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Advance 22/40

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

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

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

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

Advance: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Practical –

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

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

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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    The Memorial 20/40

    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, here we are at day 20, the halfway point.  At the beginning of the fast, it may have seemed impossible to fast The 40, but here we are halfway to completing our commitment.  If you have been here from day 1, congratulations. If you jumped in some time along the way, good job. If you fell and messed up, no problem.  Let’s get up and continue on together in God’s great grace and mercy.  We have the eternal reward of seeing Jesus in a special way today.  Let’s run this race to receive the prize!

    Today, is a special day that we remember and mark as a memorial.  We see it as an encouragement to continue, but it is an important spiritual marker as well. God looks on and remembers all the special times we give to seek Him in a special way.  If God is truly “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”, then special times of seeking Him will receive a special reward.  I am sure we would all like to see some scripture backing up this encouragement.  For this, let us look at Acts 10.

    This chapter is pivotal for Acts and especially for us as Gentiles.  Until this point, we have seen the apostles going out and ministering to God’s children in Israel only.  At this moment, God changes the mind of the apostles to include all people everywhere in the preaching of the good news.  God was opening the door for them to go out and preach the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. To do this, God needed someone that was seeking Him.  Someone who was doing something special in The Kingdom. He needed Cornelius.

    Acts 10:1-2 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

    Cornelius was a well-respected Roman leader who was known for fearing God, giving and praying always.  Here was a Gentile seeking God.  He had built a reputation as one who would seek God in a special way, so apparently, he had been doing this for years.  We find out later in the chapter, that not only was he seeking God, giving generously, and praying continually, he was also fasting.

    Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

    Cornelius, a non-Jewish person, had built a lifestyle of seeking God in a special way.  Here was a man that God could use to bring about the most radical change in The Kingdom since Holy Spirit fell in Acts 2.

    Acts 10:3-4 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

    What does this verse say? Cornelius’ fasting, prayer, and giving went up as a memorial before The Lord. The eyes of The Lord were looking for someone who was seeking Him to change the very course of history for the rest of eternity.  Unknowingly, Cornelius had built a huge neon sign in the spiritual realm that said, “Here I am, use me!” God did not have to look far or hard to see the great memorial that had been built up for years by this man that had no real guarantee of receiving anything for any of these things he did.  His desire and intention was to seek God and bless His people.  God sees the memorial and says, “Here is a man I can use.”

    Cornelius obeys the instructions above and beyond what the angel speaks, it seems even better than Peter.  A reluctant Peter comes and cannot even finish a proper sermon before the hunger and expectation in the people that Cornelius had gathered together was rewarded with the outpouring of The Spirit.

    How long did Cornelius cry out, “Here I am use me”? 

    How many years of continuous prayer, fasting, and giving were being built up before the time was right for God to move in a mighty way? 

    How much time did he spend in the secret place not seeming to receive anything?  

    Was Cornelius fasting and praying somewhere while the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the upper room? 

    How big was the memorial that was built up before God?

    On that day, when Holy Spirit fell on him and all the people he had gathered together in obedience to the word, it was all worth it.  He would not have traded one shekel, one meal, one hour that went into the building of this memorial in The Kingdom.  At this point, his spirit was crying out more than ever, “Here I am use me!”

    This is my encouragement for you. No matter how you may have struggled during the first 20 days, Jesus is worth it.  The memorial being built in your life is greater than you could imagine. How many have been willing to go The 40 that God might look on the earth and see these memorials all over the earth saying, “Here I am use me!”?  This is who I want to be. I want to be used for The Kingdom. I want to be a laborer in the harvest. I want to be the most useful instrument in The Kingdom. If there is no one else willing to do the dirty work, may my sign continue to say, “Here I am, use me!!!” I know this is your heart as well.

    What can God do with a community of people who say “Here I am use me” with their lips and their lifestyle?

