Tag Archives: Paul

Keep Moving Forward 41/40

Congratulations! You have made it through The 40.  I pray that you have been blessed, encouraged, and inspired to delve deeper than you ever have before in your walk with Jesus.  I remind you that often the things we were pressing into during The 40 do not always take place in the middle of the fast.  Many times, they begin to evidence themselves afterwards.  So, what now?

Celebration!  After breaking The 40, celebrations are in order. You have committed to and completed something that many will never experience.  Now is a time of celebration and thanksgiving to the Lord.  Celebrate the end of The 40, but also with joy look to what the future will bring!

I encourage you to go back and review Celebrate to Accelerate for the reason behind why we began The 40 in the first place.  I believe that as we have continually prepared our hearts and made them right in seeking The Lord over the last 40 days, each of us have been, are being, and will be accelerated into new levels in The Kingdom!

So, what’s next? 

What happens from here?

My fellow believers, let the words of Paul bless us from his encouragement to the church in Phillipi:

Philippians 3:12-16 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. 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

You and I have not reached the end of our walk with The Lord.  We have not gone the highest, delved the deepest, or ran as far as we can run with Him.  It is time for us to press on!  Jesus has laid hold of you for His plan and purpose to come about through your life.  It is time to continue on with Him.  Keep moving forward! The high heights we have reached today will plateau and become tomorrow’s valleys compared to what God wants to do in and through our lives in the future.  

What is the goal?  

What is the prize?  

It is more of Jesus!  We cannot get more of Jesus by staying where we are.  We must move more into line with Him.  May our ears be open to hear more of what He is saying, and may we become increasingly obedient to all that He has for us!!!

What is maturity? 

We must walk at the level we are at now, never returning to anything of the past.  As we walk in this new place, let’s look to the next level with Jesus.  There is always more!  He always has something greater for us.  

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for, hope for, or even imagine, according to the power that works in us,

This is my final encouragement for us in The 40, God has so much more for all of us than we could ever imagine.  Their are always new levels, new heights, new mountains to be climbed, new countries to be taken for His name! I encourage you to ever seek Him to take you deeper and do more with your life.  May you say today, tomorrow and every day from here on out, “Here I am, send me!”

Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness to get me through The 40. I celebrate Your goodness, peace, strength, and life through every single day.  I desire to walk in this new place You have called me to and to move even deeper with You. I desire to press on and keep moving forward! Help me to advance Your Kingdom in every area and keep moving forward!

Practical –

  • Keep moving Forward with Holy Spirit

Be blessed to walk in the fullness of everything God has called you to at this new level, and may you ever seek His Kingdom to be accelerated in and through you as you keep moving forward!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Partnered To Possess (Live It Out) 35/40

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.

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

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

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

Today we will discuss the last step:     

5. Live a life in accordance to The Word.

Let’s unpack this a little more. Today, more than ever, we have seen and know people who are much less than authentic.  The daily scams and identity thefts happening all the time have bred a general distrust of our fellow man.  In one sense, when we meet someone new, we are trying to prove that we are who we say we are instead of taking each other at our word.  At one time, you could shake hands and make a deal on that alone.  We trusted each other.  The vows and convenant that took place at a marriage ceremony would never be broken “until death do we part“. Because our society as a whole has become untrustworthy, everyone is looking for hypocrites and holes in your story before you ever meet them.  

Because people want The Truth so badly, they try to prove the authenticity of everything and everyone they come into contact with.  When we come and begin to tell someone about The Way, The Truth, and The Life, they will be looking at us and our lives as a litmus test of what we are saying. 

If we are not walking in The Word and living a life of obedience, what makes us any different than the telemarketer that calls them 10 times a day? 

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

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

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

If you look at the word possess in the original Hebrew this is what it means:

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

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

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

Jesus says something similar regarding this subject:

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

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

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

Are you neglecting it fully or in part

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Big Mouth and Beautiful Feet (Speak) 33/40

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.

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

Jesus, You are worthy, and we love You!

