Tag Archives: obedience

Build A Memorial 20/40

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

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 now 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!”  Use me to build your Kingdom even as these memorials have been built through my heart to seek and serve You!

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 for you to do

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!!!

Accomplishing The “Impossible” 9/40

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

Most of us have started The 40 with high expectations, however, now the real work begins.  The day to day living it out can be hard since we must constantly seek to overrule our flesh and give ourselves to the Lord. Now is the time to encourage ourselves in The Lord the benefits of keeping The 40 and continuing to walk with Holy Spirit in spite of what our bodies might be telling us. 

Prayer and fasting gives us the power to accomplish the “impossible”.  Of course, we know that “nothing shall be impossible with God”, yet we still live our lives with “impossible” situations which do not seem to respond to us. Jesus’ disciples had this same problem while He was on the mount being transfigured.  A man whose son is assaulted by demons asks for their help.  Though they try, they can do nothing about it.  When Jesus returns, He easily casts out the demons and heals the boy.  He does not seem to be impressed with His disciples’ efforts either.  The disciples come to Him and ask why they could not do the same.  This is His response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical – 

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

Be blessed with the power to remove all doubt and do the impossible as you walk with God in obedience and humility.  May this accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Shifting The Heavens 8/40

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

Today starts week 2, we thank God for His grace and mercy to get us this far, and we ask for divine strength to continue The 40 as we have purposed in our hearts. Right now, you may not notice anything happening in the earth, but there is a shifting taking place in the heavens. The heavenly realm is moved when a son or daughter of God humbles themselves and lays down their life for The King.  

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

God’s eyes are upon you to strengthen you and sustain you.  Invite Him to come and strengthen you even now. God responds to faith, as we see in Hebrews 11, and fasting is true faith in God as your sustainer.  Humility causes God to move in a mighty way, and fasting and prayer actually turns God’s heart to mercy, grace, and compassion for those crying out to Him. 

Let’s consider my two-year old’s favorite story, the story of Jonah.  An unwilling prophet is compelled to obedience to speak a word of judgment to a horribly wicked city.  He speaks a simple word “yet forty days and the city of Nineveh will be overthrown”, and the people believe God.  These are not righteous God-fearing Jews, but pagan idol-worshiping, murdering, adulterous people.  In spite of all this, they believed God.  Every single one of these people, who did not even know our God, turned to Him and cried out in repentance, fasting, and prayer.  The king offers this statement, “Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”  

The heavens were shifted over the region of Nineveh (more than 120,000 people), and God relented from what He said he would do. How is this possible?  How is this even fair? Humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer shifted the heavens from judgment to mercy and grace.  God has both justice and mercy, grace and truth in His nature.  However, you have the power to shift the Heavens in your life and even the city or region you live in.  God has placed you where you are for a reason, and He has called you to The 40 for a reason. 

As you continue into week 2, let this be an encouragement to you.  You are contending not just for yourself, but also for your family, your neighbors, your city, your nation, and the nations around the world.  You have been given the ability to shift the Heavens!  Don’t give up! Don’t back down!  Press in to fulfill your purpose in The Kingdom even if you cannot see the change taking place in front of your eyes.   

Jesus, help us to be the ones that come to you in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer. We desire to transform our homes, neighborhoods, regions, and nations.  We desire Your Kingdom to come in a mighty way, help us to be the ones that bring about this change, even as you change our hearts to come more into line with Your heart. 

Practical – 

  • Read Jonah 3
  • Ask Holy Spirit to give you a heart for where he has placed you
  • Ask to be the change
  • Be obedient to all that God speaks

Be blessed to be the change that transforms every area of society as Holy Spirit accelerates The Kingdom in you and through you!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

From Holiness to Harvest 7/40

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

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

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

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

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

2. Harvest – 

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

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

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

Read Isaiah 6:1-6 for context

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

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

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

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

Practical – 

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Forgiveness in “Failure” 6/40

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

After the revelation of the importance of The 40, it seems necessary to remind ourselves who God is.  I have always been hardcore and radical about everything I do, and some people may mistake my intensity for harshness.

Exodus 34:6-7 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, 

Here, God tells Moses He would show him His glory, and this is what happens.  The nature of God that he saw was mercy, grace, patience, goodness, truth, and forgiveness. 

During The 40, it is quite possible that you may mess up or give in to temptation at some point.  I have even had a dream that I was eating meat.  In the dream, I was horrified because I was supposed to be fasting. Remember this, God looks at and judges your heart. When your heart is to commit yourself to Him in love and obedience, He forgives the mistakes and rewards your intentions.  

