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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!!!

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Increase Expectation 25/40

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 at day 25!  It is hard to imagine before The 40 that we could be so far in and a little over two weeks from completing the commitment God has placed in our hearts.  The spiritual benefits that come from the daily overcoming of obstacles to remain faithful in worship to The King of The Universe will one day astound us all.  Never give in to the fleshly desires now in exchange for the eternal reward that is being built up for you and everyone around you.  Let’s press on and press in together.

By this time, the weight of the impossible has probably tried to crush you or in the very least discourage you.  Several people have indicated to me this week that they were worried about me physically.  One even said that I was crazy and out of my mind.  However, as long as we are partnered with Jesus and what He has for us, I would rather be walking in the mind of Christ than my own mind anyway.  

It should not be a surprise to any of us that trusted spiritual and especially worldly influences around us do not understand the depth of what is taking place.  The God of great grace and mercy has called us out, or we have submitted to Him out of worship, in order for the impossible to take place.  When God moves, it is not understood completely by the most spiritual people we could ever think of.  We desire the perfect grace and mercy of God to be made manifest in us, our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, regions, and nations.  As much as we think we may understand Him and His ways, we do not.

We can see clearly that hunger and expectation has the ability to change the situations around us.  The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) only wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment.  She did what was illegal and could have gotten her stoned to death by pushing,maybe even crawling, through a crowd of people and just to put her “unclean” hands on Jesus.  It was her hunger and expectation that drove her to do what others would not.  This was the faith that healed and restored her.  This is where we are today. We are all believing for the “impossible” things to happen for the glory of God!

But what if these things do not happen during or after The 40? 

What if we go through The 40 and do not see anything change? 

What if our hunger and expectation are seemingly not rewarded?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, this will align us on the same level as one “after God’s own heart”, David.  David was hand picked by the Lord and anointed to be king long before it actually takes place. David has to live a life of character and actually doing the job of the king, like challenging Goliath, before he ever saw the promotion that God had anointed him for.  Eventually, he became king and did great for a while.

However, it seems David had a weakness for women.  Because David decided to give in to this weakness just one time, it led him to deception, adultery, murder, and pain.  The prophet Nathan reveals that God has seen it all and finally David repents.  What is the judgment for all of this sin? David’s recently born son would die. This is where we pick up in the scripture reading for today:

2 Samuel 12:15-16 And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.

Even though David knew he deserved the judgment and punishment that God had said, he increases his expectation that God’s great mercy and grace is greater than his sin.  David comes in humility, prayer, and fasting and cries out to God for mercy for his baby.  He does this for 7 days until the baby dies.  His servants do not even want to tell him that his baby has died because they are unsure what he will do when he finds out the worst has happened.  David’s hopes, desires, and expectations for the life of his baby because of the mercy of God are about to be crushed.  What will his response be?  

I do not know what the physicians were telling him and Bathsheba, but God had told him the baby would die.  That seems to be a very definite thing to me.  Surely, trusted and godly people came in after a few days of prayer and fasting and felt the need to prepare him for the worst.  There was no reason for him to expect that God would do anything different than He Himself had said.  However, David increased expectation in The God of grace and mercy. Throwing himself at the feet of The Great Shepherd and walking through the valley of the shadow of death, David is rewarded with seemingly nothing.  Here is David’s response when he finds out this baby is dead:

Vs. 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 

He cleans himself up, puts on his best worship attire, and goes to The house of The Lord and worships.  Great expectations unmet did not crush David and cause him to turn away, but causes him to be able to praise through the pain of unmet expectation.  This does not make sense to anyone and they ask him about it.

Vs. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

His expectations and prayers were unmet, and he chose to worship and adore God anyway because he knew His God. The Great God of Mercy and Grace was still the same whether David got what he desired or not.  

Vs. 22-23 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David knew the value in hunger and increasing expectation to work mighty things in the heavenly realm.  It had not happened the way he wanted.  However, because of a right heart of hunger and expectation to pray the greatest prayer he could think of, he was prepared to praise even through the pain.  Immediately after this, Solomon is born and God names him Jedidiah which means beloved of the Lord. David’s hunger and expectation caused a blessing to take place that was not the way David prayed or wanted, but came about at a different time and different way. 

