Tag Archives: release

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!!!

    Press Through to Breakthrough! 19/40

    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

    Here we go again!  Another awesome day in The Lord.  There may not be anything special to day 19 for you, but God has a special reward for those who diligently seek Him.  He has your reward!  He is the reward! He has more on day 19 to give than yesterday, and I pray a special outpouring of His glory and grace to continue in strength, life, and provision today! Hallelujah! 

    God is good and continually blesses our mouths with good things.  Whether we are eating or not, He nourishes our soul and spirit with true manna from heaven.  Every single one of us is seeking Him in prayer and fasting for a reason and a purpose.  I have encouraged you to make a list of things to be praying and declaring over the length of the fast.  Do not neglect to pray for these things.  On my list are the impossible things, supernatural healing, wisdom from heaven, open doors, souls, nations, freedom and breakthrough.  

    Do not allow discouragement to dishearten you from pressing in and continuing to lift these things up in prayer to the Lord.  We do not see all that is taking place in the spiritual realm, but we know this: James 5:16-18 tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! 17 Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed again and the skies opened up over the land so that the rain came again and produced the harvest.  Passionate, diligent, earnest prayers from a believer walking in righteousness have the power to change things that happen in the spiritual realm.  We discuss this more in “Shifting the Heavens“.  

    What is does not mention in this passage is that Elijah had to go before the Lord and pray seven times before He began to see the fruit of his prayer for rain to return to the land (1 Kings 18:42-46).  Elijah’s powerful prayers were not immediately answered.  He had to press through to breakthrough.  He had to get past his doubts, fear, worries, and seeming lack of power to experience the blessing that God had promised would come.  He had to look to the promise and press in until he saw fulfillment of that promise.

    Later, we see an interesting story taking place in Judges 20 that demonstrates the point even more fully.  During a time when Israel was without a leader, every man did what was right in his own eyes.  Here, the city of Gibeah, of the tribe of Benjamin, had committed an atrocity.  Their fleshly desire to abuse and injure a Levite led them to instead rape and murder his female slave.  Instead of repenting, the entire tribe of Benjamin “backs their boys” and goes out to war against the rest of Israel who is coming against them as retribution for turning from The Lord and committing this atrocity. Israel asked The Lord if they should war against Benjamin and who should go first.  God speaks for them to go and put Judah first.  Following God’s direction, 22,000 men of Israel are slain during Israel’s defeat that day.  Israel goes to God again and asks if they should return to the battle.  God says go, and at the instruction of God, 18,000 more people are slaughtered and Israel defeated.  Israel, God’s people fighting for justice and righteousness, are sorely defeated because they listened and obeyed God’s words explicitly.   Why was this happening?  Why were they defeated? What was taking place? Twice, Israel went through devastating tragedies and they were doing right.  They were obeying the law.  

    Whatever else was happening, there was tremendous discouragement taking place at their defeat.  This is their response:   Judges 20:26-28 Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening… So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord… saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?”  And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.” Again, the people of Israel return to the Lord.  This time, it says that all the people came to The Lord with repentance, fasting and prayer.  We do not know if all the people were unified before, but now, they know they need a breakthrough and only God can help them.  Their military prowess has been overwhelmingly defeated and only God can give them the breakthrough.  In unified hearts, prayers, and fasting, they follow the instructions of the The Lord and 30 of their people die in the battle the next day, but 25,100 of the tribe of Benjamin are defeated.  Whether the change was in their hearts, mind, or actions, they finally come into line with The Lord and gain their victory and breakthrough.   

    This is my encouragement for today, it is in repentance, fasting, and prayer that our hearts fully come into line with God, His plans, and His purposes.  Whether the change takes place in us or in the spiritual realm, we cannot always understand or know.  What I do know is that we must press through to breakthrough.  A butterfly must struggle to be released from its chrysalis or it will never have the strength to fly in the power it has been given.  It will languish and die if released by some other unseen force beyond its own struggle.  Through its struggles, it is empowered to breakthrough and fly.  May this word be manifest in us today.  Through your struggling and warring with God in the secret place, may you press through and gain the strength and sustenance to breakthrough and walk into new levels with Him.

     Jesus, help me to never give up on following You and what You have called me to do, say, pray for, or walk in.  I trust You to complete Your promises even as You strengthen me to press through every hindrance into the destiny You have designed for me. 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance the promises spoken to you that you may have given up on.
    • Ask for a renewal of strength to press in for the breakthrough in these areas
    • Ask for His patient perseverance to press through the fear, worry, unbelief, and other obstacles
    • Continue to press through for the breakthrough

    I bless you to receive the power and strength of The Almighty to press through that the breakthrough may take place in you and the lives of all those around you!

    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!!!

    Talitha Koum: Time for Victorious Awakening

    These past five days have been foundation-shaking and exposing for the Body of Christ. On Saturday, Bethel worship leader, Kalley Heiligenthal and her husband, Andrew’s two year old daughter, Olive, suddenly stopped breathing and was pronounced dead by the doctors.

    IMG_1524

    Painting: Jacob Daniels

    As heartbreaking as the situation was, precious Olive’s parents issued a clarion call to the Global Body of Christ to boldly pray and contend faith-filled prayers that call forth the Resurrection Power Christ won for us through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. For five days, we have joined with them and hundreds of thousands of believers from across the nations to dare to believe that God really is Who He says He is…the Resurrected King, Whose very breath, authority, power, and Spirit is living on the inside of us.


    I have found myself undone and simply messed up at how God is using this situation to jolt awake the Body of Christ to awaken from her slumber and to arise to His call, His light shining upon her. I have seen a beautiful unity arise from the ashes of what the enemy intended for defeat; and a unified Body lift up praise and worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Worship is our warfare against every demonic principality and worship is our weapon against every foe that dare raise its hand against the Lord.

    I must confess, I have found my own faith examined during these days. We have been through a number of situations in our own lives where we have warred and fought for the resurrection power of God to touch those dearest to us. For reasons we do not understand, we didn’t receive our loved ones back from the dead then. I immediately went into fasting, warring, and prayer mode upon hearing the report on Sunday. I took hold of His commission to me as a guardian of His Little Ones and grasped the hem of His garment; determined to see Olive’s name erased from His list of His Little Ones whose lives had been snuffed out by the enemy before the fulfillment of their days.

    I discerned it as an obvious attack against His Little Ones and the Body; for by the evening, I had recorded five accounts from Saturday morning to Sunday evening of those who either died suddenly or whose lives were hanging in the balance.

    As the days draw on, the Global Body continues to grow and rally together to call forth Life to Olive, that the breath of Victorious Awakening enter her lungs. I could smell the stench of the enemy creeping in to whisper doubt and unbelief as the situation appeares more “impossible” as time goes forward, placing a clock on God’s miracle power. I found my faith challenged to dare to believe that though I didn’t see the answers I cried out for in the past, that HE IS THE RESURRECTION and it’s not my idea to Resurrect. When push comes to shove, my job is to believe, decree, and declare; and let Him do the rest. I am going all in to fasten my line of faith to Jesus and believe with all I am that HE IS FAITHFUL AND HE IS LIFE.

    This is Awakening.

    The Body is shaking and hell is trembling. Surely, the world will see the undeniable power and realty of God in a way it has never seen. I genuinely believe the word He gave me a few months ago, The Great Sift for the Shift: The Call to Holiness, is coming forth in an even greater way to prepare the Bride for her Groom in the coming days.

    While praying Tuesday morning, I heard the Lord say:

    December 17, 2019

    “I am continuing to sift and separate, to shake and reorder. I am continuing to expose unbelief so that faith can take its rightful place in My Body. For many, they have cast their lines of faith on the wrong side of the boat and have caught nothing. I am releasing a corporate opportunity to unlatch the cords of faith from the fruitless works; and to recast them in fruitful waters where My Spirit is brooding over.

    I am releasing the call for My Bride to fasten her faith to Me and My promises. There is no room in My Kingdom for double-mindedness, doubt, and unbelief. I am ekballo-ing those barriers out of these waters so that My Bride may receive what has been prepared and promises that she may receive her reward.

    I am reawakening the governmental authority in My Bride again. She has forgotten what she has been given authority and dominion over — what I victoriously and rightfully restored when I became the firstborn of many from the dead. I am reminding her of WHO she is and WHOSE she is! She must have her faith fastened to Me in order to rule and reign in her position and authority.”


    Hebrews‬ ‭11:33‬-35 (TPT‬‬)
    Through faith’s power they conquered kingdoms and established true justice. Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality!
    It was faith that shut the mouth of lions, put out the power of raging fire, and caused many to escape certain death by the sword. Although weak, their faith imparted power to make them strong!
    Faith sparked courage within them and they became mighty warriors in battle, pulling armies from another realm into battle array.
    Faith-filled women saw their dead children raised in resurrection power.
    Yet it was faith that enabled others to endure great atrocities. They were stretched out on the wheel and tortured, and didn’t deny their faith in order to be freed, because they longed for a more honorable and glorious resurrection!

    When looking at the Greek, verse 33 literally means:

    The divine persuasion and confidence / to contend for a prize through intense warfare, to endeavor with strenuous zeal; to descend from a higher abode to a lower plane to cast down that which exalts itself above the Kingdom of God / to exercise Christ’s authority and dominion living on the inside of us over the kingdom of darkness; and to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth / to accomplish a task or assignment through action / to establish divine righteousness and to deliver the verdict of justice through God’s judicial approval / to strike or hit the target, or reach the mark with pinpoint accuracy / the divine assurance of His good promises.

    What have you fastened your faith to? Are there promises you’ve yet to see fulfilled? Keep pressing in and pressing through, to see your breakthrough!

    ‭‭John‬ ‭21:4-7‬ ‭(AMP‬‬)
    As morning was breaking, Jesus [came and] stood on the beach; however, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish [to eat along with your bread]?” They answered, “No.”
    And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat (starboard) and you will find some.” So they cast [the net], and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great catch of fish.
    Then that disciple (John) whom Jesus loved (esteemed) said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
    So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer tunic (for he was stripped for work) and threw himself into the sea [and swam ashore].

    Sometimes it takes a simple adjustment in our faith and in our lives to become perfectly aligned with the Father’s will for us, in us, and through us. At times our vision can become askew through life circumstances, doubt, unbelief, and when we are unable to see past what we perceive in the natural that appears contrary to His promises and Word. When realignment takes place, we are thrust into the abundant harvest He always designed for us and our eyes see Him and His Glory.

    In Mark 5, Jairus, the synagogue official came to Jesus asking Him to heal his daughter who was sick and on her deathbed. Then, messenger from his household appear delivering the news that the girl had died.

    Mark‬ ‭5:36, 38-40‬ ‭(TPT‬‬)
    But Jesus refused to listen to what they were told and said to the Jewish official, “Don’t yield to fear. All you need to do is to keep on believing.”

    When they arrived at the home of the synagogue ruler, they encountered a noisy uproar among the people, for they were all weeping and wailing. Upon entering the home, Jesus said to them, “Why all this grief and weeping? Don’t you know the girl is not dead but merely asleep?” Then everyone began to ridicule and make fun of Him. But He threw them all outside.

    Then He took the child’s father and mother and His three disciples and went into the room where the girl was lying.

    The story continues with Jesus laying hands on the girl and speaking, “talitha koum”, which means, “little girl (or little lamb), wake up from the sleep of death.” Immediately, she awakens and is resurrected!

    The world may look on and see all of this worship, contending, and bold faith for Olive’s resurrection as foolishness; but He uses what the world calls foolish to confound the wise. We must follow the example Jesus set. He refused to listen to the report that brought death, that spoke in opposition to the will of God. He discerned the girl had died prematurely and she still had a destiny to fulfill.

    In fact, He declared Awakening! He gave the invitation to believe again, to come up higher, and to cast down fear! And to all the mockers and scoffers, He kicked them out, making no room for them!

    In the Greek, it is the word, “EKBALLO”, which means, “to cast forth, hurl forth, thrust forth, with violence.” It is the same word used when Jesus said, “I cast out demons by the finger of God…” (Luke 11:20), and when He said to His disciples in Matthew 9:38, “As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest His grain!”

    Are there promises in your life that appear to have died prematurely? Has doubt, fear, and unbelief crept in and disengaged or derailed you from the manifestation of His Glory revealed in your life? Refuse to give ear to the report of the enemy, and kick out every opposing force in your life, leaving no room for them to hinder the will of God! Dare to believe that every word He has spoken will not return void and without bearing fruit! Dare to dream again and trust in His timing! Decree and declare the Word of the Lord until you find yourself saying, “It happened just as He promised!”

    I end with this: All day yesterday and today I have heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the Glory of God?!”

    He IS the Resurrection and the Life! You need only BELIEVE!

    Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

    Jesus The Bridegroom 40/40

    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!

    You have made it! Today is the last day of The 40! Whatever else has taken place over the duration, we have set our hearts to seek The Lord, and together we have reached the finish line.  Even though The 40 will be completed tomorrow, I pray that we have all gained something that will stay with us throughout the rest of our lives.  

    May the hunger and humility of seeking Jesus first and coming to Him for everything we need only increase as we are propelled into new levels with Him!  Begin even now looking for the change, the increase, the revelation, and recognize that it comes straight from The throne because of His faithfulness as The Rewarder.

    The last few days, we have been talking about feasting, celebration, and obedience.  We must always have a right heart no matter what we are doing so that only God will get the glory.  Today, I want to look at some of the words of Jesus that not only give us hope for today, but help look to the future as well.

    Matthew 9:14-15 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 

    Contained in these words of Jesus are some very important things we need to see.  We, as disciples of Jesus, are called “friends of the bridegroom”.  We are Jesus’ friends if we are his disciples.  It is always important to realize that we move from being servants and slaves to friends and heirs.  We will take joy in what Jesus takes joy in.  Whatever He sets His heart on will be on ours as well.  We should be completely full of joy in the presence of Jesus. As we seek Him, we come into a place of celebration even though their may be depression, despair, and darkness all around.  

    Jesus also lets us know in these passages once again that we are supposed to fast. Currently, we do not have Jesus with us in the body.  In our fasting, we are longing for Him, The Great Bridegroom to return just as He said He would.  Fasting prepares us to receive Jesus in the right way at His second coming.  Then Jesus goes on to say:

    Matthew 9:16-17 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

    Again, we see that fasting prepares our hearts to receive the new things that Jesus wants to release to us in preparation for His return.  If we are not filled with Holy Spirit over and over again, we will become crusty, dried out, and useless for the Kingdom.  The more that we fast and seek Him, we will be prepared to receive The Great Bridegroom at His second coming.  

    We also need to realize that through fasting and prayer, seeking Him, and being obedient we will hasten the return of Jesus.  

    Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

    In this chapter, Jesus is asked when the end will come.  Jesus tells a lot of signs that will indicate the nearness of the end.  However, this passage tell what must take place before then end.  Once again, we return to The Father’s heart for souls.  The gospel must be preached in every nation or tongue and then Jesus The Bridegroom will return.  Fasting, praying, seeking The Father and being obedient will give us His heart for those who do not know Him. By His Spirit, we are enabled and empowered to be His witness everywhere that we go, across oceans and across the street.

    My encouragement for today is not to stop seeking The Lord and to ever remain obedient to Him even after The 40 ends.  We are friends and therefore will desire to show our love in practical ways even beyond our intitial commitment.  If we truly desire Jesus The Bridegroom to return in all of His glory, we will seek Him, gain His heart, and be an obedient witness to share Him anywhere and everywhere that He may take us. 

    Jesus, I desire to see you returning in all of Your glory! I want to walk on this earth as your friend ever working to prepare the way for Your second coming. Do a work in my heart and my life that I will never stop seeking to know you and help others to know you and well. Help me to prepare my heart and this land for your return. I love you and know that You are worth so much more than I could ever give.  So, once again, I give you my heart and life to do with as You will!

    Practical –

    • Ask for revelation of Jesus as your friend and bridegroom
    • Seek Him for His heart
    • Live in obedience to all that He asks if you

    Be blessed today with the ability to truly be propelled into the next level.  May your heart and life come more into line with Jesus, and may you give Him all that He deserves, today, tomorrow, and forever!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Fasting & Feasting 38/40

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

    As we are on the homestretch to finish the 40, I want to remind us that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do great things in our lives because of our faithfulness to walk out obedience.  God looks on the smallest of acts of obedience and rewards mightily as we set our hearts to glorify Him. Let’s continue all the way to the end because He is worth it and we love Him!

    Most of The 40, we have discussed the benefits and blessings of fasting.  Amazing things come from presenting our bodies as loving and living sacrifices to be used by God.  However, yesterday we began to talk about glorifying God in our feasting as well as our fasting.  People that hear me talk about fasting might think that I do not like to eat.  They would be completely wrong.  However, I have found the value in fasting to the glory of God as well as eating to the glory of God.  As we prepare our hearts to return to our normal lifestyle, let’s focus on glorifying God in every area of our lives.  

    Today, I let’s return to the prophet Zechariah.  He comes upon the scene at a time in Israel’s history after they have been released from captivity. The people are in their own land finally and cannot seem to continue on rebuilding the city because of the opposition.  Complacency and lethargy set in and they go about their normal way of life not really doing anything spectacular or impressive.  Even in the midst of their indifference, they continue the religious fasting that has been set up for them to carry out.  

    Let’s look at the words of Zechariah to the people:

    Zechariah 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace…

    The people of Israel have four set times during the year that they are fasting and setting apart to The Lord.  However, the temple has not been rebuilt and all of their daily life is languishing cause God is not glorified in their daily routine.  The people are admonished to love truth and peace and be joyful and glad even during the feasts.  As they are obedient, even in their daily feasting and eating, a great reward wil be given them.  

    Let’s read more:

    Zechariah 8:21-23 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’ 

    The inhabitants of peoples, cities, and nations will be drawn to Israel as they continually pray and seek The Lord.  Our daily life is not devoid of divine interaction.  Every moment of our lives should be submitted in obedience to The God of the universe.  As we lay our lives down before Him, He will draw all men to Himself.  

    The other thing that is important in this passage is that people are coming from all around because God is with His people.  Wherever we happen to be, grocery store, gas station, school, workplace, or somewhere else, people should realize that God is with us.  We carry the very Spirit and presence of an almighty God inside us as we are submitted in obedience to Him.  He should ever be radiating His glory from us and effecting the atmosphere around us.  

    As we talk about the glory of God continuously emanating from our being, Here is a final caution from Psalm 78:

    Psalm 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.

    The day to day lives of the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt were rebellion and disobedience.  Because they did not live in obedience and humility, they actually limited the God of the universe from doing what He wanted to do through them.  We must continually seek to remove anything our of our lives that would get in the way of Him moving in us and through us.  We must seek to never limit God in what He wants to do no matter whether we are fasting or feasting!

    My encouragement for us today is to continually seek The Lord and His way.  As He reveals a himself to us, may we walk in humility and obedience that He may move how He wants to move, big or small. If it is our heart to seek Him, love Him, and glorify His name at all times, God will be glorified in our fasting as well as our feasting as well as all the time in between.

    Jesus, here I am! I desire to be used mightily by You. May every area of my life be completely surrendered to You!  I love You and desire for You to be glorified continually through my life.  Help me to always lift You up and allow You to have free reign to do whatever You want to do in and through my life. 

    Practical –

    • Set your heart to seek The Lord
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you
    • Walk in continual obedience 
    • Invite Him to speak and move in your daily routine as well as your specialized time with Him

    Be blessed to experience and release the power of The Resurrected Lord in your daily life. May you never limit him because of disobedience but release a him in all of His fullness to work through you.  As you allow God to move in greater ways during your daily routine, may this propel you into the next level with Him.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Heart to Obey 37/40

    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

    With only 5 days left of the fast, I am sure I am not the only one counting down until the end.  As much as I have loved going through The 40 together, I am ready to celebrate and enjoy good things once again, as I am sure we all are.  In the final days of this fast, there will be a shifting from talking about the importance of giving God glory in fasting, humility and repentance to glorifying Him in feasting, celebration, and obedience.

    Today, I want to look at a place in scripture where the people were fasting out of a wrong heart but expecting good results. They were also feasting our of a wrong heart.  Everything was all about how it made themselves feel and not what God wanted.  Let’s examine the book of Zechariah:

    Zechariah 7:2-3 when the people sent Sherezer… to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?” 

    The people in captivity are away from their homeland, but are still trying to cling to their heritage, history, and traditions. They sent this man to the priests to ask if they should continue their ritual of fasting as they always had.  This is the response they get from God:

    Vs. 5-7 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months  during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets… ?’ 

    God is not impressed with their act of fasting, because they are doing it for their own benefit. God is not getting the glory.  Even in their eating and drinking that God could be receiving some sort of thanksgiving, praise, or honor, it is all about themselves instead of Him.  Whether you are fasting or feasting, obedience to The Lord is what allows you to worship and glorify Him!  If your heart is right, you will be able to praise The Lord whether you are fasting or feasting.

    Vs 8-10 ” Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.’ 

    The practical things God reveals to Zechariah for the people to do are not difficult, but neither are they easy for a people used to pleasing their own selves.  God must be the center, the main goal, and aim of our hearts if we are to truly worship Him in every area of our lives.  

    Vs. 11-12 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.

    The revelation of The Lord was streaming forth from the mouth of the prophet, but they would not obey, turned away, and would not even hear what God was calling out of them.  Selfish people with selfish hearts were unwilling to change and come into line with The God of grace and mercy.  This made their heart hard, and they had to suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

    The 40 has been all about the softening of our hearts and the opening of our ears to hear. This becomes easier to do as we have a special time set apart to seek Him.  However, as we near the end of the fast, and will soon return to our normal way of life, what is to keep us from hardening our hearts and continuing to walk in our own ways?

    Obedience! Obedience is key to daily walking in worship.  God is continually speaking forth His revelation, and we will continue to hear as we obey what we have been given. When we are disobedient to the Word of The Lord, our hearts will become hard.  The more we disobey, the more we will walk in our own way. God longs to pour out His mighty blessings upon us. He always has the best for us, but this is dependent upon our obedience to come into line with Him.  

    My encouragement for us today is to seek The Lord for a new heart to walk in continuous obedience.  We will not always want to obey.  We will not always feel like obeying. In these times, we must truly believe that Jesus is worth our complete and total obedience. A heart of obedience will always lead us to worship and glorify our God and Father of grace, mercy, and love no matter what may be going on in us or around us.

    Jesus, right now, when my heart is more receptive to you than ever, I want to be completely obedient to You, Your plans, and Your purposes.  I want to follow You and walk in Your way no matter what may be taking place in my life.  Whether it is something I want to hear or do, I want to totally obey all that You speak that You may receive all the praise, glory, and honor possible from my life. 

    Practical –

    • Ask Holy Spirit to give you a willing and obedient heart
    • Glorify Him in your obedience today
    • Thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do

    Be be blessed today with the ability and willingness to walk in obedience to all God is revealing. May you be released and propelled into the next level with Him as you obey to the best of your ability!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!