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Deeper Devotion 18/40

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 continue to press in toward the halfway point, we must choose to remember that Jesus is worth all that we have to give and so much more!  Whatever you have chosen to fast, it is a pleasing offering to Him.  We do it because we love Him and want to give Him even more worship in our very bodies.  May you be reminded of Jesus’ worth. He is worth giving up our very lives that He may be exalted and glorified above every idol in the land. 

Today, I want to challenge you and “spur you on toward love and even greater works.”  Whatever level of devotion to The Lord you find yourself at this moment, Jesus deserves so much more.  Too many times, we may look at the people around us and gauge our level spiritually.  We are doing pretty well compared to Joe Shmoe over there.  We have been praying, fasting and seeking The Lord in a special way for almost 3 weeks now.  We must be doing pretty well. Personally, this is one of the areas that I have to constantly war against, spiritual pride and judgment.  

In order that we do not think too highly of ourselves, remember Jesus’ story of the tax collector and the Pharisee.  The Pharisee came boasting at all of his accomplishments and what he was doing for God, while the tax collector cried out for God’s mercy. Jesus says this about the tax collector:

Luke 18:13 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Let us never forget our place in The Kingdom.  All of us must come to the feet of The cross; then we are “raised up together to be seated in heavenly places with Him.”  He is worthy of more than I could ever give to Him.  Our bodies, efforts, hearts and lives are poor in comparison to what He is worth; however, I gladly give all that I have.   

We must never compare ourselves to other people and gain some sort of feeling of spiritual superiority.  We are all humble creatures in need of Jesus.  We should always have more that we desire to give.  For God’s pleasure, I was designed to worship.  May He forever receive even more worship from our lives.   

In Luke 2, we find the story of a lady names Anna:

Luke 2:36-38 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.  Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

After being married for only 7 years, her husband died. She did not live in regret, grief, or anger at God.  She gave deep devotion to The Lord and served night and day in the temple.  She was seeking The Lord out of a pure humble heart for more than 84 years.  What was her reward for all this? She got to see Jesus!!!  Lord, let that be my reward.  You are worth it to me!!! 

You may be doing more than some, but there is always a deeper level of devotion.  You can never make God do anything, but you must desire to see the deep secret places of God.  Imagine the depths of the Lord that few have been able to reach because they cannot go the distance or give up the junk that is in the way.  May this be the cry of your heart, “I will give up the junk in deep devotion to Jesus so that I may gain access to the deepest places with Him!”   

Jesus, I want to see Your face.  I desire to hear Your voice.  I long for new revelations of Your love.  You are the source from which all things flow.  If I have to give up everything to see You, You are worth it! May this ever be the longing of my heart.  

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal and remove any spiritual pride
  • Ask for revelation of Jesus’ worth
  • Commit to a deeper level of devotion
  • Obey whatever Holy Spirit speaks

Be blessed with new revelations of Jesus’ worth and the desire and ability to advance to deeper levels of devotion with Him.  May you access the deepest place with Him that few have ever found! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!    

Are You Thirsty? 14/40

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 the final day of week two ends I want to congratulate you on continuing one-third of the way through the fast.  God has been doing amazing things and will continue to do so. I can see where He has personally strengthened and sustained me in so many ways already, and I am looking forward to the transformation that will continue to take place in us all.  Keep up the good work!!! I want to encourage you today from a word that God began to speak to me recently.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Right now, God is doing a new thing in a new way!  No longer will you look at the past to define your future, but you will look to Him.  He said, “I am The Way!”  You do not need to look anywhere else, but straight to Him.  He is the source of revival water, and it flows from Him because He is The Living Water.  He is The Life that all men need. Almighty God cannot be held back by the barriers of humanity.  He will break them all down with the weight of His presence.  

The good news for us is that He will flow quickly and easily to the lowest spot around.  He will fill to overflowing the ones who have made themselves ready.  Nothing can stop the presence of The Lord from completely consuming those who have their face set on seeking Him.  Though it may take longer than you want, He will flood you with His presence.  He will overwhelm you with His love.  He will cover you with His glory, and lift you up to be seated in heavenly places with Him.  He says, Come to Me you humble, hungry, and thirsty, and I will give you more than you could ever handle. I will give you all of Me!”   The next chapter in Isaiah has a promise that continues this thought:

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring

Right now, you and I are making ourselves ready.  We are hungering in the physical because we desire to be truly hungry in the spiritual.  All that God has for us, all that He wants to do, cannot be held back if we are hungry and thirsty for him.  David Hogan says this, “Fasting is a good way to get hungry.”  This statement is so simple, yet so profound.  We have been getting hungry for 14 days now with more to go. What can God do with a people who are truly hungry and thirsty for Him? 

