Tag Archives: how

Increase Our Faith (Act) 34/40

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

One week from now, we will have completed The 40. Praise The Lord for His grace and mercy. Whatever God has called you to fast, you must be very careful in breaking the fast. A total fast must be broken with small amounts of juice every 4-6 hours. A juice fast should be broken with small amount of light fruit gradually adding in more complexity and quantity of food.  After fasting for so long, our bodies stop producing certain enzymes and it can have disastrous effects if we lack self-control at the end of the fast.  May God give us all the strength not just to pray and fast for His glory, but to break the fast and eat in a way that glorifies Him.

A few days back, we started talking about being God’s witnesses.  This starts from a place of knowing and growing in Him.  As we grow in Him, we will gain his heart and desires and begin to pray and ask for what is most valuable to Him. Souls and nations would be at the top of this list.  In our asking specifically for the lost in our family, neighborhood, sphere of influence, and nations, we must begin to speak out the wonderful works of God.  This is how all people will come to know who our Great God is.

Today, we move on to the next phase in being a witness: Act.  When we know God deeper, are praying along with His desire for souls, and speaking out our testimony and witness for His glory, we must begin to act on what Holy Spirit has called us to do.  Words without action are hypocrisy and will never lead to the next level with Him. Let’s look at what The Word has to say about this.

Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.. 

Here, Moses has just died and Joshua has become the new leader over all of Israel. I am sure Joshua is a little bit apprehensive in trying to follow in the footsteps of such a great man of God.  In the first chapter of Joshua, both God and the people tell Him not to fear multiple times.  In the middle of God’s encouragement to Joshua, He reveals this promise to him.  God has given Joshua and the people all of The Promised Land, but they have to go and take it.  They had to act in obedience with the word of God for this promise to take effect.  Let’s dig a little deeper into this.

The word tread in this verse comes from the Hebrew “Darak” which means to tread, lead, guide, wield, shoot, aim, march.  If we study this out, we find that God is giving us every place we have aimed our hearts in line with His will to seek. He is giving us every place we have followed Him in obedience to lay hold of.  It takes our action added on to our speaking, praying, and knowing that will allow us to be the witness that God has called us to be. You have to walk the walk not just talk the talk.

That is what God says in the Old Testament, but let’s see what Jesus has to say on the same subject:

Luke 17:5-10 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself  and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded  him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

The apostles come to Jesus and ask for Him to increase their faith, as we probably have done ourselves. Jesus reveals that it is not the size of their faith that is most important. The smallest mustard seed of faith is enough to do seemingly impossible things.  Jesus then gives an illustration of masters and servants.  There is a reason these verses say “The Lord said”. The issue is not about increasing and gaining faith, it is about increasing obedience.  Contained in the promises and revelation of Truth we have been given, are conditions according to our obedience. Noah was instructed to build and ark.  Abraham was called to go out.  Moses was to go and speak to the Pharaoh. We could go through the scriptures proving what Jesus reveals here.  Actions and obedience are what take us to the next level.

My encouragement for us today is to take our witness to the next level. We must continue on with knowing God, asking for his heart of compassion for the lost, and even past speaking out His wonderful works.  We must begin to act in obedience to whatever He calls us to do. We do not need to be rewarded for being obedient to God, but we He is the rewarder! We will be rewarded whether we see it now or not. However, we must not be obedient to Him because of the reward we will get, but because He is worth it, and we love Him!  Practical action combined with speaking the word and asking for what God desires, because we are growing in knowing Him, will lead us to be propelled into the next level with Him.

Jesus, I want to be obedient to everything You have called me to do. You are my Lord and Master and what You say help me to always obey.  I know that Your power and promise depend upon my obedience to You. Help me never to limit what You are wanting to do in or through me because of my disobedience.  I want to love You with my “YES” and with my obedience!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you to know Him more
  • Seek to know The Father’s heart
  • Speak out what God has done for you, your testimony
  • Act in obedience to everything He tells you to do

Be blessed with knowing and growing in God, receiving His heart, speaking The Truth of your testimony, and becoming increasingly obedient to everything you are called to. As this happens may you be propelled 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!!!

