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Deeply Devoted 18/40

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 continue to press in toward the halfway point, we must choose to remember that Jesus is worth all that we have to give and so much more.  Whatever you have chosen to fast, it is a pleasing offering to Him.  We do it because we love Him and want to give Him even more worship in our very bodies.  May you be reminded of Jesus’ worth. He is worth giving up our very lives that He may be exalted and glorified above every idol in the land.

Today, I want to challenge you and “spur you on toward love and even greater works.”  Whatever level of devotion to The Lord you find yourself at this moment, Jesus deserves so much more.  Too many times, we may look at the people around us and gauge our level spiritually.  We are doing pretty well compared to Joe Shmoe over there.  We have been praying, fasting and seeking The Lord in a special way for almost 3 weeks now.  We must be doing pretty well.

Personally, this is one of the areas that I have to constantly war against, spiritual pride and judgment.  In order that we do not think too highly of ourselves, remember Jesus’ story of the tax collector and the Pharisee.  The Pharisee came boasting at all of his accomplishments and what he was doing for God, while the tax collector cried out for God’s mercy. Jesus says this about the tax collector:

Luke 18:13 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Let us never forget our place in The Kingdom.  All of us must come to the feet of The cross; then we are “raised up together to be seated in heavenly places with Him.”  He is worthy of more than I could ever give to Him.  Our bodies, efforts, hearts and lives are poor in comparison to what He is worth, however, I gladly give all that I have.  

We must never compare ourselves to other people and gain some sort of feeling of spiritual superiority.  We are humble creatures in need of Jesus.  We should always have more that we desire to give.  For God’s pleasure, I was designed to worship.  May He forever receive even more worship from our lives.  

In Luke 2, we find the story of a lady names Anna:

Luke 2:36-38 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.  Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

After being married for only 7 years, her husband died. She did not live in regret, grief, or anger at God.  She gave deep devotion to The Lord and served night and day in the temple.  She was seeking The Lord out of a pure humble heart for more than 84 years. 

What was her reward for all this? She got to see Jesus!!!

Lord, let that be my reward.  You are worth it to me!!!

You may be doing more than some, but there is always a deeper level of devotion to go to.  You can never make God do anything, but you must desire to see the deep secret places of God.  Imagine the depths of the Lord that few have been able to reach because they cannot go the distance or give up the junk that is in the way.  May this be the cry of your heart, “I will give up the junk in deep devotion to Jesus so that I may gain access to the deepest places with Him!”  

Jesus, I want to see Your face.  I desire to hear Your voice.  I long for new revelations of Your love.  You are the source from which all things flow.  If I have to give up everything to see You, You are worth it! May this ever be the longing of my heart. 

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal and remove any spiritual pride
  • Ask for revelation of Jesus’ worth
  • Commit to a deeper level of devotion
  • Obey whatever Holy Spirit speaks

Be blessed with new revelations of Jesus’ worth and the desire and ability to advance to deeper levels of devotion with Him.  May you access the deepest place with Him that few ever find!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

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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!!!

Press on and Press In 4/40

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 fast is beginning to get real. I would venture to say that most people who have undertaken a complete food fast have not gone past three days.  The good news is that it should begin to get easier now.  The physically hard part should be over soon if it is not already.  A word of wisdom, the spiritually and relationally hard part will probably remain throughout the fast.

The enemy does not want you to go the 40.  Temptations will arise.  Also, friends and family will inevitably find out and can be your greatest hindrance to completing the fast.  While trying to love and take care of you, they will pressure you that it is not healthy to fast, especially 40 days.

My encouragement for you today comes from –

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Press on and Press In! Jesus Himself laid down his life that you may be completely saved, healed, and delivered. Can you continue to lay down your flesh for the rest of the 40 days?

There is a secret in the 40 day time period that I will share soon, but now you should recognize that Jesus set the example of the 40 before He began His ministry.  Press on and press in for the prize of Jesus Christ! Exponential increase will come as you press in past the normal way of life or even past the normal way of fasting.  Relationship increase and depth as well as spiritual insight will be continually advanced as we press in to Him.

Jesus is The Reward!!!

Jesus is Worth it!!!

Jesus is the Prize!!!

I also want to encourage you from –

Esther 4:16-17 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” 17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

Here, Esther calls a three day fast of all her people.  There were many fasting before this time if you read vs. 3, but this is an intentional time of fasting and praying together.

What was the result of this three day corporate fast?

The government of the day was influenced to overthrow a demonically inspired law and an entire people group were saved.  That is the power of the three day fast that we are now advancing past.

Nations and people groups will be changed as you press on and press in to Him.

What transformation can take place in you, your family, your neighborhood, city, and nation as a result of a simple 40 days of fasting and prayer?

