Tag Archives: dishearten

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!!!

Press Through to Breakthrough 19/40

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!

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 thing.  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 was taking place over 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 the 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 in the next 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 not be pressing in to see take place at this moment.
  • 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!!!