Tag Archives: free

Glutton & Drunkard 39/40

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

Here we are, the last two days of The 40.  If you have not already, you are probably dreaming about what you will eat first.  Please remember to break the fast simple and slow. Your stomach will have shrunk and food will be more difficult to digest.  Chew food throughly and eat small portions.  It should take at least three days to get back to eating what you were eating before the fast.  Be conscious of what your body is doing, and any discomfort means you should slow the breaking of the fast.  All that being said, the day of celebration is almost here.  We have sought the Lord together in the fasting, let’s continue to seek Him together in the celebration!

Too often, we become people of extremes.  We are either completely for something or totally against it.  In issues of morality this may be good, but this can get us into trouble in other areas.  Jesus was a man of grace and truth. If you are too full of grace, anything goes and truth gets thrown out the window. If you are totally focused on truth, there is not room for the grace that abounds to do its work in you.  

Another area we see this evident is the Spirit and The Word.  Some people focus so much on the Spirit, they end up doing whatever they want and the Word becomes useless to them.  However, some people are so focused on The Word that they get bound up in religious rules and doctrine and do not allow the a Bible to be The Living Word.  

In the same way, we could become so focused on the power, blessing, and benefits of fasting that we begin to believe that this is the only way God will work.  Often, people think that I am the fasting man and do not eat or do not like food, because they do not take the time to get to know me.  One reason I have focused so much on fasting is because it seems that their is almost no teaching on it in the American church.  There is so much focus on fellowship, feasting, and celebration and almost nothing about the benefits and blessing of prayer and fasting.  Both have their time and place, but one does not cancel out the other.  

This was a problem during the life of Jesus.  Which is better to eat and drink or to fast and pray?  Let’s see what Jesus has to say about it:

Luke 7:33-35 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come  eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a  winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

John the Baptizer was Jesus’ cousin who came at a time that needed a message of humility and repentance.  He was in line for the priesthood and therefore never would lack a meal in his life if he continued in the natural order of things.  However, God called him to a life set apart from the culture in order that he could not only be a man of humility and repentance, but so that he could share this message from a transformed life and by being a living example.  Repentance and humility was needed in the people to prepare the way for the new revelation of The Truth, Jesus.  

Because of his lifestyle, those who did not agree with John said he had a demon and was not from God.  They would much prefer to eat, drink, and be merry.  No need to repent and humble yourself when you could enjoy the pleasures of this world.  Often, we ignore the present word of The Lord because we do not want come into line with it.

However, these same people had nothing good to say when Jesus came along either.  Nearly every time we see Jesus, He is with people in their houses or sitting around a table at a meal.  He is constantly celebrating and feasting as He ministers to the people.  He also multiplies food to make sure that everyone gets plenty even to abundance.  The people who wanted John to be more free and to celebrate more begin to accuse Jesus of being too free and celebratory.  They said he was sinning by giving into the lust of the flesh.  Too much food, too much wine, and too much grace must be in his life.  He cannot be from God.

These people have no wisdom,only a desire to follow the lust of their flesh to do what they want, and the desire to make themselves look better than everyone else.  It is easier to criticize people for how they act than to examine our own lives and submit them to God that He may transform us into His image.  Let’s humbly offer our bodies to The Lord Jesus as living sacrifices to do what He wants in us and through us.  Whether we are fasting or feasting, we will sin if we have wrong hearts, wrong words, or wrong actions.  

My encouragement for us today is to focus on Jesus and be obedient to what He is calling us to do.  We do not need to look around us and degrade or exalt others because of how they look or what they may be doing.  We are called to examine ourselves and submit ourselves to God.  As we walk in submission and obedience we will be transformed into the children of The Kingdom that we were created to be.

Jesus, help me to always look to You and You alone for approval.  I do not desire people of this world to consent to my actions, but I want to align with You, Your Word, and Your Way!  I want to praise, honor, and glorify You in my actions, words, and even thoughts that you may be glorified in me and that Your heart would be exhibited from me.