This is the kind of hunger, expectation, and faith that I want!

No matter the difficulties, trials, and impossibilities that we bring to the Lord during this time, may we all increase our hunger and expectation to see the impossible made manifest into reality. Even if these things do not take place how we want or think they should, we must pray for the best and cry out to God. Today, increase your hunger and expectation and may this increase your worship through both met and unmet expectations.

Jesus, increase my hunger and expectation today. I want to have faith for the impossible miracles to take place no matter what I see or hear.  Help me to trust You to bring about the greatest good as my expectations are increased, and I cry out to You for the greatest good. Help me to never be discouraged or back down from believing the best no matter what I may see with my eyes or hear with my ears.  

Practical –

  • Take a good look at what you are praying for.
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you increase expectation and hunger to believe in the greatest possible good
  • Ask for strength, grace, and mercy for the faith to continually believe for the impossible
  • Ask for worship and fresh faith to replace discouragement or unbelief that tries to come in

Be blessed with an exponential increase of expectation and hunger to continuously believe for what seems impossible to man. May all discouragement and unbelief be replaced with worship and even more increased expectation because of new revelations of The Great God of Mercy and Grace in your life..

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Humble Yourself 23/40

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!

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press on in The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride and for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God and his judgment was delayed until a later time.  The fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy for a time before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching The Kingdom.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 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 full weeks were fulfilled…  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.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us, and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, we will daily be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before you today. I recognize my utter dependency on you.  Without you I can do nothing. Thank you that I can come boldly before your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to you in humility and repentance today.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelation of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are propelled into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

        –

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!!!

    Press Through to Breakthrough 19/40

    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 go again!  Another awesome day in The Lord.  There may not be anything special to day 19 for you, but God has a special reward for those who diligently seek Him.  He has your reward!  He is the reward! He has more on day 19 to give than yesterday, and I pray a special outpouring of His glory and grace to continue in strength, life, and provision today!

    Hallelujah!

    God is good and continually blesses our mouths with good thing.  Whether we are eating or not, He nourishes our soul and spirit with true manna from heaven.  Every single one of us is seeking Him in prayer and fasting for a reason and a purpose.  I have encouraged you to make a list of things to be praying and declaring over the length of the fast.  Do not neglect to pray for these things.  On my list are the impossible things, supernatural healing, wisdom from heaven, open doors, souls, nations, freedom and breakthrough.  Do not allow discouragement to dishearten you from pressing in and continuing to lift these things up in prayer to the Lord. 

    We do not see all that is taking place in the spiritual realm, but we know this:

    James 5:16-18 tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! 17 Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed again and the skies opened up over the land so that the rain came again and produced the harvest.
    Passionate, diligent, earnest prayers from a believer walking in righteousness have the power to change things that happen in the spiritual realm.  We discuss this more in “Shifting the Heavens“.  What is does not mention in this passage is that Elijah had to go before the Lord and pray seven times before He began to see the fruit of his prayer for rain to return to the land (1 Kings 18:42-46).  Elijah’s powerful prayers were not immediately answered.  He had to press through to breakthrough.  He had to get past his doubts, fear, worries, and seeming lack of power to experience the blessing that God had promised would come.  He had to look to the promise and press in until he saw fulfillment of that promise.

    Later, we see an interesting story taking place in Judges 20 that demonstrates the point even more fully.  During a time when Israel was without a leader, every man did what was right in his own eyes.  Here, the city of Gibeah, of the tribe of Benjamin, had committed an atrocity.  Their fleshly desire to abuse and injure a Levite led them to instead rape and murder his female slave.  Instead of repenting, the entire tribe of Benjamin “backs their boys” and goes out to war against the rest of Israel who is coming against them as retribution for turning from The Lord and committing this atrocity.

    Israel asked The Lord if they should war against Benjamin and who should go first.  God speaks for them to go and put Judah first.  Following God’s direction, 22,000 men of Israel are slain during Israel’s defeat that day.  Israel goes to God again and asks if they should return to the battle.  God says go, and at the instruction of God, 18,000 more people are slaughtered and Israel defeated.  Israel, God’s people fighting for justice and righteousness, are sorely defeated because they listened and obeyed God’s words explicitly.  

    Why was this happening?  Why were they defeated? What was taking place?

