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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!!!

I Need Help! 26/40

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 day 26.  Let’s remember to continue to walk in humility, repentance, and constant prayer as we move toward the completion of week four. This is not where we have started and this is not where we end.  We are right in the middle of where God wants us to be.  You can do it!  Go ahead and press on through it!

In a place of humility, as well as being strengthened by Holy Spirit, you must never be afraid to ask for help. The individual self-sustaining mentality especially in The West is that you must do it yourself, and it is a shame and disgrace to ask for help.  However,  we all get to a point beyond what we can do in our own strength, physically and spiritually, and that is when we must go to The Lord and others to ask for help.  It should never be an issue when we ask for help as long as we are pressing in to The Lord and seeking Him. Then, when we ask for help, we are asking others to press in to The Lord with us and help us out with what they can do in the physical or spiritual.  

Even when we are being obedient to The Lord and doing everything right, we will still need help to overcome the insurmountable obstacles of the world. We go to God first, but must not overlook the fact that God has placed us where we are in community with others to help us.  

Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at a time when it was not exactly popular to serve God. He reigned in Judah at the same time as King Ahab and Jezebel in Israel. His righteousness and faithfulness caused him to outlive the rulers of Israel’s wickedness

Jehoshaphat is walking with The Lord and bringing great spiritual reformation to Judah so, of course, the blessing and favor of God is upon him and he has no problems.  Right?  Let’s look at what takes place in today’s reading:

2 Chronicles 20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).

Three pagan kings see the blessing of God on Jehoshaphat and gather together to come plunder and destroy him and all of Judah.  A message is brought to him that there is a great multitude coming against him.

Vs. 3-4 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord .

Jehoshaphat was a real man, and when this great multitude came against him, the enemy tried to bring in a crippling spirit of fear to overwhelm him before the battle even took place. He was not without fear, but recognizing his fear, Jehoshaphat set himself to seek the Lord.  Then, he gathered together all of Judah to humble themselves in prayer and fasting in asking The Lord for help.  This was the proper response.  Jehoshaphat goes to God himself and realizes this is bigger than just him.  Because of this he calls the whole land to help him in seeking The Lord together. There is great power that comes from seeking The Lord together with others.  That is one reason why we are joining together as a community, literally all over the world, seeking The Lord as one.  

During this time of prayer, fasting, and seeking The Lord together, Holy Spirit comes upon Jahaziel and the word of God comes forth:

Vs. 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

God uses Jahaziel to strengthen and encourage not just Jehoshaphat, but the whole assembly not to fear. Because they have come to God together and placed the situation in His hands, He will now take care of it.  Judah got what they were looking for, but they did not leave and get back to their daily work they had forsaken to come together.  They continued in humility and worshiped The Lord.

Vs. 18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord . 

They worshiped before the victory took place. They chose to worship at the simple word that was brought forth. Even beyond this, they decided it was time to put true faith into action.  If this is God’s battle, we are going to do something truly radical.

Vs. 20-21 …Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord , For His mercy endures forever.”

I want to point out that God did not tell them to send the worshippers first.  This was not a word of The Lord, but this was pure faith that God would do what He said.  The people are so assured of The Lord’s faithfulness to complete His word that they place the worshippers in front of the warriors. If this is The Lord’s battle, He will go before us and defeat the army, and we will come after him and worship him for the victory.  Somehow, the fear that once gripped Jehoshaphat has turned into faith in action as he has asked for help from God and his community.  This is the result.

Vs. 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

Here was God working a mighty sign and wonder for his people because they had joined together, strengthened each other, and acted in faith as one.  This was all a result because one man asked for help in the most overwhelming situation. God and his community joined together to rescue Jehoshaphat from the place of fear and helped walk with him into victory. 

Here we are today, every single one of us have situations in our lives that we have been humbling ourselves, praying, fasting and seeking the Lord to change. Lost family members, demonic attacks on health, depression, fear, oppression and so many more supposedly insurmountable obstacles ominously overshadow us every day.  It is time to ask for help first from God, and also the community of faith around us that God Almighty will speak and work in a way we have not yet seen.  I encourage you, you are not alone! If you would like this community to be praying for you, please send us a message or leave a comment below. 

Jesus, I need Your help! I choose to come to You as my strength and my rescue. Raise up a community of faith around me that I can join in seeking You together and that community victory may take place in mighty ways all over the world.  Help me to join with You and others in walking out faith in action and seeing Your glory manifest that we may worship You together in deeper ways than we ever thought possible!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit for help
  • Ask Him to raise up your community of faith 
  • Ask this community to join you in seeking The Lord
  • Apply faith in action to the word and promises He speaks

Be blessed today to see the God of Victory made manifest to destroy and decimate the overshadowing mountains of difficulty that have arisen around you.  May you be quick to run to Him for help.  May a community of faith arise around you to join with you in seeking The Lord and seeing His promises manifest in a special way!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Advance The Kingdom 22/40

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

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 may His Kingdom be accelerated in and through you!

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!

    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 great a sacrifice.  Should they calm down in what they are doing, or should they 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 eating and meeting and everyone shows up, but call a church prayer meeting more crickets show up than people.  However, if you call a prayer meeting and call 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.  The commissioning and sending out of Barnabas and Saul for the advancement of The Kingdom was part of this same 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 advancement of The Kingdom.  This is before Saul had proven 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 truly accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!

    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!!!

    Treasure The Word 13/40

    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 near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life.  Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!”  I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.

    Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:

    Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. 

    Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands.  Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.

    As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization.  Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure.  It is what we think about.  It is what we talk about.  It is what we build our gatherings around.  “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“,  and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.

    Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it.  You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time.  It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered.  When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them.  If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.

    In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy.  What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first?  Food!  Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:

    Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

    Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God.  Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit.  However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way.  Your value has to be on what really matters.

    As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God.  When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives.  If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast.  This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.

    Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job.  In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:

    Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

    Everything that God has to say is vitally important.  Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive.  In his situation, he did not need food.  Food could not help him out of his grief, discouragement, and loss.  It could do nothing for Him.  However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God.  Life comes from Him!  Hope comes from Him!  Strength comes from Him!  As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word.  When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.

    Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life.  Open my ears to hear You.  Open my heart to obey You.  I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.

    Practical – 

    • Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
    • Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
    • Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word

    Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence!  May this accelerate The Kingdom of God in and through your life!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!