    Jesus, give me the strength of spirit and resolve to continue throughout the rest of The 40 and beyond in a memorial building lifestyle.  I desire to be the one whose lips and lifestyle loudly proclaim, “Here I am use me!” 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you to continue in your daily commitment
    • Continue to pray “Here I am use me” with your lips
    • Become increasingly obedient in your day to day life in all Holy Spirit reveals

    Be blessed to receive revelation of the memorial you have created by recognizing the answered prayers and receiving the promises of God in an increasing measure.  May you be used mightily for The Kingdom as your heart and character line up with The King’s!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Strength in Weakness 15/40

    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 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 it asks 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 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 be so close to Jesus at this time, because we are walking 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, Tamil Nadu, 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 I

    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 II

    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 no matter how weak or insignificant you may feel.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Precipitating The Latter Rain 11/40

    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 is time once again to examine our reasons to commit to The 40.  We must constantly refresh the reason behind the fast or we will be drawn away by the enticements of the world to what may seem better.

    Why have you committed to press in to The Lord through fasting?

    Whatever your reason may be for going into this fast, today, I want to give you another one. Fasting precipitates the Latter Rain.  The former generation experienced what they refer to as the Latter Rain and there have been many prophecies about the former and latter rain coming together in these days ahead using the passage Joel 2:23.  Though this is the passage used by so many about the coming releasing of The Spirit in a mighty way, few know the context in Joel during this time.  Another passage of scriptures you may know well is Joel 2:28-32.

    Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams,
    Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and  on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

    This may be one of the most referred to passages in the charismatic church especially since it is referenced by Peter in Acts 2:17-21 when the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples in such a powerful way.  Again, it seems that no one knows the context of what is happening in the book of Joel preceding this.  We often overlook “minor” details that can lead us to a true revelation to how God wants to bring about what He has promised conditionally.  It is especially important to view the context because this passage starts with, me paraphrasing, these things will take place after something else happens.

    If you read the book of Joel, this is a time of tremendous devastation in the entire land of Judah.  An enormous plague of locusts had come and stripped the entire country of all vegetation.  Famine and drought as well as starvation and death of man and animals was taking place.  This was the worst possible moment in the people’s lives, and they needed a solution.  The prophet Joel came with a solution:

    Joel 1:13-14 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land
    Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.

    The solution for this crisis is humility, repentance, prayer, and fasting.  This plague was a result of the people’s constant refusal to turn to God and follow His ways.  Therefore, He allows the effects of their disobedience to come upon them.  Turning back to Him is the only way to change their situation, and fasting is a sign of a true repentance and humbling of the heart.  

    In case the people did not want to take the advice of a mere prophet of God, The Lord Himself gives the solution for their problem in the very next chapter:

    Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord“Turn to Me with all your heart,
    With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

    Here, God calls for repentance, fasting, and prayer.  Fasting is a true evidence of a desire to change and come into line with God and His purposes instead of partnering with our own flesh.  This is what will cause the grace and mercy of Heaven to be made evident in our lives.  This is not just a call for certain group of people like the holy priests or pastors.  Vs. 15-17 tells us that it is for:

    • People
    • The Congregation
    • Elders
    • Children
    • Babies
    • Newlyweds
    • Priests

    No one is left out of this call to come to the Lord in repentance, fasting, and prayer.  No this is not a mandatory thing.  However, this is what is referring to in Vs. 28 after you come as an entire people in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer then God will pour out His Spirit.  The apostles received The Holy Spirit after waiting and in unity in The Upper Room for 10 days.  We know they were praying together, but I believe they were fasting as well.  The outbreak of The Spirit at Azusa was a result of 10 days of fasting and praying together.

    Here we are, committed to The Lord and each other for The 40.  What can God do with our hearts that come to Him in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer?

    Jesus, I ask that you will take this simple offering of my life, my commitment to you and use it for Your Kingdom.  I desire for The Great Outpouring of The Spirit that has so often been talked about.  I come to you in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer right now.  Come and move in a mighty way that you may receive the glory that is due Your name!!!

