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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!!!

    Know the Truth

    Our time in Cambodia was different from every other place that God has taken us to, as has been the pattern of our journey thus far.  One of the things that remain the same is that God never fails to bring about God appointments where ever we go.

    This little guy decided to join us on the bus and fell asleep on me.

    This little guy decided to join me on the bus and fell asleep on me.

    Last Saturday, Jeremiah and I went to an internet cafe for breakfast so we could do some work.  Soon after ordering drinks, the electricity went off and we found ourselves in the presence of a woman trying to get us to buy cookies to benefit the children of Cambodia. Jeremiah asked her what they do for the children and she said that they do a reading program. Jeremiah responded, saying that we believe unless you are helping them spiritually as well, you are not really helping them at all.  She said that they do help them spiritually, that they too were Christians.  She then invited us to her church for service on Sunday morning.  Later on that evening, Jeremiah said that he felt that there was an open door with this woman and we would go to her church.  Though no one on the base had heard of this church, we made a deal that we would try and find it and if not, we would have church together.

    After a little trouble finding the church (It was not at Omega Hotel, but at Alpha Hotel…perhaps we should have started at the beginning and not the end,)  we arrived at the small gathering of people all dressed in the same white clothing.  Their church service consisted of watching and partaking in a pre-taped service from the Philippines, at their home church.  It did not take long for us to realize that this was no ordinary church service, but it was in fact, a cult that we had been invited to.  There were so many red flags within the first 10 minutes and throughout the 3 hour service.  During the service, I asked Jeremiah several times about leaving, but he said he felt there was someone to talk to.

    The pastor of the church essentially spoke a message of repentance, through instilling fear that without repenting, horrible things would occur.  That you must repent and your life has to be completely given over to the Father and King, and live accordingly to the will of the Father.  He also spoke primarily on God’s love, reading all of 1 Corinthians 13.  Through many things, this man had now become the “Appointed Son of God”; basically, Jesus had not finished the work. Jesus came for the Jews, but God had appointed him to come for the Gentiles.  After the service, the leader of the church tried to get us to come to a meeting to hear more but he would not share the beliefs, saying that it was too complicated.

    The Truth is, what Jesus preached was not complicated.  It is simple and made for everyone to understand. God sent us there to speak Truth where there was deception.  No, we did not see a change immediately, but planting Truth will always win out in the end, because Jesus is The Way, THE TRUTH, and The Life.  The problem with this cult and many others is that the people heard the message one man was given through spoken word, dreams and visions, and they followed him. There was no Bible there during his time of receiving this.  The Bible says ‘the enemy disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14).  Paul warns us over and over again in Romans to beware of false prophets and teachers.  Though this man taught from Scripture, he was not teaching the whole Bible and from the Lord, thus leading 6 million people astray.

    The point of the photo always stood out to me.

    The point of this always got me.

     Joshua 1:8 instructs us toStudy this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”  We must study and know the Bible by spending time with God and receiving revelation from Him. Then when the enemy comes, we will be able to recognize it and bring to light what is moving in the darkness.  Have you given yourself wholly to studying the Word and receiving all the God wants to give you through it?  Are you familiar with the Truth and able to discern when something is not Biblical?  If not, I urge you to learn the Truth; and the best way to do this is by spending time with Jesus and reading His Word and receive the life and joy that comes from this devotion!!!

    Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!

    Committed Consecration

    The advent of wireless Internet is an amazing thing especially as we are traveling. It is especially fun that you are able to take part in some portion of all of our adventures. However, it also means we are at the mercy of the places we are. We have not been able to post as much because we lost the Internet at our abode. I guess it is in some ways a preparation for the lack in India,Cambodia, and anywhere else we have limited access.

    This week, I was privileged to bring a message to our cell group. This is not a message that most people may accept, but the mature body of believers I spoke to grabbed ahold of the promise and the word and is running with it. I believe you will to!!! If you have known me for a time, you know that Moses is one of my favorite guys in the Bible. Even beyond that, one of my favorite passages of scripture is Exodus 20:18-21. Here, we see that after three days of consecration, the people of Israel see, hear, smell, and feel the presence of The Lord on Mount Sinai. It even reveals in Deuteronomy that they hear the very voice of God. Even though they had completely consecrated themselves to The Lord for three days, they saw and felt the Holiness of The Lord and were afraid that if they saw or spoke with God anymore that they would die. Moses, being no different than any of them (except maybe that he had murdered someone), knew the holiness of God and knew that nothing of this world was worth keeping in compare to being in the very presence of The Lord. He was not even afraid to die. He just wanted to be in the place that the presence of The Lord was the greatest.

    If we think of Moses and how he was able to give up all the passing pleasures of this earth just to gain the prize of knowing God in an intimate way, we see how different he was than most of us. We are so commonly unwilling to give up sleep or food, most of which we get an over abundance of. If we are to know The Lord in the deepest way possible on this earth, we must give up the weights and snares that hold us back from knowing Him. In Hebrews 12:1, we agree that we should be rid of sin, but the weights may be good things that just hold us back or slow us down from knowing Him. Things get in the way, distractions, and we must remove them if we want to know Him. We can always look at others and say that we are more holy than other people because we do, or don’t do, more of any given thing than them. However, when we view our personal righteousnesses against the holiness of The Lord, Isaiah says they are like filthy rags (maybe used toilet paper in today’s language).

    I would encourage you to spend some time with Holy Spirit and see if there is one or more things that you need to consecrate to him and not do, and do more of the getting to know Him that we are all so quick to be too busy to do. Several people in the group decided to cut out television and focus on The Lord. What will you do to get closer to The Lord? I don’t know about you, but I have no love of the things of this world, and I am trying to be willing to give up all this world has to offer for the knowledge of knowing Him. Holiness is a gift that brings us closer to Him, we just have to get all the other things out of the way so that we can be more like Him and be closer to Him!!!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire