Tag Archives: matter

Declare The Glory!!! 17/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate 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, Jesus is here to help, love, and support you no matter what. I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of God.  He 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 they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given the wisdom to see the glory and the life to tell of Him?  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 in the day to day glory that surrounds us all.  Sadly, we get so used to seeing this beauty of nature that it no longer impresses us.  The awesomeness of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst, and the realization that we, as His creation, should be giving Him glory as well!

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 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 an extended time, 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 comes forth from our hearts and our lives that declares the glory of God 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 aside some special time to watch a sunrise, a sunset, or gaze at the stars in the night sky
  • 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!!!

His Strength in Your Weakness 15/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement.

As week 3 begins, remember to stay focused on Jesus and His Kingdom.  The longer the fast continues, the more the enemy will try to take your focus from Him and turn it toward yourself.  As long as you are focused on yourself, the enemy has an opportunity to make you stumble.  Continuously look to Jesus, and receive all the strength, hope, and life that He has for you!

If you have not come to know this already, we are all very weak and fleshly creatures.  A little matter of giving up some food and sleep for just over a month should not be that big of a deal.  However, we are truly creatures of comfort from our very birth.  We want what we want, and it becomes a big problem when we cannot have it.  Suddenly, our small things become huge, and minor irritations become major problems.

For years, we have strengthened our flesh by giving it whatever it wants. It is like a spoiled little child used to getting whatever they ask for.  When one simple comfort is removed, it becomes the worst issue imaginable.  Even people around you, that do not know you are fasting, may notice a change.  You may become quicker to lose your temper or react negatively to minor inconveniences especially at the beginning of a fast.  By the beginning of the fast, I mean the first 39 days of The 40, if you are me.  These are the times we discover our true need for Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

We need the strength of Jesus not the strength of self.  He did the hard part so we would not have to.  No matter how strong you may think that you are, Jesus proved Himself to be stronger.  Jesus easily defeated hell, death, and the grave.  We should become so close to Jesus at this time, because we are having to walk in His strength and not our own.  It is okay for me to be weak because, now, He can show Himself strong in me.  I rest in the fact that if Jesus is my strength when I am weak, He can use me no matter how I feel.

Several years ago, God allowed me to travel to Dharmapuri, India.  Here, God privileged me to minister in different ways to the Tamil people of the region.  My friend Sage and I stayed in a building above a church and orphanage.  While here, we were asked to do a program for the boys that lived in the building that were between the ages of 4 and 12.  As we prayed on what we were to do, my friend heard Holy Spirit say that we were supposed to teach on and pray to break off generational curses.  I was very unsure about that.  I have helped my mother minister to children many times and that was not something we had ever done before.  Frankly, most adults would not even be comfortable receiving such a teaching.

One of my gifts is teaching and speaking the word so I agreed to teach on this and let my friend lead the ministry, prayer, and application of the word, more his specialty.  What proceeded was what seemed to be one of the most difficult, dry, devoid of Holy Spirit teachings I have ever given in my life.  It felt like a very forced, difficult struggle that was going nowhere.  As I taught, I had the thought that if I was sitting there, I would have probably fallen asleep. After I had finished the teaching, Sage began to pray and minister breaking off generational curses.  Suddenly, something happened that is caught on video.

Friday Fire in India Part 1

God comes and pours himself out upon these young orphans.  Almost every one of them falls under the power of God’s freedom.

Friday Fire in India Part 2

When they begin to awaken, they are praying for God to be their mother and father and for Him to touch them.  They are speaking the wonderful works of God.

Friday Fire in India Part III

By this time, probably an hour and a half from when Sage started praying for them, the ladies had come and were trying to awaken them and get them up to go eat dinner.  This is about 45 minutes after they have been directed to go eat that they are staying and crying out to God to continue to do what He is doing.  

The entire time this is taking place, I am completely astounded because I do not feel The Holy Spirit moving in the slightest way.  I am seeing an astounding move of Holy Spirit with my very eyes, not the least of which is young boys refusing to eat just so they can get more of what God has to offer, and i am still feeling completely nothing.  To this day, all I know is that we were obedient, and God did the work.  I had nothing to do with it.  All glory goes to Him and Him alone.

