DAY TWENTY ONE - REJOICE!

Take this final day and rejoice. There is, no doubt, a confidence that has arisen in your heart concerning all you’re believing God for this year. “He is faithful, Who has promised, He will also do it!” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) Let today be devoted to praise, worship, thanksgiving, and rejoicing. And declare, throughout the day, that you will see the goodness of God proved out by answered prayer this year. And that God is going to exceed your expectations because “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)


Prayer point:

Psalms 103 & 145. Meditate on and read these out loud, making them your prayer as you wrap up the fast, today.

DAY TWENTY - THE PILGRIM'S WEALTH

“As pilgrims and sojourners, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) We find God calling those out of regions of comfort whom He has chosen for higher purposes. But the concept of sojourning describes a purposeful travel. We are not aimless, nor are we wandering. But as Jesus said in John 3, we are blown by the wind of The Spirit. Our pilgrimage is one that cannot find its roots within the walls of the city of contentment. And this is the expression of a fast. That we are embracing the nature of our journey onward to the eternal city of glory. So we forfeit the delicacies of our time and culture. 

     Hebrews 13:14 says, “We have no continuing city. We seek the one that is to come.” And even the father of our faith, Abraham, was an example of our march toward the heavenly beckon home: “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) But that is not to say there is no reward for our obedience to His leading outside of the worldly comforts of our time. For just as the children of Israel plundered the Egyptians of their wealth as they began their exodus, (Exodus 12:35-36) and just as God blessed Abraham as he left his father’s house to obey God (Genesis 12:1, 13:2), So we are promised that in our obedient departure from the temporal foundations of stability, we will experience the abundance of His blessing along our path. “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30) Set your expectation for consistent growth for this year. Your devoted consecration to seeking God and His will promises increase in this life, and reward in eternity. “…but godliness is profitable unto all things, holding promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, no one serves you at a loss. As I’ve set myself apart for this fast, I set my expectation for Your blessing to overtake me.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Mark 10:29-30 — 1 Timothy 4:8 — 1 Timothy 6:6)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, we ground ourselves in Your leading. As a ministry, we declare we will follow where You lead. We will move when You say move. We will plant ourselves when You have commanded. We will be a church that embodies those who increase in blessing, as we decrease our carnal pursuits.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Hebrews 13:12-13 — Hebrews 13:20-21 — 2 Thessalonians 2:11 — Philippians 2:13)

DAY NINETEEN - DON'T LOSE COUNT

If your flesh isn’t put in check, the only counting you’ll do while on this fast is how many days you have left until you can eat. But being mindful of your spirit, you’ll be compelled to count something far more important. Paul said, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (Philippians 3:7) In the previous verses, Paul lays out for us the staggering and impressive number of accomplishments he had while under the law of Moses. But when he surrendered himself completely to Christ, he gladly forfeited the things he had previously trusted in; the things that he had built his self-esteem on. 

     We are far too prone, in the natural, to pride ourselves in carnal things. We consider ourselves bold because we speak our minds, but Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” We think ourselves wise to remember when wrong was done to us, but 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that to love is to “take no account of a suffered wrong.” We entertain ourselves with memories of who we were before God touched us, but Galatians 6:14 says we ought to consider ourselves “crucified to this world, and this world crucified to us.” 

     But take notice of how consciousness has changed over the this fast. Your separation to the things of God has inevitably stripped away old behaviors and conversations. Count them. What kind of foolish jokes did you make before that you haven’t made in weeks? What things were you watching and entertaining yourself with that have now faded from your routine? Turn your attention to your spirit. You’ll become aware of a cleanliness, and a purity as God has purged you by The Holy Ghost. But this fast is only a stepping off point. A place of launching. As we continue in Philippians 3, we find Paul articulating his goals, with a supernatural determination: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,…Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:8,13-14) Consider that Paul, the great Apostle of the early church, was still pressing for a prize. Aiming for a mark. And keeping himself mindful of what was stripped from him as the power of God had progressively transformed him. Let is follow his example. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, make me aware of the changes you’ve made in me. Make me mindful of what’s been stripped away from me. Give me a disgust for even the small habits of the flesh that bring a harvest of corruption. I set my heart to press on to the higher mark of Your calling.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Philippians 3:13-14 — Ephesians 4:22-24 — 1 Peter 2:11)

Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, strip from this ministry the preconceived notions of how ministry should work. Let us not operate in a ‘business as usual’ mindset. We are believing You for the unusual works of the Spirit in our midst.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Acts 19:11-20 — Isaiah 43:19 — Proverbs 8:12)


DAY EIGHTEEN - INFALLIBLE PROOF

“To whom also He (Jesus) shewed Himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs…” (Acts 2:3) The power of God, resting on a human vessel, produces demonstration of that power. It is assumed far too often that God has reserved the display of His power for preachers only, and only in the context of a church service. But Mark16:16-20 tells us that anyone who believes on The Lord Jesus is empowered to have signs following them. 