Practical –

  • Submit to Holy Spirit
  • Ask to hear His Words
  • Walk and live in obedience to all He reveals

Be blessed today to walk constantly coming more into line with Jesus and His way and to exhibit the same grace and truth that He walked in.  May you truly become the child of God you were created to be as you are propelled into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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!!!

Heart, Mouth & Feet (Speak) 33/40

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

It’s day 33 and we are even more free! As we close in on the final week, let’s lift up and glorify our Strength and Sustainer, Jesus. He has made a way for us to continue to love and worship Him in our very bodies.  It is so amazing that He would give us everything we need to glorify Him in a special way, and even in doing this, we are being propelled into new levels with Him. Jesus, You are worthy, and we love You!

We started a few days ago examining the key steps to becoming God’s Witness on earth. The first step is to Know and Grow.  We come close in the secret place and abide in Him. In doing this, we gain The Father’s heart. As we gain God’s desires, we will move to step two.  We ask for the nations as our inheritance and pray for the souls of our lost loved ones, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and all the people around us. God is not willing that any should perish… (2 Peter 3:9).

Now, we will move to our discussion of step three: speak!  All the time spent in the secret place knowing and growing in God is important.  As this leads us to pray and asking for the lost ones around us to come to Him, this is agreeing with His heart and desires. Next, we must speak out the wonderful works of God. In the upper room in Acts 2 they were praying, humbling themselves, and seeking The Lord. They are asking for Holy Spirit to come upon them that they may be witnesses. Finally, when Holy Spirit comes He causes them to speak out the wonderful works of God. This is what draws others, over 3000 people into the Kingdom. Had Peter never opened his mouth, no one would have known what was going on.  

Let’s move to a passage we know well. This is one of the scriptures on the Romans road to salvation, but let’s investigate and discern a deeper meaning.  

Romans 10:9-10 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…

Yes, Paul is speaking to the Romans how they can be “saved” but this moves past our first act of coming into the Kingdom into the everyday task of “working out our salvation with fear and trembling“. The Greek word translated save in this verse actually implies continuous salvation, healing, and deliverance. In this sense, each one of us should be getting a little bit more “saved” every day.  

How does this happen?

We must move past believing in our hearts to confession, to speaking it out of our mouths. Words have power to bring us to salvation, healing, and deliverance. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). Paul moves from salvation for self by speaking it out into what we are talking about today.

V. 14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

News flashYou have been sent!  Jesus Himself has sent you. “Go therefore…” Jesus is sending you in The Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).  You are an apostle in the literal meaning of the Greek. You are a sent one. What are you sent to do?  You are sent to bring good news of peace, joy, and life in The Kingdom. When you begin speaking the wonderful works of God from your mouth, salvation will come forth all around you. You are preaching or declaring the testimony of Who God is and what He has done for you. This speaking and preaching causes others to hear, and because of this, people can hear, believe and call on Jesus.  

My encouragement for us today is to speak out the wonderful works of God. He has been doing amazing things in all of our lives especially as we have pressed in to Him during The 40. However, these things cannot touch, change, or transform anyone if we do not open our mouths and tell others what has been happening or a Who Jesus is.  It should be as natural as speaking about any other interest in our lives.  In fact, it should be more natural to talk about the one who has supernaturally saved, transformed, and made us new than football or shopping or anything other fading thing of this world.  It is time to speak out the wonderful works of God that we have come to know more and more as we know Him more and are gaining His heart in new ways!