Your Inheritance (Ask) 32/40

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 week 5, and we are still alive. We are down to single digits until the end of the fast. Some may not have thought it possible to go this long, but God has been faithfully going before us, walking beside us, and He will bring up the rear with His glory.  Let’s continue steadfastly seeking The God of heaven for all He wants to do in us and through us! This is what you were made for, an eternity of seeking Him!

As we have been praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord to be propelled to the next level in Him, there has been a shift.  Yesterday, I shared about being God’s Witness and how this comes from the secret, quiet intimacy of knowing God and receiving His heart.  When this takes place, His desire to be made great in our lives turns into the worship of us being witness of the testimony He has done in us. Knowing God and growing in your relationship with Him is the first step of being a witness.  

Today, I want to discuss the second step of being a witness, you must Ask!  God desires to use everyone everywhere to be his witnesses.  However, when we come to truly know God and His desires begin to grow inside of us, we will begin to ask and pray to be a witness.  

Do you pray daily for specific lost people around you in your family, at your school or workplace, in your neighborhood?

Although this is something that we should do, because of the cares of this world, often we do not.  The cares of the world choke out the life of the seeds of prayer that are never sown into the hearts of those who have no knowledge of The King or The Kingdom.  

Somehow in seeking The Lord, David comes into a place where he hears a heavenly conversation taking place.  This conversation takes place in Psalms 2. God The Father is speaking to His son and this is what He says:

Psalm 2:7-8 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

The Father says to The Son because You are My Son, I will give you an inheritance.  What is this inheritance? The nations and the ends of the earth.  These are God’s to give and He says ask me, and I will give them to you.  If God is our Father in heaven and holy is His Name, His kingdom must come and a His will must be done on earth as it is done in heaven.  You and I are his children, begotten in the gospel.  

How much more should we ask Him for the nations and ends of the earth for our possession?

Have you asked Him for souls, cities, or nations?

Knowing this, let’s jump forward to when Jesus came to the earth. He was surrounded and submersed in all the things we are today. Poverty, sickness, darkness, sin, and death surrounded his every day life. One day these things overwhelm Jesus’s heart of compassion gained by spending time seeking The Father. He sees the hopeless scattered sheep, but He sees a great harvest for the Kingdom. There was more work than any one man could ever do just bringing them into the Kingdom.  

What was Jesus’ solution?

Matthew 9:36-38 But when He [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Jesus said pray and ask The Lord of the harvest to call, equip, and send forth laborers.  We are not just supposed to spend our days in prayer and seeking God, but we are to pray that we may become witnesses, laborers, vessels of righteousness used by God.  When we know God’s heart, we will ask that His desires be made manifest in the earth. 

My encouragement for today is to begin to ask for souls, pray for an inheritance of nations.  Together we have been seeking to know The Father and growing in Him. Now, let’s begin to pray and ask to be His witnesses, and that He would give us souls, cities, regions, and nations. This is the inheritance of the saints, the saving and discipling of all nations, tribes, and tongues. Over 3 billion people still have not heard, it is time to pray for the Lord of The Harvest to send forth laborers into the field and be willing to go ourselves!

Jesus, I love you! I desire to grow in knowing You and developing Your heart and Your desires. I ask for the nations as my inheritance and the ends of the earth for my possessions. Use me to reach the unreached. May those in darkness see Your light shining brightly out of me and been drawn to You. I am willing to go. Send out Your workers to bring in the harvest that I may not be alone in bringing in this great harvest of souls!!! 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to draw you deeper in to knowing Him and give you a heart of compassion
  • Ask for the nations as your inheritance
  • Ask for souls of specific people in your family, workplace, school, and sphere.
  • Pray The Lord of The Harvest to send forth laborers into the field

Be blessed today with knowing God in a greater way than ever before and gaining a true heart of compassion! May you receive an amazing inheritance of souls coming into The Kingdom as you are propelled into the next level with the King!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

God’s Witness (Know) 31/40

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 move into the last 10 days of The 40, do not forget to focus your eyes on The King of The Kingdom. He rewards us as we diligently seek Him.  If you are able to give more to The Lord, let’s do it together. He is worth so much more than we could ever give. Let us worship Him in a special way the last 10 days of this fast. 

