This is the fourth message in the series: Simple Discipleship.
Here is what we will be studying for next week:
Holy Spirit/Power of God
Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 4
Here is the Audio Sermon: Prayer and Fasting
As we begin to look at prayer and fasting, we must first ask two important questions:
What is Prayer?
What is Fasting?
In studying this topic, my definition of prayer would be inviting God into our lives and situations by bringing things to Him.
We are encouraged to pray without ceasing. We are not supposed to go around with our eyes closed and heads bowed all the time, but wherever we go and whatever we are doing, we are to be in constant communication with God inviting Him into our situations and surroundings and making Him a part of our everyday activities.
In coming to understand more about it, my definition of fasting is giving up legitimate pleasures as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.
God has given us necessary things, and it is the blessing of the Lord to us for them to be good. However, in talking about sacrifice, we saw that we were to give up something important to us to gain a deeper relationship with God. Fasting is a sacrifice of something that we enjoy (Food, Entertainment, Sleep…) so that we get breakthrough and walk into a deeper communion with the Lord.
Fasting always works together with prayer. Everywhere that fasting is mentioned it is in combination with prayer. Fasting without prayer is just dieting. The point of fasting is to give up a legitimate pleasure and use the extra time that we have to spend praying.
In Daniel 10, in is clearly evident that as Daniel was praying and fasting, he was empowering God’s spiritual forces to bring about change. Something happens as we fast in conjunction with prayer that empowers heavenly forces to win spiritual battles. As a result of this, Daniel was strengthened, encouraged, and given answers that he was seeking. You have the ability to empower heavenly forces to win spiritual victories through fasting and prayer!!!
In Isaiah 58, it is even more evident that fasting with the wrong motives and wrong heart is no good and not even accepted by God. As we fast, God brings revelation to us and we then have the choice whether to repent and be obedient or to ignore the revelation. When we ignore what God is saying, our fasting and praying is not powerful or effective but our hearts become increasingly hardened to the voice of God. Fasting and prayer is powerful when we repent and walk in obedience to the revelation of the Lord.
Look at a few of the benefits of the right type of fasting and praying from v. 12. God is able to build where there was once destruction. The enemy is constantly trying to bring destruction in our lives, but through fasting and prayer, God is able to build something that lasts on top of this destruction. God strengthens our foundations, revitalizes our spiritual heritage for us to pass on in greater measures to our children, fortifies our defenses and clarifies our paths. This is the kind of fasting and prayer that I want to be a part of!!!
In Matthew 6, we come to find the importance of not being religious. In regards to both prayer and fasting, Jesus mentions the secret place. The thoughts and intentions of our heart is what God judges so we should never do these things out of obligation or for other people to be proud of us. We should have a genuine desire to grow closer to the Lord and out of that heart in the secret place, God is able to give spiritual treasures. I would rather be rewarded by God rather than men any day!!!
It is also important to realize that the prayer and fasting that we do right now affects eternity. When we are in heaven, there will be no need to pray or fast because we will be partying with Jesus face to face. Right now, we have the unique ability to affect eternity with our pure prayer and holy fasting!!!
In Habakkuk 2, we find out that it does not matter how you pray, but that you are actually communicating with God. The prophet says clearly that he was waiting to be corrected. Habakkuk’s prayers would raw and filled with emotion. He did not come with proper words and civilized emotions. He came as he was and expressed himself honestly and was willing to repent and be corrected.
We also find the importance of prophetic revelation or vision. Revelation from God gives us tiny glimpses into our God-sized destiny and this compels us to align ourselves with Him and move more into it. As we write these things down, it is an encouragement to us when it takes longer to get here than we want (which is 99.99% of the time), an encouragement to others when it does finally come about, and a testimony to the glory and faithfulness of God.
The most important lesson from Mark 9 and Matthew 17 is that in the middle of our hopeless situations that we do not feel as if we can pray or have the faith to pray for complete deliverance and healing, we pray for the grace to overcome our doubt and for God to strengthen our faith.
I encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation as you meditate on these questions:
What am I praying for right now?
What are the things I have given up praying for?
Is my secret place worthy of being rewarded?
What has God revealed and called me to that I am not being obedient or repentant to?
