Tag Archives: mean

Possess The Land (Live) 35/40

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 end is near! We are close to the completion of our commitment. Do not falter or waver from what God has spoken for you to do. Paul encourages us to run the race to win. What are we gaining? What is our prize? Jesus is our Great Reward! Let’s never forget that. 

We have been encouraged to be a witness in four increasing steps. We must:

  1. Know God, more and more each day.
  2. Ask and Pray for Him to give us His heart and to be a witness.
  3. Speak and Share the wonderful works of God and our daily testimony of His work.
  4. Act in Obedience with everything we are given to do.

Today we will discuss the last step:

    5. Live a life in accordance to The Word.

Let’s unpack this a little more. Today, more than ever, we have seen and know people who are much less than authentic.  The daily scams and identity thefts have bred a general distrust of our fellow man.  In one sense, when we meet someone new, we are trying to prove that we are who we say we are instead of taking each other at our word.  At one time, you could shake hands and make a deal on that alone.  We trusted each other.  The vows and convenant that took place at a marriage ceremony would never be broken “until death do we part“.

Because our society as a whole has become untrustworthy, everyone is looking for hypocrites and holes in your story before you ever meet them.  Because people want the Truth so badly, they try to prove the authenticity of everything they come into contact with.  When we come and begin to tell someone about the Way, Truth, and Life, they will be looking at us and our lives as a litmus test of what we are saying. If we are not walking in The Word and living a life of obedience, what makes us any different than the telemarketer that calls them 10 times a day?

Let’s move to the Word to see what God has to say about this after Moses has died, Joshua has taken over as leader to bring Israel into The Promised Land. God has promised to be with them and have given them the land. However, they have to partner with Him, acting in obedience, and go in and take the land, little by little.  After many years of battle and taking the land, the people grow weary and begin to slack off in taking the land from their enemies. Joshua has this to say to them:

Joshua 18:3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? 

This should be a stiff rebuke to us as we examine what it means to be a witness. As we have seen, God says “Ask of Me and I will give you the nations…” (Psalm 2:8).  As we have asked, God has faithfully given, but we must live a life of continually partnering with Him to receive what He has given us.  If you look at the word possess in the original Hebrew this is what it means:

to own, to seize and take control of, have complete power over and be manifested through their speech and actions, to make the owner, to enter in and control firmly,

We must not just go into the harvest, but we must possess the souls and nations that God has given us.  Holy Spirit does the work, but we must do our part in continually being obedient to Him and His word.  As this happens, we will be true, authentic witness for The Kingdom!

Do you possess all that God intended and has given???

Jesus says something similar regarding this subject:

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Every single one of us should be desiring to come after Jesus in doing what He did while He was on the earth, and greater! Jesus says, we must deny ourselves, our own sinful, selfish desires that would cause us to walk in the ways of the world. We must take up our cross, our connection to Jesus, what has brought us into unbroken fellowship with Him. We must do this every single day without fail.  Then, we must follow Him!  This is where we live and walk out our faith practically with Him every day. 

God has given you influence, responsibility, authority! What are you doing with it? 

Are you neglecting it fully or in part?

My encouragement for us today is to live out The Truth in our daily lives. We must follow Jesus and do all He is calling us to do in daily life. We must remain humble and repentant as Holy Spirit reveals issues that need to be dealt with. We must be obedient in doing all He calls us to do. We must live our lives every day coming more into line with the revelation of Truth we have been given.  This is who we are; we are his true, authentic witnesses. He has given us a harvest of souls and nation to possess. May we partner with Him in a real way by becoming increasingly obedient every single day.

Jesus, I desire to truly follow in Your footsteps. Help me to deny the fleshly desires within me to please myself. I want to take up The Truth of the good news You have given and walk in obedience to what you are saying. I want to do this every single day even as you have given me a great Promised harvest to go in and possess. Help me to live out the gospel even as I speak it forth and act in obedience to what you are revealing!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you to know Him deeper than ever before
  • Pray that you receive the Father’s heart of compassion for souls and nations
  • Speak out the wonderful works of God, the testimony you have been given
  • Act in obedience to do everything God has called you to
  • Live a life of continual obedience, renewal, and following in Jesus’ footsteps

Be blessed today with the ability to live faithfully in following Jesus in all He said and did! May you fully possess the land God has given you as you are propelled to the next level!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Increase Our Faith (Act) 34/40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Heart, Mouth & Feet (Speak) 33/40

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

It’s day 33 and we are even more free! As we close in on the final week, let’s lift up and glorify our Strength and Sustainer, Jesus. He has made a way for us to continue to love and worship Him in our very bodies.  It is so amazing that He would give us everything we need to glorify Him in a special way, and even in doing this, we are being propelled into new levels with Him. Jesus, You are worthy, and we love You!

