Tag Archives: fifth

Fasting & Feasting 38/40

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 we are on the homestretch to finish the 40, I want to remind us that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do great things in our lives because of our faithfulness to walk out obedience.  God looks on the smallest of acts of obedience and rewards mightily as we set our hearts to glorify Him. Let’s continue all the way to the end because He is worth it and we love Him!

Most of The 40, we have discussed the benefits and blessings of fasting.  Amazing things come from presenting our bodies as loving and living sacrifices to be used by God.  However, yesterday we began to talk about glorifying God in our feasting as well as our fasting.  People that hear me talk about fasting might think that I do not like to eat.  They would be completely wrong.  However, I have found the value in fasting to the glory of God as well as eating to the glory of God.  As we prepare our hearts to return to our normal lifestyle, let’s focus on glorifying God in every area of our lives.  

Today, I let’s return to the prophet Zechariah.  He comes upon the scene at a time in Israel’s history after they have been released from captivity. The people are in their own land finally and cannot seem to continue on rebuilding the city because of the opposition.  Complacency and lethargy set in and they go about their normal way of life not really doing anything spectacular or impressive.  Even in the midst of their indifference, they continue the religious fasting that has been set up for them to carry out.  

Let’s look at the words of Zechariah to the people:

Zechariah 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace…

The people of Israel have four set times during the year that they are fasting and setting apart to The Lord.  However, the temple has not been rebuilt and all of their daily life is languishing cause God is not glorified in their daily routine.  The people are admonished to love truth and peace and be joyful and glad even during the feasts.  As they are obedient, even in their daily feasting and eating, a great reward wil be given them.  

Let’s read more:

Zechariah 8:21-23 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’ 

The inhabitants of peoples, cities, and nations will be drawn to Israel as they continually pray and seek The Lord.  Our daily life is not devoid of divine interaction.  Every moment of our lives should be submitted in obedience to The God of the universe.  As we lay our lives down before Him, He will draw all men to Himself.  

The other thing that is important in this passage is that people are coming from all around because God is with His people.  Wherever we happen to be, grocery store, gas station, school, workplace, or somewhere else, people should realize that God is with us.  We carry the very Spirit and presence of an almighty God inside us as we are submitted in obedience to Him.  He should ever be radiating His glory from us and effecting the atmosphere around us.  

As we talk about the glory of God continuously emanating from our being, Here is a final caution from Psalm 78:

Psalm 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.

The day to day lives of the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt were rebellion and disobedience.  Because they did not live in obedience and humility, they actually limited the God of the universe from doing what He wanted to do through them.  We must continually seek to remove anything our of our lives that would get in the way of Him moving in us and through us.  We must seek to never limit God in what He wants to do no matter whether we are fasting or feasting!

My encouragement for us today is to continually seek The Lord and His way.  As He reveals a himself to us, may we walk in humility and obedience that He may move how He wants to move, big or small. If it is our heart to seek Him, love Him, and glorify His name at all times, God will be glorified in our fasting as well as our feasting as well as all the time in between.

Jesus, here I am! I desire to be used mightily by You. May every area of my life be completely surrendered to You!  I love You and desire for You to be glorified continually through my life.  Help me to always lift You up and allow You to have free reign to do whatever You want to do in and through my life. 

Practical –

  • Set your heart to seek The Lord
  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you
  • Walk in continual obedience 
  • Invite Him to speak and move in your daily routine as well as your specialized time with Him

Be blessed to experience and release the power of The Resurrected Lord in your daily life. May you never limit him because of disobedience but release a him in all of His fullness to work through you.  As you allow God to move in greater ways during your daily routine, may this propel you into the next level with Him.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Heart to Obey 37/40

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

With only 5 days left of the fast, I am sure I am not the only one counting down until the end.  As much as I have loved going through The 40 together, I am ready to celebrate and enjoy good things once again, as I am sure we all are.  In the final days of this fast, there will be a shifting from talking about the importance of giving God glory in fasting, humility and repentance to glorifying Him in feasting, celebration, and obedience.

Today, I want to look at a place in scripture where the people were fasting out of a wrong heart but expecting good results. They were also feasting our of a wrong heart.  Everything was all about how it made themselves feel and not what God wanted.  Let’s examine the book of Zechariah:

Zechariah 7:2-3 when the people sent Sherezer… to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?” 

The people in captivity are away from their homeland, but are still trying to cling to their heritage, history, and traditions. They sent this man to the priests to ask if they should continue their ritual of fasting as they always had.  This is the response they get from God:

Vs. 5-7 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months  during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets… ?’ 

God is not impressed with their act of fasting, because they are doing it for their own benefit. God is not getting the glory.  Even in their eating and drinking that God could be receiving some sort of thanksgiving, praise, or honor, it is all about themselves instead of Him.  Whether you are fasting or feasting, obedience to The Lord is what allows you to worship and glorify Him!  If your heart is right, you will be able to praise The Lord whether you are fasting or feasting.

Vs 8-10 ” Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.’ 

The practical things God reveals to Zechariah for the people to do are not difficult, but neither are they easy for a people used to pleasing their own selves.  God must be the center, the main goal, and aim of our hearts if we are to truly worship Him in every area of our lives.  

Vs. 11-12 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.

The revelation of The Lord was streaming forth from the mouth of the prophet, but they would not obey, turned away, and would not even hear what God was calling out of them.  Selfish people with selfish hearts were unwilling to change and come into line with The God of grace and mercy.  This made their heart hard, and they had to suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

The 40 has been all about the softening of our hearts and the opening of our ears to hear. This becomes easier to do as we have a special time set apart to seek Him.  However, as we near the end of the fast, and will soon return to our normal way of life, what is to keep us from hardening our hearts and continuing to walk in our own ways?

Obedience! Obedience is key to daily walking in worship.  God is continually speaking forth His revelation, and we will continue to hear as we obey what we have been given. When we are disobedient to the Word of The Lord, our hearts will become hard.  The more we disobey, the more we will walk in our own way. God longs to pour out His mighty blessings upon us. He always has the best for us, but this is dependent upon our obedience to come into line with Him.  

My encouragement for us today is to seek The Lord for a new heart to walk in continuous obedience.  We will not always want to obey.  We will not always feel like obeying. In these times, we must truly believe that Jesus is worth our complete and total obedience. A heart of obedience will always lead us to worship and glorify our God and Father of grace, mercy, and love no matter what may be going on in us or around us.

Jesus, right now, when my heart is more receptive to you than ever, I want to be completely obedient to You, Your plans, and Your purposes.  I want to follow You and walk in Your way no matter what may be taking place in my life.  Whether it is something I want to hear or do, I want to totally obey all that You speak that You may receive all the praise, glory, and honor possible from my life. 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to give you a willing and obedient heart
  • Glorify Him in your obedience today
  • Thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do

Be be blessed today with the ability and willingness to walk in obedience to all God is revealing. May you be released and propelled into the next level with Him as you obey to the best of your ability!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Revelation of Truth 27/40

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!

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 that is 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 however they lived.  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 propelled into the next level with Him.  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, region, and land!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!