Jesus, give me the strength and ability to press on through the struggles that I might press in to knowing Your heart.  I desire to see supposedly impossible things and people transformed as I press in to you!!!

Practical – Let Holy Spirit guide your Godly dreaming of what can take place through this 40 day fast.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
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Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
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Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Mighty Wind and the Dry Bones

Before we left on our journey, my sister had a prophetic vision for us. This vision was rather long, but part of it included that God would give us unique words and prayers to pray into the problems in the countries that we would be ministering in. God has been faithful to reveal to my wife, myself, or both of us unique things to pray over each place.

Upon our arrival, we rode with Pastor JoseMaria and his wife from the airport to his house. He mentioned casually that the night before we had come, an unusually strong wind had woken him up twice during the night. We thought nothing of this until we were praying and seeking the Lord the next day. God began to speak to us both, separately, that this was the wind of the Holy Spirit. After this was revealed, I began to study the characteristics of Holy Spirit and how the wind is used to describe Him. As I did, The Lord led me to Ezekiel 37. Here, The Lord takes Ezekiel to a field of dry bones. He tells him to prophesy to the bones. All the bones come together and flesh and skin even comes to the bones, but these people are still dead. Then Ezekiel is commanded to prophesy to the “Ru’ah” (this is the Hebrew word for wind and it is used interchangeably for wind, breath, and Spirit) that the bones may come to life.

Here, in Spain, the spiritual climate could be described as a dry and dead one. The church is Catholic, but none of the young people go to church. Those that do, often go out of duty and obligation and never out of desire to know God. However, Spain has a rich history and is even said to be a place where Paul journeyed during his lifetime.

There may be bones here, but bones speak that there was once life!!! No matter how hopeless and dry these bones seem, the wind of Holy Spirit is coming to breathe new life into these bones. When the Spirit comes it brings change to the climate. Even as the wind of the Holy Spirit is bringing life to the bones, He is ushering in a change of climate that is bringing the rains of revival. My wife shares here Rains of Revival what God has spoken to her on this subject, and this is how we have been praying for Spain. I believe that the churches are coming together in unity and begin to be formed into the body that they are supposed to be. As we pray and cry out for Holy Spirit to pour himself out upon this land, He will usher in revival and all that comes with it!!!

I urge you to pray this out not only over Spain, but over your life as well!!! In all of our lives, we have places where life has gone and death has come. Where is the vision of our younger years? Where is the passion of the Gospel we once had? Where is the faith in The Lord we were so eager to live in obedience to? Where has the desire to give ourselves as living sacrifices to The Lord and spend our time coming to know Him more?
Without the life and freedom Holy Spirit brings, we are walking in that valley of dry bones!!! I say to you prophesy to Holy Spirit and cry out to Him that the spiritually dead things in you may come back to life!!! Cry out to The Good Father and know “…your Heavenly Father [shall] give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

True Ministers of God

Are you a True Minister of God? Read on to find out everything this entails…

This morning, while reading in 2 Corinthians, I stumbled across some very interesting verses that are important for us to dwell on that our lives may be lived as God desires. For those of you who have decided to become a True Follower of Christ, you are called a minister of Christ (2 Cor. 3:6). Although you may never be called to be a full-time minister or pastor as I was eleven years ago, you are a minister right now!!! In His letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives each one of us an idea of how we should be living, and what we should expect as we follow Him!!!

2 Corinthians 6:3-4a “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.”

This is something we must always be wary of. Our lives as representations of Who God is must not give Him a bad light in anything that we do or do not do. We must be always living as His children. No pressure! I am thankful that the grace of God covers my failures, but I must be open and say that I am not perfect…and neither are you. So I am in good company 🙂 Our openness and transparency about our faults allows others to grab ahold of the truth of grace working in us.

4b “We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.

Most of us have experienced at least some of these, but we have much more to expect if we are truly following in the footsteps of Christ!!!

6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.

How are you proving yourself this week? Ask Holy Spirit to help you be the proof of Christ in the midst of every negative situation.

7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.

The Truth of God radiating from us, the power of God working through us, and His righteousness working in us are the weapons and defense against the enemy and his forces!!!

8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

It does not matter where we are, what we are doing, what people’s response to us, or accusations against us are. Our situation does not dictate how we are to act or conduct ourselves. As we rely fully upon The Lord, He will give us the ability to triumph in any circumstance and shine forth His glory in every trial.

Remember, that no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are being a minister of Christ!!! Are you proclaiming the Truth of who He is and what He is doing for you no matter what is going on around you? Are you being a light of hope in a dark world? Are you giving and accurate representation of who He is? Or are you causing others to view Christ falsely or making Him seem powerless and puny?

You are a minister of Christ and I bless you with the ability to radiate His truth, walk in His righteousness, and bring glory to God through the working of His power and sharing of His love!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!