We started a few days ago examining the key steps to becoming God’s Witness on earth. The first step is to Know and Grow.  We come close in the secret place and abide in Him. In doing this, we gain The Father’s heart. As we gain God’s desires, we will move to step two.  We ask for the nations as our inheritance and pray for the souls of our lost loved ones, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and all the people around us. God is not willing that any should perish… (2 Peter 3:9).

Now, we will move to our discussion of step three: speak!  All the time spent in the secret place knowing and growing in God is important.  As this leads us to pray and asking for the lost ones around us to come to Him, this is agreeing with His heart and desires. Next, we must speak out the wonderful works of God. In the upper room in Acts 2 they were praying, humbling themselves, and seeking The Lord. They are asking for Holy Spirit to come upon them that they may be witnesses. Finally, when Holy Spirit comes He causes them to speak out the wonderful works of God. This is what draws others, over 3000 people into the Kingdom. Had Peter never opened his mouth, no one would have known what was going on.  

Let’s move to a passage we know well. This is one of the scriptures on the Romans road to salvation, but let’s investigate and discern a deeper meaning.  

Romans 10:9-10 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…

Yes, Paul is speaking to the Romans how they can be “saved” but this moves past our first act of coming into the Kingdom into the everyday task of “working out our salvation with fear and trembling“. The Greek word translated save in this verse actually implies continuous salvation, healing, and deliverance. In this sense, each one of us should be getting a little bit more “saved” every day.  

How does this happen?

We must move past believing in our hearts to confession, to speaking it out of our mouths. Words have power to bring us to salvation, healing, and deliverance. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). Paul moves from salvation for self by speaking it out into what we are talking about today.

V. 14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

News flashYou have been sent!  Jesus Himself has sent you. “Go therefore…” Jesus is sending you in The Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).  You are an apostle in the literal meaning of the Greek. You are a sent one. What are you sent to do?  You are sent to bring good news of peace, joy, and life in The Kingdom. When you begin speaking the wonderful works of God from your mouth, salvation will come forth all around you. You are preaching or declaring the testimony of Who God is and what He has done for you. This speaking and preaching causes others to hear, and because of this, people can hear, believe and call on Jesus.  

My encouragement for us today is to speak out the wonderful works of God. He has been doing amazing things in all of our lives especially as we have pressed in to Him during The 40. However, these things cannot touch, change, or transform anyone if we do not open our mouths and tell others what has been happening or a Who Jesus is.  It should be as natural as speaking about any other interest in our lives.  In fact, it should be more natural to talk about the one who has supernaturally saved, transformed, and made us new than football or shopping or anything other fading thing of this world.  It is time to speak out the wonderful works of God that we have come to know more and more as we know Him more and are gaining His heart in new ways!

Jesus, help me to know and grow in You. Help me to ask and pray for those around me who do not know You. Give me the joy, peace, and boldness to speak out who You are.  I love you and desire everyone around to experience the increasing freedom, salvation, and healing that I have gained only from knowing You. I want to continually speak forth the amazing life you have placed in me! I have been sent to carry Your good news! May I proclaim it with power for Your glory!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to draw you deep
  • Ask for the lost around you and to be God’s witness
  • Speak the wonderful works of God
  • Declare His goodness and good news
  • Ask for greater boldness to speak, declare and do what He has sent you to do

Be blessed today with a BIG mouth to declare the BIG blessings of a BIG God who has done BIG things in your life! May you know Him and His heart and begin to declare the good news and great things He has done like you never have before as you are propelled into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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!!!

Increase Expectation 25/40

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 at day 25!  It is hard to imagine before The 40 that we could be so far in and a little over two weeks from completing the commitment God has placed in our hearts.  The spiritual benefits that come from the daily overcoming of obstacles to remain faithful in worship to The King of The Universe will one day astound us all.  Never give in to the fleshly desires now in exchange for the eternal reward that is being built up for you and everyone around you.  Let’s press on and press in together.

By this time, the weight of the impossible has probably tried to crush you or in the very least discourage you.  Several people have indicated to me this week that they were worried about me physically.  One even said that I was crazy and out of my mind.  However, as long as we are partnered with Jesus and what He has for us, I would rather be walking in the mind of Christ than my own mind anyway.  

It should not be a surprise to any of us that trusted spiritual and especially worldly influences around us do not understand the depth of what is taking place.  The God of great grace and mercy has called us out, or we have submitted to Him out of worship, in order for the impossible to take place.  When God moves, it is not understood completely by the most spiritual people we could ever think of.  We desire the perfect grace and mercy of God to be made manifest in us, our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, regions, and nations.  As much as we think we may understand Him and His ways, we do not.

