Tag Archives: fasting

The NOW Harvest: Part 1

Two mornings ago in my 5 a.m. groggy state, I felt a stirring in my spirit of what was on the Lord’s heart that morning. As I sleepily tried to focus and clutched my authentic Indian Masala Chai (of which we adore and keep readily on hand because it reminds us of ‘home’) for joy and warmth from this sudden and brisk change in weather, I turned to John 4 that we were reading from while discipling a friend the evening before. I had that night realized something that I had never knowingly noticed before. I will be sharing about this in a two part word of which the second half should be up soon, so be on the look out for it! Now, on to the meat!

The first half of John 4 is telling the account of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well. Just as Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah that the world had been searching for, His disciples returned to Him with lunch. Instead of being intrigued and interested in what was taking place in that very moment, they were distracted and possibly even offended to find Him not only conversing with a woman, which was culturally unacceptable in those times; but more so with a woman who was not a Jew.

After the woman ran off to town to tell everyone about Who she had just encountered, the disciples urged Jesus to eat the lunch that they had brought. Jesus’ response is, 34My food (‘nourishment’ in NLT) is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work. 35Do you not say, ‘It is still four months until the harvest comes?’ Look, I say to you, raise your eyes and look at the fields and see, they are white for harvest.” The first thing I want to point out is what Jesus said in verse 34. Jesus and His disciples had been traveling for quite some time leading up to this and when He stopped at Jacob’s well, it says that He was weary from the walk. It only makes sense that after a strenuous, exhausting activity that one should drink and eat to regain strength for the journey. Instead, Jesus responded that His nourishment comes from Heaven, doing the will of the One Who sent Him and completing His work in the earth.

My question for you is, do you like to fast? I never enjoyed it and it definitely felt like dying to self; for I realized how much I enjoy chocolate and meat. Jesus told me about five months ago to begin intentionally and frequently fasting if I truly desired to see many things I had been seeking Him in prayer about as well as for global revival to come to full fruition. I will be honest and tell you, I was disobedient up until Jeremiah went to Southeast Asia two months ago. I was caught up in the ‘now’ nourishment and sustenance. I am so grateful that He is such a gracious and patient Papa and sees where we are and will also come to meet us there and call us upward.

Before Jeremiah left, He gently reminded me of His last call and with a great desire and hunger for Him and His will in Asia, I fasted for the duration of Jeremiah’s leave and forsook my ‘good’ chores to sit at His feet. Let me tell you, in my ‘dying to self’, I came alive in the manifest Spirit of God and encountered more of Jesus and heavenly activity than in the culmination of my walk with the Lord. I will not be fake and pretend that since then I do not struggle in my days of consistent fasting, nor do presume to make it perfectly through every day without fail, whether intentional or not. I do recognize there was a special grace upon those first weeks; but fasting is warfare. I will, however, say that I have found a realm far beyond any earthly substance that would sustain. I now understand what Jesus meant when He said what He did. 

Recently, I have noticed the purity of my son, Azariah’s bold faith in increasing levels. It has been his practice for about a year and half of praying himself before bed after we do. Over time, his prayers have become interesting, precious, spirit-led, and awakening as we have seen him grow and his love for Jesus increase. Since Jeremiah returned from Southeast Asia in which they saw 4,612 souls reaped in Jesus’ name into the Kingdom of Heaven, we have faced varying levels of attack and warfare. It is no mystery to us for we know the enemy is angry and threatened at our obedience in seeking His face and doing His will. We do not question where these trials originate, for we stirred up and ransacked hell in warfare over every one of those souls.

Two weeks ago, I had to take Elam, our 19 month old to get 5 stitches on his nose after a freak accident and I was emotionally worn. The enemy took the next day to hit me at every turn, including enduring a freak accident and injury myself. That night while experiencing a unwarranted attack of vertigo while praying with Azariah in bed, I encountered the love of the Father through my three year old and gained much understanding in His ways.

Azariah’s nightly questions before bed are, “How was your good day today?” and “What was your favorite part?” Truthfully, I responded, “Mommy did not have a good day today, baby; nor do I have a favorite part.” I began to explain why, including Elam’s accident the night before. He responded, “I’m sorry, Mommy. I’m so sorry.” I asked why. He stated, “I should’ve prayed for you when the cheerios spilled.” (Right after my own accident, in pain, I got the boys a snack to try and distract them as I cleaned it up. As I handed Elam his cup, the container of cheerios crashed in a massively dispersed mess on the kitchen floor. Azariah ran in upset thinking he wouldn’t get a snack now…never fear, there’s another box.)