Look around you.  Now is the time that we need God more than ever before.  Crazy things are happening around us.  Wars, tragedies, griefs, depression, and despair consume the airways and conversations everywhere that we go.  The generations seem to be getting worse and worse in every area.  Crime is up, morality is down, and no one seems to care. I need to be dry and needy for God to come and consume me.  I need to be the dry and cracked ground praying for an outpouring of the flooding presence of The Water of Life.  I need to be completely consumed in His presence that family, friends, neighbors, and nations are transformed by the greatness of the well of life overflowing out of me.  Will you join me? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you ready?

 Jesus, I ask right now that You will make be completely hungry and thirsty for You and Your presence!  I want to be overfilled beyond capacity.  Overflow me that I may influence family, friends, neighbors, and nations with You, the River of Life.  Take me as a willing vessel and use me however You see fit.   

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to make you hungry and thirsty for more
  • Give up something extra that steals your time, and give that time to seeking Him
  • Be obedient to everything that He speaks to you

Be blessed with the new thing that God is doing right now. May you be forever hungry and thirsty, yet forever filled with the fullness of the overflowing presence of an all-consuming God, and may He continue to accelerate His Kingdom in you and through you!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Freedom, Breakthrough, and Blessing 10/40

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!

Congratulations, you have made it to double digits, and by the end of the day, you will be a quarter of the way through the fast.  For those who have elected to fast on only water, the experts say that today or tomorrow all hunger and weakness should be gone and the physical health benefits should begin to be readily seen over the next few days. 

Whenever I am called to fast, I return over and over to Isaiah 58.  This is an amazing chapter that focuses on two things: 

1. Fasting the proper way 

2. The many personal benefits of fasting 

Vs. 1-5 are speaking of a people who had regularly scheduled fasting days.  Set times each months, they would fast, supposedly to honor God, and expect to receive the heavenly blessing from these fast.  However God rebukes them because of their selfish and evil motives:

Isaiah 58:5 Do you think I’m impressed with that kind of fast?  Is it just a day to starve your bodies, make others think you’re humble, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast?  Do you think I, Yahweh, will be pleased with that?

A proper fast is not for others to see, but for God to come in and purify our heart and our desires.  If we continue fasting to hear from God, but are not obedient to bring our other fleshly desires into control as He reveals them to us, our heart is wrong and we forfeit all the spiritual benefits that we would have received.  A change must take place and a humbling of our hearts where Holy Spirit is given the right to search out and place His finger on any area that is out of order.  When He highlights this area, we must say, “Yes sir, I give this to you right now.  Change me and make me new that I may never return to that old selfish, sinful way.”  

As our hearts are set right and our focus is to allow Holy Spirit to renovate and restore our hearts and desires, we will reap the benefits of the fast that follow. Vs. 6 begins this way ““Is this not the fast that I have chosen…“, and what follow are the many varied benefits of fasting with a right heart:

  • Loose the chains of wickedness
  • Undo heavy burdens
  • Set the oppressed free
  • Break every yoke
  • Share your bread with the hungry
  • Shelter the poor homeless
  • Clothe the poor naked
  • Recognize and provide for those around you in need
  • The light and favor of God will shine upon you
  • Healing will come forth quickly
  • Righteousness will lead you
  • Glory of God will follow you
  • The Lord will answer your cries
  • He will continually be your Guide
  • He will faithfully satisfy your soul
  • He will constantly strengthen your bones
  • You will be given the right to
    • Rebuild long-deserted ruins
    • Raise up foundations of generations
    • Repair the cities
    • Restore the communities

The list of benefits in these seven verses is almost overwhelming.  You could write books on each one of these topics and God’s amazing power to work through one whose heart is set to follow him in obedience, humility, prayer and fasting.  

I encourage you as you continue to walk The 40, return to this passage over and over for encouragement when difficulties arise.  Confess and repent of anything revealed by Holy Spirit, and return to the place of right fasting with a right heart. God has designed you for a plan and purpose.  You are called to be totally free and walk in Kingdom breakthrough in every area of your life.  Partnering with Holy Spirit in fasting and prayer with a true heart of humility and obedience will bring about freedom and breakthrough in a way that will accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life!

Jesus, I pray that you will help my heart to be continually set on you.  May my desires line up completely with You and Your word, and my actions continually be obedient to what You speak.  I want to lay down my life as a sacrifice that you may use me as an instrument of righteousness to build Your Kingdom however You see fit.  Help me to partner with you today in humility and obedience. 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any selfish or ungodly desires in your heart
  • Bring these before the Lord in confession, repentance and humility
  • Meditate on the benefits listed in Isaiah 58
  • Ask yourself, “What can God do through my life given to Him completely with a heart of humility and obedience?”