We can see clearly that hunger and expectation has the ability to change the situations around us.  The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) only wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment.  She did what was illegal and could have gotten her stoned to death by pushing,maybe even crawling, through a crowd of people and just to put her “unclean” hands on Jesus.  It was her hunger and expectation that drove her to do what others would not.  This was the faith that healed and restored her.  This is where we are today. We are all believing for the “impossible” things to happen for the glory of God!

But what if these things do not happen during or after The 40? 

What if we go through The 40 and do not see anything change? 

What if our hunger and expectation are seemingly not rewarded?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, this will align us on the same level as one “after God’s own heart”, David.  David was hand picked by the Lord and anointed to be king long before it actually takes place. David has to live a life of character and actually doing the job of the king, like challenging Goliath, before he ever saw the promotion that God had anointed him for.  Eventually, he became king and did great for a while.

However, it seems David had a weakness for women.  Because David decided to give in to this weakness just one time, it led him to deception, adultery, murder, and pain.  The prophet Nathan reveals that God has seen it all and finally David repents.  What is the judgment for all of this sin? David’s recently born son would die. This is where we pick up in the scripture reading for today:

2 Samuel 12:15-16 And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.

Even though David knew he deserved the judgment and punishment that God had said, he increases his expectation that God’s great mercy and grace is greater than his sin.  David comes in humility, prayer, and fasting and cries out to God for mercy for his baby.  He does this for 7 days until the baby dies.  His servants do not even want to tell him that his baby has died because they are unsure what he will do when he finds out the worst has happened.  David’s hopes, desires, and expectations for the life of his baby because of the mercy of God are about to be crushed.  What will his response be?  

I do not know what the physicians were telling him and Bathsheba, but God had told him the baby would die.  That seems to be a very definite thing to me.  Surely, trusted and godly people came in after a few days of prayer and fasting and felt the need to prepare him for the worst.  There was no reason for him to expect that God would do anything different than He Himself had said.  However, David increased expectation in The God of grace and mercy. Throwing himself at the feet of The Great Shepherd and walking through the valley of the shadow of death, David is rewarded with seemingly nothing.  Here is David’s response when he finds out this baby is dead:

Vs. 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 

He cleans himself up, puts on his best worship attire, and goes to The house of The Lord and worships.  Great expectations unmet did not crush David and cause him to turn away, but causes him to be able to praise through the pain of unmet expectation.  This does not make sense to anyone and they ask him about it.

Vs. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

His expectations and prayers were unmet, and he chose to worship and adore God anyway because he knew His God. The Great God of Mercy and Grace was still the same whether David got what he desired or not.  

Vs. 22-23 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David knew the value in hunger and increasing expectation to work mighty things in the heavenly realm.  It had not happened the way he wanted.  However, because of a right heart of hunger and expectation to pray the greatest prayer he could think of, he was prepared to praise even through the pain.  Immediately after this, Solomon is born and God names him Jedidiah which means beloved of the Lord. David’s hunger and expectation caused a blessing to take place that was not the way David prayed or wanted, but came about at a different time and different way. 

This is the kind of hunger, expectation, and faith that I want!

No matter the difficulties, trials, and impossibilities that we bring to the Lord during this time, may we all increase our hunger and expectation to see the impossible made manifest into reality. Even if these things do not take place how we want or think they should, we must pray for the best and cry out to God. Today, increase your hunger and expectation and may this increase your worship through both met and unmet expectations.

Jesus, increase my hunger and expectation today. I want to have faith for the impossible miracles to take place no matter what I see or hear.  Help me to trust You to bring about the greatest good as my expectations are increased, and I cry out to You for the greatest good. Help me to never be discouraged or back down from believing the best no matter what I may see with my eyes or hear with my ears.  

Practical –

  • Take a good look at what you are praying for.
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you increase expectation and hunger to believe in the greatest possible good
  • Ask for strength, grace, and mercy for the faith to continually believe for the impossible
  • Ask for worship and fresh faith to replace discouragement or unbelief that tries to come in

Be blessed with an exponential increase of expectation and hunger to continuously believe for what seems impossible to man. May all discouragement and unbelief be replaced with worship and even more increased expectation because of new revelations of The Great God of Mercy and Grace in your life..

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Direction & Protection 24/40

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

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Advance 22/40

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

Well done!  We are now past the halfway mark, past Daniel’s precedent of 21 days, and beginning week 4 of The 40.  Do not waver! Do not falter! Press into Jesus, and be propelled into the next level with Him!!

