Tag Archives: single

What’s Next? 41/40

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

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

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

So, what’s next? 

What happens from here?

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

Philippians 3:12-16 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

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

What is the goal?  

What is the prize?  

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

What is maturity? 

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

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

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

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

Practical –

  • Keep moving Forward with Holy Spirit

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Possess The Land (Live) 35/40

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

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

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

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

Today we will discuss the last step:

    5. Live a life in accordance to The Word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus says something similar regarding this subject:

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

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

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

Are you neglecting it fully or in part?

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

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

Practical –

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

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

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Your Inheritance (Ask) 32/40

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

It’s week 5, and we are still alive. We are down to single digits until the end of the fast. Some may not have thought it possible to go this long, but God has been faithfully going before us, walking beside us, and He will bring up the rear with His glory.  Let’s continue steadfastly seeking The God of heaven for all He wants to do in us and through us! This is what you were made for, an eternity of seeking Him!

As we have been praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord to be propelled to the next level in Him, there has been a shift.  Yesterday, I shared about being God’s Witness and how this comes from the secret, quiet intimacy of knowing God and receiving His heart.  When this takes place, His desire to be made great in our lives turns into the worship of us being witness of the testimony He has done in us. Knowing God and growing in your relationship with Him is the first step of being a witness.  

Today, I want to discuss the second step of being a witness, you must Ask!  God desires to use everyone everywhere to be his witnesses.  However, when we come to truly know God and His desires begin to grow inside of us, we will begin to ask and pray to be a witness.  

Do you pray daily for specific lost people around you in your family, at your school or workplace, in your neighborhood?

Although this is something that we should do, because of the cares of this world, often we do not.  The cares of the world choke out the life of the seeds of prayer that are never sown into the hearts of those who have no knowledge of The King or The Kingdom.  

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!!! 

Practical –

  • 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!!!

Help Me 26/40

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!

Here we are on day 26.  Let’s remember to continue to walk in humility, repentance, and constant prayer as we move toward the completion of week four. This is not where we have started and this is not where we end.  We are right in the middle of where God wants us to be.  You can do it, go ahead and press on through it.  

In a place of humility as well as being strengthened by Holy Spirit, never be afraid to ask for help. The individual self-sustaining mentality especially in The West is that you must do it yourself and it is a shame and disgrace to ask for help.  However, at some point, we all get to a point beyond what we can do in our own strength, physically and spiritually, and that is when we must go to The Lord and others and ask for help.  It should never be an issue when we ask for help as long as we are pressing in to The Lord and seeking Him. Then, when we ask for help, we are asking others to press in to The Lord with us and help us out with what they can do in the physical or spiritual.  

Even when we are being obedient to The Lord and doing everything right, we will still need help to overcome the insurmountable obstacles of the world. We go to God first, but must not overlook the fact that God has placed us where we are in community with others to help us.  Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at a time when it was not exactly popular to serve God. He reigned in Judah at the same time as King Ahab and Jezebel in Israel. His righteousness and faithfulness caused him to outlive the rulers of Israel’s wickedness

Jehoshaphat is walking with The Lord and bringing great spiritual reformation to Judah so of course the blessing and favor of God is upon him and he has no problems, right?  Let’s look at what takes place in today’s reading:

2 Chronicles 20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is  En Gedi).

Three pagan kings see the blessing of God on Jehoshaphat and gather together to come and destroy him and all of Judah.  Word is brought to him that there is a great multitude coming against him.

Vs. 3-4 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord .

Jehoshaphat was a real man and when this great multitude came against him, the enemy tried to bring in a crippling spirit of fear to overwhelm him before the battle even took place. He was not without fear, but recognizing his fear, Jehoshaphat set himself to seek the Lord.  Then, he gathered together all of Judah to humble themselves in prayer and fasting in asking The Lord for help.  This was the proper response. Jehoshaphat  goes to God himself and realizes this is bigger than just him and calls the whole land to help him in seeking The Lord together. There is great power that comes from seeking The Lord together with others.  That is one reason why we are joining together as a community, literally all over the world, seeking The Lord as one.  

During this time of prayer, fasting, and seeking The Lord together, Holy Spirit comes upon Jahaziel and the word of God comes forth:

Vs. 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

God uses Jahaziel to strengthen and encourage not just Jehoshaphat, but the whole assembly not to fear. Because they have come to God together and placed the situation in His hands, He will now take care of it.  Judah got what they were looking for, but they did not leave and get back to their daily work they had forsaken to come together.  They continued in humility and worshiped The Lord.

Vs. 18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord . 

They worshiped before the victory took place. They chose to worship at the simple word that was brought forth. Even beyond this, they decided it was time to put true faith into action.  If this is God’s battle, we are going to do something truly radical.

Vs. 20-21 …Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord , For His mercy endures forever.”

I want to point out that God did not tell them to send the worshippers first. This was not a word of The Lord, but this was pure faith that God would do what He said.  The people are so sure of Lord to do what he has said that they place the worshippers in front of the warriors. If this is The Lord’s battle, He will go before us and defeat the army, and we will come after him and worship him for the victory.  Somehow, the fear that once gripped Jehoshaphat has turned into faith in action as he has asked for help from God and his community.  This is the result.