Jesus, help me to know and grow in You. Help me to ask and pray for those around me who do not know You. Give me the joy, peace, and boldness to speak out who You are.  I love you and desire everyone around to experience the increasing freedom, salvation, and healing that I have gained only from knowing You. I want to continually speak forth the amazing life you have placed in me! I have been sent to carry Your good news! May I proclaim it with power for Your glory!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to draw you deep
  • Ask for the lost around you and to be God’s witness
  • Speak the wonderful works of God
  • Declare His goodness and good news
  • Ask for greater boldness to speak, declare and do what He has sent you to do

Be blessed today with a BIG mouth to declare the BIG blessings of a BIG God who has done BIG things in your life! May you know Him and His heart and begin to declare the good news and great things He has done like you never have before as you are propelled into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Step Up & Step Out 30/40

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

Here we are on day 30 of The 40! Whether things have gone great for you or not God is moving. Bad things have happened to us during this time. Our car, computer, and finances are down… Praise The Lord! Great things have happened through The 40, doors are opening to the nations, increase in evangelistic opportunities, revelation of actions we took a year ago beginning to bear fruit, increased fire and revival being released and community being built… Praise the Lord!!! God is doing much more than we can see or understand because we are committed to seeking Him! 

God spoke to me something simple this morning as I was praying over my list, “Step Up and Step Out“.  We have been focused on drawing into the secret place and committing ourselves completely to God.  We have been drawing near to receive revelation, rightly respond in repentance and worship, and walk in a constant state of revival. Now, it is time for us to step up to the next level and step out of the secret place. As we step out of the secret place, we must carry His presence with us out into the world with the power and grace that Holy Spirit brings.  

God has had me teaching through Acts during Sunday School, and he reminded me of some of the revelation that needs to be released to our community.  In the first eight verses of Acts 1, Jesus is with his disciples speaking his last words to them before he leaves.  This passage also takes place concurrent with Matthew 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24.  While we will be discussing Acts 1, I encourage you to read Jesus words in each of these chapters and how they are all connected.  Jesus, tells his disciples to go and wait for the promise in Jerusalem that they may be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). This same thought continues here in Acts 1:

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and  you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the  end of the earth.”

We can see here that this power comes from, with, and through Holy Spirit.  This power comes as we wait and seek him.  However, this power comes for a purpose.  The power of Holy Spirit that comes as we wait and seek Him is the power to be a witness.  If you study out this word “witness“in Greek, it is where we get the English word martyr.  The Holy Spirit revival power that we have been pressing in to receive is the power to be a martyr.  Now, when we say martyr we are literally talking about someone who has died for the gospel.  However, the original meaning of witness is one who believes, speaks, and lives with the genuine, strength, faith, and conviction that what they have seen and know is true and will stand by it even unto death.  This is next level stuff.  This is the step up that we are seeking! This is where the rubber meets the road!

Some may not have realized that as we press deeper into knowing Jesus and walking with Him, we are gaining His heart and being empowered to walk as martyr-level witnesses.  This is the stepping up and stepping out. Some may have for years sought to know God, in the secret place, in the quiet place, and grown holy and in knowing The Father’s heart.  Feel free to review Holiness Leads to Harvest from day 7.  The secret place of knowing God’s heart will always lead to the next step up of stepping out and sharing who He is!

Some of you may not know me personally, but I have always been an introvert that in the past was bound up by fear and insecurity. As God has led me through years of coming to know Him and getting free of the baggage and bondage, that we all carry, and coming to know Him more and more in the secret place, He is releasing a gift of evangelism to me. I do not understand it, and honestly am extremely uncomfortable in everything He is continuing to ask me to do and walk in. However, I am no longer saying I am an unwilling evangelist, because it is my delight to do His will.  In this process, especially more recently, God is continuing to develop in me His heart for souls. He is constantly reminding me that the fields are ripe for the harvest.  Both the field outside our door and around the world are ready to receive the wonderful works of God from Holy Spirit power-filled martyr-level witnesses.

My encouragement for us today is to step up and step out. The extended times we have spent in seeking The Lord through humility, repentance, confession, fasting, and prayer have empowered us by Holy Spirit to step up into the next level with Him. Holy Spirit is equipping us to daily step out of the secret place and carry the revelation of truth we have received to the ones who do not even know what they need.  Our time seeking The Father’s heart is transforming us into martyr-level witnesses. May we all walk in Holy Spirit power and declare the wonderful works of God in our words and actions everywhere we go.

Jesus, help me to truly come to know you and have your heart for harvest.  Help me to fully receive Your power to be a mighty witness of who You are no matter where You may send me. I desire to have Your heart, speak Your words, and be your witness everywhere that I go today, tomorrow, and forever!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal God’s heart in the secret place
  • Ask for power to be a Witness
  • Walk in obedience into the harvest today 

Be blessed with the peace and power from Holy Spirit today. May you receive a heart for the harvest and the boldness to walk in the power you have received as you are propelled into the next level with The Lord!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Revival in our Bondage 29/40

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 have completed week 4 and moving on to week 5. As we grow nearer to ending the fast, I want to remind you to refocus and recommit to press in to Jesus like never before.  Do not grow weary in well doing, we are not the coasting type of community.  I encourage you not to coast the rest of the way through the fast.  The last 10 days of the fast, let’s really go after what God has for us. Personally, I am being led to go much deeper in the last 10 days and I would invite you to join me, if you are willing.  It is time to increase expectation, increase seeking Him, advance in every area and increase in the spiritual reward of sowing into The Kingdom!!!

A few days ago, I started a discussion, that was not planned, with a word Revelation of Truth.  This led to the discussion Repent and Worship, and now we are finally coming to what we really want to talk about. Revival. This is what we long to happen. We crave for the revival we have heard about and maybe seen in part to come to us, our family, neighborhood, region, and nation.  We hunger for an unprecedented move of God that brings in multiple billion soul harvests.

How will this take place? 

What brings revival?

As the revelation of Truth comes forth from God, we must respond rightly in repentance which is an act of worship to God.  This leads to revival taking place right where we are.  Let’s return to Ezra to find out more. If you remember, the people of Israel were led back to their homeland after release from captivity. They were in bondage because of their constant rebellion against God and his plans. Ezra was the spiritual leader at this time and Nehemiah was more of an administrative leader who was walking deeply with The Lord!  

Ezra 9:4-5 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God…

The remnant of God’s people that were allowed to remain in the land had continued in the same sins that had led the people into captivity in the first place.  The revelation of truth had been so implanted in Ezra’s heart that when he saw the people engaging in rebellion and sin it shocked and grieved him to his very core. He quickly goes to God in humility, repentance, and fasting. It seems he is so grieved that he cannot even pray for the rest of the day. The passage that follows is a small part of his prayer of repentance:

Ezra 9:8-9 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

Ezra acknowledges his sin and the sin of the people, but also recognizes that even in the midst of their bondage to sin, God has given them “a measure of revival”.  There was a righteous remnant in Israel that were seeking the Lord. Even though the majority of the people were living in continued disobedience and rebellion, the people of God seeking Him and crying out for mercy brought about a revival and restoration in the land that would not have taken place any other way.  They had been given favor, protection, direction, and provision not only to return to their homeland, but to repair the house of God and rebuild the ruins of their city. 

Ezra 10:1-2 Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly. And Shechaniah… said to Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God… yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this.

Ezra and the people all have the same revelation of truth. However, Ezra and a few certain others are the righteous remnant that see the sin and seek the Lord in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer.  They are walking in a small portion of revival even though the rest of the people are still in bondage to their sin. Ezra and the remnant’s example of right response, repentance, and revival of heart and soul lead the people to repentance themselves. As they gather in weeping, repentance, and worship before the Lord, one of the leaders gains the revelation that there is hope for revival for them all right where they are.  

This is my encouragement for all of us today. We have constant revelation of Truth from Holy Spirit as we seek Him.  May we seek to respond rightly in repentance, confession, and worship. As we do this, we will be walking in revival in our own lives no matter what may be going on around us. Walking continually in this place, God is able to use us as catalysts to bring about revival in those around us. May we all walk as the catalysts of revival in The Kingdom, sons and daughters that we were created to be.  