What legitimate pleasure am I willing to give up that I might receive a spiritual breakthrough in myself and the lives of others and be launched into a deeper communion with the Lord?
I pray even now that God would give us all hungry hearts to know Him in deeper and mightier ways than ever before. Help us all to repent of the things which you reveal in our hearts and surrender to walk in full obedience to what He is calling us to. May our secret places be worthy of reward, and may God bring forth mighty spiritual rewards because of our faithfulness and perseverance in the secret place.
I would like to encourage you to pray and give something up in fasting so that you are able to step into a deeper walk with the Lord and that greater spiritual breakthrough would come in your life!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
It has been one year since Katie and I returned from our amazing adventures, one year since Gibsons Go Global officially started. It seems like it was just yesterday, but at the same time it seems like a lifetime ago. No one could have prepared us for what God called us to do. It was definitely a learning process God was teaching us and training us along the way as He does with all of those who are walking in obedience.
In New York, we learned the importance of the one and the power of prayer. God sent us there for one person — my friend Zach and to pray for the city. Would God send us to the largest city in the US to minister to one person and pray??? Was anyone else in that city able to do what we did???
When we arrived in Norway, our perception of what would happen was slightly different. We focused heavily on the one, Kjetil, and this led us to be able to minister to a small home group of six. Here, we learned the importance of spiritual heritage, and that we cannot sit back and wait for the enemy to attack. We must press forward in our Godly heritage as warriors to take back the land of the enemy that rightfully belongs to the Son who bought it with His sacrifice.
The invitation to Scotland came out of nowhere, but God was ready to put us to work with Gary and Vanessa Irvine. Here, we learned that the light of God was shining all over the world and the importance of coming together in unity to accomplish the work of the Lord!!! We were able to see even more clearly, the global revival that God is positioning His people to carry out.
Already having several contacts in England, we quickly launched into many diverse ministries out of more than three different churches. Vicar Robert and Pastor Sam set us up to be able to minister in prison, on the streets, in churches, prophetic conferences, pastors meetings, pray for healings, and prayer walk the city. We also developed some key lifelong relationships and learned the value of creating family in foreign cultures.
Returning to Spain where we first started our courtship was amazing for a rest and reconnecting with each other and good friends like Pastor Alfredo, Danny, and Jose Maria. Even here, we learned how God was moving like a wind across the land bringing revival. We got the privilege of sharing words in several churches, groups, and youth in various settings.
An unexpected trip to Kosovo yielded some great time to rest and refresh and yet here, God was still teaching and molding us for things to come. We learned of the true power of forgiveness and restoration and the value of perseverance to see the fruit that God is bringing forth. We did less ministry here, but got the opportunity to encourage and pray for several missionaries and a local pastor Imir.
Our trip to India yielded the most visible fruit. Prakash hosted us and setup ministry and invited us to minister with other visiting teams. We returned to be with Pastor Daniel and teach a YWAM DTS as well as a gathering of pastors in his hometown. God even allowed us to travel to the far Northeast and meet Maremi and minister to the Miso people. God opened blind eyes, set people free, and healed and saved so many people.
It was difficult getting into Cambodia, but God had us here during the hottest season to speak to Both’s church and encourage the leaders at the YWAM base in Batambang. It was great returning here and being able to give back once again to the Khmer people and missionaries alike.
Australia was our last foreign place to visit and here God was continuing to teach us and train for what was to come. We got to minister to a deeply spiritual people and speak truth to many who had strange spiritual concepts. We were able to minister with Kevin and YWAM Byron Bay as well as encourage some new friends in Brisbane before our trip home.
Returning to the US, we did not stop ministering as we stopped in Hawaii to see old friends in YWAM and speak life to family near San Francisco. One year ago today, we finally returned home.
Now, we are waiting. After so much teaching, training, and growing that God did in us, we are ready to spread the fire of revival even more. We have continued in every way that we can. Speaking to family, friends, churches, and even strangers about how awesome our God is. God has opened some doors, but we desire to be used so much more. Now, we are waiting, but definitely not idle. It is hard to be idle with an eight week old, but even now God is using him to open doors to minister.