    Practical – 

    • Read Joel 1-2
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you can partner with Him in your personal prayer time
    • Ask Him to reveal how to call your community into humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer
    • Be obedient to all that He speaks.

    Be blessed with the power to partner with Holy Spirit in precipitating the Latter Rain.  May this lifestyle propel you into the next level with Him!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    When Jesus Comes to Town

    As I stated in my post on Saturday titled, The Lost Relics of the Simple Gospel and Our Testimony, I will be sharing more today more about my recent trip to Spain. I have been sharing amazing testimonies of what God did while we were there as well as lessons along the way that apply to our everyday life and walk with the Lord.

    69F8C63B-E80B-4023-9F2C-34EDA2433C60Our last Friday there, my partner, John and I were scheduled to do something we had not originally planned nor expected to do on the trip; aiding to the major summation of the entire trip…expect the unexpected! We had been told from Pastor Pablo and Elsa, the pastors we paired off with for the two weeks, that there was a couple in the church who were going through marital issues and the husband wanted a divorce. When informing us of this as we headed to another visit earlier in the week, they had asked us if we would meet with them and minister to them to try and bring some kind of reconciliation and restoration. We agreed and prayed for the Lord to do the work and that we would simply be vessels for His power and truth to flow through.

    The night prior was when we had ministered and shared the Gospel at a home meeting and three people gave their hearts and lives to Jesus, as shared in the post linked above. Afterward, we went out to a late dinner at the mall nearby and our pastors informed us that the following evening would be when we would meet with the couple. Using Google Translate, they began to fill us in on the issues that had taken place in the marriage and it left us shocked and praying for divine wisdom in how to proceed. There were supposed deep strongholds and strong demonic influence and accusations, with a lot of blanks to fill in.

    As Friday ensued, we anticipated that great deliverance and inner healing would need to take place; and in prayer and discussion, we both felt led to call upon our team member, Kirk, to join us as he is well trained in sozo ministry. We had the prayers of our entire team with us. Our friend, Israel, picked us up and would be our translator for the meeting. In sharing, he revealed what he had been told in preparation for the meeting; and our shock grew greater, as did our prayers for direction. We also discovered the discrepancies through translations were not entirely lining up; therefore, we were a bit unsure of what we were walking into.

    We met with the couple at the church and then separated them to talk to the husband in private; with the intention of getting to the heart of the matter where he was concerned. He was open and as far as we were concerned, he did not hide any details. In fact, Pastor told us that when he heard that our team was coming to Spain, he began to feel a lack of peace and eventually asked to have a meeting with us saying he was overcome with anxiety and loss of sleep. When Jesus comes to town, all of hell shutters and knows of its impending doom! Things simply cannot remain as they were!

    IMG_4939

    Ancient dungeon set upon the waters. Though dark and hopelessly drowning on the inside, surrounded by barriers to freedom, the pathway to life lies just outside the prison walls.

    We began to learn in taking him through a process of his connection with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that a great many deep wounds and hurts burdened this man as well as a horrific history of abuse from the most trusted members of his family; and he bore the scars to prove it. It was evident that sitting before us was a broken man with a broken past; in deep need of a Savior to completely heal him, deliver him, set him free, and restore him. In the process, I believe that shock of all this man endured as a young child left us reeling and praying for a blanket of peace to continue in ministering to him and drawing him into the heart of the Father, the arms of Jesus, and the comfort of Holy Spirit.

    As my tear-filled eyes met Israel’s astonished, tear-stained gaze as he translated, I found myself overcome and overwhelmed with the compassion of Jesus. This man struggled to see the face of the Father, as he drowned in darkness. Filled with hatred and anger at all he had endured, he was unable to allow Holy Spirit into the room. Eventually as we guided him through a series of confessions and forgiveness, he began to feel Holy Spirit with us. He began to hear truth from Heaven about who God made him to be and a breaking off of lies occurred.

