Tag Archives: Matthew

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!!!

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!!!

Step Up & Step Out 30/40

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

Here we are on day 30 of The 40! Whether things have gone great for you or not God is moving. Bad things have happened to us during this time. Our car, computer, and finances are down… Praise The Lord! Great things have happened through The 40, doors are opening to the nations, increase in evangelistic opportunities, revelation of actions we took a year ago beginning to bear fruit, increased fire and revival being released and community being built… Praise the Lord!!! God is doing much more than we can see or understand because we are committed to seeking Him! 

God spoke to me something simple this morning as I was praying over my list, “Step Up and Step Out“.  We have been focused on drawing into the secret place and committing ourselves completely to God.  We have been drawing near to receive revelation, rightly respond in repentance and worship, and walk in a constant state of revival. Now, it is time for us to step up to the next level and step out of the secret place. As we step out of the secret place, we must carry His presence with us out into the world with the power and grace that Holy Spirit brings.  

God has had me teaching through Acts during Sunday School, and he reminded me of some of the revelation that needs to be released to our community.  In the first eight verses of Acts 1, Jesus is with his disciples speaking his last words to them before he leaves.  This passage also takes place concurrent with Matthew 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24.  While we will be discussing Acts 1, I encourage you to read Jesus words in each of these chapters and how they are all connected.  Jesus, tells his disciples to go and wait for the promise in Jerusalem that they may be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). This same thought continues here in Acts 1:

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and  you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the  end of the earth.”

We can see here that this power comes from, with, and through Holy Spirit.  This power comes as we wait and seek him.  However, this power comes for a purpose.  The power of Holy Spirit that comes as we wait and seek Him is the power to be a witness.  If you study out this word “witness“in Greek, it is where we get the English word martyr.  The Holy Spirit revival power that we have been pressing in to receive is the power to be a martyr.  Now, when we say martyr we are literally talking about someone who has died for the gospel.  However, the original meaning of witness is one who believes, speaks, and lives with the genuine, strength, faith, and conviction that what they have seen and know is true and will stand by it even unto death.  This is next level stuff.  This is the step up that we are seeking! This is where the rubber meets the road!

Some may not have realized that as we press deeper into knowing Jesus and walking with Him, we are gaining His heart and being empowered to walk as martyr-level witnesses.  This is the stepping up and stepping out. Some may have for years sought to know God, in the secret place, in the quiet place, and grown holy and in knowing The Father’s heart.  Feel free to review Holiness Leads to Harvest from day 7.  The secret place of knowing God’s heart will always lead to the next step up of stepping out and sharing who He is!

Some of you may not know me personally, but I have always been an introvert that in the past was bound up by fear and insecurity. As God has led me through years of coming to know Him and getting free of the baggage and bondage, that we all carry, and coming to know Him more and more in the secret place, He is releasing a gift of evangelism to me. I do not understand it, and honestly am extremely uncomfortable in everything He is continuing to ask me to do and walk in. However, I am no longer saying I am an unwilling evangelist, because it is my delight to do His will.  In this process, especially more recently, God is continuing to develop in me His heart for souls. He is constantly reminding me that the fields are ripe for the harvest.  Both the field outside our door and around the world are ready to receive the wonderful works of God from Holy Spirit power-filled martyr-level witnesses.

My encouragement for us today is to step up and step out. The extended times we have spent in seeking The Lord through humility, repentance, confession, fasting, and prayer have empowered us by Holy Spirit to step up into the next level with Him. Holy Spirit is equipping us to daily step out of the secret place and carry the revelation of truth we have received to the ones who do not even know what they need.  Our time seeking The Father’s heart is transforming us into martyr-level witnesses. May we all walk in Holy Spirit power and declare the wonderful works of God in our words and actions everywhere we go.

Jesus, help me to truly come to know you and have your heart for harvest.  Help me to fully receive Your power to be a mighty witness of who You are no matter where You may send me. I desire to have Your heart, speak Your words, and be your witness everywhere that I go today, tomorrow, and forever!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal God’s heart in the secret place
  • Ask for power to be a Witness
  • Walk in obedience into the harvest today 

Be blessed with the peace and power from Holy Spirit today. May you receive a heart for the harvest and the boldness to walk in the power you have received as you are propelled into the next level with The Lord!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Treasuring The Word 13/40

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 near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life.  Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!”  I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.

Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:

Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. 

Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands.  Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.

As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization.  Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure.  It is what we think about.  It is what we talk about.  It is what we build our gatherings around.  “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“,  and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.

Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it.  You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time.  It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered.  When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them.  If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.

In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy.  What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first?  Food!  Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:

Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God.  Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit.  However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way.  Your value has to be on what really matters.

As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God.  When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives.  If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast.  This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.

Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job.  In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

Everything that God has to say is vitally important.  Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive.  In his situation, he did not need food.  Food could not help him out of his grief and loss.  It could do nothing for Him.  However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God.  Life comes from Him!  Hope comes from Him!  Strength comes from Him!  As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word.  When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.

Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life.  Open my ears to hear You.  Open my heart to obey You.  I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.

Practical – 

  • Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
  • Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
  • Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word

Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence!  May this propel you to the next level in Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Accomplish The “Impossible” 9/40

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!

Most of us have started The 40 with high expectations, however, now the real work begins.  The day to day living it out can be hard since we must constantly seek to overrule our flesh and give ourselves to the Lord.

Now is the time to encourage ourselves in The Lord the benefits of keeping The 40 and continuing to walk with Holy Spirit in spite of what our bodies might be telling us.

Prayer and fasting gives us the power to accomplish the “impossible”.  Of course, we know that “nothing shall be impossible with God”, yet we still live our lives with “impossible” situations which do not seem to respond to us.

Jesus’ disciples had this same problem while He was on the mount being transfigured.  A man whose son is assaulted by demons asks for their help.  Though they try, they can do nothing about it.  When Jesus returns, He easily casts out the demons and heals the boy.  He does not seem to be impressed with His disciples’ efforts either.  The disciples come to Him and ask why they could not do the same.  This is His response:

Matthew 17:20 “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

We do not know what was going on in the disciples’ minds, but Jesus did not ever shy away from directly addressing what people said in their hearts.  I believe the disciples did not see a response and had blamed it on not having enough faith.  Jesus directly confronts this with The Kingdom Truth that the smallest amount of faith can do the mightiest things in His Kingdom.  They had let doubt creep in and this kept them from pressing in to see transformation take place.

Then, Jesus says something else interesting that some translations completely leave out.

Matthew 7:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

What kind is Jesus talking about? 

Some would say demons, but I think He is talking about the unbelief.  Unbelief is a pesky little problem that constantly assaults our media-driven culture.  If we cannot see or hear something happening, it is quite hard for us to believe.  We can never see the shifting in the heavens when our eyes are on worldly circumstances.

If unbelief keeps us back from doing mighty work in The Kingdom, we should be quick to follow Jesus’ cure for it, prayer and fasting.  This dynamite duo is able to demolish and disintegrate the demonic unbelief that has built up in our lives.  This is how we say, “God I trust You to take care of the unseen as I partner with You in the physical.  I need you to do the “impossible” work of overcoming these spiritual obstacles in me while I do the possible work, with Your help, of prayer and fasting.”

Jesus, help me to know that you have given me a measure of faith.  This faith has the power to overcome every seeming impossible thing in my life and those around me.  Help me to join with you in prayer and fasting that all unbelief within me will be destroyed and Your mountain-moving faith will be displayed for all to come and glorify You. 

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the things in your life and around you that you have labeled as impossible
  • Pray that every ounce of unbelief is removed from your life
  • Participate with Him in doing the impossible whatever He shows you to do

Be blessed with the power to remove all doubt and do the impossible as you walk with God in obedience and humility.  May this propel you into new levels in The Kingdom!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Holiness Leads to Harvest 7/40

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

On 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 things I will hone in on today.

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 both in body 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.

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 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

Vs 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 brings 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 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!!!

Propelled Into The Next Level

It has been a great to joy to sit back and watch how God has used Katie to take over most of the encouragement this year.  With what God is speaking now, I felt it necessary to share this encouragement that will help propel you to the next level in your relationship with God.

Are you in a place of weary waiting?  Have you stood on the promises of God and cried out for so long and nothing seems to happen?  Do you desire a change of circumstances? Are you desperate for doors to be opened? Are you hungry for new power to be released?

Do you desire to be propelled to the next level?!?!

Many may not receive this as a word of encouragement.  Most will ignore it and continue in the same old way of life. Some will accept it as truth, but few will take this word of encouragement and put it into practice and be powerfully propelled into new levels with the Lord.

The principle I am going to speak of was followed by every major player in both the Old and New Testament. Moses, David, Elisha, Peter, Paul, John and so many more all followed this principle and were propelled into new levels of power when they did.  It seems strange in knowing all this that anyone who truly follows Christ would be unwilling to participate in this practice.  It is never easy for any of us to deny our flesh and follow in the footsteps of Christ.  However, obedience will rocket us into the exponential increase that we all desire. 

For those who truly desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, let us hear what He has to say about this great power available for all who partake in it.

Matthew 6:16 “…when you fast…”  

What did He say?  Is that in red? Did Jesus actually say the “F” word?  Why didn’t He say IF you fast”? Isn’t fasting just an option for true extremists?