This morning, I felt The Lord highlight one word, “Advance“.  This word means a lot to me for different reasons, but one of the reasons is this is an official military term, in my mind at least.  As we move forward into uncharted territory, God is leading and guiding.  He has gone before us to direct us in the right way we should go (John 10:4). Yesterday, the focus was on Touching The Kingdom, and the seeking of direction and revelation through humility, hunger, repentance, prayer, and fasting.  This should be our way of life until we receive our orders.   Then, we must “Advance” into all God has for us.  

Even understanding a proper definition of advance gives us a clue into what God is speaking to us today. 

Advance: 

  • Move forward in a purposeful way (Help us all to move forward with Your plans and in Your purposes Lord!)
  • Accelerate growth or progress of (We desire to progress and grow in You, Lord)
  • Raise to a higher rank (Thank you for raising us up to higher ranks in The Kingdom as we faithfully carry out our assignments at the level we are now.)
  • To lift up (Lift us up into heavenly realms with You)
  • Bring forward in time (Bring us all forward in time that we may be mature believers on mission with You!)
  • My personal definition would be the effective assisting in hastening a process or bringing about a desired end.  May we all be advanced in our own lives, and be used to advance The Kingdom of God today!

    In the Word, we can see this happening throughout the entire Bible, but we will focus on what is taking place in Acts 13.  The setting of this passage is the rapid growth of the church.  If you remember, they were first called Christians at Antioch, literally meaning “little Christ”.  The gospel is being proclaimed, and persecution has taken the life of James the apostle.  This was the first of the apostles to be martyred.  Peter was set to be killed as well, but through constant prayer, God miraculously delivers Him.  This is where we pick up in our reading.  

    The church is at a pivotal point in history. They must come to a decision if the persecution and death is too much and they should calm down in what they are doing, or if they should continue to advance The Kingdom in spite of all this.  

    Acts 13:1-2 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 

    The response of the early church to the persecution and death of James and near martyrdom of Peter is to gather together and minister to The Lord. 

    How was this done? In Acts 2:42, 47 and 6:4 we find some clues: continue steadfastly in apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer, praising God, and ministry of The Word.  In this passage we see, they also fasted.  Fellowship, worship, prayer, and fasting are literally ministry to The Lord. As they ministered to The Lord, Holy Spirit revealed what they were to do next.  

    It is interesting, they did not have a vision-casting meeting. They did not form a committee to talk about business. They did not try to figure out the most logical business model to follow. They gathered the leaders to worship, prayer, and fasting.  It is a sad fact that in many churches today, call a church business meeting and everyone shows up, but call a church prayer meeting more crickets show up than people.  However, if you call a prayer meeting without food and call a people to fast, this is like what happened in the early church. Only hungry people allowed.  This is where Holy Spirit brought revelation of what was to happen next.  

    When Holy Spirit released this revelation, they did not end the meeting and say lets get to work. Why? Because this was not the point of the meeting.  They were there to worship God with everything they had to give.  As a result, when they received revelation this is what they did:

    Vs. 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

    They continued in worship, prayer, and thanksgiving. What Holy Spirit revealed in a time of worship, prayer, and fasting was commissioned and sent out by worship, prayer, and fasting.  The focus was ministering to God and the commissioning and sending out of Barnabas and Saul for the advancement of The Kingdom was part of this ministering to God.  No man or even church was glorified in the sending out of these men. 

    Verse 4 begins with “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…”  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a work of Holy Spirit for the advance of The Kingdom.  This is before Saul had prove himself to the church.  He is still in the care of Barnabas and there is probably still those who do not fully trust him.  That did not matter when Holy Spirit had set him apart to send him out. In the very next chapter Saul is violently persecuted and stoned. The strength knowing Holy Spirit had called him and sent him out enabled him to return to the very cities that this took place.  

    My encouragement for us today is that as we gather together daily to worship, pray, and fast, whether together in body or spirit, Holy Spirit will bring wisdom, understanding, and revelation that only comes from Him.  As He does, may we all be strengthened with might to advance The Kingdom and walk in what He has called us to.  Nothing can hold you back from advancing to the next level with Him if you are living and walking as His partner.

    Practical –

    • Ask for revelation of how you can minister to God today
    • As you minister to Him, seek wisdom, revelation, and understanding that only comes from Him
    • As He reveals, ask for the strength and ability to obey
    • Continue in Worship and ministry to Him
    • Obey all He directs you to do

    Be blessed with the ability to truly advance The Kingdom in partnership with Holy Spirit. May you receive wisdom, understanding, revelation and might as you minister to Holy Spirit.  May this propel you to the next level with Him!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!