    We then came to Jesus. He could not see Jesus and felt abandoned by Him in his times of greatest need through years of horror. It was then that Jesus gave me a vision of a specific time when he had endured deep abuse as a very young child and He revealed every detail of the scene before my eyes. It was in that very moment that I saw Jesus come in the room, sit down beside him, and take hold of him, enveloping him in His arms, comforting him. As I shared this through tears, the man broke down weeping and spoke of this very moment in time, of what he had endured and what he was thinking. His eyes were opened to the reality that Jesus had in fact been there the whole time and had never abandoned him or forsaken him, even in his darkest of days. Jesus used this to break off deception and to usher in His truth and reality as our Faithful Friend to the very end. Such is true for each one of us.

    He shared how this history paved the way to a life of crime and how he had taken dozens of lives as a hitman for a gang he was a part of. Then Jesus entered the scene in his adult years and he had his first encounter with the power of God at a church gathering. The pastor called him forward out of the crowd and as he reluctantly came up on stage, the pastor prophesied his salvation that would come forth. He drew his gun on the pastor intending to kill him; and the pastor’s response should be that of every Follower of The Way, a martyr’s cry: With hands raised, “Go ahead and kill me! If I die, I am going to die worshipping my Savior!”

    With that, he shot the pastor…but no bullet came forth from his gun, the pastor was unharmed! He fired multiple rounds in the air, all successful. Then he fired at the pastor again, with the same failed response! He hit his knees, and surrendered his life to Christ! It took some years and Jesus helped set him free from the gang bent on taking his life and that of his family.

    There was always this reality to go back to, a memorial erected in his memory. He lost his way along the path, but sitting with us during this time Jesus confronted the demons of his past, cast them out, broke off the chains, and unlocked the prison doors. In the end, he could see Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, and found a place in Heaven with all three that he never wanted to depart from. We then led him in a prayer of salvation and rededication to the Lord!

    Sitting before us was a completely different man than we had met a few hours prior. So much so, that we believe a restorative power was released that night that will ultimately lead to the restoration of his marriage! He also became our driver for Sunday ministry travels!

    Who would’ve thought that this man we ministered to would have such an encounter that he, an ex-assassin, would usher us around in ministry?! Now, THAT is what I call adventuring with Jesus!!!

    I have a purpose in sharing this testimony. The main point being, it does not matter what our past looks like…Jesus was in it, is all over it, and working through it all to create in us an eternal weight of glory. Everyone has a Saul to Paul conversion in store where no matter how dark and ugly our past is, He will always bring us into a beautiful bliss of abundant life that compels us to go and do the unthinkable to make the name of Jesus famous in the earth and to do as He did.

    We are never alone in this journey; never once before we knew Him, nor for a single moment after. It is time to step into His timeline, not the timeline of the past, and to advance; to storm the gates of hell and set free all who are bound as captives in darkness! No matter what appearances say, do it anyway!!! You have the dunamis (dynamite) power of Heaven backing you and going before you…you cannot lose unless you quit!

    DO NOT QUIT! DO NOT RELENT IN THE ASCENT!

    2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (TPT)
    “We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you. We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says,
    ‘First I believed, then I spoke in faith.’ So we also first believe then speak in faith. We do this because we are convinced that He who raised Jesus will raise us up with Him, and together we will all be brought into His Presence. Yes, all things work for your enrichment so that more of God’s marvelous grace will spread to more and more people, resulting in an even greater increase of praise to God, bringing Him even more glory!
    So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”

    For His Glory,

    Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

    Expect the Unexpected! 

    The days have been long and hours of sleep short here in Spain. The sun sets close to ten o’clock in the evening, and we usually do not arrive back to the house until between eleven in the evening and one o’clock in the morning after a long day of ministering; where we sometimes proceed to eat dinner. The mornings are predominantly slow until around ten in the morning, depending upon which team you are on and if you have appointments for ministering to the lost here.