Be blessed today with the ability to walk in new levels of humility and obedience to every leading of Holy Spirit.  May this humility and obedience propel you in receiving all these benefits and more that you may accelerate The Kingdom, and advance into the next level with Him. 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Accomplishing The “Impossible” 9/40

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!

Most of us have started The 40 with high expectations, however, now the real work begins.  The day to day living it out can be hard since we must constantly seek to overrule our flesh and give ourselves to the Lord. Now is the time to encourage ourselves in The Lord the benefits of keeping The 40 and continuing to walk with Holy Spirit in spite of what our bodies might be telling us. 

Prayer and fasting gives us the power to accomplish the “impossible”.  Of course, we know that “nothing shall be impossible with God”, yet we still live our lives with “impossible” situations which do not seem to respond to us. Jesus’ disciples had this same problem while He was on the mount being transfigured.  A man whose son is assaulted by demons asks for their help.  Though they try, they can do nothing about it.  When Jesus returns, He easily casts out the demons and heals the boy.  He does not seem to be impressed with His disciples’ efforts either.  The disciples come to Him and ask why they could not do the same.  This is His response:

Matthew 17:20 “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

We do not know what was going on in the disciples’ minds, but Jesus did not ever shy away from directly addressing what people said in their hearts.  I believe the disciples did not see a response and had blamed it on not having enough faith.  Jesus directly confronts this with The Kingdom Truth that the smallest amount of faith can do the mightiest things in His Kingdom.  They had let doubt creep in and this kept them from pressing in to see transformation take place. Then, Jesus says something else interesting that some translations completely leave out. 

Matthew 7:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” 

What kind is Jesus talking about?  Some would say demons, but I think He is talking about the unbelief.  Unbelief is a pesky little problem that constantly assaults our media-driven culture.  If we cannot see or hear something happening, it is quite hard for us to believe.  We can never see the shifting in the heavens when our eyes are on worldly circumstances. 

If unbelief keeps us back from doing mighty work in The Kingdom, we should be quick to follow Jesus’ cure for it, prayer and fasting.  This dynamite duo is able to demolish and disintegrate the demonic unbelief that has built up in our lives.  Through a lifestyle of repentance, humility, prayer, and fasting we are able to say, “God I trust You to take care of the unseen as I partner with You in the physical.  I need you to do the “impossible” work of overcoming these spiritual obstacles in me while I do the possible work, with Your help, of repentance, prayer and fasting.” 

Jesus, help me to know that you have given me a measure of faith.  This faith has the power to overcome every seemingly impossible thing in my life and those around me.  Help me to join with you in prayer and fasting that all unbelief within me will be destroyed and Your mountain-moving faith will be displayed in me for all to come and glorify You.  

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the things in your life and around you that you have labeled as impossible
  • Pray that every ounce of unbelief is removed from your life
  • Participate with Him in doing the impossible whatever He shows you to do

Be blessed with the power to remove all doubt and do the impossible as you walk with God in obedience and humility.  May this accelerate The Kingdom in and through your life! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Forgiveness in “Failure” 6/40

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!

After the revelation of the importance of The 40, it seems necessary to remind ourselves who God is.  I have always been hardcore and radical about everything I do, and some people may mistake my intensity for harshness.

Exodus 34:6-7 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, 

Here, God tells Moses He would show him His glory, and this is what happens.  The nature of God that he saw was mercy, grace, patience, goodness, truth, and forgiveness. 

During The 40, it is quite possible that you may mess up or give in to temptation at some point.  I have even had a dream that I was eating meat.  In the dream, I was horrified because I was supposed to be fasting. Remember this, God looks at and judges your heart. When your heart is to commit yourself to Him in love and obedience, He forgives the mistakes and rewards your intentions.  

In contrast to this, the enemy will try to make you feel like a failure and use this tactic to pull you out of The 40.  There is forgiveness in “failure” and grace in the mistakes. If your heart is set to seek The Lord, do not let anything hold you back from seeking Him:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are looking to Jesus in the middle of our struggles, sin, and failures; and He will reward our hearts. I think it was two years ago that my Dad was having a lot of pain in his knee and was thinking about getting it replaced. God prompted me to volunteer to fast and pray with Him for healing.  My Dad was a little reluctant and told me he wanted to pray about it first.  About a month later, I found out that from the time I had offered to pray and fast, he had no more pain or trouble with his knee.  This was a blessing for me to see how God honored my heart. Even though I did not really want to go through the fast, I was willing, and God worked because of that willingness. 

I share this story as an encouragement to you that in the event any mistake might be made.  Press on!  Keep going!  Do not give up on The 40!  God forgives completely and can cause you to walk in the fullness of The 40 if your heart is to press in and please Him.  Please know, this also applies to those who are not physically able to go The 40.  If you started on only water and have to shift your fast because of health issues, keep your heart right.  In doing this, God will help you continue in the same power of The 40 even if it has to change.  

Jesus, bless us with success and bring forgiveness for what others may see as failure.  Help my heart to be set totally to praise, honor, and glorify You!  I know you see and honor my heart, and I desire to love you completely with all my heart, my body, and my soul!

Practical – 

  • Ask God to reveal any area of weakness and to strengthen you with His mercy.
  • If there is any area of supposed failure during The 40, ask God to forgive you and recommit to press in to Him.
  • Walk The 40 in full assurance that God is with you to help, strengthen, and even restore you if you fall.

May you be blessed to fully complete The 40 whether by God’s strength and sustenance or by forgiveness and restoration!  May you be accelerated in The Kingdom past any “failures” of the past, present, or future!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s The Secret? 5/40

You are invited to join us for the Celebrate to Accelerate fast! Please review Celebrate to Accelerateand other words for the reason behind the fast as well as daily encouragement.

Having completed day 4, you have given a tithe of the 40 to the Lord.  This first fruit may have been difficult to achieve, but Father God is pleased with this sweet offering. Today, I would like to reveal the secret of The 40, and why it is important to set apart a special period of fasting and prayer for this amount of time.

This is an excerpt from The Prophetic Whisper by Richard Gazowsky – “I am going to show you a secret vulnerability in Satan’s kingdom. His weakness is in the flies.” Later that day, we went to the Carmel Public Library and looked up the word “fly”…I discovered that the meaning of Beelzebub, one of the names of Satan is, “Lord of the Flies”…Scientists have discovered that flies have a reproductive period that lasts from four hours to over forty days, depending on the species. When pest controllers go to eradicate flies in a certain area, they spray pesticides every day for a forty-day period. If they destroy the reproductive cycles of presently existing flies, they can kill off a whole generation of future flies. I then saw what God was trying to show me…if a Christian will pray consistently for a forty day period he will be able to conquer most satanic strongholds in his life.’

This revelation was astounding to me when I discovered it. No wonder we see all the major heroes of the faith fasting and praying The 40.  They were systematically destroying the reproductive rights of the enemy in their lives.  They desired to walk in The Fullness of The Kingdom and would not allow anything to hold them back. 

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath.  The giant spews his venom in 1 Samuel 17:8-11.  By doing this, he is reproducing this fear from his lips into the hearts of Saul and the army.   How long did he do this? Verse 16 confirms for forty days. 

In Genesis 7 it rained forty days that the earth would be cleansed of its filth. 

In Deuteronomy 8 The Israelites wandered in the desert forty years to destroy the unbelief of a generation. 

In Deuteronomy 9:11 Moses fasted The 40 to receive the ten commandments. 

In Deuteronomy 9:18 Moses fasts The 40 again to intercede for the salvation of a wicked people. 

Elijah was sustained in 1 Kings 19 for The 40 to break the curse of Jezebel in the land. 

It is possible that the people of Nineveh in Jonah 3 fasted and prayed The 40 for God’s mercy and grace. 

Jesus fasted The 40 in preparation to overcome the enemy’s temptations. 

The secret of The 40 is to overcome every demonic stronghold in your life and stop it from reproducing that you may truly be propelled into all that God has for you!!! This is why the enemy will use any means necessary to keep you from The 40.  Often, the concern of family and friends will be used as pressure to break your commitment to The Lord. Also, be careful of the enemy using the care and hospitality of others to lure you away from the power of The 40 being manifested in your life!

Jesus, give us the ability to go The 40 and receive the right to cut off the head of the Goliaths in our lives. We desire to be propelled into our destinies by the total defeat of the enemy!

Practical – 

Read 1 Samuel 17 and meditate on the power of The 40 to destroy the reproductive rights of the enemy. 

Study the lives of those who did The 40 and how they changed history. 

Be blessed to endure throughout The 40 that you may destroy the enemy and accelerate The Kingdom of God in and through your life!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s It Worth To You

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!

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, a book, or a meal; and when you must consider the price you would pay for an education, 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!

Here is 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 completely 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 thoughts and 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 celebrate The Word to accelerate The Kingdom!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!