     The word proof is audacious. It’s a bold statement to claim there is proof for something in question. Yet here in Acts 2:3, we find the Bible affirming that Jesus displayed infallible proof of His resurrection. Then in Acts 5:33, we find the Apostles operating in the same power, producing infallible proofs: “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” So what is an infallible proof according to the Bible? John the Apostle said “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1,3) Proof is experience. Seeing, hearing, handling Him for yourself. 

     Take notice of the course of the scripture. Jesus showed Himself alive with poof. Then, when His disciples gave witness of His resurrection, power was manifested to prove through them, and not for nothing. But to bring us into fellowship with that demonstration, according to 1 John 1:3. That you and I may also declare and demonstrate. As we push to the end of this fast, let it stir in your spirit that what you have seen, and heard, and the anointing that you’ve handled over the course of this time is intended to be declared. And as you declare it, you bring those that will hear you into this same death of fellowship with Him that you now dwell in. Because what God does in you, He will do through you.


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, Let me handle your presence. Make me a carrier of your power to demonstrate. Let me be a sign and a wonder to the lost and bound. Use me as a vessel to set them free.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Isaiah 8:18 — 1 John 1:1-3 — Acts 4:20)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, manifest your power amongst us every time we gather together as a church. Let there by dynamic demonstrations of your Spirit that form us into the picture of the glorious church Jesus is returning for.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Ephesians 5:26-27 — John 14:21 — Acts 11:21)

DAY SEVENTEEN - YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD

Throughout scripture there is a continuing expression of God’s desire for whole families to step into covenant with God. God said of Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19) God does a work in you as a catalyst — a first fruits of your family. He did not choose you out of your family. He chooses you out FOR your family. 

     Paul preached the gospel to his Philippine jailer saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved; you and your household.” (Acts 16:31) God honors the desire of His people to see their families in covenant with Him. The Lord beseeched the children of Israel to follow and obey Him, not for their sake individually, but for the sake of their children, as well.  

     “…Choose life, that you and your seed (children) may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) He promised, though the psalmist, that delighting in His commands would result in our children being mighty upon the earth. (Psalm 112:1-2) Believe God, that through you, every last unsaved or bound member of your family would have a mighty encounter with God. 


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, make my life a sign and a wonder to my family. Those who’ve not yet surrendered to You; let them see the undeniable work of Your Hand in my life. Send a laborer to them that carries Your power, and is bold to preach the gospel to them in a way that grips their heart.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Isaiah 65:1 — Acts 16:31 — Acts 2:39 — Psalm 112:1-2)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, make Truth & Triumph home for multitudes of families. Let whole households experience an encounter with You because of what You’re doing in & through us, as a church.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 68:6 — Genesis 12:3)

DAY SIXTEEN - THE ANOINTING FOR GRANDEUR

Through the ages, God has worked with and through men and women who have sought Him. And time would fail us to list all of the mighty things God has accomplished through the obedience and cooperation of His servants. But there is one commonality between them all. The Anointing, God’s mighty power, is never intended for the mediocre. Its intended to win the insurmountable battle. To accomplish the impossible feat. To heal the incurable. To conquer giants that occupy the land. To topple tyrannical strongholds that have bound God’s people. This anointing for grandeur caused a man and woman past the age of child bearing to bring forth a son. (Genesis 17:21) This anointing caused a man who was sold into slavery by his brothers to become second in command of the mightiest nation in the world. (Genesis 37-50

It caused a teenage boy to defeat a giant that the entire army of Israel was afraid of. (1 Samuel 17) It caused the early church to walk in such impact that they became known as those who had turned the world upside down. (Acts 17:6) So it will be with you. 

     As you begin to set yourself apart for the work of God, you’ll find that His power will come upon you, giving you visions of the impossible. A vision to see whole regions transformed by His glory. When His anointing comes upon you, you become unassailable. “By Thee have I run through a troop; by my God have I leaped over a wall.” (Psalm 18:29) “…They that know their God shall be strong and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, I give myself over to the greatness of Your plan for me. I renounce the unbelief that would tell me what You’ve put in my heart will never come to pass. I will see every purpose You’ve ordained for my life come to fruition.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Daniel 11:32 — Psalm 40:7-8 — Psalm 107:24)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, grant this ministry influence in the Inland Empire. Let us infiltrate every structure of this region to make impact by the Gospel. Grant us a demonstration of power that transforms the very culture that surrounds us.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Acts 17:6 — Joshua 1:5-6 — Luke 14:23)

DAY FIFTEEN - PLANS, PURPOSES AND PURSUITS

Psalm 119:32 (NKJV) says, “I will follow the course of Your commands, for you shall enlarge my heart.” There is a course, or an order, to our obedience. When God gives us direction, and a destination, there are 3 parts to our obedience that we must inspect. First is our plans. How are we going to begin to put action to our obedience? Second is our purposes. What is driving the practical actions we are taking? Why are we doing what we are doing? Third is our pursuits. What are wanting to achieve? Is obedience enough for us? Is there an ulterior motive or ambition? 