In contrast to this, the enemy will try to make you feel like a failure and use this tactic to pull you out of The 40.  There is forgiveness in “failure” and grace in the mistakes. If your heart is set to seek The Lord, do not let anything hold you back from seeking Him:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are looking to Jesus in the middle of our struggles, sin, and failures; and He will reward our hearts. I think it was two years ago that my Dad was having a lot of pain in his knee and was thinking about getting it replaced. God prompted me to volunteer to fast and pray with Him for healing.  My Dad was a little reluctant and told me he wanted to pray about it first.  About a month later, I found out that from the time I had offered to pray and fast, he had no more pain or trouble with his knee.  This was a blessing for me to see how God honored my heart. Even though I did not really want to go through the fast, I was willing, and God worked because of that willingness. 

I share this story as an encouragement to you that in the event any mistake might be made.  Press on!  Keep going!  Do not give up on The 40!  God forgives completely and can cause you to walk in the fullness of The 40 if your heart is to press in and please Him.  Please know, this also applies to those who are not physically able to go The 40.  If you started on only water and have to shift your fast because of health issues, keep your heart right.  In doing this, God will help you continue in the same power of The 40 even if it has to change.  

Jesus, bless us with success and bring forgiveness for what others may see as failure.  Help my heart to be set totally to praise, honor, and glorify You!  I know you see and honor my heart, and I desire to love you completely with all my heart, my body, and my soul!

Practical – 

  • Ask God to reveal any area of weakness and to strengthen you with His mercy.
  • If there is any area of supposed failure during The 40, ask God to forgive you and recommit to press in to Him.
  • Walk The 40 in full assurance that God is with you to help, strengthen, and even restore you if you fall.

May you be blessed to fully complete The 40 whether by God’s strength and sustenance or by forgiveness and restoration!  May you be accelerated in The Kingdom past any “failures” of the past, present, or future!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s It Worth To You

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

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

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

  What’s it worth to you?  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical – 

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

This is Where The Fun Begins 1/40

This is day one of the 40 day Celebrate to Accelerate. For further understanding about this specific fast as well as some of the benefits and blessings of fasting and prayer, please read Celebrate to Accelerate.

Here, at the beginning, is where you will have the biggest expectation or the greatest apprehension. This all depends upon your viewpoint going into the fast.

The enemy has probably already started assaulting your mind with questions like, “Are you sure you want to fast like this?” or “Are you sure you want to fast this long?” “Wouldn’t God be fine if you were not quite so extreme or radical?”  The statements and questions of the enemy can cause fear to arise that will either cripple you, or cause you to see the grand adventure that is set before you.  

I am reminded of a word that I got while on mission in Cambodia. Some prophetic friends had dreams of me coming back from that trip in a wheelchair. My family and friends were praying, and I took precautions in the spiritual and physical against any attack of the enemy. This did not stop me, however, from enjoying my time at a carnival in a third world country that had numerous, questionable safety concerns. This included a giant zipline. My friend’s warning was in my mind as I climbed the tower, but I did not let it stop me from having fun… I just prayed a lot more than I normally would have.

At this moment when God is beginning a movement in your life, troubles loom before you like the star destroyers that were closing in on The Millennium Falcon, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and the other characters in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  This is where the line is uttered by Han, “this is where the fun begins!” A great fear is before you as it was then, but there are many in distress that need your help!

How many souls are waiting on you to set them free from bondage by your earnest prayer and fasting?

How many nations will be transformed because of your obedience?

How will your entire family benefit from the abundant blessings poured out upon them because of your steadfast faith in action?

There is an adventure into the unknown! Your great expectation will cause abundant anticipation for what will take place over the next 40 days.

Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Acts 2:28 “You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.”

Fun begins with The One!!! Jesus is the reason we fast!

He is our example!

He is our reason!

He is our strength!

He is our hope!

He is our fun, life, adventure, and so much more!!!

Jesus, I love you and declare that you are worth it! Bring me into Your Presence in a special way today and every day as I seek You!!!

Practical Steps – 

– Make a list of reasons why you are fasting. Isaiah 58 is a good chapter to read when gaining an understanding of why we fast.

Here. Are some of the things on my list –

 1. Souls (the lost in my sphere of influence and unreached people)

2. Wisdom, Understanding, Revelation, and Might

3. Total Eradication of The Flesh

4. Release to The Nations

5. Break the Yoke of Debt

6. Re-dig the Wells of Revival

7. Power, gifts, miracles… released in me and my family

8. Full Healing and Restoration (Specific family members and friends)

9. Open Doors

– Remember your reason/reasons

– Spend special time praying, meditating, and in quiet time lifting these things up to the Lord.

Be blessed as your fun begins in celebrating Jesus and accelerating His Kingdom through your obedience to His word!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire