Tag Archives: personal

Humble Yourself 23/40

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.

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press deeper into The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced; repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God, and the judgment was delayed until a later time. Fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy, for a time, before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching Heaven.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three full weeks were fulfilled…  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently.  God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, The Kingdom of Heaven will be accelerated in and through us!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before You today. I recognize my utter dependency on You.  Without You I can do nothing. Thank You that I can come boldly before Your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to You in humility and repentance.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do Your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelations of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are accelerated in The Kingdom with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Advance The Kingdom 22/40

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 done!  We are now past the halfway mark, past Daniel’s precedent of 21 days, and beginning week 4 of The 40.  Do not waver! Do not falter! Press into Jesus, and may His Kingdom be accelerated in and through you!

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

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

Advance: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It is interesting, they did not have a vision-casting meeting. They did not form a committee to talk about business. They did not try to figure out the most logical business model to follow. They gathered the leaders to worship, prayer, and fasting.  It is a sad fact that in many churches today, call a church business eating and meeting and everyone shows up, but call a church prayer meeting more crickets show up than people.  However, if you call a prayer meeting and call people to fast, this is like what happened in the early church. Only hungry people allowed.  This is where Holy Spirit brought revelation of what was to happen next.  

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

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

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

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

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

    Practical –

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

    Be blessed with the ability to truly advance The Kingdom in partnership with Holy Spirit. May you receive wisdom, understanding, revelation and might as you minister to Holy Spirit.  May this truly accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Deeper Devotion 18/40

    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

    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 all 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.  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 have ever found! 

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!    

    Are You Thirsty? 14/40

    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

    As the final day of week two ends I want to congratulate you on continuing one-third of the way through the fast.  God has been doing amazing things and will continue to do so. I can see where He has personally strengthened and sustained me in so many ways already, and I am looking forward to the transformation that will continue to take place in us all.  Keep up the good work!!! I want to encourage you today from a word that God began to speak to me recently.

    Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

    Right now, God is doing a new thing in a new way!  No longer will you look at the past to define your future, but you will look to Him.  He said, “I am The Way!”  You do not need to look anywhere else, but straight to Him.  He is the source of revival water, and it flows from Him because He is The Living Water.  He is The Life that all men need. Almighty God cannot be held back by the barriers of humanity.  He will break them all down with the weight of His presence.  

    The good news for us is that He will flow quickly and easily to the lowest spot around.  He will fill to overflowing the ones who have made themselves ready.  Nothing can stop the presence of The Lord from completely consuming those who have their face set on seeking Him.  Though it may take longer than you want, He will flood you with His presence.  He will overwhelm you with His love.  He will cover you with His glory, and lift you up to be seated in heavenly places with Him.  He says, Come to Me you humble, hungry, and thirsty, and I will give you more than you could ever handle. I will give you all of Me!”   The next chapter in Isaiah has a promise that continues this thought:

    Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring

    Right now, you and I are making ourselves ready.  We are hungering in the physical because we desire to be truly hungry in the spiritual.  All that God has for us, all that He wants to do, cannot be held back if we are hungry and thirsty for him.  David Hogan says this, “Fasting is a good way to get hungry.”  This statement is so simple, yet so profound.  We have been getting hungry for 14 days now with more to go. What can God do with a people who are truly hungry and thirsty for Him? 

    Look around you.  Now is the time that we need God more than ever before.  Crazy things are happening around us.  Wars, tragedies, griefs, depression, and despair consume the airways and conversations everywhere that we go.  The generations seem to be getting worse and worse in every area.  Crime is up, morality is down, and no one seems to care. I need to be dry and needy for God to come and consume me.  I need to be the dry and cracked ground praying for an outpouring of the flooding presence of The Water of Life.  I need to be completely consumed in His presence that family, friends, neighbors, and nations are transformed by the greatness of the well of life overflowing out of me.  Will you join me? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you ready?

     Jesus, I ask right now that You will make be completely hungry and thirsty for You and Your presence!  I want to be overfilled beyond capacity.  Overflow me that I may influence family, friends, neighbors, and nations with You, the River of Life.  Take me as a willing vessel and use me however You see fit.   

    Practical – 

    • Ask Holy Spirit to make you hungry and thirsty for more
    • Give up something extra that steals your time, and give that time to seeking Him
    • Be obedient to everything that He speaks to you

    Be blessed with the new thing that God is doing right now. May you be forever hungry and thirsty, yet forever filled with the fullness of the overflowing presence of an all-consuming God, and may He continue to accelerate His Kingdom in you and through you!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Treasure The Word 13/40

    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.

    As we near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life.  Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!”  I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.

    Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:

    Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. 

    Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands.  Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.

