Here we are in day 15 of our 21 days fast. I continually pray that this fast has been beneficial for each of you and that God is pulling you in closer to His side and speaking to you and revealing to you things as never before. I pray that you now have clarity and vision that you did not have before. I pray that God is speaking to you about your life and your future. Finally, I pray that you are continually being encouraged with each passing day that this year will be different. This year will be like no other year before it and that you are excited about the future both on an individual level and for Hope Church.
Today is the 14th day of our 21 day fast. Only 7 more days to go. I pray that God is strengthening you, renewing you, restoring you and blessing you during this time of prayer and fasting. We all have taken this step to deny our flesh for a spiritual purpose and I cannot wait to hear the testimonies of 2018 that will come from this act of obedience to God and desire to be closer to Him.
I don’t know about you but each day of this fast has brought different challenges. The enemy has attacked me in different ways and some were stronger than others. I have been attacked in the body, mind and soul while on this journey of seeking God. Some days were really tough just to make it to the next. Through it all I can truly say God has been faithful and I have learned to trust Him more and more knowing that He has my future in His hands and my best interest in His heart.
I pray that today is going well for you on this chilly Monday morning. We have been in a season of fasting and prayer and I pray that God is speaking to you and you are drawing closer to Him. Today I want us to focus on the lasting joy of Jesus in our lives. Many times we can have joy for a moment or two but life quickly can sap that joy from our lives. There is however a lasting joy that only comes from a relationship of compete surrender to Jesus.
Today is the tenth day of our 21 day fast. For those of you who missed it we had an amazing time in the presence of God last night at our worship night. Let me encourage you to make every effort to come out next Friday night at 7pm. I promise you that you will be blessed. It is a time of prayer and worship together as we seek the Lord for 2018 individually and as the people of Hope Church. There was a sweet presence of God in the room last night. We had some powerful prayers and prophecies come forth last night and I am looking forward to next Friday. The time is from 7pm to 9pm but the time really flew by. When 9pm came no one wanted to leave. I wish we could have stayed all night and that is something that we will be looking into in the near future. God is good and I am so grateful for all of you who came to spend time in the presence of Almighty God.
I pray that each of you are doing well. We are moving right along on this 21 day fast and each day seems to bring with it victories and challenges for many of us. Let me encourage you to continue in this fast and do not give up or quit. God always has and always will honor anything we do that puts Him front and center of our lives. May God grant you peace, strength, willpower, endurance to continue and finish strong.
Today is day number 9 of our 21 days. Yesterday we focused on God’s love and Jesus as a loving Savior. Today I want you to focus on Jesus as the Life Giver. John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He is the way to eternal life, He is the only truth and He is the one who gives life. In Him we have life. Jesus says in John10:10 “10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to
Welcome to week two, day eight of our 21 day fast. Prayerfully we are all making strides in our pursuit of God and His will for our lives for 2018. Prayerfully we have now come into a place where we are hearing God more clearly and beginning to experience His presence like never before. I myself am having dreams for the first time in a very long time and they are not “pizza dreams” but real vivid dreams. God is speaking to me and pursuing me even as I pursue Him. It is a wonderful place to be and one that I desire to be in at every place in my life, not just when I am fasting and praying.
Today I would like us to focus on purity and how we can make purity a part of our daily lives. We often hear this phrase when it comes to young people and marriage, but purity is far more than abstaining from sex until marriage. Purity is about the state of your heart before an almighty God. Today I want you to meditate on purity and the state of your heart before God.
The Psalmist states in Psalm 24:1-6 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean handsand a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully…
Those who may stand in God’s holy place or as the writer of Hebrews states those who will go boldly before the throne of grace are those who are children of God. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11 concerning taking the Lords Supper that we should examine ourselves because we should not take the Lord’s Supper with impurities in our lives. Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” When we go before the Lord in prayer and in fasting it is important that we have a pure heart. It is important that our lives are free of all the junk that gets in the way of us and God.