Yesterday’s encouragement was a shift in what God has been speaking and revealing.  God is speaking about seeking Him and growing into the powerful witness, He has created us to be. Over the next several days, we will see how we can become Holy Spirit filled witnesses of the good news!!!

Today, we will start at a place that we are familiar with, but it can never be neglected, forgotten or emphasized enough.  We must come to know God more and more and grow in our relationship with Him. When I speak of knowing God, I am not just talking about a head knowledge that we are accustomed with.  I am speaking of the old Biblical sense of know.  “Adam knew his wife and conceived a son” (Genesis 4:1).  This kind of intimate relationship goes far beyond a mental aspect of knowing.  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). 

What is the key to bearing fruit? Abiding, remaining, knowing Him!

This is not a new concept that Jesus brings us during his time on earth. Let’s move back to the prophet Isaiah long before Jesus and see the constant, faithful, unchanging heart of God for us to know Him.

Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

God is our creator and redeemer. He has a plan and purpose for designing us and creating us. He has called each one is us by name to come to Him.  We are His.  We may not live walk or act like it, but we have been called and chosen by the Creator of the universe.  He did not make us and leave us on our own as some believe, but He is always with us.  Even in the darkest, most difficult times in our lives He is with us!  The flames of the enemy will not destroy us when we are near to Him. When we are near to The Lord we will not be overcome. 

Why does He do all these things for us?

He is The Lord our God, our Savior!!! Before we move on, know this, you are never alone when you are seeking The Lord.  It may seem like your prayers are going unanswered.  Situations are difficult, the storms, floods, and fire may be coming against you, but you will stand firm as you stand with God in His strength for you are His!

As we walk through the fires, floods, and storms of this life, we have come to know God our Strength, our Sustainer, our Provider, our Savior.  From this place of real life revelation and testimony of what God has done for us, we are called to be His witnesses.

Vs 10-12 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,” Says the Lord, “that I am God.

There is nothing wrong with Christian apologetics and logical historical evidence that gives witness to the reality of a historical Jesus, but your very life and the testimony of what He has brought you through is an undeniable witness on display that brings glory to God.   The more each of us come to know God, trust in Him, and are transformed into His image, the greater testimony we have. As we come to know Him and our testimony increases, we become a growing witness to God’s goodness, faithfulness, and are able to give Him greater glory from our lives.  Nothing and no one else can cause such a transformation as has taken place in the lives of those who are daily coming to know Jesus more.

This is the first step of being a Holy Spirit empowered martyr-level witness and my encouragement for you today.  Come to know The Savior, Redeemer, and Sustainer more than ever before.  Come to know Him, and recognize what He has taken you through and out of. This has caused your very life to be a witness of who God is.  You are God’s undeniable witness right where you are today. Never be afraid to share who He is that has done such a mighty work in your life!

Jesus, help me come to know You more than ever before! Than, you for touching, changing, and transforming me from a rebellious, selfish sinner into a faithful, righteous saint. Use my life as a witness and testimony of You for Your glory. Even in the middle of the storms of life, I want my life to radiate Your glory because You are with me keeping me from harm.  I want to be Your witness and testimony in every aspect of my life!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you come to know Him in a greater way today
  • Remember where you have come from, and what He has brought you out of
  • Thank God for His mighty work in Your life
  • Ask to be used as a greater witness and testimony for His glory

Be blessed today with revelation of the life-changing power of knowing Jesus more. May you see clearly where you have come from and how He has been with you through the journey.  May you be a living testimony and witness that continually gives glory to God!

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!!!

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!!!