    As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization.  Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure.  It is what we think about.  It is what we talk about.  It is what we build our gatherings around.  “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“,  and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.

    Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it.  You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time.  It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered.  When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them.  If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.

    In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy.  What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first?  Food!  Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:

    Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

    Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God.  Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit.  However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way.  Your value has to be on what really matters.

    As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God.  When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives.  If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast.  This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.

    Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job.  In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:

    Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

    Everything that God has to say is vitally important.  Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive.  In his situation, he did not need food.  Food could not help him out of his grief, discouragement, and loss.  It could do nothing for Him.  However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God.  Life comes from Him!  Hope comes from Him!  Strength comes from Him!  As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word.  When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.

    Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life.  Open my ears to hear You.  Open my heart to obey You.  I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.

    Practical – 

    • Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
    • Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
    • Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word

    Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence!  May this accelerate The Kingdom of God in and through your life!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Precipitate The Latter Rain 11/40

    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 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 it 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 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 accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!!!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Freedom, Breakthrough, and Blessing 10/40

    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!

    Congratulations, you have made it to double digits, and by the end of the day, you will be a quarter of the way through the fast.  For those who have elected to fast on only water, the experts say that today or tomorrow all hunger and weakness should be gone and the physical health benefits should begin to be readily seen over the next few days. 

    Whenever I am called to fast, I return over and over to Isaiah 58.  This is an amazing chapter that focuses on two things: 

    1. Fasting the proper way 

    2. The many personal benefits of fasting 

    Vs. 1-5 are speaking of a people who had regularly scheduled fasting days.  Set times each months, they would fast, supposedly to honor God, and expect to receive the heavenly blessing from these fast.  However God rebukes them because of their selfish and evil motives:

    Isaiah 58:5 Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast?  Is it just a day to starve your bodies, make others think you’re humble, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast?  Do you think I, Yahweh, will be pleased with that?

    A proper fast is not for others to see, but for God to come in and purify our heart and our desires.  If we continue fasting to hear from God, but are not obedient to bring our other fleshly desires into control as He reveals them to us, our heart is wrong and we forfeit all the spiritual benefits that we would have received.  A change must take place and a humbling of our hearts where Holy Spirit is given the right to search out and place His finger on any area that is out of order.  When He highlights this area, we must say, “Yes sir, I give this to you right now.  Change me and make me new that I may never return to that old selfish, sinful way.”  

    As our hearts are set right and our focus is to allow Holy Spirit to renovate and restore our hearts and desires, we will reap the benefits of the fast that follow. Vs. 6 begins this way ““Is this not the fast that I have chosen…“, and what follow are the many varied benefits of fasting with a right heart:

    • Loose the chains of wickedness
    • Undo heavy burdens
    • Set the oppressed free
    • Break every yoke
    • Share your bread with the hungry
    • Shelter the poor homeless
    • Clothe the poor naked
    • Recognize and provide for those around you in need
    • The light and favor of God will shine upon you
    • Healing will come forth quickly
    • Righteousness will lead you
    • Glory of God will follow you
    • The Lord will answer your cries
    • He will continually be your Guide
    • He will faithfully satisfy your soul
    • He will constantly strengthen your bones
    • You will be given the right to
      • Rebuild long-deserted ruins
      • Raise up foundations of generations
      • Repair the cities
      • Restore the communities

    The list of benefits in these seven verses is almost overwhelming.  You could write books on each one of these topics and God’s amazing power to work through one whose heart is set to follow him in obedience, humility, prayer and fasting.  

    I encourage you as you continue to walk The 40, return to this passage over and over for encouragement when difficulties arise.  Confess and repent of anything revealed by Holy Spirit, and return to the place of right fasting with a right heart. God has designed you for a plan and purpose.  You are called to be totally free and walk in Kingdom breakthrough in every area of your life.  Partnering with Holy Spirit in fasting and prayer with a true heart of humility and obedience will bring about freedom and breakthrough in a way that will accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!

    Jesus, I pray that you will help my heart to be continually set on you.  May my desires line up completely with You and Your word, and my actions continually be obedient to what You speak.  I want to lay down my life as a sacrifice that you may use me as an instrument of righteousness to build Your Kingdom however You see fit.  Help me to partner with you today in humility and obedience. 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any selfish or ungodly desires in your heart
    • Bring these before the Lord in confession, repentance and humility
    • Meditate on the benefits listed in Isaiah 58
    • Ask yourself, “What can God do through my life given to Him completely with a heart of humility and obedience?”

    Be blessed today with the ability to walk in new levels of humility and obedience to every leading of Holy Spirit.  May this humility and obedience propel you in receiving all these benefits and more that you may accelerate The Kingdom, and advance into the next level with Him. 

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!