Tag Archives: intention

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!!!

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Forgiveness in “Failure” 6/40

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!

After the revelation of the importance of The 40, it seems necessary to remind ourselves who God is.  I have always been hardcore and radical about everything I do, and some people may mistake my intensity for harshness.

Exodus 34:6-7 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, 

Here, God tells Moses He would show him His glory, and this is what happens.  The nature of God that he saw was mercy, grace, patience, goodness, truth, and forgiveness.

During The 40, it is quite probable that you may mess up or give in to temptation at some point.  I have even had a dream that I was eating meat.  In the dream, I was horrified because I was supposed to be fasting.

Remember this, God looks at and judges your heart. When your heart is to commit yourself to Him in love and obedience, He forgives the mistakes and rewards your intentions.  In contrast to this, the enemy will try to make you feel like a failure and use this tactic to pull you out of The 40.  There is forgiveness in “failure” and grace in the mistakes.

If your heart is set to seek The Lord, do not let anything hold you back from seeking Him:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are looking to Jesus in the middle of our struggles, sins, and failures; and He will reward our hearts.

I think it was two years ago that my Dad was having a lot of pain in his knee and was thinking about getting it replaced. God prompted me to volunteer to fast and pray with Him for healing.  My Dad was a little reluctant and told me he wanted to pray about it first.  About a month later, I found out that from that time, he had no more pain or trouble with his knee.  This was a blessing for me to see how God honored my heart. Even though I did not really want to go through the fast, I was willing, and God worked because of that willingness.

I share this story as an encouragement to you that in the event any mistake might be made.  Press on!  Keep going!  Do not give up on The 40!  God forgives completely and can cause you to walk in the fullness of The 40 if your heart is to press in and please Him. 

Please know, this also applies to those who are not physically able to go The 40.  If you started on only water and have to shift your fast because of health issues, keep your heart right.  In doing this, God will help you continue in the same power of The 40 even if it has to change. 

Jesus, bless us with success and bring forgiveness for what others may see as failure.  Help my heart to be set totally to praise, honor, and glorify You!

Practical – 

  • Ask God to reveal any area of weakness and to strengthen you with His mercy.
  • Any area of supposed failure to keep The 40, ask God to forgive you and recommit to press in to Him.
  • Walk The 40 in full assurance that God is with you to help, strengthen, and even restore you if you fall.

May you be blessed to fully complete The 40 whether by God’s strength and sustenance or by forgiveness and restoration!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press on and Press In 4/40

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

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

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

My encouragement for you today comes from –

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

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

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

Jesus is The Reward!!!

Jesus is Worth it!!!

Jesus is the Prize!!!

I also want to encourage you from –

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

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

What was the result of this three day corporate fast?

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Heart to Know

Daily Encouragement – 

Do you want what is good? Do you want to be built up? Do you desire to be planted firmly? It has always been My intention to bless, uphold, and make your way prosper. 

I desire the best for you. However, there is only one way for this to happen. You must come to Me with your whole heart. Do not hold anything back. The more you give yourself to seek, know, and follow Me; the more you will be blessed, built up, and prospered. 

I desire for you to walk with Me and to be My called and chosen ones. Let’s walk together into the Blessed Kingdom where I desire for you to rule and reign forever. 

Follow Me, and you will be able to begin receiving the benefits of The Kingdom even now. Come to Me and receive goodness, be planted, and built up in The Kingdom even as you become My heir, My child. I love you!!!

Jeremiah 24:6-7 “For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Worship and Sacrifice

Simple Discipleship

This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series.  Here are the first two messages in this series.

  1. Being a Leader/Disicple
  2. Intimacy/Love of God

Here is the topic of study for next week:

Worship and Sacrifice

  • My notes can be found here: Simple Discipleship Week 3
  • Here is the Audio Teaching from Feb 17, 2016: http://lwcburleson.sermon.net/main/main/20609931

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

As we begin learning about Worship and Sacrifice, we must first ask ourselves,

What is Worship?  