Jesus, I thank you that Your power is made manifest through me as I yield my weak, lowly, humble frame to You.  Use me for Your glory and Your purpose, for of myself, I can do nothing.  

Practical –

  • Acknowledge your weakness
  • Ask Holy Spirit to minister God’s strength to you in your weakness
  • Yield yourself to be used by Him, even in your weakness
  • Be obedient to whatever He calls you to do

Be blessed to know your need for God and place yourself in His hands.  May you be used mightily for The Kingdom no matter how weak or insignificant you may feel.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

From Holiness to Harvest 7/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

On the final day of week 1, I wanted to align our focus once again upon the things on God’s heart.  God’s heart is for all of His children to become one with Him.  Because of this, there are two areas of focus I want to highlight today. 

1. Holiness – Please read 2 Corinthians 6:16 -18 for context.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

God yearns for us to live and walk in increasing holiness in body, soul, and spirit.  He requires continual advancement of purity of heart if we are to be allowed access into the secret places with Him.  Too many times, holiness and purity can seem to be some sort of stoic legalism that keeps us from doing all the “fun” stuff.  All of this supposed “fun” stuff creates barriers between us and a Holy God.  He cannot allow the filthiness of the world to enter the Holy of Holies for it would be consumed in His Holy Fire and us along with it. It is for this reason that Father God is continually calling us to holiness that we may truly come close to Him.  The more we are cleansed from the sin and death of the world, the closer we can come to our Holy Father.  Repenting, confessing, and continuing to walk in purity and holiness give intimate access into a holy relationship between The Holy Father and His sons and daughters.  His longing is to dwell continually with us.  He craves to walk with you and Father you as true sons and daughters. Sons and daughters are forever becoming like their Father.

2. Harvest – 

Matthew 9:36-38 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

The heart of The Father flowing through The Son caused him to see a lost humanity waiting to be gathered into His family.  What is the solution to this problem?  Pray for the laborers! God needs His representatives, His sons and daughters, to go and bring in The Great Harvest of souls.  God desires all of His children to become sons and daughters. 

Immediately after this in chapter 10, Jesus sends out the disciples to do exactly what He had been doing and to bring in The Harvest.  When sons and daughters draw close to The Father, they will receive His heart of compassion for the lost.  My former youth pastor calls them pre-Christians, because they have not yet come to know Jesus, but they will in Jesus’ name!!!

Read Isaiah 6:1-6 for context

Isaiah 6:7-8 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

One final example that connects holiness and harvest together comes in the call of Isaiah.  Isaiah actively places himself in a position to receive from God.  He sees The Holiness of God and is immediately driven to repentance for himself and his people.  God is faithful to cleanse him completely.  After that, he accesses a secret conversation taking place in the heavenlies.  Having received a new heart, his desire is to immediately go for God without any information or limitation.  Our desire should be no different.  When we are touched, cleansed, and restored; our heart will be for others to receive the same no matter what kind of effort it may take from us.

Jesus, I pray that You will help me to become truly like You. I want to be free of all the filth of the world that I might have intimate access to the secret place with You.  Draw me closer than ever before even as I confess and repent of everything that has taken me far from You.  

Father, transform me to have Your heart for all Your lost and wayward children.  Use me as a laborer in The Great Harvest that all the multitudes of pre-Christians may become part of Your family because of my love and obedience to You.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to examine your life and reveal anything out of line with His Holiness.
  • Confess this and ask to be cleansed and purified by Jesus’ blood
  • Ask for The Father’s Heart of compassion for souls
  • Obey all that God asks you to say or do

Be blessed with the ability to walk in holiness and access the secret places of The Kingdom!  Be blessed to truly receive the heart of The Father and live a lifestyle laboring in The Great Harvest of souls!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s It Worth To You

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerate and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”  

Today, I will choose to be thankful and bless The Lord no matter how my body may feel.  Right now, if you have given up food, it is normal for your body to go through some of the same symptoms of withdrawal.  Too much salt, sugar, and caffeine in our daily lives will cause headaches, nausea, achy limbs, a general feeling of weakness… as these are removed, and the body rids itself of toxins.  The good news is that these fleshly oppositions should pass today or tomorrow completely. If you have decided to participate in this fast, the only question now is – 

  What’s it worth to you?  

 In our daily lives, we rarely have to give up anything of true value.  However, when we do, we must calculate if it is truly worth it.  There is a great difference between when you look into your purse or wallet and decide what you will pay for a shirt, a book, or a meal; and when you must consider the price you would pay for an education, a car, or a house.  

An object is only worth as much as we are willing to give for it.  Careful thought is put into how much a man will pay for a ring because you cannot put a price on the one that you really love. As we fast and go through the daily troubles and temptations (i.e. your boss buying your favorite lunch for everyone the first day of the fast) let us look to Jesus and consider how much He is worth to us. 

Maybe this is where you find yourself today: 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Troubles, persecutions, and the death of the enemy may come upon us in many different ways, but even as our flesh is delivered to death it is a necessary sacrifice to manifest the life of Jesus in our flesh!  May the life of Jesus shine out of you today and bring glory to The Father!

Here is something else to think about. In the middle of a discourse on denying your flesh, Jesus asks these two questions in Mark 8:36-37: For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

What is a soul truly worth?  Jesus bled, suffered, and died that your soul might be completely set free.  That is how much your soul is worth to Him. How much is Jesus truly worth to You? How much do you value the lost souls around you?

Jesus, I am willing to do whatever it takes and give up whatever it costs that you may be glorified and that lost souls may come into Your Kingdom!!! Help me to truly value You not just in my thoughts and words but in my daily actions of obedience!

Practical – 

• Read Mark 8:34-38 and contemplate the value of a soul.

• Make sure you have included a list of lost or backslidden people in your daily prayer time.

• Listen and obey when Holy Spirit brings up specific things to do for these individuals.

Be blessed to know the true value of your soul and the souls of those around you as you celebrate The Word to accelerate The Kingdom!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Jesus The Bridegroom 40/40

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!

You have made it! Today is the last day of The 40! Whatever else has taken place over the duration, we have set our hearts to seek The Lord, and together we have reached the finish line.  Even though The 40 will be completed tomorrow, I pray that we have all gained something that will stay with us throughout the rest of our lives.  

May the hunger and humility of seeking Jesus first and coming to Him for everything we need only increase as we are propelled into new levels with Him!  Begin even now looking for the change, the increase, the revelation, and recognize that it comes straight from The throne because of His faithfulness as The Rewarder.

The last few days, we have been talking about feasting, celebration, and obedience.  We must always have a right heart no matter what we are doing so that only God will get the glory.  Today, I want to look at some of the words of Jesus that not only give us hope for today, but help look to the future as well.

Matthew 9:14-15 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 

Contained in these words of Jesus are some very important things we need to see.  We, as disciples of Jesus, are called “friends of the bridegroom”.  We are Jesus’ friends if we are his disciples.  It is always important to realize that we move from being servants and slaves to friends and heirs.  We will take joy in what Jesus takes joy in.  Whatever He sets His heart on will be on ours as well.  We should be completely full of joy in the presence of Jesus. As we seek Him, we come into a place of celebration even though their may be depression, despair, and darkness all around.  

Jesus also lets us know in these passages once again that we are supposed to fast. Currently, we do not have Jesus with us in the body.  In our fasting, we are longing for Him, The Great Bridegroom to return just as He said He would.  Fasting prepares us to receive Jesus in the right way at His second coming.  Then Jesus goes on to say:

Matthew 9:16-17 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Again, we see that fasting prepares our hearts to receive the new things that Jesus wants to release to us in preparation for His return.  If we are not filled with Holy Spirit over and over again, we will become crusty, dried out, and useless for the Kingdom.  The more that we fast and seek Him, we will be prepared to receive The Great Bridegroom at His second coming.  

We also need to realize that through fasting and prayer, seeking Him, and being obedient we will hasten the return of Jesus.  

