has placed in our hearts.  The spiritual benefits that come from the daily overcoming of obstacles to remain faithful in worship to The King of The Universe will one day astound us all.  Never give in to the fleshly desires now in exchange for the eternal reward that is being built up for you and everyone around you.  Let’s press on and press in together. 

By this time, the weight of the impossible has probably tried to crush you or in the very least discourage you.  Several people have indicated to me this week that they were worried about me physically.  One even said that I was crazy and out of my mind.  However, as long as we are partnered with Jesus and what He has for us, I would rather be walking in the mind of Christ than my own mind.   

It should not be a surprise to any of us that trusted spiritual and especially worldly influences around us do not understand the depth of what is taking place.  The God of great grace and mercy has called us out, or we have submitted to Him out of worship, in order for the impossible to take place.  When God moves, it is not understood completely by the most spiritual people we could ever think of.  We desire the perfect grace and mercy of God to be made manifest in us, our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, regions, and nations.  As much as we think we may understand Him and His ways, we do not. 

It is evident, that hunger and expectation has the ability to change the situations around us.  The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) only wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment.  She did what was illegal and could have gotten her stoned to death by pushing, maybe even crawling, through a crowd of people and just to put her “unclean” hands on Jesus.  It was her hunger and expectation that drove her to do what others would not.  This was the faith that healed and restored her.  This is where we are today. We are all believing for the “impossible” things to happen for the glory of God! 

But what if these things do not happen during or after The 40?  

What if we go through The 40 and do not see anything change?  

What if our hunger and expectation go seemingly unrewarded?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, this will align us on the same level as one “after God’s own heart”, David.  David was hand picked by the Lord and anointed to be king long before it actually happens. David has to live a life of character and actually doing the job of the king, like challenging Goliath, before he ever saw the promotion that God had anointed him for.  

Eventually, David became king and did great for a while. However, it seems He had a weakness for women.  Because David decided to give in to his weakness just one time, it led him to deception, adultery, murder, and pain.  The prophet Nathan reveals that God has seen it all and finally David repents.  What is the judgment for all of this sin? David’s recently born son would die. This is where we pick up in the scripture reading for today: 

2 Samuel 12:15-16 And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 

Even though David knew he deserved the judgment and punishment that God had said, he increases his expectation that God’s great mercy and grace is greater than his sin.  David comes in humility, prayer, and fasting and cries out to God for mercy for his baby.  He does this for 7 days until the baby dies.  His servants do not even want to tell him that his baby has died because they are unsure what he will do when he finds out the worst has happened.  David’s hopes, desires, and expectations for the life of his baby, because of the great mercy of God, are about to be crushed.  

What will his response be?  

 I do not know what the physicians were telling him and Bathsheba, but God had told him the baby would die.  That seems to be a very definite thing to me.  Surely, trusted and godly people came in after a few days of prayer and fasting and felt the need to prepare him for the worst.  There was no reason for him to expect that God would do anything different than He Himself had said.  However, David increased expectation in The God of grace and mercy. Throwing himself at the feet of The Great Shepherd and walking through the valley of the shadow of death, David is rewarded with seemingly nothing.  Here is David’s response when he finds out this baby is dead: 

Vs. 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.  

He cleans himself up, puts on his best worship attire, and goes to The house of The Lord and worships.  Great expectations unmet did not crush David and cause him to turn away, but causes him to be able to praise through the pain of unmet expectation.  This does not make sense to anyone and they ask him about it:

 Vs. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 

His expectations and prayers were unmet, and he chose to worship and adore God anyway because he knew His God. The Great God of Mercy and Grace was still the same whether David got what he desired or not.   

Vs. 22-23 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 

David knew the value in hunger and increasing expectation to work mighty things in the heavenly realm.  It had not happened the way he wanted.  However, because of a right heart of hunger and expectation to pray the greatest prayer he could think of, he was prepared to praise even through the pain.  

Immediately after this, Solomon is born and God names him Jedidiah which means beloved of the Lord. David’s hunger and expectation caused a blessing to take place that was not the way David prayed or wanted, but came about at a different time and different way.  This is the kind of hunger, expectation, and faith that I want! No matter the difficulties, trials, and impossibilities that we bring to the Lord during this time, may we all increase our hunger and expectation to see the impossible made manifest into reality. Even if these things do not take place how we want or think they should, we must pray for the best and cry out to God.  Today, increase your hunger and expectation and may this increase your worship through both met and unmet expectations.

Jesus, increase my hunger and expectation today. I want to have faith for the impossible miracles to take place no matter what I see or hear.  Help me to trust You to bring about the greatest good as my expectations are increased, and I cry out to You for the greatest good. Help me to never be discouraged or back down from believing the best no matter what I may see with my eyes or hear with my ears.   