We find other scriptures that speak of the importance of purity. 2 Timothy 2:19-21 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[a] depart from iniquity.”20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
God knows who are His children by the state of their heart. Proverbs 21:2 “every way of man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” God wants our hearts and he wants them pure. David in Psalm 51 asked God for a clean heart, other translation say pure heart, after his sin with Bathsheba. We are to keep ourselves from iniquity and therefore be a vessel of honor, useful for God and prepared for every good work. Keeping our hearts pure allows us to be used by God in big and powerful ways and it prepares us for what God wants to do in our lives. James 4:8 tells us that we are to draw near to God and he will draw near to us and immediately after that statement he says that we are to cleanse our hands (you sinners) and purify our hearts (you double-minded). We cannot draw near to God nor can He draw near to us with sin our hearts or if we are double-minded (unstable, wavering, indecisive). Sin separates us from God. That is why the bible talks so much about purity because it is the only way to keep the relationship between God and us open and vibrant. Purity is of utmost importance if we are to see Jesus revealed in our lives and see God’s purpose and plan revealed to us.
I want to be clear on this however and make the distinction that purity does not mean perfect. Usually we hear this word and say well God knows my heart and I can never be perfect etc. You are right that God knows our heart. Jeremiah says that the heart is “deceitfully wicked above all things, and desperately sick…” This is the state of our hearts. Meaning without Jesus in our lives the heart is full of sin and wickedness, that is the state of the flesh and we have to constantly kill the flesh because of its propensity towards wickedness.
So saying “God knows my heart” is often a copout for not wanting to change or it’s a copout because you see purity as being perfect and you can’t be perfect. Again, you are right no one can ever be perfect, but the beauty is that God is not asking us to. God is not saying we must be perfect or without sin. We are human, and we will make mistakes, fall, sin and get it wrong. God is saying however, that when we pray and when we fast and when we make decisions to draw closer to God, to seek first the kingdom of God, then we are to first purify our hearts. We are to cleanse our minds and our hearts from any known sin. God desires purity in our lives and it is Him who gives it to us through forgiveness, mercy and grace.
I want to encourage you on this 7th day of fasting and prayer to continually purify your hearts every day before the Lord. His mercy is renewed every morning. Each day He allows us to wake up is a day to cleanse our lives and purify our hearts through His forgiveness, mercy and grace. As you pray today, ask God to purify your heart and give you the strength to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Ask Holy Spirit to guide you and be sensitive to His leading as He will help you continually live a life of purity for Him.
Previously we have focused on God’s Presence, Power, Provision and Purpose. I will quickly share with you what yesterday was supposed to be. I wanted Monday to focus on God’s Plan for your life. You may say, isn’t purpose and plan somewhat the same thing? No. God’s purpose is His will for your life. His plan is how He will get you to fulfill your purpose. Think of it like this, purpose is the ultimate goal and plan is the strategy given to reach the ultimate goal. God has a purpose for you and He has a perfect plan that will lead you to achieve that purpose in your life.
This is our 4th day of the 21 day fast. Prayerfully by now, you have settled in to fasting and have been experiencing God in a new and powerful way. As the days progress, you will notice that you have more clarity. You will become more sensitive to the things of the Spirit. You will begin to hear God’s voice more clearly and even nature around you will become more vivid and you will be more in tune to your spiritual life. The Word of God will fill you like never before and the Holy Spirit will illuminate scripture to you as you read and study.
I want to encourage you to spend quality time each day before the Lord. To sit at Jesus’ feet and allow Him to minister to you, love on you and speak to you. Don’t let this time of prayer become routine or a time to just lay your petitions before Him and walk away. Allow time and room for God to speak with you. God always desires to speak to you each and every day. The truth is that, most of us are too busy to stop and listen. So, during this time of consecration, please take the time to be still before God and truly listen for Him to speak to you.
So far, we have concentrated on His presence, His power, and His provision. Today, I would like you to meditate on His purpose for you. Each and everyone of us has a purpose. We are not here at this day and this time in history by accident. God created us and placed us here for a purpose. There is something that needs to be done for the kingdom of God that God only wants you to do. He has created you and gave you the necessary skills, gifts, talents and resources to accomplish it. The struggle for most of us is finding out what that purpose exactly is. Do I serve a purpose? Can I be used for something greater than my current meager existence? YES!
I want you to concentrate on His purpose today during this time of fasting and prayer. If you do not know or are not sure of your purpose, this is a perfect time to allow God to speak to you. In times of prayer and fasting you can go before God and ask Him to show you who you are and what you are here for. It’s a perfect time because through fasting you are denying the flesh for a spiritual purpose. That is to become closer to God and know Him more intimately. Spend time at the feet of Jesus today and let Him show you who you really are and what He has called you to do.
The Bible has much to say about purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Now we know that in context this scripture was not written for us, it was specifically stated to the children of Israel. However, this does not discount the truth stated in this scripture. The truth is that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The mission of God has not changed nor has the heart of God changed towards His creation. The truth in this scripture is that God loves us and thinks about us more than the sands of the seas, the Psalmist says (Psalm 139:18). He knitted us together for a purpose in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). He created us for a purpose and had us in mind at creation. And Jesus had us on His mind at the cross. You are important and have a purpose. God still thinks of us and His desire is to give you and me an expected end as the KJV states. That is a great statement because you cannot have an expected end if you do not have a purpose. If you are not here for a reason, then there is no expected end…but God has an expected end for you and me. He has a plan for us and a purpose for us that will lead us to His expected end and our purpose.
John 15:16 Jesus says that we did not choose Him, but He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit and abide in Him. You cannot be chosen by someone if you have no purpose. The very fact that someone chooses you (spouse, boss, friends etc.) means that you have a purpose.
Spend time today meditating on your purpose. You have been called by God, chosen by Jesus and the Holy Spirit abides within you. WOW! No one would spend that much time on creating us, or send His Son to die for us, or send His Spirit to abide in us, if we did not have a purpose in this world. You have purpose today. Take time to thank God and worship Him because He has given you purpose and has a plan for your life. If you know your purpose reaffirm and solidify it with Christ today. If you do not truly know your purpose, then sit before the Lord and allow Him to show you.
Blessings to Each of You,
Today is the 3rd day of our fast. I pray that you are truly pressing in and seeking God during this time of consecration. I pray that by now you are getting adjusted to fasting. For me, it is always the first three or four days that are the most difficult. Getting rid of the things I love to eat and do are very difficult and my body craves them especially for the first three days. However, I am very excited to be on this fast because I look forward to the afterward. In Joel chapter 2, God tells the people of Israel to fast and get their hearts right with God. He then says afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. It was only after they had turned back to God, got their hearts right and fasted and prayed that God would do this. I am so looking forward to the afterward for me, you and Hope Church.
Each day, I want to give you something to focus on for that day. We have focused on the presence of God and the power of God. Today I would like you to focus on the provision of God. Psalm 34:10 “the young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” If we seek the Lord, we will lack nothing. God is our provider. Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now I am old; (I can relate) yet I have not see the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” The Psalmist is saying that those who are righteous (our hearts right with God) will not have to beg or worry because God is our provider.
“Matthew echo’s these verses in Psalms in Matthew 6:33 “but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” “All these things” are what Jesus speaks about in chapter 6. What we eat, drink or wear i.e. our daily provisions will all be taken care of if we would just put God first and continually seek Him.
2 Corinthians 9:8 “and God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (bold and italics added) I love this verse because Paul is saying that through the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus, as His children, we will be sufficient in all things and have what we need to live for Christ and do the work He has called us to do. That is encouraging to me and I pray it is to you. Paul echo’s this verse in Philippians 4:19 “and my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” He is our provider and need supplier. We do not have to worry about things we just need to live in posture of thanksgiving and praise seeking Him first and He will constantly provide. That does not mean we have everything we want or think we should have but we will always have what we need and have it in abundance.
Finally, I know that during this fast we can get weary and life itself has made many of us weary. Let me encourage you to continue in this fast and give God your best. I know it can be hard and I know it is a sacrifice (remember Romans 12:1) but God will honor it I promise. Some of you may experience answers to prayer immediately, or open doors a month after the fast still some may not get answers for a year. It’s God’s perfect timing not ours. I am just encouraging you to not get weary and to keep your eyes focused on Jesus during this fast and beyond. Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Do not lose heart, do not give up, do not stop living for Christ. Press into Him during this time of fasting and praying. As the Lord tells the people of Israel in 2 Chronicles 20:17 “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you…”
The battles are not yours. You do not need to fight them. Just position yourself (through prayer and fasting) and stand still and see the salvation of the Lord who is with you and for you. Your victories are near!!!!!! Press in today.
Blessings to Each of You,
Hopefully your first day of fasting was successful. Even if it was not that's ok. Just try again today and let Jesus give you the strength to make fasting a successful and joyous process. I promise you that if you stick with it you will see prayers answered, chains broken, doors open and your life changed forever. God will reward you for your obedience to His Word that calls us to times of prayer and fasting.
Yesterday I asked you to focus on God's presence and spend time in His word and in personal worship as you get into His presence then just sit in His presence and take the time to speak to God and hear from God.
Today I am asking you to focus on God's power.
1 Chronicles 29:11 says:
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
God is powerful. He is sovereign and reigns over all things in heaven and on earth. Let that come as a relief to you today. You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. It is not yours to carry it belongs to God. Let Him have your worries and cares today and concentrate on His power to see you through this fast and even the situations you are currently dealing with.
There is even more good news today as we seek to press into God and sit at the feet of Jesus through fasting and prayer. God is powerful and that same power lives in you.
He sent us Jesus and Jesus says that He has given us the same power and authority that His Father gave Him (Matthew 28:18-20). Paul states in Romans 8:11 that the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us.
Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit to be within us and empower us, to help us and guide us. So today as we fast and pray and read His Word lets thank God and praise Him for His power. Meditate on the fact that He is all powerful and is sovereign over all things.Remind yourself today that you are victorious through Christ. You will be victorious through this time of fasting and prayer and your will be victorious in 2018.
Blessing to Each of You,
I am so excited for this 21 day journey together. As we begin our fast today I wanted to send you a little encouragement and guidance for each day. Today I want you to focus on God's Presence.
David in Psalm 51:10-11 said:
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
David yearned for the Presence of the Lord and he knew the importance of being in God's Presence. Though he was a King and could have anything he wanted, the thing that was most precious, the thing that David knew he could literally not live without, was the Presence of Almighty God in his life. Other passages in the Psalm make this longing of David's heart clear:
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him...
As you are fasting today I want you to concentrate on Jesus. Find time to be still before the Lord and wait on Him. The enemy would have you concentrate on other things and issues may arise as you fast but keep your eyes on Jesus and seek His presence. Find time today to get alone with God, pray, read your word and wait on Him.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Draw near to Him today. Cleanse your heart each day of this fast. God will give you mercy(its renewed every morning) and the grace to make it through the fast. As the days progress you will find it easier to fast, easier to get into the presence of God and much easier to hear God speak.
Finally, we all have needs and desires. We all have things we have been hoping for and praying for. During this time of fasting, as you draw closer to God, begin bringing those needs, desires, hopes and dreams to Him in prayer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.Make your request known to God everyday in the time you spend alone with Him and, as Paul says in Philippians 4:8, meditate on the good and pure things. Seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and everything else will come into clear focus in your life.
Blessings and Grace to Each of You,