     Acts 7:24-25 tells us that Moses knew he was called to deliver Israel from the Egyptians. But his plan to kill the Egyptian led him to have to flee Egypt. It was not until He received the plan from God that he was to stand before Pharaoh and preach that his call was fulfilled. In Luke 9:53-56 Jesus rebuked His disciples for wanting to call down fire to destroy a village that rejected them. Jesus said ,“You know not what manner of Spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” John misunderstood his purpose as a follower of Christ and the purpose for the delegated power that Jesus had granted them at the beginning of the 9th chapter. 

     Then Paul gives us a story of when he first met Peter. In Galatians 2, Paul says, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” Peter, knowing that God had called him as an apostle to the Jews (Galatians 2:8) was pursuing an acceptance of the Jews by participating in their unrighteous segregation from the gentiles; believing that by acting like them, he would be accepted by them, and be able to minister from that place of acceptance. 

     But when the Spirit of God shows us a misstep in any of our plans, purposes, or pursuits, it is for our benefit. Our humility to realign our approach to obeying Him will cause us to bear the maximum amount of fruit, and bring the highest and purest form of glory to Him. 


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, let me not add to Your command. Or take away from any detail of Your direction. I desire to have every part of your plan fulfilled in, and through my life.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 85:13 — James 2:18)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, let this church be unified, not only in vision, but in our plans, purposes, and pursuits of an awakening in the Inland Empire, that you may receive supreme glory. And that every design of Your heart be achieved.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Acts 20:24 — Hebrews 12:1-3 — Hebrews 12:28)

DAY FOURTEEN - LOCATE YOURSELF

There’s a pattern repeated to us time after time in scripture that creates a tone of communion between us and The Word of God. We find The Lord telling us that all of His ancient works were recorded for us to know and understand. They were for our hope and comfort, (Romans 15:4) for our perfection, (2 Timothy 3:16-17) for proof that we have inherited a higher purpose. (Hebrews 11:40) Where many Christians struggle, however, is finding in the pages of the bible what things are a promise, what things are an example, and what things shadow our new and better covenant. (Hebrews 8:6

     The psalmist plays the role of the inquiring child of God. He behaves as one who is filtering through the pages of the scripture to locate himself, and to determine God’s will for him. In Psalm 40:6-8 he says, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Notice how he starts his examination. He determines that God is not looking for an old exercise of sacrifice: “sacrifice and offering is not what You’ve required…” But he realizes God is trying to get his attention: “…mine ears have You opened…” He begins to list out ritual practices that others had performed to please God, but then he says God is not requiring that.  

     It’s as if the psalmist is walking us through this simultaneous study of the scripture and conversation he is having with God. Then in verse 7 he has a discovery: “Lo!” he says, “There it is!” “That’s what I’ve been searching for!” He says, “I’ve found myself within the pages of Your scriptures, Lord. And now I can come to you in the same way that I’ve found detailed for me in your Word.” “Now” he says, “I know your will for me, and now a delight has arisen in me, as this discovery from Your Word has been branded on my heart.” John tells us that the commandments of The Lord are not grievous, or hard to bear, (1 John 5:3) because when His Word has been branded on your heart, and understanding has flooded you like light floods a darkened room, your spirit begins to rejoice in what has been revealed. 

And what God wrote over the course of several thousand years, and completed two thousand years ago, suddenly becomes alive in you. Fresh, as if it was prepared for just this day.


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, show my myself in your word. Eliminate frustration and confusion. Destroy false pretense and wrong doctrine from out of my spirit. Grant me understanding of what you’re asking of me, and the blessing that comes with obedience. And I will delight in Your Will.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 40:7-9 — 1 Corinthians 10:11 — Jeremiah 15:16 — Ephesians 1:17-18)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, give us fresh insight into the direction You have for this church. May we not do things because others have done them. Or take on useless rituals. Let us be a part of the new thing You are accomplishing in the earth.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Isaiah 43:19 — Amos 3:7 — Hebrews 10:20)

DAY THIRTEEN - THE BREATH OF GOD

The Old Testament of the scripture was written in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in Greek. Two languages who’s origins do not occur anywhere near one another on a map. There is not much these two languages have in common. But one similarity that you and I should take notice of is the interchangeability of both the Greek and Hebrew words for ‘spirit’ and ‘breath’: Pneuma (Greek) and Ruwach (Hebrew). Both languages have a single word that can be translated either way. This is no accident. The Spirit of God is The Breath of God.  

     Breathing, by nature, is a deliberate action. It is a wind that results from a living being. Breath is tangible and moving; an essential proof of life. No matter the might or mass of a creature, its breath can only be felt, and heard when you’re near to it. The Breath of God is no different. To seek a move of His Spirit is to seek to be so near to Him that you can hear Him breathe; to feel the wind of His exhale. 