How many of you have been in church for years and never heard anything about fasting?  Obviously, this verse must be taken out of context or some obscure part that no one ever reads.  I am sorry to say that this is right in the middle of probably the most famous sermon of all time “The Sermon on the Mount”.  From this discourse we get, “The Beatitudes”, “The Lord’s Prayer”, “Love your enemies”, and many of the other more famous words of Jesus.

You can read the context for yourself in Matthew 6, but here is a quick refresher.

Matthew 6:3-4But when you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

“When you give” is a passage that probably comes up regularly during offering time in the church. Here, the Father rewards the giving that is done out of a right heart.  Nobody would deny these words of Jesus as being essential to growth in the Lord.

Matthew 6:6 “…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Here is another widely known passage that is followed by the Model Prayer.  Everyone would affirm that it is necessary to pray and learn how to pray more and better to proceed in your walk with God.  The Father who sees these prayers will reward you for the time spent praying and crying out to Him.

The passage from Matthew 6:16-18 continues in the same parallel repeating twice, “…when you fast…”. The thought is completed as verse 18 ends your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Surely Jesus would not put fasting on the same level as giving and praying in the essential steps to being propelled into the next level in The Kingdom.  Whenever I bring up this topic, people groan and look at me like some sort of alien. “I like food too much”, or “that is too hard,” or “you are crazy”, are some of the common responses that I have received just by bringing up one or two verses as I have mentioned above.  I encourage you to study fasting throughout the New and Old Testament and see the great men that walked it out and what they gained as a lifestyle of fasting with prayer out of a right heart.

img_6674.jpgIf nothing else, Jesus Himself left us the perfect example. After Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3, He was led by The Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This was the time of testing that would prove who Jesus really was.  What did Jesus do to prepare and continue to stand strong in the midst of the greatest onslaught of the enemy? At the beginning of Matthew 4, we see plainly that Jesus fasted forty days. He gave up the worldly way of gaining strength and power and took up the spiritual empowerment of fasting and prayer.  Because of this, He was ready for all the enemy had to throw at Him.

Later in Matthew 17:20-21, prayer and fasting come up again as a dynamite combination that allows the impossible to be accomplished through your life.  So many of us want a secret formula that will help us overcome the enemy, or the secret weapon that will destroy the enemies’ hold on our lives. Here it is:

I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

If you need more incentive here are just some of the benefits of fasting and praying with the right heart:

  1. Corporate Freedom (The Salvation of a City) Jonah 3:1-10

Here an entire city, over 120,000 are saved because of repentance, fasting and prayer

2.  The Healing of the Land2 Chronicles 7:13-14

If you study it out, the main outward expression of humbling yourself before God is fasting.

3. To Influence Government and Save a PeopleEsther 4:16-17

Esther, Mordecai, and the Jewish people fasted and prayed and God brought deliverance.

4. Personal Freedom and BreakthroughIsaiah 58

This is probably the best place to view many of the numerous blessings of fasting and prayer out of a right heart.

5. Empowerment of the AngelicDaniel 9:3-4, 20-21

6. Opening of the Eyes to Spiritual RealmDaniel 10:2-11, Acts 10:30

7. Gaining UnderstandingDaniel 9:3-10:12

There are many more benefits and blessings that can be found throughout Scripture if you care to study the topic further.

Before I end, I want to give a few simple definitions of fasting.

Lou Engle states “Fasting and prayer is designed to humble yourself, reveal your flesh, and purify your worship“.

David Hogan says “Fasting is a good way to get hungry“.

A personal definition that I have come up with is giving up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.  We do this because we love Jesus, and He is worth it!

I want to encourage you to begin cultivating a lifestyle of prayer and fasting into your Christian walk.  Every new level in my personal life has been marked by a new commitment to prayer, fasting, and spending time in The Word.

THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO INCREASE!!!

From Monday, August 26th – Friday, October 4th God has called me to consecrate a 40 day fast for several reasons not the least of which is Revival and souls for The Kingdom.  I encourage you to fast one, two, or all of the three major areas that we are controlled by:

  1. Food
  2. Media
  3. Sleep

Allow God to lead you into the next level of fasting that you may be propelled into the next level with Him.

A word of advice when fasting food more than three days, please study the right way not only to fast but also to break a fast. Often the world understands the health benefits of fasting better than Christians understand the spiritual benefits. Because of this, there are many websites that can aid in fasting and breaking extended fasts.

If you would like to carry on further study here are the three best books I have found on prayer and fasting;

  1. The Atomic Power with God thru Fasting and Prayer by Franklin Hall
  2. Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince
  3. The Jesus Fast by Lou Engle

May the Lord truly bless you as you prepare to be propelled into the next level with Him.  Always remember:

Hebrews 11:6 “…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

May you receive the fullness of The Great Rewarder!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!