    Twice, Israel went through devastating tragedies and they were doing right.  They were obeying the law.  Whatever else was happening, there was tremendous discouragement was taking place over their defeat.  This is their response:

     

    Judges 20:26-28 Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening… So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord… saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?”  And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.”
    Again, the people of Israel return to the Lord.  This time, it says that all the people came to The Lord with repentance, fasting and prayer.  We do not know if all the people were unified before, but now, they know they need a breakthrough and only God can help them.  Their military prowess has been overwhelmingly defeated and only God can give them the breakthrough.  In unified hearts, prayers, and fasting, they follow the instructions of the The Lord and 30 of their people die in the battle the next day, but 25,100 of the tribe of Benjamin are defeated.  Whether the change was in their hearts, mind, or actions, they finally come into line with The Lord and gain their victory and breakthrough.  

    This is my encouragement for today, it is in repentance, fasting, and prayer that our hearts fully come into line with God, His plans, and His purposes.  Whether the change takes place in us or in the spiritual realm, we cannot always understand or know.  What I do know is that we must press through to breakthrough.  A butterfly must struggle to be released from its chrysalis or it will never have the strength to fly in the power it has been given.  It will languish and die if released by some other unseen force beyond its own struggle.  Through the struggles, it is empowered to breakthrough and fly.  May this word be manifest in us today.  Through your struggling and warring with God in the secret place, may you press through and gain the strength and sustenance to breakthrough and walk in the next levels with Him.
    Jesus, help me to never give up on following You and what You have called me to do, say, pray for, or walk in.  I trust You to complete Your promises even as You strengthen me to press through every hindrance into the destiny You have designed for me.
    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance the promises spoken to you that you may not be pressing in to see take place at this moment.
    • Ask for a renewal of strength to press in for the breakthrough in these areas
    • Ask for His patient perseverance to press through the fear, worry, unbelief, and other obstacles
    • Continue to press through for the breakthrough

    I bless you to receive the power and strength of The Almighty to press through that the breakthrough may take place in you and the lives of all those around you. 

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    The Heavens Declare 17/40

    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 approach the halfway mark of The 40, know this, God is with you.  He has promised to never leave you or forsake you.  Another tactic of the enemy to pull you out of The 40 is to make you feel alone.  I pray that you are encouraged by the community and words that are being shared here.  It is always easier to share struggles with someone who is going through everything right alongside you, and that is why we are here.  However, Jesus is even closer and able to help far more than those in your spiritual family.  Never forget, He is here to help, love, and support you no matter what.

    I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of GodHe is faithful to us and every one of the promises he has spoken over us.  He blesses us with His abounding grace and abundant mercy. He overwhelms us with the gifts of heaven, and too often, we forget to be thankful.  In some way, we think that we deserve for God to be this good to us or that we have earned it by our right living.  We must learn to be thankful at all times and declare the wonderful works of God continually.  What did Jesus say about this?

    Jesus reveals something interesting when He is told to make his disciples be silent:

    Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

    The rocks in creation who have done nothing but sit there from the beginning of time are thankful for who God is and would cry out giving glory to God in their own way if we they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given wisdom to see the glory and speech to say it?  David also has some interesting things to say along these lines:

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

    Creation itself is continually declaring the glory of God just in the day to day things that happen.  Sadly, we get used to seeing the beauty of nature and it no longer impresses us.  The beauty of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst.

    After an extended time of bearing the punishment of their people by being in captivity in a foreign land, the people of Israel return to the land of their inheritance.  Everything is broken down and in disrepair.  Nehemiah leads the people into a time of returning to the law.  They read the law for seven days straight and agree to obey it.  They set about to keep the feasts in the word and worship God.  This is when we see the people worshiping God in a special way:

    Nehemiah 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

    The people have been reading the word for day, and this causes them to come to God in worship by repentance, confession, prayer, and fasting.  They read more of the word and then worship more, and then they begin to bless the Lord:

    Nehemiah 9:5-6 “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the LordYou have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

    Your fasting is worship to God.  Your prayers are worship to God.  Your repentance and confession is declaring the glory of God.  As we spend time seeking Him and pressing into all that He has for us, true worship with come forth from our hearts and our lives that will declare God’s glory in a way that no other thing can.  How can the choice to give up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice give glory to God?  By this, we are saying, “Jesus, I love you more!  You are worth it!”  What joy comes to The Father’s heart when his children voluntarily give Him a gift from what little they have to give.  This is true worship and truly declares the glory of God to all the hosts of heaven.  Today, we choose to worship God once again with the sacrifice of our humble hearts.