Jesus, I desire to be your true child constantly moving forward in right response to Your continuous revelation. As I walk out revival right where I am, use me as a catalyst for change in the world for Your Kingdom!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you stand firm and walk out the revelation of a Truth he has given you
  • Acknowledge sin and weakness and bring these to him in repentance and confession
  • Act in the obedience of standing firm in seeking Jesus and walking with Him

Be blessed to receive new revelation of Truth today, walk in the right response of repentance and worship, and be a change agent of revival right where you are as God propels you into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Direction & Protection 24/40

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!

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Freedom & Breakthrough 10/40

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!

Congratulations, you have made it to double digits, and by the end of the day, you will be a quarter of the way through the fast.  For those who have elected to fast on only water, the experts say that today or tomorrow all hunger and weakness should be gone and the physical health benefits should begin to be readily seen over the next few days.

Whenever I am called to fast, I return over and over to Isaiah 58.  This is an amazing chapter that focuses on two things:

1. Fasting the proper way

2. The many personal benefits of fasting

Vs. 1-5 are speaking of a people who had regularly scheduled fasting times.  Set times each months, they would fast, supposedly to honor God, and expect to receive the heavenly blessing from these fast.  However God rebukes them because of their selfish and evil motives:

Isaiah 58:5 Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast?  Is it just a day to starve your bodies, make others think you’re humble, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast?  Do you think I, Yahweh, will be pleased with that?

A proper fast is not for others to see, but for God to come in and purify our heart and our desires.  If we continue fasting to hear from God, but are not obedient to bring our other fleshly desires into control as He reveals them to us, our heart is wrong and we forfeit all the spiritual benefits that we would have received.  A change must take place and a humbling of our hearts where Holy Spirit is given the right to search out and place His finger on any area that is out of order.  When He highlights this area, we must say, “Yes sir, I give this to you right now.  Change me and make me new that I may never return to that old selfish, sinful way.”  As our hearts are set right and our focus is to allow Holy Spirit to renovate and restore our hearts and desires, we will reap the benefits of the fast that follow.

Vs. 6 begins this way ““Is this not the fast that I have chosen…“, and what follow are the many varied benefits of fasting with a right heart:

  • Loose the chains of wickedness
  • Undo heavy burdens
  • Set the oppressed free
  • Break every yoke
  • Share your bread with the hungry
  • Shelter the poor homeless
  • Clothe the poor naked
  • Recognize and provide for those around you in need
  • The light and favor of God will shine upon you
  • Healing will come forth quickly
  • Righteousness will lead you
  • Glory of God will follow you
  • The Lord will answer your cries
  • He will continually be your Guide
  • He will faithfully satisfy your soul
  • He will constantly strengthen your bones
  • You will be given the right to
    • Rebuild long-deserted ruins
    • Raise up foundations of generations
    • Repair the cities
    • Restore the communities

The list of benefits in these seven verses is almost overwhelming.  You could write books on each one of these topics and God’s amazing power to work through one whose heart is set to follow him in obedience, humility, prayer and fasting.  I encourage you as you continue to walk The 40, return to this passage over and over for encouragement when difficulties arise.  Confess and repent of anything revealed by Holy Spirit, and return to the place of right fasting with a right heart.

God has designed you for a plan and purpose.  You are called to be totally free and walk in Kingdom breakthrough in every area of your life.  Partnering with Holy Spirit in fasting and prayer with a true heart of humility and obedience will bring about freedom and breakthrough in a way that will quickly propel you into the next level with Him.

Jesus, I pray that you will help my heart to be continually set on you.  May my desires line up completely with You and Your word, and my actions continually be obedient to what You speak.  I want to lay down my life as a sacrifice that you may use me as an instrument of righteousness to build Your Kingdom however You see fit.  Help me to partner with you today in humility and obedience.

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any selfish or ungodly desires in your heart
  • Bring these before the Lord in confession, repentance and humility
  • Meditate on the benefits listed in Isaiah 58
  • Ask yourself, “What can God do through my life given to Him completely with a heart of humility and obedience?”

Be blessed today with walking in new levels of humility and obedience to every leading of Holy Spirit.  May this humility and obedience propel you in receiving all these benefits and more that you may advance into the next level with Him.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!