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Advance 22/40

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

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

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

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

Advance: 

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

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

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

    Acts 13:1-2 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Practical –

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

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

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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    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!!!

    Strength in Weakness 15/40

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

    As week 3 begins, remember to stay focused on Jesus and His Kingdom.  The longer the fast continues, the more the enemy will try to take your focus from Him and turn it toward yourself.  As long as you are focused on yourself, the enemy has an opportunity to make you stumble.  Continuously look to Jesus, and receive all the strength, hope, and life that He has for you!

    If you have not come to know this already, we are all very weak and fleshly creatures.  A little matter of giving up some food and sleep for just over a month should not be that big of a deal.  However, we are truly creatures of comfort from our very birth.  We want what we want, and it becomes a big problem when we cannot have it.  Suddenly, our small things become huge, and minor irritations become major problems.

    For years, we have strengthened our flesh by giving it whatever it wants.  It is like a spoiled little child used to getting whatever it asks for.  When one simple comfort is removed, it becomes the worst issue imaginable.  Even people around you that do not know you are fasting may notice a change.  You may become quicker to lose your temper or react negatively to minor inconveniences especially at the beginning of a fast.  By the beginning of the fast, I mean the first 39 days of The 40, if you are me.  These the times we discover our true need for Jesus.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

    We need the strength of Jesus not the strength of self.  He did the hard part so we would not have to.  No matter how strong you may think that you are, Jesus proved Himself to be stronger.  Jesus easily defeated hell, death, and the grave.  We should be so close to Jesus at this time, because we are walking in His strength and not our own.  It is okay for me to be weak because, now, He can show Himself strong in me.  I rest in the fact that if Jesus is my strength when I am weak, He can use me no matter how I feel.

    Several years ago, God allowed me to travel to Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, India.  Here, God privileged me to minister in different ways to the Tamil people of the region.  My friend Sage and I stayed in a building above a church and orphanage.  While here, we were asked to do a program for the boys that lived in the building that were between the ages of 4 and 12.  As we prayed on what we were to do, my friend heard Holy Spirit say that we were supposed to teach on and pray to break off generational curses.  I was very unsure about that.  I have helped my mother minister to children many times and that was not something we had ever done before.  Frankly, most adults would not even be comfortable receiving such a teaching.

    One of my gifts is teaching and speaking the word so I agreed to teach on this and let my friend lead the ministry, prayer, and application of the word, more his specialty.  What proceeded was what seemed to be one of the most difficult, dry, devoid of Holy Spirit teachings I have ever given in my life.  It felt like a very forced, difficult struggle that was going nowhere.  As I taught, I had the thought that if I was sitting there, I would have probably fallen asleep. After I had finished the teaching, Sage began to pray and minister breaking off generational curses.  Suddenly, something happened that is caught on video.

    Friday Fire in India Part I

    God comes and pours himself out upon these young orphans.  Almost every one of them falls under the power of God’s freedom.

    Friday Fire in India Part II

    When they begin to awaken, they are praying for God to be their mother and father and for Him to touch them.  They are speaking the wonderful works of God.

    Friday Fire in India Part III

    By this time, probably an hour and a half from when Sage started praying for them, the ladies had come and were trying to awaken them and get them up to go eat dinner.  This is about 45 minutes after they have been directed to go eat that they are staying and crying out to God to continue to do what He is doing.  The entire time this is taking place, I am completely astounded because I do not feel The Holy Spirit moving in the slightest way.  I am seeing an astounding move of Holy Spirit with my very eyes, not the least of which is young boys refusing to eat just so they can get more of what God has to offer, and i am still feeling completely nothing.  To this day, all I know is that we were obedient, and God did the work.  I had nothing to do with it.  All glory goes to Him and Him alone.

    Jesus, I thank you that Your power is made manifest through me as I yield my weak, lowly, humble frame to You.  Use me for Your glory and Your purpose for of myself, I can do nothing. 

    Practical –

    • Acknowledge your weakness
    • Ask Holy Spirit to minister God’s strength to you in your weakness
    • Yield yourself to be used by Him, even in your weakness
    • Be obedient to whatever He calls you to do

    Be blessed to know your need for God and place yourself in His hands.  May you be used no matter how weak or insignificant you may feel.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    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!!!

    Press on and Press In 4/40

    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!

    The fast is beginning to get real. I would venture to say that most people who have undertaken a complete food fast have not gone past three days.  The good news is that it should begin to get easier now.  The physically hard part should be over soon if it is not already.  A word of wisdom, the spiritually and relationally hard part will probably remain throughout the fast.

    The enemy does not want you to go the 40.  Temptations will arise.  Also, friends and family will inevitably find out and can be your greatest hindrance to completing the fast.  While trying to love and take care of you, they will pressure you that it is not healthy to fast, especially 40 days.

    My encouragement for you today comes from –

    Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Press on and Press In! Jesus Himself laid down his life that you may be completely saved, healed, and delivered. Can you continue to lay down your flesh for the rest of the 40 days?

    There is a secret in the 40 day time period that I will share soon, but now you should recognize that Jesus set the example of the 40 before He began His ministry.  Press on and press in for the prize of Jesus Christ! Exponential increase will come as you press in past the normal way of life or even past the normal way of fasting.  Relationship increase and depth as well as spiritual insight will be continually advanced as we press in to Him.

    Jesus is The Reward!!!

    Jesus is Worth it!!!

    Jesus is the Prize!!!

    I also want to encourage you from –

    Esther 4:16-17 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” 17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

    Here, Esther calls a three day fast of all her people.  There were many fasting before this time if you read vs. 3, but this is an intentional time of fasting and praying together.

    What was the result of this three day corporate fast?

    The government of the day was influenced to overthrow a demonically inspired law and an entire people group were saved.  That is the power of the three day fast that we are now advancing past.

    Nations and people groups will be changed as you press on and press in to Him.

    What transformation can take place in you, your family, your neighborhood, city, and nation as a result of a simple 40 days of fasting and prayer?

    Jesus, give me the strength and ability to press on through the struggles that I might press in to knowing Your heart.  I desire to see supposedly impossible things and people transformed as I press in to you!!!

    Practical – Let Holy Spirit guide your Godly dreaming of what can take place through this 40 day fast.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    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!!!