Practical –

  • Take a good look at what you are praying for.
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you increase expectation and hunger to believe in the greatest possible good
  • Ask for strength, grace, and mercy for the faith to continually believe for the impossible
  • Ask for worship and fresh faith to replace discouragement or unbelief that tries to come in

Be blessed with an exponential increase of expectation and hunger to continuously believe for what seems impossible to man. May all discouragement and unbelief be replaced with worship and even more increased expectation because of new revelations of The Great God of Mercy and Grace in your life!

 Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Daily Direction 24/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate 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 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.  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 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, captivity, and comfort 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, obedience, and wisdom; but he realizes that he needs God’s help.  Without His protection, they will be easy prey for their enemies.  So, Ezra 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 continually 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.

Today, you and I 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, your neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. No 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 faithfully 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 into and 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 also 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 accelerated in The Kingdom !

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press Through to Breakthrough! 19/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

Here we go again!  Another awesome day in The Lord.  There may not be anything special to day 19 for you, but God has a special reward for those who diligently seek Him.  He has your reward!  He is the reward! He has more on day 19 to give than yesterday, and I pray a special outpouring of His glory and grace to continue in strength, life, and provision today! Hallelujah! 

God is good and continually blesses our mouths with good things.  Whether we are eating or not, He nourishes our soul and spirit with true manna from heaven.  Every single one of us is seeking Him in prayer and fasting for a reason and a purpose.  I have encouraged you to make a list of things to be praying and declaring over the length of the fast.  Do not neglect to pray for these things.  On my list are the impossible things, supernatural healing, wisdom from heaven, open doors, souls, nations, freedom and breakthrough.  

Do not allow discouragement to dishearten you from pressing in and continuing to lift these things up in prayer to the Lord.  We do not see all that is taking place in the spiritual realm, but we know this: James 5:16-18 tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! 17 Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed again and the skies opened up over the land so that the rain came again and produced the harvest.  Passionate, diligent, earnest prayers from a believer walking in righteousness have the power to change things that happen in the spiritual realm.  We discuss this more in “Shifting the Heavens“.  

What is does not mention in this passage is that Elijah had to go before the Lord and pray seven times before He began to see the fruit of his prayer for rain to return to the land (1 Kings 18:42-46).  Elijah’s powerful prayers were not immediately answered.  He had to press through to breakthrough.  He had to get past his doubts, fear, worries, and seeming lack of power to experience the blessing that God had promised would come.  He had to look to the promise and press in until he saw fulfillment of that promise.

Later, we see an interesting story taking place in Judges 20 that demonstrates the point even more fully.  During a time when Israel was without a leader, every man did what was right in his own eyes.  Here, the city of Gibeah, of the tribe of Benjamin, had committed an atrocity.  Their fleshly desire to abuse and injure a Levite led them to instead rape and murder his female slave.  Instead of repenting, the entire tribe of Benjamin “backs their boys” and goes out to war against the rest of Israel who is coming against them as retribution for turning from The Lord and committing this atrocity. Israel asked The Lord if they should war against Benjamin and who should go first.  God speaks for them to go and put Judah first.  Following God’s direction, 22,000 men of Israel are slain during Israel’s defeat that day.  Israel goes to God again and asks if they should return to the battle.  God says go, and at the instruction of God, 18,000 more people are slaughtered and Israel defeated.  Israel, God’s people fighting for justice and righteousness, are sorely defeated because they listened and obeyed God’s words explicitly.   Why was this happening?  Why were they defeated? What was taking place? Twice, Israel went through devastating tragedies and they were doing right.  They were obeying the law.  

Whatever else was happening, there was tremendous discouragement taking place at their defeat.  This is their response:   Judges 20:26-28 Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening… So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord… saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?”  And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.” Again, the people of Israel return to the Lord.  This time, it says that all the people came to The Lord with repentance, fasting and prayer.  We do not know if all the people were unified before, but now, they know they need a breakthrough and only God can help them.  Their military prowess has been overwhelmingly defeated and only God can give them the breakthrough.  In unified hearts, prayers, and fasting, they follow the instructions of the The Lord and 30 of their people die in the battle the next day, but 25,100 of the tribe of Benjamin are defeated.  Whether the change was in their hearts, mind, or actions, they finally come into line with The Lord and gain their victory and breakthrough.   

