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I Need Help! 26/40

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 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, you must 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,  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 to 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 plunder and destroy him and all of Judah.  A message 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.  Because of this he 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 assured of The Lord’s faithfulness to complete His word 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 and 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!!!

Humble Yourself 23/40

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.

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press deeper into The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced; repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God, and the judgment was delayed until a later time. Fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy, for a time, before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching Heaven.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three full weeks were fulfilled…  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently.  God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, The Kingdom of Heaven will be accelerated in and through us!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before You today. I recognize my utter dependency on You.  Without You I can do nothing. Thank You that I can come boldly before Your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to You in humility and repentance.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do Your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelations of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are accelerated in The Kingdom with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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!!!

    Declare The Glory!!! 17/40

    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

    As we approach the halfway mark of The 40, know this, God is with you.  He has promised to “never leave you or forsake you”.  Another tactic of the enemy to pull you out of The 40 is to make you feel alone.  I pray that you are encouraged by the community and words that are being shared here.  It is always easier to share struggles with someone who is going through everything right alongside you, and that is why we are here.  However, Jesus is even closer and able to help far more than those in your spiritual family.  Never forget, Jesus is here to help, love, and support you no matter what. I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of God.  He is faithful to us and every one of the promises he has spoken over us.  He blesses us with His abounding grace and abundant mercy. He overwhelms us with the gifts of heaven, and too often, we forget to be thankful.  

    In some way, we think that we deserve for God to be this good to us or that we have earned it by our right living.  We must learn to be thankful at all times and declare the wonderful works of God continually.  What did Jesus say about this? Jesus reveals something interesting when He is told to make his disciples be silent:

    Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

    The rocks in creation who have done nothing but sit there from the beginning of time are thankful for who God is and would cry out giving glory to God in their own way if they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given the wisdom to see the glory and the life to tell of Him?  David also has some interesting things to say along these lines:

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

    Creation itself is continually declaring the glory of God in the day to day glory that surrounds us all.  Sadly, we get so used to seeing this beauty of nature that it no longer impresses us.  The awesomeness of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst, and the realization that we, as His creation, should be giving Him glory as well!

    After an extended time of bearing the punishment of their people by being in captivity in a foreign land, the people of Israel return to the land of their inheritance.  Everything is broken down and in disrepair.  Nehemiah leads the people into a time of returning to the law.  They read the law for seven days straight and agree to obey it.  They set about to keep the feasts and worship God.  This is when we see the people worshiping God in a special way:

    Nehemiah 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

    The people have been reading the word for an extended time, and this causes them to come to God in worship by repentance, confession, prayer, and fasting.  They read more of the word and then worship more, and then they begin to bless the Lord:

    Nehemiah 9:5-6 “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the LordYou have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

    Your fasting is worship to God.  Your prayers are worship to God.  Your repentance and confession is declaring the glory of God.  As we spend time seeking Him and pressing into all that He has for us, true worship comes forth from our hearts and our lives that declares the glory of God in a way that no other thing can.  

    How can the choice to give up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice give glory to God?  

    By this, we are saying, “Jesus, I love you more!  You are worth it!”  What joy comes to The Father’s heart when his children voluntarily give Him a gift from what little they have to give!  This is true worship and truly declares the glory of God to all the hosts of heaven.  Today, we choose to worship God once again with the sacrifice of our humble hearts!

    Jesus, I choose to declare Your glory today.  In my thoughts, words, and actions, help me to recognize and declare Your glory.  Help me to continually give you worship in everything I say and do.  In all I do, may I glorify Your Name!

    Practical – 

    • Set aside some special time to watch a sunrise, a sunset, or gaze at the stars in the night sky
    • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the glory that creation is declaring to you in this
    • Commit to worship God in thought, word, and action today

    Be blessed with the God-given ability to recognize the glory of God in the tiniest of details.  May your very life declare the glory of God in all you think, say, and do! 

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    Shining Light 16/40

    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

    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 word to use.  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 17:15 “I 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.  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 to 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 prayer helps us give those things that arise over to God in the correct way.  These two together help us to actually become longsuffering.  When we truly seek The Lord in prayer and fasting, 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 demonstrated by the way 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 darkest situations

    Be blessed today to see the glory of The Lord in the land of the living.  Even in the middle of intense darkness, may you know He is with you and shine brightly His glory as The Kingdom is accelerated in and through you!