Vs. 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

Here was God working a mighty sign and wonder for his people because they had joined together, strengthened each other, and acted in faith as one.  This was all a result because one man asked for help in the most overwhelming situation. God and his community joined together to rescue Jehoshaphat from the place of fear and helped walk with him into victory. 

Here we are today, every single one of us have situations in our lives that we have been humbling ourselves, praying, fasting and seeking the Lord to change. Lost family members, demonic attacks on health, depression, fear, oppression and so many more supposedly insurmountable obstacles ominously overshadow us every day.  It is time to ask for help first from God, and also the community of faith around us that God Almighty will speak and work in a way we have not yet seen.  I encourage you, you are not alone! If you would like this community to be praying for you, please send us a message or leave a comment below. 

Jesus, I need your help! I choose to come to You as my strength and my rescue. Raise up a community of faith around me that I can join in seeking you together that community victory may take place in mighty ways all over the world.  Help me to join with you and others in walking out faith in action and seeing your glory manifest that we may worship you together in deeper ways than we ever thought possible!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit for help
  • Ask Him to raise up your community of faith 
  • Ask this community to join you in seeking The Lord
  • Apply faith in action to the word and promises He speaks

Be blessed today to see the God of Victory made manifest to destroy and decimate the overshadowing mountains of difficulty that have arisen around you.  May you be quick to run to Him for help.  May a community of faith arise around you to join with you in seeking The Lord and seeing His promises manifest in a special way!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Direction & Protection 24/40

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!

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press Through to Breakthrough 19/40

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!

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 thing.  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 was taking place over 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 the 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 in the next 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 not be pressing in to see take place at this moment.
  • 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!!!

Spiritual Alignment 16/40

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!

Patience, persistence, and perseverance are words we like to avoid.  We have moved past the need for longsuffering to patience because that is a nicer way to say it.  However, longsuffering is a much more descriptive term to what is taking place.  Whatever you happen to call it, it takes work to continue in the faith of believing for your breakthrough into the next level.  I encourage you to look to Jesus from Whom comes your help.  May you be long-prospering even as you move past longsuffering.

Every single one of us are walking through this life.  No one is exempt from the troubles and hardships the world has to bring.  I would love to tell you that as you seek the Lord, you become perfect and can live somewhere in a bubble of perfect communion with God that will take you out of the world and make everything okay.  This is not the case.  In fact Jesus said:

John 17:15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

At one time, the followers of Christ thought to create a separate culture like a monastery or convent that was set apart from the world, but Jesus never meant for this to happen.  You are meant to be His shining light in the middle of a dark world that many may see His light shining through you and be drawn to Him by your words and actions.  The way you respond in the same negative situations that others are going through should be a testimony to the greatness and glory of God in you. 

Sadly, we often do not handle the circumstances of life much different than the people in the world.  Because of our weak humanity, we fall into complaining, pain, despair, and even the depression and darkness that plagues the world.  This happens because our flesh and soul have not yet come into line with The Holy Spirit yet.  It is a process to ‘work out our salvation”  that we may truly become one with Him.

The heroes of the faith did not have it any easier than we do, and we even have recorded many of David’s passionate prayers and cries for help as he was going through terrifying life ordeals.  From him, we discover a key to bringing our flesh and soul into line with God’s plans and purposes even in the middle of the daily struggles.

Psalm 69:10 When they see me seeking for more of you with weeping and fasting,
they all just scoff and scorn at my passion.

Vs. 13 But I keep calling out to you, Yahweh! I know you will bend down to listen to me,
for now is the season of favor. Because of your faithful love for me, your answer to my prayer will be my sure salvation.

David reveals a secret into aligning our flesh and soul with Holy Spirit that many would pass over.  He is seeking more of God with passionate prayer and fasting.  Even when others would make fun of him for it, he is persistent.  He continues on.  David has so much confidence that God will come through to help in the situation, he does not care what others may say about his “pitiful cries for help”.  Prayer and fasting cause our soul to come into line with Holy Spirit in a way that nothing else can.  Fasting reveals our flesh and the prayer helps us give those things that arise over to God in the correct way.  These two together help us to truly become longsuffering.  A transformation begins to happen within us that creates the ability to weather the storms of this life and even be a witness in the most tragic circumstances.  This process continues as we continually seek Jesus and are changed by Him.

Jesus, I need you today.  My flesh and soul are constantly trying to pull me into world ways and earthly thinking, but I desire to be like you.  As I pray and fast, strip off the ways of the world and help me come into perfect alignment with You and Holy Spirit.  Even in the trials and tragedies of life, help me to shine brightly who You are because I run to you quickly for help in my time of need.  Give me the ability to be a true longsuffering light in the darkness!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you see where He is working
  • Ask for strength and assurance that He is with you
  • Live your life with the perseverance He brings
  • Shine the glory of God in the dark situations

Be blessed today to see the glory of The Lord in the land of the living.  Even in the intense darkness, may you know He is with you and shine brightly His glory as you are propelled into the next level with Him.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!