    If there is one thing that I am learning on this trip that I could share with you, it would be that you have to live life going with the flow. More importantly, the flow of Holy Spirit! This is not a new lesson for me and I have walked through it before. However, it is one that I am learning on a deeper level. Winging it is completely not how I am wired. I operate well on a schedule and I like having a pretty clear idea of what my day is going to look like; but here in Spain that theology simply does not work. My husband has a motto that I hear quite frequently, “expect the unexpected!” I have found God reminding me of that numerous times on this adventure. Not one moment of this trip has been as expected. In fact, we missed our flights here after being stuck on the Tarmac for hours and the guys’ bags didn’t get here until yesterday.

    Monday turned out to be one of those days. My partner this week, John, and I were to eat lunch with the pastors that we are aligning with, Pastor Pablo and Pastor Elsa. We met with them and enjoyed a full three course meal and spent a few hours with them at their church before we were to meet with our two appointments in the evening. What we did not expect when conversing with them is to find out the things taking place in their region; the economy is very poor with few jobs, depression, drugs, trafficking, and they were also surrounded by an amount of witchcraft that was cursing them and their church. They had also been through a wave of persecution from other ministers in the area. What I thought would be a meal for relationship building also turned into a time of encouragement them in the faith to stand strong, and a powerful time of deliverance, casting out demons, repentance, and prayer.

    Expect the unexpected.

    From there we headed to our appointments only to find we had lost our translator for the day and had to forego the appointments for another time; which led into spending more time with the pastors. When arriving back to the base, my mother and father-in-law were headed to an appointment with the co-worker of one of our translators and son of Pastor Abel, Israel; they invited us, so we tagged along.

    Expect the unexpected.

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    We met up with Israel, and his friend, David. David did not believe in God and from what I understand had an interesting perspective on how all creation existed; that it was more so like a video game with a game master. What a perfect set-up for sharing the Gospel!!!

    We sat with him and got to know him. We talked quite some time about his desire to design a video game. Then my partner, John, in one mind-blowing swoop, transitioned into the greatest battle of good v.s. evil and how there really is a grand game master in charge of it all; and how the good wins in the end! We were all astonished at this!

    Expect the unexpected.

    After giving the parallel of truth against David’s own perception, he allowed John to share with him the story of the Gospel through the tool we are using, the evangecube. In the end, he ended up not choosing Jesus. He saw himself and his good deeds as enough and thought perhaps there was another way; even though we had already explained that there is no other way, JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY.

    What do you do in a circumstance like that after you have been rejected in preaching the Gospel? Do you beat them over the head with the Bible and try to force them see the light and choose Jesus? Do you take them to dinner and continue to spend time with them and love on them the way Jesus would? We chose the latter. You encourage yourself in the the truth from Jesus’ own mouth in Luke 10:16 “Jesus concluded His instructions to the seventy with these words: ‘Remember this: Whoever listens to your message is actually listening to Me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting Me, and not only Me but the One who sent Me.'” We had been faithful in proclaiming the Truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the rest is up to God and that person. You trust in God’s promise that when His Word goes forth, it ALWAYS accomplishes what it was sent out to do. A seed was planted that will one day produce a harvest. In faith.

    We went to dinner with Israel and David and built relationship. They will know Him in how well you love. Though we were disappointed David didn’t choose Jesus, we loved on him. For me, love went up to a whole notha’ level that night when I ate a whole fried baby octopus. Loving others for Jesus this trip has stretched me in many ways, including multiplying my prayer of blessing on what I was to consume: “Lord, wherever You lead me, I’ll follow; whatever You feed me, I’ll swallow!” I got to add another tag onto that prayer that night: “Lord, I’ll put it down; You help me keep it down!”

    My challenge to you today is that you would seriously ask yourself this question: Am I fully submitted to being used of God in HIS way and HIS time, NOT my own? 

    That morning in prayer with the team over the day that was ahead of us, I heard the Lord say, “Expect the unexpected!” In telling me that, He was inviting me out of my own agenda and into HIS divine design for the day.