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

    His Strength in Your Weakness 15/40

    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.

    As week 3 begins, remember to stay focused on Jesus and His Kingdom.  The longer the fast continues, the more the enemy will try to take your focus from Him and turn it toward yourself.  As long as you are focused on yourself, the enemy has an opportunity to make you stumble.  Continuously look to Jesus, and receive all the strength, hope, and life that He has for you!

    If you have not come to know this already, we are all very weak and fleshly creatures.  A little matter of giving up some food and sleep for just over a month should not be that big of a deal.  However, we are truly creatures of comfort from our very birth.  We want what we want, and it becomes a big problem when we cannot have it.  Suddenly, our small things become huge, and minor irritations become major problems.

    For years, we have strengthened our flesh by giving it whatever it wants. It is like a spoiled little child used to getting whatever they ask for.  When one simple comfort is removed, it becomes the worst issue imaginable.  Even people around you, that do not know you are fasting, may notice a change.  You may become quicker to lose your temper or react negatively to minor inconveniences especially at the beginning of a fast.  By the beginning of the fast, I mean the first 39 days of The 40, if you are me.  These are the times we discover our true need for Jesus.

    2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

    We need the strength of Jesus not the strength of self.  He did the hard part so we would not have to.  No matter how strong you may think that you are, Jesus proved Himself to be stronger.  Jesus easily defeated hell, death, and the grave.  We should become so close to Jesus at this time, because we are having to walk in His strength and not our own.  It is okay for me to be weak because, now, He can show Himself strong in me.  I rest in the fact that if Jesus is my strength when I am weak, He can use me no matter how I feel.

    Several years ago, God allowed me to travel to Dharmapuri, India.  Here, God privileged me to minister in different ways to the Tamil people of the region.  My friend Sage and I stayed in a building above a church and orphanage.  While here, we were asked to do a program for the boys that lived in the building that were between the ages of 4 and 12.  As we prayed on what we were to do, my friend heard Holy Spirit say that we were supposed to teach on and pray to break off generational curses.  I was very unsure about that.  I have helped my mother minister to children many times and that was not something we had ever done before.  Frankly, most adults would not even be comfortable receiving such a teaching.

    One of my gifts is teaching and speaking the word so I agreed to teach on this and let my friend lead the ministry, prayer, and application of the word, more his specialty.  What proceeded was what seemed to be one of the most difficult, dry, devoid of Holy Spirit teachings I have ever given in my life.  It felt like a very forced, difficult struggle that was going nowhere.  As I taught, I had the thought that if I was sitting there, I would have probably fallen asleep. After I had finished the teaching, Sage began to pray and minister breaking off generational curses.  Suddenly, something happened that is caught on video.

    Friday Fire in India Part 1

    God comes and pours himself out upon these young orphans.  Almost every one of them falls under the power of God’s freedom.

    Friday Fire in India Part 2

    When they begin to awaken, they are praying for God to be their mother and father and for Him to touch them.  They are speaking the wonderful works of God.

    Friday Fire in India Part III

    By this time, probably an hour and a half from when Sage started praying for them, the ladies had come and were trying to awaken them and get them up to go eat dinner.  This is about 45 minutes after they have been directed to go eat that they are staying and crying out to God to continue to do what He is doing.  

    The entire time this is taking place, I am completely astounded because I do not feel The Holy Spirit moving in the slightest way.  I am seeing an astounding move of Holy Spirit with my very eyes, not the least of which is young boys refusing to eat just so they can get more of what God has to offer, and i am still feeling completely nothing.  To this day, all I know is that we were obedient, and God did the work.  I had nothing to do with it.  All glory goes to Him and Him alone.

    Jesus, I thank you that Your power is made manifest through me as I yield my weak, lowly, humble frame to You.  Use me for Your glory and Your purpose, for of myself, I can do nothing.  

    Practical –

    • Acknowledge your weakness
    • Ask Holy Spirit to minister God’s strength to you in your weakness
    • Yield yourself to be used by Him, even in your weakness
    • Be obedient to whatever He calls you to do

    Be blessed to know your need for God and place yourself in His hands.  May you be used mightily for The Kingdom no matter how weak or insignificant you may feel.

    Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!