We do not know what is next or what doors are opening to us as you may not either, and that is okay. I encourage you to be faithful to God and continue to use everything you have to serve Him. Give yourself completely to Him, grow in the waiting time, and He will do the work to propel you into all that He has for you!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!
Azariah, The Mighty Warrior!!!
It has been a very challenging season for us over the past few months. First of all, we would like to apologize for not being more up to date on posting as well as sending out monthly newsletters since the one we sent out in September. The day that Katie began to work on the newsletter for October, our computer that contains just about everything we do for ministry stopped working mysteriously. We have had to wait too long for the means to get it fixed and returned to us in a usable form. But praise the Lord, we are now up and running again!!! 🙂
Coming back to “normal” non-missionary life has been difficult in many ways. As we were traveling, we were standing on the word of the Lord to go, and we obeyed that word to the best of our ability. Now that we are back, it has been hard to understand what God has for us here and what He is saying next for work and ministry.
Although it has been a challenging time, we have been privileged to be able to carry on ministering in many different ways. We are privileged to be a part of leadership in Encounter God’s Presence (EGP). Formerly, this was an annual youth camp and leadership retreat, but now it has been developing into weekly meetings and numerous youth rallies across our network of churches. Katie has been involved in the organization and administration of things as well as being able to use her prophetic gifting to give words at several events. Recently, we traveled with an EGP team to Hobbs, New Mexico to put on a rally for the youth. Over a hundred youth came together and worshiped, prayed, and sought the Lord together. During this time, many were ministered to, and Katie even got to pray and watch as a young girl’s leg grew out. This along with her prophetic words touched the lives of many youth there.
This church invited the team to lead worship the next morning so that the entire congregation could be a part of what God was doing. We went early to pray and prepare our hearts to be filled with His presence and then give out what we had received. God had been speaking to me during this weekend a word that I was able to share with the worship team before they were able to minister to the congregation. During the service that followed, the power of God was displayed throughout the church and the pastor gave up his message to allow the Holy Spirit to minister as the worship continued to usher in the Kingdom of God!!!
The word that God had been speaking to me was a simple phrase, “A Moment in Time Changes Everything!!!” As I meditated on this word, God began to reveal more. We live our lives from moment to moment never really knowing what will come next and not being able to change what has been done in the past. Each moment, we are given the opportunity to be obedient to the Lord and the Truth that we know. Each moment in time changes what will come next for better of for worse. As we are faithful to the Lord and His word to us, our moment in time will come into contact with another person’s moment in time and they will be changed by the Presence of the Lord we carry with us. These life changing moments may not seem different than any other moment, because it is not even us doing anything but being obedient to the Lord. This obedience to Him allows Holy Spirit to flow supernaturally through us to whomever we come into contact with.
In Acts 9:10, we come upon “a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias”. He appears to be no special person, not a pastor or leader in a church. He was a certain disciple like you and I are supposed to be. He was spending time listening to the Lord and allowing his spirit to be filled by the presence of God. When he got a word to go and pray for a man named Saul, he did not even really want to. He had heard of all the evil horrendous things that Saul had done in the name of God, and did not want him to be healed. This would be a bit like God telling you to go and pray for a well known member of ISIS. Nevertheless, because of his relationship with the Lord he was obedient. Saul was miraculously healed and chose to follow the Lord. Ananias, a relative nobody, had a moment in time that God’s power and presence was able to be infused into Saul’s life, and this changed everything!!! Saul became Paul and later became a traveling missionary and church planter, was appointed as an apostle, brought the word of God to the Gentiles, and wrote most of the letters that still influence us to this day. Ananias gained a mighty eternal inheritance of all of these things because of a simple act of obedience that he did not even really want to do. His moment in time still influences us today and changed all of eternity!!!
We can see all kinds of these life-changing moments throughout the Bible and even to modern day history. At the time, they do not even seem to be that important, but because God was able to infuse Himself into the obedience of His people, miraculous things took place and a supernatural legacy was brought about. Think about Abraham who left everything behind to follow the Lord, and his willingness to give up his most precious son Isaac, we are his inheritance. Moses gave up the pleasures of the palace and the solitude of the wilderness to speak the words of truth to Pharaoh, and he became the leader of God’s chosen people. After much resistance, Jonah spoke a word of destruction to Nineveh that saved the entire city. The Bible is made up of simple individuals like you and I (Elijah was a man with a nature like ours… James 5:17) who chose to follow and obey the Lord and this changed history!!!
This is who you are!!! This is your inheritance!!! This is your destiny!!! God calls you as His own to walk in faithful obedience to Him. As you walk out the simple mundane acts of obedience, it allows God to inject His Spirit into the situation so that the miraculous can occur. At the time, you may not see, realize, or feel anything special.
One “little” word or one “small” act of obedience will change the world when God is the one leading and directing!!!
A tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!!
A simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if we are walking with the Spirit!!!
One moment in time changes everything!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
We are ending one journey of the Lord and beginning another as we head back to the U.S. We will begin sending out monthly newsletters that will keep you informed with what God is doing currently with us as well as covering bits and pieces of this journey with the Lord that is coming to an end. Here is our first newsletter. We look forward to sharing with you all that God is doing!!! 🙂
Again, it seems as if we have not updated in a while, but God is doing amazing things. I just want to give testimony to something that happened last week. One of our friends here made us some dinner and we sat to talk with her and another guy on staff about how we have seen the Lord work. Talk ranged from the fallacy of Calvinism to the amazing power of the Lord working through healing, both physical and spiritual. After talking for about an hour, one of the guys, Ben, asked for prayer. It was almost a “I’ll take some of that” moment. We began by praying for his kidneys. Apparently, he was born with one kidney a lot larger than the other. Along with this, he was never able to sleep on his back because of the constant pain from his kidneys. As we were praying for this, Katie got a word to check his legs, and one was shorter than the other. So, she prayed and his leg grew to be the same length as the other. By the time we were done praying, his kidney pain was gone, and he has slept on his back since with no pain. We also prayed for his eyes to be healed so he would not have to wear glasses and scoliosis. In the other areas, he was instantly healed, but not his eyes.
While we were praying for Ben, another guy on staff named Richard came in and began praying with us. After we finished with Ben, he asked for prayer for his back and neck. He had trouble with them for a long time. As we prayed, my wife felt led to check his legs as well, and one leg was shorter before she prayed. We prayed several times and each time, Richard felt something happen, (muscles loosen, stiffness gone…). When we were done praying, he was not fully healed, but it felt better than it had in a while.
I do not know why both guys were not completely and instantaneously healed. I do not know why God had us do abnormal things like standing on a chair and picking Richard up and holding him in the air. But, I know that we were obedient to pray and do what He called us to do. These two guys had enough faith to ask for prayer, and they saw a measure of healing.
After we were done praying for these two, we sat around talking some more. Another girl came in and mentioned that she was having trouble with her neck and Sonya, the girl who made us dinner and the one we were talking with before the healing broke out was so filled with excitement to pray for her. We did not see anything happen then, but it was great to see how God reawakened the desire to pray for people because of what she had seen. Interestingly, two evenings later, we had a gathering of young adults here and one of the young men had a word to pray for someone with neck pain. It was the same girl that got prayer. Again, I do not know why she was not healed the first time, but God cared about her enough to reveal prophetically to someone to pray for her. In the end, I noticed something that was key to this whole situation.
These things happened because we began to speak and declare who God was. We were speaking about principles of healing, and the things that we saw God do on our trip and that led to Ben asking for prayer. We acted on it and saw Ben healed and this led to Richard’s healing. Before the young man gave this word, we had been sitting and talking about how good God was and I shared with Him the testimony of two nights earlier.
As we speak out the wonderful works of the Lord, it strengthens the faith in people and causes things to happen. God has called us to be witnesses of what we have seen and know to be true! The more we share this with the people around us, the more He is able to come and build the faith it takes for miracles to take place.
May our prayer be like the Apostles in Acts 4:29-31 (“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.)
No matter what other may think or how they may feel about you, you are a witness and are called to speak of what you have seen and know to be true! Today, begin speaking boldly about the wonderful works of God and be obedient in whatever He calls you to say or do and watch Him do greater things still!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Pastor JoseMaria shares about the importance of speaking with God, and we share about words that the Lord gave us for Spain that also apply to your life today. Make sure you watch to the end and receive a great impartation!