Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Separated to God

I hope that those of you who are fasting, are hanging in there with your Savior.  I pray that this has been an incredible time of closeness with Christ, and that you have taken full advantage of the time spent in this season verses just seeing it as a time of "doing without" something.  If so, your prayer life and Christian walk will never be the same, no matter how many times you have or have not fasted before.  By virtue, there is a physical sacrifice involved, but such a spiritual time of growth and renewal.  Focus on that.  Let God speak to you through this time of concentrated awareness of His presence in your life.   There have been several evangelists talking about fasting on TV over the last couple of weeks, and even primarily on the 21day fast.  God is so good.  One point that just struck me that a couple of them have touched on is prayer.  If you typically pray an hour a day, you are doing well, and have spent in 365 hours in communication with your Savior during a year.  Fasting increases that exponentially.  Fasting IS a continuous time of prayer if done with the right heart and purpose.  Therefore, those of you who have committed to this 21 Day fast, have stuck to it in spirit and in truth, and have used it as a time to draw closer to the Lord have just been in constant  communion with your Lord and Savior for the sum total of 504 hours during the full time of this fast.  A year and a third worth of prayer in 21 wonder Jesus said, "some things come about but by prayer AND fasting!"  Physically you have not been in prayer for the full 504 hours, but spiritually you have.  Thus the increased awareness of the need to be separated physically and spiritually in our lives.

Where the spirit says love, the physical says judge.
Where the spirit says endure, the physical says give up.
Where the spirit says FAITH, the physical says let me see proof.
Where the spirit says empowered, the physical says weak.
Where the spirit says YES, the physical says CAN'T.

Our entire Christian lives should reflect a striving to follow the Spirit not our own flesh.  Decisions should be made where the Spirit leads, not what the flesh can see and feel and hear.  God help us to be separated unto Him and in tune with the Spiritual side of our lives.  He can work wonders in those who will surrender the physical to Him in exchange for His spiritual filling. 

Finish strong.  Stay the course.  Do not give in to the temptations and the cravings.  God will meet you at the point of your need, even if it is at the lid of a soft drink, or bite of chocolate, or open bag of chips...whatever you are fasting....sacrifice it at the altar of your life and rise and walk with Him...the One who called you to this time, and will strengthen you and sustain you.  The One who knows your name.

In Him,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeling or Knowing

As this fast has progressed, I have to admit I have been a little frusterated.  God has shown up, do not get me wrong, He is always so faithful, but I just have not had that "feeling" of His presence like sometimes.  You know, the goose-bumps when He speaks directly to you during your quiet time, the rush when He answers your questions before you even get them spoken, the warm-fuzzies when you hear Him whisper His praises for your obedience, or even the feeling of awe you get when you just get-it that the God of this universe could actually love and care for you.  I have felt AWEFUL the last couple of days, sick, tired, headaches, and then you add on top of that the lack of "feeling" Him at work, I was beginning to give in to the thought that maybe this particular fast was just powerless in some way...yes, some way associated with MY end of the deal, but powerless just the same.

Then I heard a message and it was as if God just put His Holy Hand over my mouth, so that He could get a Word in! 

  Luke 7:18-28 is the story of John the Baptist when he was in prison and sent his disciples to inquire of Jesus to assure him that Jesus was truly the one.  A couple of things have bothered me before about this story...1-he waiting for over an hour before acknowledging John's disciples request, and -2- he waiting until after they had left to say all the "feel-good" things about John that he had to say.  He simply sent John's disciples back to him with the message to tell John of what they had seen.  HUH??? What is up with that?  Well, this morning He cleared it up for me.  John did not need the "touchy-feely" and flowery words of Jesus his cousin, he needed the Truth of Christ.  In order to give that to John, it took a little time, but he loved John enough, that He spent the next hour performing miracles as hard and fast as it looks he could, and fulfilling prophecy, so that the disciples would have the PROOF and the TRUTH of the Word in Malachi's prophecies to take back to John. 

You see, it took a little while, and it was not the "feelings" that we would in our human mind expect and desire, but Jesus cared enough to send him the Truth.  And that is what we need to focus on these next few days.  Do not get caught up in the "feeling" or lack thereof of the fast, but hold out, persevere, and press-on until Jesus reveals the Truth of the fast to you.  The Truth of the spiritual battles that are being won by your obedience and discipline and even a small bit of sacrifice.

The same holds true in the story of Lazarus.  Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, it is recorded in scripture, yet when He received word that Lazarus was sick, he delayed going...for days.  Why? again, Jesus could have cured the illness Lazarus had, but He loved those three enough, He wanted them to also have the fulfillment of scripture and prophecy, and the Truth of the Word, not the feelings of the world.

Hang in there, God is up to something, and Jesus has the Truth of the Word and is going to deliver that Truth right to your heart and your circumstance in His perfect time. 

In Him,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Be Still verses Stand Still

Psalms 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Exodus 14:13

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today.

God’s Word has such rich contrasts. I have long been fascinated by the contrast in these verses, but as I look at them in relation to this season we are in together, they come alive even more.

In Psalms, BE STILL in Strong’s is defined as: H7503 A primitive root; to slacken (in many applications, literally or figuratively): - abate, cease, consume, draw [toward evening], fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go, down), (be) slack, stay, be still.

Exactly what we are trying to accomplish during these 21 days. Allow yourself to be weak. Allow things to cease, God to consume, be feeble in your own strength, leave behind things not needful. Let alone, let go, let down. LET GOD!!! Not for the purpose of laziness, or quitting, or giving up, or even giving in.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So what does the verse in Exodus have to do with all of this?

In Exodus, STAND STILL in Strong’s is defined as: H3320 A primitive root; to place (any thing so as to stay); reflexively to station, offer, continue: - present selves, remaining, resort, set (selves), (be able to, can, with-) stand (fast, forth, -ing, still, up).

The people were being asked to stand firm in their faith in the Lord. Take a stand. Do not move. Stand firm in your faith.

The contrast is so powerful, because of the connection.

Just above this verse, God had met with the Israelites. They had been weak. They had waited…some 400 years…and prayed for a deliverer. They had come face to face with their Lord as He had just delivered them from Egypt. Now they were being asked to stand on the strength they had received during their season of “being still”.

This season is “being still” in order to allow God to deliver us, fill us up with His presence, allow us to come face to face with Him so that when this season is over, we are equipped, strong in our faith, armed with a fresh Word from the Lord, and ready to go out and “stand still” in the face those Egyptians in each of our own lives.

Just as God promised the Israelites, if we will “be still” He is able to equip us to “stand still” and tell us we will see Him exalted and our salvation accomplished.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

East from West

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,  So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

As we move further into our fast, know that it will do little good, and God will be limited to his response to you during this time, if you have not confessed your sins to Him, and LET HIM TAKE THEM, and FORGIVE you for your ways.

Call out to Him. Ask God to reveal any hidden, coveted, unrealized, even undetected sin OR HINDERANCES in your life. Anything that would keep you from being able to fully do His will or would damage your testimony of Him. Then wait. It is not enough to just ask and run…this is not drive through confession! Ask. DESIRE to know the things in your life that are not pleasing to God or that He just wants you to move beyond. Maybe you have not fully forgiven someone, maybe there are obedience issues, or even “partial” obedience issues, maybe it is a habit, or a lack of dedication to time spent in the Word…I can assure you I do not know it, and YOU may not either, BUT GOD KNOWS WHAT HE DESIRES FROM AND FOR YOU!!! Then wait on Him today. Give Him your full attention. Spend time allowing Him to not only convict you of those, but let your heart “be broken unto repentance”, confess them, let go of them, and let God take you in His arms of forgiveness and heal the hurt. He will do it. He loves you.

Today, day 3, is typically the toughest day of a fast. Our minds and bodies go into rebellion to this “new” thing we are doing to them. Today, you may physically feel the worst. Know this. Jesus felt all of this and more as He carried the burdens for all of our sins. We are simply feeling the physical rejection to a body that is subjected to sin and impurities. Let the feelings of withdrawal or craving bring reality to the “sickness” of our sins and how they make our Father feel. Then PRAISE THE LORD for calling you to this time of revelation, and for His faithfulness not only to show us our sins, but to remove them from our lives, and forgive us, and restore us to Himself.

Our one desire has to be Him. Only Him. All of Him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Corporate Fast Day 2

Hey everybody...

This is such a God thing! There are 14 people that I know of that have joined this corporate fast. Each in their own way, each called by God to this time on concentrated effort to draw near to our Lord and Savior...

James 4:8  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."

Spend as much time in prayer as you can. Spend as much time in the Word as you can. Give God the opportunity to reveal Himself to you anew and afresh during this time. Meditate on the scripture. Journal. Listen for His voice. Pour in all of Him you can. "Position" drawing hear from the One who redeemed you and called you to this fast. He has a reason. He has a purpose. He loves you.

I have already heard praise reports after just day 1....a sister who has been praying for her brother for years, and he has rededicated his life to the Lord just yesterday morning, what a life changing moment in his life, and that of his precious family. Also for the sister who now has a spiritual milestone of God answering the desires of her heart...and an answer to a ministry need as a miraculous sign that God is attending to the prayers being lifted up to further His Kingdom in our midst!

Jude 1:25  "To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen."

Today you will probably begin to feel some withdrawal matter what it is you are fasting! Keep praying...keep believing...keep asking God to be your sustainer. Know that Satan will battle you MIGHTILY in your efforts. Here are some tools: (1)stay in prayer (2) stay in the Word (3) keep pouring the water (4) do not deny your body the things you are NOT fasting... there is a tendency to cut way back on things we are not even fasting...take care of your body and mind, and trust God to do the same with the things you have fasted. (5) Keep going...if you slip just pick back up and keep trying.  God will look at the heart of your fast above your perfection.

Send your praise reports. If there are corporate fasting issues that you want to share, please do. If there are others who are also fasting that we do not know about, get them to send us their email information so we can strengthen each other and support eachother in prayer. We can pray for each other as well as our own requests. That is the purpose of a corporate fast.

In Him,


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Seems like such a trivial thing to say.  So brief.  Almost too concise.  How do you take a whole year of what God has done in your life and wrap it into such a cliche? And how can such an off the cuff wish fully capture the awe of starting off a brand new year that the Lord has planned for your life.  This year, as I look back through my prayer journal for the 2009 year, I am struck with wonder at how the hand of the Lord has moved.  I may not have known it at the time, and I may still not fully understand all it encompasses, but I know that the fingerprints of the Lord of this universe are all over my life and each one of those situations.  What an awe striking realization.  I am in the car, so I can not pull up the exact reference, I will get back to you on that, but it reminds me of the time Moses wanted to see God, and so God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock until He had passed by, and then let Moses see his back as He passed.  Can you say that as you look back over the last year?  Can you see all the places and situations where going into it, you could not "look on God face to face", but as the smoke cleared, you saw that He had so miraculously been there and saw the back side of what He had gone before you to make happen.  I pray that for each one of you tonight.  I pray you too take the time to look back over the last year, and let God reveal to you afresh the ways He worked in your life.  Take the time to offer Him praise for all He has done.  May our prayer also be that there are so many more of those this next year, that we see Him more clearly, and that we are very aware of the times that He has hidden us in the cleft of the rock and passed by us in all of His glory.