     Paul said to Timothy, “All scripture is God-breathed.” (2 Timothy 3:16) The scripture details to us the result of the breath of God; the wind of His Spirit. When there is a moving of the supernatural, we can determine if it is a result of His moving by searching His Word to find out what happens when He moves. Peter tells us that the Bible was written by the moving of God’s Spirit. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21

The scripture was penned as a result of the Breath of God. Can a word be spoken without a breath being released? As we hunger for Move of God’s Spirit to sweep over the Inland Empire, let it be understood in your heart that we are asking God to breathe out, once again, a Word that His Spirit will confirm with power. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:20)


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, I draw nearer to you than I ever have been before. I lay aside every distraction. I am following hard after you.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 63:8 — Psalm 27:8 — John 20:22)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, cause the collective desire of this church to provoke a move of Your Spirit that shakes the Inland Empire to its core. Let a mighty revival from Your Spirit transform every facet and infrastructure of this region; down to the very culture and atmosphere.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(Jonah 3:2-5 — Acts 8:5-8 — Jeremiah 31:34 — Hebrews 8:11)

DAY TWELVE - THE FIRE OF GOD

What must be kept in mind, whenever we pursue God in any capacity, is that without a response from Him, without the touch of His Hand, without a word from His Mouth, none of our effort will amount to anything; the psalmist said, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” (Psalm 127:1

     This time of consecration, though temporary, must fashion in us a lasting awareness of our dependency on Him. Elijah summed up the demonstration of God’s intervention in this way: “The God Who answers by fire, let Him be God.” (1 Kings 18:24

     The Word characterizes God, Himself, in a picture in Hebrews 12:28: “…for our God is an All-Consuming Fire.” The arrival of the fire of God is the introduction to God. When we are ignited with His fire, we are encountering the same power that will one day destroy the temporal things of this world in preparation for the new earth where only righteousness can dwell. And just as His fire will one day cultivate a new atmosphere fashioned for the accommodation of righteousness, so it is when His fire falls on you and I. As our spirits are the temple for the Spirit of God, the fire of God is the renovation to prepare His place of dwelling.   

     “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:2-3) His fire refines us like silver. It purifies us like gold. Until our life becomes like an acceptable offering brought to an altar; an offering of righteousness.


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, by your fire, make my life a righteous offering to You. So that on Judgement Day, the fire that tries my works will not destroy them as if they were made of wood, hay, or stubble. But that fire would refine them, that they may shine like gold, and silver, and precious stone.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(1 Corinthians 3:13-15 — Malachi: 3:3)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, let the gathering of this church body be an altar to You; where Your fire may fall, to burn out the vain deceits of the world, and also to brand in us the mandate from heaven for this church. That each of us would be equally moved by the vision and purpose for this ministry.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 18:28 — 1 John 1:5-7)

DAY ELEVEN - THE GRACE TO INCREASE: PART TWO

Let’s continue with the pattern of Grace. Paul, himself, called the action of grace a pattern in 1 Timothy 1:13-16 (TPT): “Mercy kissed me, even though I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor of believers, and a scorner of what turned out to be true. I was ignorant and didn’t know what I was doing. I was flooded with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks, until I was full of faith and love for Jesus, the Anointed One! I can testify that the Word is true and deserves to be received by all, for Jesus Christ came into the world to bring sinners back to life—even me, the worst sinner of all! Yet I was captured by grace, so that Jesus Christ could display through me the outpouring of his Spirit as a pattern to be seen for all those who would believe in him for eternal life.” 

     Paul details the examination of Grace on his life. That he “used to be” (past) a blasphemer. But he was “captured by grace” (present), so that his life would represent God’s pattern for all who would believe on Christ after Paul did (future). This is a pattern that persists in every work of grace. And the work of grace is essential for us to walk out every plan God has for our lives. Paul tells us that grace not only brings us into salvation, but continues to work in us and for us, to produce fruitful lives…1 Corinthians 15:10 (TPT) “But God’s amazing grace has made me who I am! And his grace to me was not fruitless. In fact, I worked harder than all the rest, yet not in my own strength but God’s, for his empowering grace is poured out upon me.” 

     Notice what Paul says about the grace. That he worked according to that grace, and that grace caused him to work harder than every other apostle. In fact, it was God’s grace on Paul that worked in him and caused him to pen over half of the New Testament. We have more record of Paul’s life and ministry than we do of any one else in the early church. And it wasn’t because Paul was more gifted. He calls himself the least of all the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:9. It was not because Paul was the most anointed. He called himself the least of all the saints in Ephesians 3:8. It was because Paul perceived the pattern of God’s grace and never stepped outside of it. Ephesians 4:7 tells us that unto every one of us is given grace. So we yield to the pattern of the work of grace by putting our dependency on the God of all grace. He comes, He examines how things have been working, He directs us on how to align with His grace more perfectly, and speaks to us the reward that comes with walking in that grace more abundantly.