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

In this chapter, Jesus is asked when the end will come.  Jesus tells a lot of signs that will indicate the nearness of the end.  However, this passage tell what must take place before then end.  Once again, we return to The Father’s heart for souls.  The gospel must be preached in every nation or tongue and then Jesus The Bridegroom will return.  Fasting, praying, seeking The Father and being obedient will give us His heart for those who do not know Him. By His Spirit, we are enabled and empowered to be His witness everywhere that we go, across oceans and across the street.

My encouragement for today is not to stop seeking The Lord and to ever remain obedient to Him even after The 40 ends.  We are friends and therefore will desire to show our love in practical ways even beyond our intitial commitment.  If we truly desire Jesus The Bridegroom to return in all of His glory, we will seek Him, gain His heart, and be an obedient witness to share Him anywhere and everywhere that He may take us. 

Jesus, I desire to see you returning in all of Your glory! I want to walk on this earth as your friend ever working to prepare the way for Your second coming. Do a work in my heart and my life that I will never stop seeking to know you and help others to know you and well. Help me to prepare my heart and this land for your return. I love you and know that You are worth so much more than I could ever give.  So, once again, I give you my heart and life to do with as You will!

Practical –

  • Ask for revelation of Jesus as your friend and bridegroom
  • Seek Him for His heart
  • Live in obedience to all that He asks if you

Be blessed today with the ability to truly be propelled into the next level.  May your heart and life come more into line with Jesus, and may you give Him all that He deserves, today, tomorrow, and forever!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Fasting & Feasting 38/40

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

As we are on the homestretch to finish the 40, I want to remind us that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do great things in our lives because of our faithfulness to walk out obedience.  God looks on the smallest of acts of obedience and rewards mightily as we set our hearts to glorify Him. Let’s continue all the way to the end because He is worth it and we love Him!

Most of The 40, we have discussed the benefits and blessings of fasting.  Amazing things come from presenting our bodies as loving and living sacrifices to be used by God.  However, yesterday we began to talk about glorifying God in our feasting as well as our fasting.  People that hear me talk about fasting might think that I do not like to eat.  They would be completely wrong.  However, I have found the value in fasting to the glory of God as well as eating to the glory of God.  As we prepare our hearts to return to our normal lifestyle, let’s focus on glorifying God in every area of our lives.  

Today, I let’s return to the prophet Zechariah.  He comes upon the scene at a time in Israel’s history after they have been released from captivity. The people are in their own land finally and cannot seem to continue on rebuilding the city because of the opposition.  Complacency and lethargy set in and they go about their normal way of life not really doing anything spectacular or impressive.  Even in the midst of their indifference, they continue the religious fasting that has been set up for them to carry out.  

Let’s look at the words of Zechariah to the people:

Zechariah 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace…

The people of Israel have four set times during the year that they are fasting and setting apart to The Lord.  However, the temple has not been rebuilt and all of their daily life is languishing cause God is not glorified in their daily routine.  The people are admonished to love truth and peace and be joyful and glad even during the feasts.  As they are obedient, even in their daily feasting and eating, a great reward wil be given them.  

Let’s read more:

Zechariah 8:21-23 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’ 

The inhabitants of peoples, cities, and nations will be drawn to Israel as they continually pray and seek The Lord.  Our daily life is not devoid of divine interaction.  Every moment of our lives should be submitted in obedience to The God of the universe.  As we lay our lives down before Him, He will draw all men to Himself.  

The other thing that is important in this passage is that people are coming from all around because God is with His people.  Wherever we happen to be, grocery store, gas station, school, workplace, or somewhere else, people should realize that God is with us.  We carry the very Spirit and presence of an almighty God inside us as we are submitted in obedience to Him.  He should ever be radiating His glory from us and effecting the atmosphere around us.  

As we talk about the glory of God continuously emanating from our being, Here is a final caution from Psalm 78:

Psalm 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.

The day to day lives of the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt were rebellion and disobedience.  Because they did not live in obedience and humility, they actually limited the God of the universe from doing what He wanted to do through them.  We must continually seek to remove anything our of our lives that would get in the way of Him moving in us and through us.  We must seek to never limit God in what He wants to do no matter whether we are fasting or feasting!

My encouragement for us today is to continually seek The Lord and His way.  As He reveals a himself to us, may we walk in humility and obedience that He may move how He wants to move, big or small. If it is our heart to seek Him, love Him, and glorify His name at all times, God will be glorified in our fasting as well as our feasting as well as all the time in between.