    Proverbs‬ ‭16:1-7‬ ‭(TPT‬‬)
    “Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps. We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive. Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed. The Lord works everything together to accomplish His purpose. Even the wicked are included in His plans— He sets them aside for the day of disaster. Exalting yourself is disgusting to the Lord, for pride attracts His punishment— and you can count on that! You can avoid evil through surrendered worship and the fear of God, for the power of His faithful love removes sin’s guilt and grip over you. When the Lord is pleased with the decisions you’ve made, He activates grace to turn enemies into friends.”

    If you found yourself in the same boat as me, will you join me in a fresh surrender to HIS WAY and not our own? Will you ask Him how you can partner with Him in His grand plan for your life today? 

    I promise you this: HIS WAY WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN OUR OWN. It will also ALWAYS PRODUCE THE GREATEST ETERNAL FRUIT!

    Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭(TPT‬‬)
    “Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.”

    We are but vessels.

    Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

    The Importance of The One (Southeast Asia)

    I have been back in the states for a few days now, but it is still almost unreal where I have gone and what God has done with me. For me, a normal person who said “Yes, I will follow”, it is almost unbelievable what God has done. After a week, 10 teams of three and four came back with an offering to the Lord of 4,612 souls. This is not including the healing, encouragement, and freedom that was ministered to countless people, churches, and other organizations. I praise God that I was able to contribute an offering to give glory to His name!!!

    As I think back to some of the most powerful encounters with what God did over the trip, I am reminded of the importance of stopping for the one. All throughout Scripture, Jesus is teaching and ministering to large crowds of people, but is frequently interrupted by the one. One person needs some special attention, healing, freedom, or salvation. When this happens, Jesus does not ignore them and continue on to minister to the crowd, but gives them as much love, compassion, and care as the large crowds. He takes the time to minister to the one. 

    Even though we literally saw thousands of people come to know the Lord, the most powerful times were when God brought the one. The time I felt the most powerful move of God was for one person. God orchestrated things for me to preach at an evening service in a large church. The pastor of this church had some personal problems, but had still invited me to come and speak. Before even going, I was told not to expect anyone to come forward for an invitation time because it was culture for them to commit to follow Jesus later during a personal meeting with the pastor.

    As I worshipped, I felt the presence of God in a mighty way, and as I spoke the word, I was experiencing part of His heart of compassion for the people. Although it has rarely happened, God moved me to tears as I called for His lost sons and daughters to come to their Good Father. No one moved, but I knew I was here for this purpose so I continued to press in. After some time, one lone girl in pink came down and knelt at the altar. She broke the cultural expectations, in front of over 100 people, and courageously came to The Good Father. Not too long after that three more came. I was so overcome, I could not even lead them in a prayer, but left that to the translator to do. As I went down and prayed for each one, the floor was wet with the tears of the this teenage girl. She remained there weeping for the whole ministry time as we prayed for the sick. Afterwards, the over abundance of joy that was exuding out of her was evidence that she had been changed. This is why I was there, for this one girl. The others were just a bonus from God for my obedience.

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    You may not be called at this moment to go and evangelize on a street corner to dozens of people or preach in a church or conference to hundreds or thousands. However, you are called to the one who does not know. One neighbor, family member, friend, or co-worker is who you are called to speak to. One cashier needs to hear the Truth. One worker in a store has been prepared to receive. One person at the park is hurting and in need. That is who you are called to no matter who you are.

    I encourage you today, begin to look around you for the one who is hurting, lost, in need. Pray for them, then open your mouth and speak the truth that is in you. As you are faithful to shine the light that is in you, God will be faithful to bring more to you. Never forget, at one time, you were the one that needed someone to speak the truth to you and to be shown the heart of a Good Father. May God bless you to be the one to minister His heart to the one today, this week, and for the rest of your life!!!

    Matthew 18:14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones be lost. 

    Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. 

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!