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!
- 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!!!
Somehow in seeking The Lord, David comes into a place where he hears a heavenly conversation taking place. This conversation takes place in Psalms 2. God The Father is speaking to His son and this is what He says:
Psalm 2:7-8 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
The Father says to The Son because You are My Son, I will give you an inheritance. What is this inheritance? The nations and the ends of the earth. These are God’s to give and He says ask me, and I will give them to you. If God is our Father in heaven and holy is His Name, His kingdom must come and a His will must be done on earth as it is done in heaven. You and I are his children, begotten in the gospel.
How much more should we ask Him for the nations and ends of the earth for our possession?
Have you asked Him for souls, cities, or nations?
Knowing this, let’s jump forward to when Jesus came to the earth. He was surrounded and submersed in all the things we are today. Poverty, sickness, darkness, sin, and death surrounded his every day life. One day these things overwhelm Jesus’s heart of compassion gained by spending time seeking The Father. He sees the hopeless scattered sheep, but He sees a great harvest for the Kingdom. There was more work than any one man could ever do just bringing them into the Kingdom.
What was Jesus’ solution?
Matthew 9:36-38 But when He [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Jesus said pray and ask The Lord of the harvest to call, equip, and send forth laborers. We are not just supposed to spend our days in prayer and seeking God, but we are to pray that we may become witnesses, laborers, vessels of righteousness used by God. When we know God’s heart, we will ask that His desires be made manifest in the earth.
My encouragement for today is to begin to ask for souls, pray for an inheritance of nations. Together we have been seeking to know The Father and growing in Him. Now, let’s begin to pray and ask to be His witnesses, and that He would give us souls, cities, regions, and nations. This is the inheritance of the saints, the saving and discipling of all nations, tribes, and tongues. Over 3 billion people still have not heard, it is time to pray for the Lord of The Harvest to send forth laborers into the field and be willing to go ourselves!
Jesus, I love you! I desire to grow in knowing You and developing Your heart and Your desires. I ask for the nations as my inheritance and the ends of the earth for my possessions. Use me to reach the unreached. May those in darkness see Your light shining brightly out of me and been drawn to You. I am willing to go. Send out Your workers to bring in the harvest that I may not be alone in bringing in this great harvest of souls!!!
- Ask Holy Spirit to draw you deeper in to knowing Him and give you a heart of compassion
- Ask for the nations as your inheritance
- Ask for souls of specific people in your family, workplace, school, and sphere.
- Pray The Lord of The Harvest to send forth laborers into the field
Be blessed today with knowing God in a greater way than ever before and gaining a true heart of compassion! May you receive an amazing inheritance of souls coming into The Kingdom as you are propelled into the next level with the King!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
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 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.
- 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 propel you to the next level in Him!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!