Tag Archives: food

Advance 22/40

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

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

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

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

Advance: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Practical –

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

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

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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    Touching The Kingdom 21/40

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

    Well, here we are at the end of week three. Day 21 is important because we have a biblical precept in Daniel.  There is great spiritual benefit in fasting The 21, but let’s not stop and settle on less than God intends.  If you have been prompted to go The 40, or desire to partner with us who have, come along on this wild adventure of seeking The reward of Jesus.  Let’s reap the benefits together of commitment, obedience, humility, and hunger. 

    Sometimes in our lives, we have such a desire to know, understand, or even hear a specific word that we will do whatever it takes to get an answer.  This is where we come upon the prophet Daniel.  He needs an answer and has been doing whatever it takes for three full weeks.  Let’s see what that entailed for him:

    Daniel 10:2-3 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

    The answer Daniel was seeking did not come from his regular lifestyle of praying and fasting that we see him involved in throughout his life.  So, it seems he goes back to the first fast we see him involved in, a fast for purity from the pagan culture (Daniel 1:12-15). This fast allowed him and his friends to receive the blessing of heaven after 10 days and beyond.  Daniel returns to this fast to purify himself from the pagan culture around him.  However, he does not stop when nothing occurs after 10 days.  What he is seeking is so important that he continues on and more than doubles what he had originally done.  

    What is the result?

    Daniel 10:5-6 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was  girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

    Daniel’s eyes are opened to see a heavenly revelation. Some scholars differ as to who this is, some say Jesus, others say Holy Spirit.  I do not think that Daniel had this debate going on in his head.  Neither did those around him at this time, because the men around Daniel did not see anything.  We find in the next verses that there were men with Daniel, but they see nothing.  They had not been praying and fasting for an answer and because of this, their eyes are not opened to the heavenly realm. They were not hungry, did not humble themselves, and their spiritual eyes were not opened.  

    Daniel 10:7-9 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.  Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 

    Not only did the men with Daniel not see what he saw, but when they did sense the supernatural coming close, it caused them to fear and flee for their lives.  They were unable to see, unable to hear, and unable to stay in the presence of God that was being revealed to Daniel.  Daniel himself could not stand; but he saw, he heard, and he stayed!

    Daniel 10:10-12 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

    Not only did Daniel see heavenly vision and hear heavenly words, Daniel was literally touched by heaven.  As he was touched, he was encouraged, strengthened, and given understanding that would not have come any other way.  That is what I want!  Daniel humbled himself in prayer and fasting and received exponentially more than what he had given up for the 21 days. 

    This is where we are today on day 21. If you go on reading in chapter 10, Daniel’s persistent prayer and fasting empowered the heavenly warriors to break past the demonic entities over the region that he might receive the revelation he was seeking.  My what power came about from three weeks of praying and fasting.  

    Jesus, I want to see You in the heavenly realm in the fullness of Your glory. I want to hear You speak in the complete revelation of Your voice. I want You to touch me with Your hand of encouragement, strength, and understanding that I may continue to seek You in greater and deeper ways than ever before! Help me to go beyond what others have done and seen. Give me the hunger and desire to search for You in increasing measures for all of my days. 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to fully understand Him
    • Study Daniel 10
    • Ask for the hunger and ability to go to the deeper places with Him
    • Obey whatever He speaks to you

    Be blessed with revelation and strength to continue on and receive the fullness of the spiritual blessings in store for you, the one who is seeking The Lord. May this propel you into new levels with Him!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Strength in Weakness 15/40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Friday Fire in India Part I

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

    Friday Fire in India Part II

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

    Friday Fire in India Part III

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

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

    Practical –

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

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

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Treasuring The Word 13/40

    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 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 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 propel you to the next level in Him!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Press on and Press In 4/40

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

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

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

    My encouragement for you today comes from –

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

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

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

    Jesus is The Reward!!!

    Jesus is Worth it!!!

    Jesus is the Prize!!!

    I also want to encourage you from –

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

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

    What was the result of this three day corporate fast?

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

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

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

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

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

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    What’s It Worth To You? 3/40

    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!

    Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

    Today, I will choose to be thankful and bless The Lord no matter how my body may feel.  Right now, if you have given up food, it is normal for your body to go through some of the same symptoms of withdrawal.  Too much salt, sugar, and caffeine in our daily lives will cause headaches, nausea, achy limbs, a general feeling of weakness… as these are removed, and the body rids itself of toxins.  The good news is that these fleshly oppositions should pass today or tomorrow completely.

    If you have decided to participate in this fast, the only question now is –

    What’s it worth to you? 

    In our daily lives, we rarely have to give up anything of true value.  However, when we do, we must calculate if it is truly worth it.  There is a great difference between when you look into your purse or wallet and decide what you will pay for a shirt, book, or meal; and when you must consider the price you would pay for college, a car, or a house.  An object is only worth as much as we are willing to give for it.  Careful thought is put into how much a man will pay for a ring because you cannot put a price on the one that you really love.

    As we fast and go through the daily troubles and temptations (i.e. your boss buying your favorite lunch for everyone the first day of the fast) let us look to Jesus and consider how much He is worth to us.

    Maybe this is where you find yourself today:

    2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

    Troubles, persecutions, and the death of the enemy may come upon us in many different ways, but even as our flesh is delivered to death it is a necessary sacrifice to manifest the life of Jesus in our flesh! 

    May the life of Jesus shine out of you today and bring glory to The Father!

    Something else to think about. In the middle of a discourse on denying your flesh, Jesus asks these two questions in Mark 8:36-37: For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

    What is a soul truly worth? 

    Jesus bled, suffered, and died that your soul might be set free.  That is how much your soul is worth to Him.

    How much is Jesus truly worth to You?

    How much do you value the lost souls around you?

    Jesus, I am willing to do whatever it takes and give up whatever it costs that You may be glorified and that lost souls may come into Your Kingdom!!! Help me to truly value You not just in my words but in my daily actions of obedience!

    Practical –

    • Read Mark 8:34-38 and contemplate the value of a soul.

    • Make sure you have included a list of lost or backslidden people in your daily prayer time.

    • Listen and obey when Holy Spirit brings up specific things to do for these individuals.

    Be blessed to know the true value of your soul and the souls of those around you as you are propelled into the next level!!!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Propelled Into The Next Level

    It has been a great to joy to sit back and watch how God has used Katie to take over most of the encouragement this year.  With what God is speaking now, I felt it necessary to share this encouragement that will help propel you to the next level in your relationship with God.

    Are you in a place of weary waiting?  Have you stood on the promises of God and cried out for so long and nothing seems to happen?  Do you desire a change of circumstances? Are you desperate for doors to be opened? Are you hungry for new power to be released?

    Do you desire to be propelled to the next level?!?!

    Many may not receive this as a word of encouragement.  Most will ignore it and continue in the same old way of life. Some will accept it as truth, but few will take this word of encouragement and put it into practice and be powerfully propelled into new levels with the Lord.

    The principle I am going to speak of was followed by every major player in both the Old and New Testament. Moses, David, Elisha, Peter, Paul, John and so many more all followed this principle and were propelled into new levels of power when they did.  It seems strange in knowing all this that anyone who truly follows Christ would be unwilling to participate in this practice.  It is never easy for any of us to deny our flesh and follow in the footsteps of Christ.  However, obedience will rocket us into the exponential increase that we all desire. 

    For those who truly desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, let us hear what He has to say about this great power available for all who partake in it.

    Matthew 6:16 “…when you fast…”  

    What did He say?  Is that in red? Did Jesus actually say the “F” word?  Why didn’t He say IF you fast”? Isn’t fasting just an option for true extremists?

    How many of you have been in church for years and never heard anything about fasting?  Obviously, this verse must be taken out of context or some obscure part that no one ever reads.  I am sorry to say that this is right in the middle of probably the most famous sermon of all time “The Sermon on the Mount”.  From this discourse we get, “The Beatitudes”, “The Lord’s Prayer”, “Love your enemies”, and many of the other more famous words of Jesus.

    You can read the context for yourself in Matthew 6, but here is a quick refresher.

    Matthew 6:3-4But when you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

    “When you give” is a passage that probably comes up regularly during offering time in the church. Here, the Father rewards the giving that is done out of a right heart.  Nobody would deny these words of Jesus as being essential to growth in the Lord.

    Matthew 6:6 “…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

    Here is another widely known passage that is followed by the Model Prayer.  Everyone would affirm that it is necessary to pray and learn how to pray more and better to proceed in your walk with God.  The Father who sees these prayers will reward you for the time spent praying and crying out to Him.

    The passage from Matthew 6:16-18 continues in the same parallel repeating twice, “…when you fast…”. The thought is completed as verse 18 ends your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

    Surely Jesus would not put fasting on the same level as giving and praying in the essential steps to being propelled into the next level in The Kingdom.  Whenever I bring up this topic, people groan and look at me like some sort of alien. “I like food too much”, or “that is too hard,” or “you are crazy”, are some of the common responses that I have received just by bringing up one or two verses as I have mentioned above.  I encourage you to study fasting throughout the New and Old Testament and see the great men that walked it out and what they gained as a lifestyle of fasting with prayer out of a right heart.

    img_6674.jpgIf nothing else, Jesus Himself left us the perfect example. After Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3, He was led by The Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This was the time of testing that would prove who Jesus really was.  What did Jesus do to prepare and continue to stand strong in the midst of the greatest onslaught of the enemy? At the beginning of Matthew 4, we see plainly that Jesus fasted forty days. He gave up the worldly way of gaining strength and power and took up the spiritual empowerment of fasting and prayer.  Because of this, He was ready for all the enemy had to throw at Him.

    Later in Matthew 17:20-21, prayer and fasting come up again as a dynamite combination that allows the impossible to be accomplished through your life.  So many of us want a secret formula that will help us overcome the enemy, or the secret weapon that will destroy the enemies’ hold on our lives. Here it is:

    I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

    If you need more incentive here are just some of the benefits of fasting and praying with the right heart:

    1. Corporate Freedom (The Salvation of a City) Jonah 3:1-10

    Here an entire city, over 120,000 are saved because of repentance, fasting and prayer

    2.  The Healing of the Land2 Chronicles 7:13-14

    If you study it out, the main outward expression of humbling yourself before God is fasting.

    3. To Influence Government and Save a PeopleEsther 4:16-17

    Esther, Mordecai, and the Jewish people fasted and prayed and God brought deliverance.

    4. Personal Freedom and BreakthroughIsaiah 58

    This is probably the best place to view many of the numerous blessings of fasting and prayer out of a right heart.

    5. Empowerment of the AngelicDaniel 9:3-4, 20-21

    6. Opening of the Eyes to Spiritual RealmDaniel 10:2-11, Acts 10:30

    7. Gaining UnderstandingDaniel 9:3-10:12

    There are many more benefits and blessings that can be found throughout Scripture if you care to study the topic further.

    Before I end, I want to give a few simple definitions of fasting.

    Lou Engle states “Fasting and prayer is designed to humble yourself, reveal your flesh, and purify your worship“.

    David Hogan says “Fasting is a good way to get hungry“.

    A personal definition that I have come up with is giving up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.  We do this because we love Jesus, and He is worth it!

    I want to encourage you to begin cultivating a lifestyle of prayer and fasting into your Christian walk.  Every new level in my personal life has been marked by a new commitment to prayer, fasting, and spending time in The Word.

    THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO INCREASE!!!

    From Monday, August 26th – Friday, October 4th God has called me to consecrate a 40 day fast for several reasons not the least of which is Revival and souls for The Kingdom.  I encourage you to fast one, two, or all of the three major areas that we are controlled by:

    1. Food
    2. Media
    3. Sleep

    Allow God to lead you into the next level of fasting that you may be propelled into the next level with Him.

    A word of advice when fasting food more than three days, please study the right way not only to fast but also to break a fast. Often the world understands the health benefits of fasting better than Christians understand the spiritual benefits. Because of this, there are many websites that can aid in fasting and breaking extended fasts.

    If you would like to carry on further study here are the three best books I have found on prayer and fasting;

    1. The Atomic Power with God thru Fasting and Prayer by Franklin Hall
    2. Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince
    3. The Jesus Fast by Lou Engle

    May the Lord truly bless you as you prepare to be propelled into the next level with Him.  Always remember:

    Hebrews 11:6 “…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

    May you receive the fullness of The Great Rewarder!!!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!