    Jesus, I choose to declare Your glory today.  In my thoughts, words, and actions, help me to recognize and declare Your glory.  Help me to continually give you worship in everything I say and do.  In all I do may I glorify Your Name!

    Practical – 

    • Set a time to watch a sunrise, sunset, or spend time watching at the stars
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the glory that creation is declaring to you in this
    • Commit to worship God in thought, word, and action today

    Be blessed with the God given ability to recognize the glory of God in the tiniest of details.  May your very life declare the glory of God in all you think, say, and do!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Spiritual Alignment 16/40

    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!

    Patience, persistence, and perseverance are words we like to avoid.  We have moved past the need for longsuffering to patience because that is a nicer way to say it.  However, longsuffering is a much more descriptive term to what is taking place.  Whatever you happen to call it, it takes work to continue in the faith of believing for your breakthrough into the next level.  I encourage you to look to Jesus from Whom comes your help.  May you be long-prospering even as you move past longsuffering.

    Every single one of us are walking through this life.  No one is exempt from the troubles and hardships the world has to bring.  I would love to tell you that as you seek the Lord, you become perfect and can live somewhere in a bubble of perfect communion with God that will take you out of the world and make everything okay.  This is not the case.  In fact Jesus said:

    John 17:15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

    At one time, the followers of Christ thought to create a separate culture like a monastery or convent that was set apart from the world, but Jesus never meant for this to happen.  You are meant to be His shining light in the middle of a dark world that many may see His light shining through you and be drawn to Him by your words and actions.  The way you respond in the same negative situations that others are going through should be a testimony to the greatness and glory of God in you. 

    Sadly, we often do not handle the circumstances of life much different than the people in the world.  Because of our weak humanity, we fall into complaining, pain, despair, and even the depression and darkness that plagues the world.  This happens because our flesh and soul have not yet come into line with The Holy Spirit yet.  It is a process to ‘work out our salvation”  that we may truly become one with Him.

    The heroes of the faith did not have it any easier than we do, and we even have recorded many of David’s passionate prayers and cries for help as he was going through terrifying life ordeals.  From him, we discover a key to bringing our flesh and soul into line with God’s plans and purposes even in the middle of the daily struggles.

    Psalm 69:10 When they see me seeking for more of you with weeping and fasting,
    they all just scoff and scorn at my passion.

    Vs. 13 But I keep calling out to you, Yahweh! I know you will bend down to listen to me,
    for now is the season of favor. Because of your faithful love for me, your answer to my prayer will be my sure salvation.

    David reveals a secret into aligning our flesh and soul with Holy Spirit that many would pass over.  He is seeking more of God with passionate prayer and fasting.  Even when others would make fun of him for it, he is persistent.  He continues on.  David has so much confidence that God will come through to help in the situation, he does not care what others may say about his “pitiful cries for help”.  Prayer and fasting cause our soul to come into line with Holy Spirit in a way that nothing else can.  Fasting reveals our flesh and the prayer helps us give those things that arise over to God in the correct way.  These two together help us to truly become longsuffering.  A transformation begins to happen within us that creates the ability to weather the storms of this life and even be a witness in the most tragic circumstances.  This process continues as we continually seek Jesus and are changed by Him.

    Jesus, I need you today.  My flesh and soul are constantly trying to pull me into world ways and earthly thinking, but I desire to be like you.  As I pray and fast, strip off the ways of the world and help me come into perfect alignment with You and Holy Spirit.  Even in the trials and tragedies of life, help me to shine brightly who You are because I run to you quickly for help in my time of need.  Give me the ability to be a true longsuffering light in the darkness!

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to help you see where He is working
    • Ask for strength and assurance that He is with you
    • Live your life with the perseverance He brings
    • Shine the glory of God in the dark situations

    Be blessed today to see the glory of The Lord in the land of the living.  Even in the intense darkness, may you know He is with you and shine brightly His glory as you are propelled into the next level with Him.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!