Tag Archives: suffer

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!!!

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!!!

What’s It Worth To You? 3/40

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!

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Today, I will choose to be thankful and bless The Lord no matter how my body may feel.  Right now, if you have given up food, it is normal for your body to go through some of the same symptoms of withdrawal.  Too much salt, sugar, and caffeine in our daily lives will cause headaches, nausea, achy limbs, a general feeling of weakness… as these are removed, and the body rids itself of toxins.  The good news is that these fleshly oppositions should pass today or tomorrow completely.

If you have decided to participate in this fast, the only question now is –

What’s it worth to you? 

In our daily lives, we rarely have to give up anything of true value.  However, when we do, we must calculate if it is truly worth it.  There is a great difference between when you look into your purse or wallet and decide what you will pay for a shirt, book, or meal; and when you must consider the price you would pay for college, a car, or a house.  An object is only worth as much as we are willing to give for it.  Careful thought is put into how much a man will pay for a ring because you cannot put a price on the one that you really love.

As we fast and go through the daily troubles and temptations (i.e. your boss buying your favorite lunch for everyone the first day of the fast) let us look to Jesus and consider how much He is worth to us.

Maybe this is where you find yourself today:

2 Corinthians 4:8-11 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Troubles, persecutions, and the death of the enemy may come upon us in many different ways, but even as our flesh is delivered to death it is a necessary sacrifice to manifest the life of Jesus in our flesh! 

May the life of Jesus shine out of you today and bring glory to The Father!

Something else to think about. In the middle of a discourse on denying your flesh, Jesus asks these two questions in Mark 8:36-37: For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

What is a soul truly worth? 

Jesus bled, suffered, and died that your soul might be set free.  That is how much your soul is worth to Him.

How much is Jesus truly worth to You?

How much do you value the lost souls around you?

Jesus, I am willing to do whatever it takes and give up whatever it costs that You may be glorified and that lost souls may come into Your Kingdom!!! Help me to truly value You not just in my words but in my daily actions of obedience!

Practical –

• Read Mark 8:34-38 and contemplate the value of a soul.

• Make sure you have included a list of lost or backslidden people in your daily prayer time.

• Listen and obey when Holy Spirit brings up specific things to do for these individuals.

Be blessed to know the true value of your soul and the souls of those around you as you are propelled into the next level!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Giver of All Good Things

Daily Encouragement –

Have you ever felt lost and all alone? Has life caused you to suffer and lose hope? Do you feel far from Me? 

I am the Lord God Giver of all good things!!! I have never walked away from you! If you are far from Me, it is because you have removed yourself from Me. I will continually come as close as you allow. 

I desire to show My mercy and bring grace and forgiveness. Come to Me that I may forgive, cleanse, and restore all the things the world has taken from you. I want to bring forth new life in and through you to everyone around. 

Come to Me and let Me speak the words of life into your heart and soul that new life may come forth. New life will spring forth abundantly as My words are spoken in and through you!!! I love you My child!!!  

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
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Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
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Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!