Personal Payer Point:

“Father, make me to walk with accuracy in the grace you’ve set apart for my life.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(2 Corinthians 12:9-10 — Acts 20:24 — John 15:4)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, give this ministry, and everyone within it, grace to serve you acceptably. Do not let this ministry step outside of the mandate you’ve placed on us. For in pursuing that mandate, comes the grace to fulfil it.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Hebrews 12:28 — Ephesians 3:8-10)

DAY TEN - THE GRACE TO INCREASE: PART ONE

“If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” (Job 8:6-7) It is unfortunate how the book of Job is degraded in religious circles. 42 chapters of Divinely inspired insight into the ways and purposes of God reduced to a grossly ill-informed summary that, more or less says, “God beats you up to fix you up.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, just as we quote Job, who said, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away” we invest in the same ignorance that God, Himself, sharply rebuked Job for. God makes it evident to Job how vast his mindless thinking has become when He asks, “Who is this who clouds wisdom by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2

     And so it is when anyone blames God for the unfortunate nature of their present circumstance. But the opening verse of this devotional lays out an answer for you and I as we seek increase. “If” is an invasive word. “If” demands examination. And in this statement from the scripture, it takes an accusatory position: “IF YOU were pure and upright.” This examination determines the reason behind the sudden diminishing of Job’s wealth. Shockingly, the reason is laid on Job himself. But what is more intriguing about the nature of these two verses is that they simultaneously deal with the past, present, and future. 

     When exploring the scripture, we find that this is actually an exercise of grace. Ephesians 2:4,5,7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we WERE (past) dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are SAVED (present)…That in the ages to COME (future) he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” This short passage is perhaps the most well-known in the bible regarding the subject of grace. And though it is dealing with the grace for salvation, it is also laying out for us a pattern by which grace operates. Looking at our opening verses one more time from the light of grace’s pattern… “If thou WERT (past) pure and upright; surely NOW (present) He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end SHOULD (future) greatly increase.” Grace examines us. It examines what was wrong, interjects a present solution, and establishes a future blessing.

Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, prepare me for increase. Clothe me with the grace necessary to increase in the place you have called me to.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 119:124 — Psalm 23:2-3 — Job 8:6-7)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, examine us by Your grace. And fit each of us together into the role you’ve called us to in the church, to supply to the vision of this ministry with our gifts and talents. Edify and build up this body.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Ephesians 4:16 — Colossians 2:2 — 1 Corinthians 12:14-27)

DAY NINE - THE GRACE TO DECREASE

“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:29-30) John the Baptist describes his ministry as that of a member of a wedding party. Those within a wedding party are there because of the role they’ve played in the lives of both the bride and groom. And often that role has a direct impact that has brought the bride and groom to their place of covenant. 

     The experience of those within the wedding party is a unique one. They must now willingly minimize their involvement in the lives of both the bride and groom so as to promote the exclusivity of the marriage relationship. And if the marriage covenant is infringed upon by another person, it becomes the responsibility of those within the wedding party to protect the sanctity of the marriage they witnessed. It is a position of absolute selflessness. The best man, or maid of honor accept that they cannot be a greater, or even comparatively similar in influence, than the bride or groom are to each other. 

     In fact, if either bride or groom begin to doubt their mate, or relationship, those within the wedding party are mantled with a ministry of heralding the beauty of their marriage. “…That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) In this verse, it is clearly communicated that God has laid on us the mantle of ministry that declares His wonderful work of reconciliation. But notice verse 18 just above it… “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…” We see a role reversal within these two statements. That, in verse 18 we are recipients of reconciliation to the Father, expressed in the phrase “given us,” but in verse 19 we are consigned to minister reconciliation. What an interesting contrast, that the fulfilment of our salvation makes us both bride, and matron of honor. 

     Many Christians stand well in the place of bride; the focus and pursuit of the groom. But the self sacrifice that it takes to become matron is foregone. Yet John tells us that those who understand well the role of the wedding party take joy in the voice of the bridegroom calling to His intended bride. And this is what our fast will accomplish: To lay down our concern for our own daily appetites, and to turn our focus to seizing the attention of this broken world, that our Savior calls to. To concern ourselves with His concern. To take joy in the lost, recognizing His call. We give ourselves over to decrease, silencing the cries of our flesh; and there, in this silence, His voice is clearer. And the focus on Him increases.


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, let this fast not be a segment of my life that temporarily redirected my focus to Your purpose. But let it be a turning point. That by the time this fast ends, whatever was in me that fed a self-driven life would die. Let me decrease, so that You may increase.”