What is Sacrifice?

If we do not have a proper understanding of these things, then as we discuss them, we will never come to a true understanding.  My prayer is that as we investigate the scriptures, that we will understand even more the meaning of these and how we can apply them to our lives.

Worship – Honoring and lifting high another as higher than yourself out of a heart of love in response to God’s word, act, or nature.

Sacrifice – Giving up completely something that is greatly important to you for the benefit of another because you love them.

Here, I am talking specifically of the worshiping God, but we worship and lift high so many things that are undeserving.  Food, sleep, money, fashion, entertainment, sports, people, can all be worshiped in spite of not being worth it.  In this one statement, you may be feeling judged and your toes may feel stepped on, but this is the reality of the matter in my life as well as the lives of so many others.

We have a struggle in the morning when our alarms go off whether we will rise and spend time with the Lord worshiping Him or worship the god of sleep that is so seductive especially when it comes time to make the decision.  I could go on and on about each one of these, but every time we choose these things over obedience to God and love for Him, we are worshiping them and lifting them high as the important things in our lives.

Worship

In 2 Chronicles 21, we come to learn that we worship God when we accept His word and are obedient without doubting or questioning what He says.  Jehosophat had no direct command of God to put His worshipers on the front lines.  They did it out of an act of obedience and thus worshiped God by being obedient and trusting in the word of God.

In Genesis 22, Abraham is called to sacrifice his son that God had just revealed was the son of promise.  Abraham trusted God in such a way that as they went to the mountain in Vs. 5 Abraham says we go to worship.  Abraham’s heart of sacrifice is a true act of worship to God.  He was willing to give whatever God asked in obedience out of his great love for Him.

In John 4,

What Jesus mean to worship God in Spirit and truth?

  • God wants a constant communion with you in the day to day.  He does not want you to worship Him in a church or at your house only, but in the Spirit everywhere you go in every situation that you are in.
  • God wants you to be honest with Him.  You cannot fool God.  He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart.  If you are giving Him something small and seemingly mediocre out of a good heart, it is greater worship than giving the very most you have out of a wrong heart. (1 Cor 13:3)

In Malachi 1, God desires our very best.  If we bring God half-hearted worship out of duty, these things are not pure and holy and actually dishonor and disrespect God.  He would rather no one worship than to have duty-filled worship out of grudging hearts.  He wants pure and holy worship that is a true witness to who He is.  This only comes when we are giving God our best out of a willing and loving heart.

In 2 Samuel 24, David reveals that God is blessed by our sacrifice more than he is blessed by our excess.  We see this concept over and over throughout the Bible that when we give God something valuable to us, that is true worship.  Those giving because they have extra does not impress God.  Jesus states this in a different way when talking of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God desires our pure and holy sacrifice so He can bless us with better than our very best!!!

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

Finally, in Luke 7, a “sinner” probably a prostitute comes in to the middle of the pastors and elders of their day.  She humbles herself completely to the judgmental and critical thoughts and stares and worships Jesus.  This “sinner”  sacrificed more and gave more in worship than anyone else around.  Because of her sacrifice and true heart of worship, her sins are forgiven, and she is saved.  She was forgiven much and so loved much.  The fact that she loved much caused her to sacrifice her most valuable possession and her pride as an act of worship to Jesus.

Does you love cause you to sacrifice your pride and valuables in worship to the Lord? 

Nothing I have spoken is out of judgment or condemnation, but Holy Spirit has even convicted me in studying these things.  Our love for God will always lead us to a true worship which is displayed in what we are willing to sacrifice for our True Love.

Ask Holy Spirit these questions and be obedient in what He is speaking:

Are you giving your very best to God?  This is true worship.

What is God calling you to sacrifice to love Him and worship Him in a deeper way?

worship1

May you be blessed with knowing more of the Love of God than ever before, and may you receive the fullness of the blessing that comes through true worship and sacrifice.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!