This is my encouragement for today, it is in repentance, fasting, and prayer that our hearts fully come into line with God, His plans, and His purposes.  Whether the change takes place in us or in the spiritual realm, we cannot always understand or know.  What I do know is that we must press through to breakthrough.  A butterfly must struggle to be released from its chrysalis or it will never have the strength to fly in the power it has been given.  It will languish and die if released by some other unseen force beyond its own struggle.  Through its struggles, it is empowered to breakthrough and fly.  May this word be manifest in us today.  Through your struggling and warring with God in the secret place, may you press through and gain the strength and sustenance to breakthrough and walk into new levels with Him.

 Jesus, help me to never give up on following You and what You have called me to do, say, pray for, or walk in.  I trust You to complete Your promises even as You strengthen me to press through every hindrance into the destiny You have designed for me. 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance the promises spoken to you that you may have given up on.
  • Ask for a renewal of strength to press in for the breakthrough in these areas
  • Ask for His patient perseverance to press through the fear, worry, unbelief, and other obstacles
  • Continue to press through for the breakthrough

I bless you to receive the power and strength of The Almighty to press through that the breakthrough may take place in you and the lives of all those around you!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Deeper Devotion 18/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

As we continue to press in toward the halfway point, we must choose to remember that Jesus is worth all that we have to give and so much more!  Whatever you have chosen to fast, it is a pleasing offering to Him.  We do it because we love Him and want to give Him even more worship in our very bodies.  May you be reminded of Jesus’ worth. He is worth giving up our very lives that He may be exalted and glorified above every idol in the land. 

Today, I want to challenge you and “spur you on toward love and even greater works.”  Whatever level of devotion to The Lord you find yourself at this moment, Jesus deserves so much more.  Too many times, we may look at the people around us and gauge our level spiritually.  We are doing pretty well compared to Joe Shmoe over there.  We have been praying, fasting and seeking The Lord in a special way for almost 3 weeks now.  We must be doing pretty well. Personally, this is one of the areas that I have to constantly war against, spiritual pride and judgment.  

In order that we do not think too highly of ourselves, remember Jesus’ story of the tax collector and the Pharisee.  The Pharisee came boasting at all of his accomplishments and what he was doing for God, while the tax collector cried out for God’s mercy. Jesus says this about the tax collector:

Luke 18:13 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Let us never forget our place in The Kingdom.  All of us must come to the feet of The cross; then we are “raised up together to be seated in heavenly places with Him.”  He is worthy of more than I could ever give to Him.  Our bodies, efforts, hearts and lives are poor in comparison to what He is worth; however, I gladly give all that I have.   

We must never compare ourselves to other people and gain some sort of feeling of spiritual superiority.  We are all humble creatures in need of Jesus.  We should always have more that we desire to give.  For God’s pleasure, I was designed to worship.  May He forever receive even more worship from our lives.   

In Luke 2, we find the story of a lady names Anna:

Luke 2:36-38 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.  Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

After being married for only 7 years, her husband died. She did not live in regret, grief, or anger at God.  She gave deep devotion to The Lord and served night and day in the temple.  She was seeking The Lord out of a pure humble heart for more than 84 years.  What was her reward for all this? She got to see Jesus!!!  Lord, let that be my reward.  You are worth it to me!!! 

You may be doing more than some, but there is always a deeper level of devotion.  You can never make God do anything, but you must desire to see the deep secret places of God.  Imagine the depths of the Lord that few have been able to reach because they cannot go the distance or give up the junk that is in the way.  May this be the cry of your heart, “I will give up the junk in deep devotion to Jesus so that I may gain access to the deepest places with Him!”   

Jesus, I want to see Your face.  I desire to hear Your voice.  I long for new revelations of Your love.  You are the source from which all things flow.  If I have to give up everything to see You, You are worth it! May this ever be the longing of my heart.  

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal and remove any spiritual pride
  • Ask for revelation of Jesus’ worth
  • Commit to a deeper level of devotion
  • Obey whatever Holy Spirit speaks

Be blessed with new revelations of Jesus’ worth and the desire and ability to advance to deeper levels of devotion with Him.  May you access the deepest place with Him that few have ever found! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!    

Declare The Glory!!! 17/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate 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, Jesus is here to help, love, and support you no matter what. I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of God.  He 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 they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given the wisdom to see the glory and the life to tell of Him?  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 in the day to day glory that surrounds us all.  Sadly, we get so used to seeing this beauty of nature that it no longer impresses us.  The awesomeness of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst, and the realization that we, as His creation, should be giving Him glory as well!

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 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 an extended time, 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 comes forth from our hearts and our lives that declares the glory of God 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 aside some special time to watch a sunrise, a sunset, or gaze at the stars in the night sky
  • 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!!!