Jesus, here I am! I desire to be used mightily by You. May every area of my life be completely surrendered to You!  I love You and desire for You to be glorified continually through my life.  Help me to always lift You up and allow You to have free reign to do whatever You want to do in and through my life. 

Practical –

  • Set your heart to seek The Lord
  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you
  • Walk in continual obedience 
  • Invite Him to speak and move in your daily routine as well as your specialized time with Him

Be blessed to experience and release the power of The Resurrected Lord in your daily life. May you never limit him because of disobedience but release a him in all of His fullness to work through you.  As you allow God to move in greater ways during your daily routine, may this propel you into the next level with Him.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Heart to Obey 37/40

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

With only 5 days left of the fast, I am sure I am not the only one counting down until the end.  As much as I have loved going through The 40 together, I am ready to celebrate and enjoy good things once again, as I am sure we all are.  In the final days of this fast, there will be a shifting from talking about the importance of giving God glory in fasting, humility and repentance to glorifying Him in feasting, celebration, and obedience.

Today, I want to look at a place in scripture where the people were fasting out of a wrong heart but expecting good results. They were also feasting our of a wrong heart.  Everything was all about how it made themselves feel and not what God wanted.  Let’s examine the book of Zechariah:

Zechariah 7:2-3 when the people sent Sherezer… to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?” 

The people in captivity are away from their homeland, but are still trying to cling to their heritage, history, and traditions. They sent this man to the priests to ask if they should continue their ritual of fasting as they always had.  This is the response they get from God:

Vs. 5-7 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months  during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets… ?’ 

God is not impressed with their act of fasting, because they are doing it for their own benefit. God is not getting the glory.  Even in their eating and drinking that God could be receiving some sort of thanksgiving, praise, or honor, it is all about themselves instead of Him.  Whether you are fasting or feasting, obedience to The Lord is what allows you to worship and glorify Him!  If your heart is right, you will be able to praise The Lord whether you are fasting or feasting.

Vs 8-10 ” Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.’ 

The practical things God reveals to Zechariah for the people to do are not difficult, but neither are they easy for a people used to pleasing their own selves.  God must be the center, the main goal, and aim of our hearts if we are to truly worship Him in every area of our lives.  

Vs. 11-12 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.

The revelation of The Lord was streaming forth from the mouth of the prophet, but they would not obey, turned away, and would not even hear what God was calling out of them.  Selfish people with selfish hearts were unwilling to change and come into line with The God of grace and mercy.  This made their heart hard, and they had to suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

The 40 has been all about the softening of our hearts and the opening of our ears to hear. This becomes easier to do as we have a special time set apart to seek Him.  However, as we near the end of the fast, and will soon return to our normal way of life, what is to keep us from hardening our hearts and continuing to walk in our own ways?

Obedience! Obedience is key to daily walking in worship.  God is continually speaking forth His revelation, and we will continue to hear as we obey what we have been given. When we are disobedient to the Word of The Lord, our hearts will become hard.  The more we disobey, the more we will walk in our own way. God longs to pour out His mighty blessings upon us. He always has the best for us, but this is dependent upon our obedience to come into line with Him.  

My encouragement for us today is to seek The Lord for a new heart to walk in continuous obedience.  We will not always want to obey.  We will not always feel like obeying. In these times, we must truly believe that Jesus is worth our complete and total obedience. A heart of obedience will always lead us to worship and glorify our God and Father of grace, mercy, and love no matter what may be going on in us or around us.

Jesus, right now, when my heart is more receptive to you than ever, I want to be completely obedient to You, Your plans, and Your purposes.  I want to follow You and walk in Your way no matter what may be taking place in my life.  Whether it is something I want to hear or do, I want to totally obey all that You speak that You may receive all the praise, glory, and honor possible from my life. 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to give you a willing and obedient heart
  • Glorify Him in your obedience today
  • Thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do

Be be blessed today with the ability and willingness to walk in obedience to all God is revealing. May you be released and propelled into the next level with Him as you obey to the best of your ability!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!