Scripture to Stand On:

(John 3:30 — Psalm 71:18 — Isaiah 44:26)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, create in us, as a body of believers, a joy to see the lost hear the voice of the Bridegroom. Let the focus of this church be only to draw the attention of the Inland Empire to the call of the Savior.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(John 12:32 — John 3:14 — John 5:25)

DAY EIGHT - PRUNING THE EXCESS

One of the most important facets of a fast is to remove things that are in the way of your ability to stay conscious of your spirit. Because it is the communion between the human spirit and the Holy Spirit that allows us to hear and receive from God. “His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16

     Fasting is comparable to cleaning a cluttered closet. In order to properly clean, everything within the closet must be removed so as to reveal anything hidden or spotted. Everything in a closet is kept there because it holds some measure of value. But if you have ever taken time to clean a space — maybe a closet or a garage — as you went through the contents of that space you realized that certain things — seemingly important when you stored them — actually hold no purpose — fruitful or beneficial value — at all? So it is with certain teaching and doctrines that we hold dear. Without realizing it, we have placed value on certain teachings, maybe because of their popularity or the skill with which they were communicated, that don’t fulfill any purpose other than crowding our spirit with sleights that hinder us from valuing right  and fruitful teaching. 

     Paul said that we should “…be no more children, easily moved by doctrines that blow in like a temporal breeze sent to achieve the crafty purposes of cunning men.” (Ephesians 4:14) There are certain teachings that have been allowed into the church that produce an exuberant response in a service but do not actually produce biblical fruit. Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:2,5) He compares us to a branch which draws life, or power, from the vine. Anyone who has ever gardened before knows that branches have offshoots protruding from them. If any of those offshoots are not beneficial to the branch itself then they are drawing the life from the vine that is being wasted. They must be removed, or “pruned”. 

     The prophet Jeremiah spoke of useless, unfruitful offshoots of teaching in this way: “For they have healed the hurt of my people only slightly saying, ‘peace, peace’ but there is no peace.” It could be said this way; they temporarily make my people feel better by promising peace, but nothing they say will bring peace. It’s important to remember that just because a teaching has a scripture attached doesn’t mean it is scriptural. But in a fast, we are able to engage with our spirits, and determine what truths from God’s Word need to be dusted off and reapplied, and what teachings are taking up much needed space, and cluttering our hearts. 


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, come and prune every useless teaching and mindset that I have held dear that has produced nothing but an imitation of peace in my life.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Isaiah 48:18 — Isaiah 26:3)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, anoint this church to receive, with perfect clarity and unity, the Word that you desire to be heard and planted in every service. Every time we gather, let us draw from Your Word like a branch draws life from the vine.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Mark 4:23 — Proverbs 4:20-21)

DAY SEVEN - ARE YOU HUNGRY? PART TWO

The reality for every person is that we all experience a hunger for spiritual satisfaction. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us “…God has placed eternity in their hearts…” But there is a parallel to bodily and spiritual hunger. Like natural hunger, we develop an appetite for whatever has satisfied us previously. Like natural hunger, we can spoil whatever appetite we’ve developed by compromising and partaking in something that gives the illusion of satisfaction, but lacks nourishment, and life-giving properties. This is the PRIMARY reason we don’t see life altering, region shaking moves of God’s Spirit. We abort our pursuit of Him by satisfying ourselves.

     Consider someone who uses what they eat as a tool to help them obtain what they pursue. An athlete, when training for competition, gives no credence to food that merely satiates craving. The athlete’s goal is to consume something that will be utilized to help them obtain the prize they seek. They are singularly focused. Paul articulated this comparison so beautifully in 1 Corinthians 9:27: "I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.” 

     The prize WE run for is sinners and the nations of the earth for our inheritance, and the ends of the earth as our possession. (Psalm 2:8) Remaining focused on what we are requiring from the Hand of God will direct what things we participate in. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18

     What you’re desiring from God may be something you have never seen before. You never had an example of constant breakthrough, or righteousness, or blessing in your life. But that thirst for the things that you’ve already had (the delicacies of this world) have already proven they cannot  satisfy, or bring you righteousness, peace, or joy. 

     Take dominion, today, over the appetite for the carnal, fruitless things that have already proven to be a poison in your life. And pursue, with all you that you have, the promises of The King. “Taste and see that The Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, show me practical ways to avoid the carnal things I used to delight in. Show me how to avoid anything that spoils my appetite for an unprecedented move of Your Spirit in my life.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Proverbs 22:3 — Isaiah 58:14 — Jeremiah 15:16)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, stir in the hearts of every member of this church a collective hunger for revival in the Inland Empire. Remove complacency and indifference. Let each member be ignited with a personal passion for their role in the consummation of this revival.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Jeremiah 17:4 — Psalm 85:6-13)

DAY SIX - ARE YOU HUNGRY? PART ONE

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Pay attention to the imagery put forth for us in this verse of scripture. Jesus compares the pursuit of the right things of His Kingdom to that of the natural sensation of hunger. Hunger naturally drives you to seek satisfaction. And the longer hunger remains unsatisfied, the stronger its influence becomes. Eventually, this unsatisfied hunger begins to dominate your thoughts, emotions, and decisions. 

     To hunger for anything is to recognize a marriage of both desire AND need. Rarely do we ever see these two things correlate with one another. And many times, in a church context, we’re instructed to distinguish between the two. But to hunger (to be starved for something), or to thirst (to be parched for relief), is one of the few experiences we can have where both the desire and need are inseparable. 

     Jesus makes that comparison in regard to someone who has recognized the importance of His Kingdom. But He doesn’t just leave us with a mere comparison; He also gives us a guarantee. It is a blessing to hunger for what is righteous; to thirst for what is holy. Because this level of infatuation not only moves the one who is experiencing it; But God Himself is moved by that one. He is so moved, He refuses to remain uninvolved. And like a wealthy man with resources, seeing and having compassion for a man unable to meet his own needs, He steps in; He comes and fills you with the only thing that can satisfy. 


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, make me hungry for a move of your Spirit in my life. One that I’ve never experienced before. Don’t allow me to find satisfaction, any longer, in anything other than that which agrees with Your righteousness.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Proverbs 27:7 — Jeremiah 29:13 — Isaiah 55:1-3 — Acts 17:27)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, make Truth & Triumph your constant habitation. Every time we gather, let Your Spirit move until we are satisfied. Nourish us up together, like a gardener who tends to every plant equally. Do not let one member of this congregation remain untouched, or unnourished by The Holy Ghost.”


Scripture to Stand On:

(1 Corinthians 3:9 — Ephesians 4:16 — Ephesians 5:25-27)

DAY FIVE - CONSECRATION AND SECRETS

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which were specified by the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the accomplishment of the desolations of Jerusalem, that is, seventy years. I set my face toward the Lord God to seek by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:1-3) “indeed, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. He informed me and talked with me, and said, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.’” (Daniel 9:21-22

     Unusual pursuit of God always yields an unusual response from God. We see in this chapter there was an aspect of tradition in Daniel’s fast, in regard to his mourning for the sins of Israel with sackcloth and ashes. But it’s important to note that in no other place in the Old Testament scriptures do we see God sending an angel to minister to someone who was fasting traditionally. Notice that it was the unusual aspect of Daniel’s fast in regard to his request from God to hear about the future that provoked God’s unusual response. 

     It was not common, during a fast, to request something from God; but Daniel did. If we continue to read this chapter, leading in to the following chapters, we find that not only did God send the angel Gabriel (pause and think about that for a moment), not only did God answer Daniel’s questions about the future of Israel, but God was so pleased with Daniel’s self-consecration that He showed Daniel EVERYTHING that was going to happen from then unto the end of the world! 

     Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: “The Father, Who sees in secret, shall reward openly…” In a time prior to New Covenant benefits, we see Daniel conducting himself in a New Covenant type of fast, and receiving New Covenant reward from The Father. Psalm 84:11 declares: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” The uprightness of setting aside all else to receive what only God can provide will ALWAYS produce supernatural reward! Daniel’s unusual consecration put him into a category of men that very few have achieved, unlocking secrets “kept hidden before the foundations of the world.”


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, make my desire to seek after you unusually. Carve out from me all indifference and complacency. Ignite my heart to pursue secrets in You that I have never known.”


Scripture to stand on:

(Proverbs 25:2 — Jeremiah 33:3 — Psalm 119:130)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, don’t let a single service pass this year with this congregation remaining the same. Cause every gathering, every service, to be a catalyst for significant growth in the life of every member of this church.”


Scripture to stand on:

(1 Corinthians 14:26 — 1 Thessalonians 3:12 — 2 Thessalonians 1:3 & 12)

DAY FOUR - FROM GLORY TO GLORY: PART TWO

“Which of you, having a servant plowing or herding sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come now and sit down for dinner?’ Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare my supper, and dress yourself and serve me until I eat and drink. And afterward you will eat and drink?’ Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? I think not. So you also, when you have done everything commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done our duty.’” (Luke 17:7-10 — Modern English Version

     Notice the activity of the servant. All of his duties were directed specifically toward his Master. This is a picture of our time of prayer and consecration to The Lord. The Bible calls it “ministering to The Lord.” (Acts 13:2) But notice what happened immediately after their ministry to The Lord AND FASTING: “The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3

     Their private pursuit of God turned into a public commission by God. Many times, when we hear “glory to glory” we attribute it to a more powerful prayer life, or greater personal blessing. But what if “glory to glory” doesn’t just mean from a lower to a higher glory, but also from an inward to an outward glory? And taking the anointing you are mantled with in your “ministering to The Lord” and applying it to the ministry of reconciliation, reaching the lost with the gospel; taking what is inside of you, and giving it out! 

     Luke 17 shows us that a one dimensional, or single faceted ministry is that of an unprofitable servant; not one who is actively diminishing the work of your Master, but not pushing it forward either. But you wont fall into that category. You will be effective and profitable; and you’ll constantly increase in your effectiveness and profitability for His Kingdom!


Personal Prayer Point:

“Father, make me profitable for your Kingdom, and glory; in Jesus Name!”


Scripture to Stand On:

(Luke 17:7-10 — 2 Corinthians 5:13-14 — Isaiah 6:7-8)


Corporate Prayer Point:

“Father, make Truth & Triumph profitable for the expansion of your Kingdom and your fame in the Inland Empire. What you’ve begun through your anointed servants in days past, complete it now through us; in Jesus Name!”


Scripture to stand on:

(2 Corinthians 3:2-3 — Acts 17:6 — Acts 19:20)


DAY THREE - FROM GLORY TO GLORY: PART ONE

“We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 The Passion Translation

     There is, for the child of God, a higher place, and a brighter glory at all times. There is no suggestion in scripture that we are supposed to plateau, or stagnate at any time in our pursuit of Him. What we must realize is that we not only belong to Him, but we are commissioned by Him. We have an ever active purpose and responsibility to reflect His glory to a dying world. And these two facets of our relationship with God are not mutually exclusive. They aren’t opposites or separate from one another. This means that whatever glory we achieve in the spirit, whatever intimacy we develop with Him, whatever anointing we receive from Him, ALL of it will have an outward expression that will result in the furtherance of the gospel. 

     Too often we find Christians boasting about how much they’ve grown in The Lord, or how great their encounters are with Him. However we have to recognize that God’s glory increasing in us and upon us should then go through us, causing us to become more profitable to His Kingdom. “You are our letter written in our hearts, known and read by all men. For you are prominently declared to be the letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on human tablets of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3 — Modern English Version)


Personal Prayer Point:

Ask The Father to make you fruitful. That your life would not only evidently show His presence, but, like fruit on a tree, your life would minister health to everyone around you.


Scripture to stand on:

(John 15:1-4 — Hebrews 12:28)


Corporate prayer point:

Ask The Father to make Truth & Triumph a center of hope for California. Where the broken, destitute, sick, and sorrowful come to be restored by His power!


Scripture to stand on:

(Isaiah 8:18 — Genesis 12:2)


DAY TWO - FASTING FROM A DIVINE PERSPECTIVE

Jesus’ perspective of fasting was so unique that in all 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke,  and John) we only see Him address fasting 1 more time. In Matthew 9:14-17

Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” 

     In this passage Jesus more clearly defines the redirection of a fast. Comparing the old purpose of mourning with the image of an old garment, or old wineskin. But to you and I it would seem random to bring up cloths or containers for wine at a moment like this. What would those two things have to do with fasting? One thing we should always take in to account when reading the scripture is the speaker’s intended audience. Who was Jesus talking to? We find out in verse 14 that Jesus is speaking to the disciples of John the Baptist. When this same story is told from Luke’s perspective, in Luke 5, we find that the Pharisees were present as well. This group would immediately understand what Jesus meant by bringing up these two images. A cloth, in Jewish culture, would reference someone’s role in society. It was their covering, their covenant. A wineskin refers to reward. The wine — coming from grapes — was used, traditionally, for celebrating the fruit of labors, or for keeping feasts, which were celebrations.   

     So when Jesus described why His disciples did not use fasting or prayer for the same purposes that the Pharisees or the disciples of John did, He intentionally compared those two practices with concepts He knew this group would immediately grasp. 

     The cloth, or covering, of the Old Covenant was established on the people’s awareness of their sin. (1Corinthians 15:56) The wine, or reward, of the Old Covenant (old wineskin) was based on how well they could keep the commandments in the law of Moses. But for us, in this covenant ratified by the shedding of the Blood of Jesus, our covering is His righteousness. Our reward is His Spirit. “…that we might receive the promise of The Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14) "And because of him, when you who are not Jews heard the revelation of truth, you believed in the wonderful news of salvation. Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. He is given to us like an engagement ring is given to a bride, as the first instalment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemption’s promises and experience complete freedom—all for the supreme glory and honor of God!” (Ephesians 1:13-14 — The Passion Translation)


Personal Prayer Point:

Ask God to reveal to you your personal, particular role in this final hour of time, before His return. Ask Him for the leading of The Spirit so as not to miss out on a single facet of what He has called you to do. Ask for the perfect clarity of His will for your life.


Scripture to Stand On:

(Psalm 40:7-8 — Hebrews 3:7-10)


Corporate Prayer Point:

Together, let’s ask God this year to add a zero to everything He accomplished in our church in 2018. Add a zero to our attendance number. Add a zero to the number of salvations. Add a zero to church income. Add a zero to our corporate giving as a church, to other ministries. 


Scripture to Stand On:

(Deuteronomy 28:8,12 — John 15:7 — Zechariah 10:1)