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

Now, we will move to our discussion of step three: speak!  All the time spent in the secret place knowing and growing in God is important.  As this leads us to pray and ask for the lost ones around us to come to Him, this is agreeing with His heart and desires. Next, we must speak out the wonderful works of God

In the upper room in Acts 2 they were praying, humbling themselves, and seeking The Lord. They were asking for Holy Spirit to come upon them that they may be witnesses. Finally, when Holy Spirit comes He causes them to speak out the wonderful works of God. This is what draws others, over 3000 people into the Kingdom. Had Peter never opened his mouth, no one would have known what was going on.  

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

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

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

How does this happen?

We must move past believing in our hearts to confession, to speaking it out of our mouths. Words have power to bring us salvation, healing, and deliverance. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). A little later in Romans 10, Paul moves from salvation for self, by speaking it out, into what we are talking about today.

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

News Flash!!! – You have been sent!  Jesus Himself has sent you. “Go therefore…” Jesus is sending you in The Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).  You are an apostle in the literal meaning of the Greek. You are a sent one. 

What are you sent to do?  

You are sent to bring good news of peace, joy, and life in The Kingdom. When you begin speaking the wonderful works of God from your mouth; salvation, healing, and freedom will come forth all around you. When this happens, You are preaching or declaring the testimony of Who God is and what He has done for you. This speaking and preaching causes others to hear, and because of this, people can hear, believe and call on Jesus.  

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s Next? 41/40

Congratulations! You have made it through The 40.  I pray that you have been blessed, encouraged, and inspired to delve a little bit deeper than you have been before in your walk with Jesus.  I remind you that often the things we were pressing into during The 40 do not always take place in the middle of the fast.  Many times, they begin to evidence themselves afterwards.  So, what now?

Celebration!  After breaking The 40, celebrations are in order. You have committed to and completed something that many will never experience.  Now is a time of celebration and thanksgiving to the Lord.  Celebrate the end of The 40, but also with joy look to what the future will bring!

I encourage you to go back and review Propelled to The Next Level for the reason behind why we began The 40 in the first place.  I believe that as we have continually prepared our hearts and made them right in seeking The Lord over the last 40 days, each of us have been, are being, and will be propelled into new levels with Him.  

So, what’s next? 

What happens from here?

My fellow believers, let the words of Paul bless us from his encouragement to the church in Phillipi:

Philippians 3:12-16 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. 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

You and I have not reached the end of our walk with The Lord.  We have not gone the highest, delved the deepest, or ran as far as we can run with Him.  It is time for us to press on!  Jesus has laid hold of you for His plan and purpose to come about through your life.  It is time to continue on with Him.  Keep moving forward! The high heights we have reached today will plateau and become tomorrow’s valleys compared to what God wants to do in and through our lives.  

What is the goal?  

What is the prize?  

It is more of Jesus!  We cannot get more of Jesus by staying where we are at. We must move more into line with Him.  May our ears be open to hear more of what He is saying, and may we become increasingly obedient to all that He has for us!!!

What is maturity? 

We must walk at the level we are at now, never returning to anything of the past.  As we walk in this new place, let’s look to the next level with Jesus.  There is always more!  He always has something greater for us.  

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

This is my final encouragement for us in The 40, God has so much more for all of us than we could ever imagine.  Their are always new levels, new heights, new mountains to be climbed, new countries to be taken for His name! I encourage you to ever seek Him to take you deeper and do more with your life.  May you say today, tomorrow and every day from here on out, “Here I am, send me!”

Jesus, thank you for your faithfulness to get me through The 40. I celebrate your goodness, peace, strength, and life through every single day.  I desire to walk in this new place you have called me to and to move even deeper with you. I desire to press on and keep moving forward! Help me to advance Your Kingdom in every area and keep moving forward!

Practical –

  • Keep moving Forward with Holy Spirit

Be blessed to walk in the fullness of everything God has called you to at this new level, and may you ever seek to be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Possess The Land (Live) 35/40

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

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

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

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

Today we will discuss the last step:

    5. Live a life in accordance to The Word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus says something similar regarding this subject:

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

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

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

Are you neglecting it fully or in part?

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Heart, Mouth & Feet (Speak) 33/40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does this happen?

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

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

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

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Propelled Into The Next Level

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 6:16 “…when you fast…”  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Personal Freedom and BreakthroughIsaiah 58

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

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

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

7. Gaining UnderstandingDaniel 9:3-10:12

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO INCREASE!!!

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

  1. Food
  2. Media
  3. Sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!