Shocked at his statement in bed, I told him it wasn’t his fault. He said again that he should’ve prayed for me because I was hurt and having a hard day. He then proceeded to hold me, rub my back, and pray the most powerful and precious prayer over me. As I wept an ugly cry, the love of God entered this bubble and invaded every place of pain, brokenness, anxiety, and fear; completely uprooting and replacing them with His love. It was then as I reflected what we are really fighting for, what we are really fasting for…a whole other dimension. This was the nourishment that I desperately needed. Each of these things are not to be done out of selfishness, but out of a whole-hearted, genuine desire to see the totality of His Kingdom invade the earth; and to see the coming generations operating in the fullness of the Spirit and power, from the youngest of age. These things can only be done by first doing it yourself, then setting an example for those coming after you to follow. THIS is true discipleship. THIS will change the world. The battle and the sacrifice is worth it.

(NLT) 35“But I say, WAKE UP and look around. The fields are ALREADY ripe for harvest.” (emphasis added)  The harvest is truly RIPE all around us, if we will only WAKE UP and look at what is right in front of us. The hearts of our children are ripe. If we do it right, if we will seek His face and ascend the hill of the Lord, our children will see where we are going and the why behind it; and they will develop the desire to follow right behind, for the prize of Jesus here on earth will be the why behind their ‘yes!”

Soon, I will share the “The NOW Harvest: Part 2” with the rest of the revelation from John 4 as well as the Word the Lord spoke to me that morning while resting in His wonderful Presence.

I leave you with these final reflections:
What are you willing to give up in your ascent to the mountain of the Lord?
All of the baggage can sure weigh you down and prevent you from receiving the full nourishment needed to complete the will of the Lord for your life and in the earth. I implore you to be seeking out ways to be intentional in sitting at His feet in ever-increasing heights, receiving your replenishment, furthering the Gospel and discipling those around you, especially the children in your life!

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

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Prayer and Fasting

Simple Discipleship

This is the fourth message in the series: Simple Discipleship.

We have already discussed, Being a Leader/Disciple, Intimacy/Love of God, Worship and Sacrifice.

Here is what we will be studying for next week:

Holy Spirit/Power of God

Scriptures for Study: 1 Sam 10:1-13, Joel 2:28-32, John 16:5-15, Acts 1:4-14, 2:1-11, 1 Cor 2:9-16.

Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 4

Here is the Audio Sermon: Prayer and Fasting

fasting and prayer

As we begin to look at prayer and fasting, we must first ask two important questions:

What is Prayer?

What is Fasting?

In studying this topic, my definition of prayer would be inviting God into our lives and situations by bringing things to Him.  

We are encouraged to pray without ceasing.  We are not supposed to go around with our eyes closed and heads bowed all the time, but wherever we go and whatever we are doing, we are to be in constant communication with God inviting Him into our situations and surroundings and making Him a part of our everyday activities.

In coming to understand more about it, my definition of fasting is giving up legitimate pleasures as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.  

God has given us necessary things, and it is the blessing of the Lord to us for them to be good.  However, in talking about sacrifice, we saw that we were to give up something important to us to gain a deeper relationship with God.  Fasting is a sacrifice of something that we  enjoy (Food, Entertainment, Sleep…) so that we get breakthrough and walk into a deeper communion with the Lord.

Fasting always works together with prayer.  Everywhere that fasting is mentioned it is in combination with prayer.  Fasting without prayer is just dieting.  The point of fasting is to give up a legitimate pleasure and use the extra time that we have to spend praying.

fasting

In Daniel 10, in is clearly evident that as Daniel was praying and fasting, he was empowering God’s spiritual forces to bring about change.  Something happens as we fast in conjunction with prayer that empowers heavenly forces to win spiritual battles.  As a result of this, Daniel was strengthened, encouraged, and given answers that he was seeking.  You have the ability to empower heavenly forces to win spiritual victories through fasting and prayer!!!

In Isaiah 58, it is even more evident that fasting with the wrong motives and wrong heart is no good and not even accepted by God.  As we fast, God brings revelation to us and we then have the choice whether to repent and be obedient or to ignore the revelation.  When we ignore what God is saying, our fasting and praying is not powerful or effective but our hearts become increasingly hardened to the voice of God.  Fasting and prayer is powerful when we repent and walk in obedience to the revelation of the Lord.

Look at a few of the benefits of the right type of fasting and praying from v. 12.  God is able to build where there was once destruction.  The enemy is constantly trying to bring destruction in our lives, but through fasting and prayer, God is able to build something that lasts on top of this destruction.  God strengthens our foundations, revitalizes our spiritual heritage for us to pass on in greater measures to our children, fortifies our defenses and clarifies our paths.  This is the kind of fasting and prayer that I want to be a part of!!!

prayer

In Matthew 6, we come to find the importance of not being religious.  In regards to both prayer and fasting, Jesus mentions the secret place.  The thoughts and intentions of our heart is what God judges so we should never do these things out of obligation or for other people to be proud of us.  We should have a genuine desire to grow closer to the Lord and out of that heart in the secret place, God is able to give spiritual treasures.  I would rather be rewarded by God rather than men any day!!!  

It is also important to realize that the prayer and fasting that we do right now affects eternity.  When we are in heaven, there will be no need to pray or fast because we will be partying with Jesus face to face.  Right now, we have the unique ability to affect eternity with our pure prayer and holy fasting!!!

In Habakkuk 2, we find out that it does not matter how you pray, but that you are actually communicating with God.  The prophet says clearly that he was waiting to be corrected.  Habakkuk’s prayers would raw and filled with emotion.  He did not come with proper words and civilized emotions.  He came as he was and expressed himself honestly and was willing to repent and be corrected.  

We also find the importance of prophetic revelation or vision.  Revelation from God gives us tiny glimpses into our God-sized destiny and this compels us to align ourselves with Him and move more into it.  As we write these things down, it is an encouragement to us when it takes longer to get here than we want (which is 99.99% of the time), an encouragement to others when it does finally come about, and a testimony to the glory and faithfulness of God.

The most important lesson from Mark 9 and Matthew 17 is that in the middle of our hopeless situations that we do not feel as if we can pray or have the faith to pray for complete deliverance and healing, we pray for the grace to overcome our doubt and for God to strengthen our faith.

I encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation as you meditate on these questions:

What am I praying for right now?

What are the things I have given up praying for?

Is my secret place worthy of being rewarded?

What has God revealed and called me to that I am not being obedient or repentant to?

What legitimate pleasure am I willing to give up that I might receive a spiritual breakthrough in myself and the lives of others and be launched into a deeper communion with the Lord?

fat and pray

I pray even now that God would give us all hungry hearts to know Him in deeper and mightier ways than ever before.  Help us all to repent of the things which you reveal in our hearts and surrender to walk in full obedience to what He is calling us to.  May our secret places be worthy of reward, and may God bring forth mighty spiritual rewards because of our faithfulness and perseverance in the secret place.

I would like to encourage you to pray and give something up in fasting so that you are able to step into a deeper walk with the Lord and that greater spiritual breakthrough would come in your life!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

Worship and Sacrifice

Simple Discipleship

This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series.  Here are the first two messages in this series.

  1. Being a Leader/Disicple
  2. Intimacy/Love of God

Here is the topic of study for next week:

Worship and Sacrifice

  • My notes can be found here: Simple Discipleship Week 3
  • Here is the Audio Teaching from Feb 17, 2016: http://lwcburleson.sermon.net/main/main/20609931

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

As we begin learning about Worship and Sacrifice, we must first ask ourselves,

What is Worship?  

What is Sacrifice?

If we do not have a proper understanding of these things, then as we discuss them, we will never come to a true understanding.  My prayer is that as we investigate the scriptures, that we will understand even more the meaning of these and how we can apply them to our lives.

Worship – Honoring and lifting high another as higher than yourself out of a heart of love in response to God’s word, act, or nature.

Sacrifice – Giving up completely something that is greatly important to you for the benefit of another because you love them.

Here, I am talking specifically of the worshiping God, but we worship and lift high so many things that are undeserving.  Food, sleep, money, fashion, entertainment, sports, people, can all be worshiped in spite of not being worth it.  In this one statement, you may be feeling judged and your toes may feel stepped on, but this is the reality of the matter in my life as well as the lives of so many others.

We have a struggle in the morning when our alarms go off whether we will rise and spend time with the Lord worshiping Him or worship the god of sleep that is so seductive especially when it comes time to make the decision.  I could go on and on about each one of these, but every time we choose these things over obedience to God and love for Him, we are worshiping them and lifting them high as the important things in our lives.

Worship

In 2 Chronicles 21, we come to learn that we worship God when we accept His word and are obedient without doubting or questioning what He says.  Jehosophat had no direct command of God to put His worshipers on the front lines.  They did it out of an act of obedience and thus worshiped God by being obedient and trusting in the word of God.

In Genesis 22, Abraham is called to sacrifice his son that God had just revealed was the son of promise.  Abraham trusted God in such a way that as they went to the mountain in Vs. 5 Abraham says we go to worship.  Abraham’s heart of sacrifice is a true act of worship to God.  He was willing to give whatever God asked in obedience out of his great love for Him.

In John 4,

What Jesus mean to worship God in Spirit and truth?

  • God wants a constant communion with you in the day to day.  He does not want you to worship Him in a church or at your house only, but in the Spirit everywhere you go in every situation that you are in.
  • God wants you to be honest with Him.  You cannot fool God.  He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart.  If you are giving Him something small and seemingly mediocre out of a good heart, it is greater worship than giving the very most you have out of a wrong heart. (1 Cor 13:3)

In Malachi 1, God desires our very best.  If we bring God half-hearted worship out of duty, these things are not pure and holy and actually dishonor and disrespect God.  He would rather no one worship than to have duty-filled worship out of grudging hearts.  He wants pure and holy worship that is a true witness to who He is.  This only comes when we are giving God our best out of a willing and loving heart.

In 2 Samuel 24, David reveals that God is blessed by our sacrifice more than he is blessed by our excess.  We see this concept over and over throughout the Bible that when we give God something valuable to us, that is true worship.  Those giving because they have extra does not impress God.  Jesus states this in a different way when talking of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God desires our pure and holy sacrifice so He can bless us with better than our very best!!!

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

Finally, in Luke 7, a “sinner” probably a prostitute comes in to the middle of the pastors and elders of their day.  She humbles herself completely to the judgmental and critical thoughts and stares and worships Jesus.  This “sinner”  sacrificed more and gave more in worship than anyone else around.  Because of her sacrifice and true heart of worship, her sins are forgiven, and she is saved.  She was forgiven much and so loved much.  The fact that she loved much caused her to sacrifice her most valuable possession and her pride as an act of worship to Jesus.

Does you love cause you to sacrifice your pride and valuables in worship to the Lord? 

Nothing I have spoken is out of judgment or condemnation, but Holy Spirit has even convicted me in studying these things.  Our love for God will always lead us to a true worship which is displayed in what we are willing to sacrifice for our True Love.

Ask Holy Spirit these questions and be obedient in what He is speaking:

Are you giving your very best to God?  This is true worship.

What is God calling you to sacrifice to love Him and worship Him in a deeper way?

worship1

May you be blessed with knowing more of the Love of God than ever before, and may you receive the fullness of the blessing that comes through true worship and sacrifice.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

The Cost of Commitment

I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in.  After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way.  As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me.  He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives.  As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.

Jeremiah and baby

Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority.  It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith.  This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!!  For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported.  However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences.  They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law.  This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions.  In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly…  Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village.  This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him.  By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.

In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way.  Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.

How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???

What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?

When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about.  The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord.  These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.

3 Lies that Make us Ineffective

  1. Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10)  Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to.  God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things.  The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
  2. Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10)  Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it.  He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent.  Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh.  As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved.  God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience.  In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
  3. Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4)  When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,”  and “Use someone else”.  God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.

Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord.  When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it.  These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives.  The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go.  The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way.  The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense.  We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us.  In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth.  Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.

I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come.  Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!!  We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things.  James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us.  There is no difference between us and this great man of God.  Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him.  For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible.  Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.”  We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!!  You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!!  Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!!  Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!

Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you.  Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!

The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Call to Commitment

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

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

Prayer and Fasting Church

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

Prayer Fasting Church

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

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

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

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

4 Keys to Commitment –

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

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

Are you walking as a fully committed Follower of Christ?  

Are you succeeding in each of these four areas?  

Are you strong and carrying out great exploits for Him? 

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!