What About Fasting? part 2

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By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 6:16-18, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” 

Want to ruin any Fast? Just do what it says here; by openly making a scene you take what God could use to change your life to just a hunger strike. Attitude is the key to entering the presence of God in anything we do, prayer, giving, preaching, and fasting if we are doing it just to look good before man, it is of no effect with the Kingdom of God. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” I mentioned Moses before as an example of someone who not only fasted for forty days once, but twice, and scripture says this about this man, Numbers 12:3, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”It was this meekness (humility) that allowed God to use this powerful man to deliver His people from Egypt.

There are different types of fasting, we find one God chooses for us Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” You may be impressed by the Spirit of God to enter a fast which as stated here can do great things not only in your life but others! Some set a particular day every week, every month or more to fast to put power to our prayer life, Luke 2:36-37, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Because of her dedication she got to witness the newborn Savior of the World Jesus Christ.

Then are those that a leader of the Nation, a church leader, may in response to a situation, a answer that they may be seeking will call a period of fasting and prayer, 2 Chronicles 20:1-3, “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” Many other fast are found in the Bible such as with the city of Nineveh,  Nehemiah, King David, as well others.

In the next lesson I will discuss the different types of Fasting.

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What About Fasting?

ezra8

by Pastor Jeff,

When you ask any believer about prayer and they will undeniably tell you that they pray regularly and earnestly, but when you mention fasting we often fumble to find an adequate response.

The word fasting is referenced over seventy times in the bible with some memorable fasts by Moses who twice went forty days in the presence of God without any natural food. Jesus also fasted forty days in the wilderness before His temptation by Satan, Luke 4:1-4, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

One of the most powerful examples of what can happen when we chose to fast is when Jonah warned Nineveh of impending doom, Jonah 3:5, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” God responded with mercy, Jonah 3:10, “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”

Now I want to be careful and tell you that fasting does not change God’s mind for eventually Nineveh was destroyed, but what fasting does is allow God to remove our unbelief, Matthew 17:21, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

Fasting was often used in the selection of missionaries, Acts 13:2-3, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Elders, Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed”

Ezra 8:21, “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” 8:23, “So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.” Fasting unleashes the faith that is in us and we Apostolic’s should never take it lightly. In future blogs I will discuss the different types of fast and even its benefits for us physically, thank you for your time.

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Distractions

enemy-distractions

By Pastor Jeff,

Distractions! The world we live in currently is full of them and it seems that when you make a commitment to God the distractions come at you ten-fold! Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Recently as the title of this website declares, we have set about to seek for Revival at our church in Janesville WI. It must of really ticked the devil off because we have witnessed an all out attack on several of those that attend services here!

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” The world we live in has enough distractions all by itself such as work, family, friends, just life in general that can mess with our time with God.

Then we have Satan, his imps messing with us, and I’ll give you an example. We all know if we are to see genuine revival we will need to commit ourselves to prayer. So, we set apart every Tuesday for this purpose and Friday nights have dedicated to worship and prayer as well. It seems that every event outside the church that can occur has been scheduled for you guess what night? Right, Tuesday or Fridays! Well to be fair the other nights can easily fill up with family events as well but it does seem that on these two nights it occurs more often that it did before we made the commitment.

Another distraction that affects our time is how the devil likes to attack ones family (I can attest that we have other families that are coming under serious attacks as well). I think he knows that if he tries anything with me I will just point out that the bible makes it clear that in the end of all things, he LOSES! But family, especially our children can really throw us for a loop. Though I am troubled by what the devil has done in my family, I still can stand and declare the marvelous works of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and declare this scripture found in Isaiah 50:7, “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” AMEN!

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Ready for Download!

cross-man-looking-up-at

By Pastor Jeff,

Isaiah 40:26, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” I often when I’m worshiping or praying find myself looking towards the heavens with gratefulness that the creator of all things loved me enough to come, become flesh, suffer, die, and rise again for me!

There are times however that God does what I like to call,”Downloads” I will receive information from the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. I find it interesting that when our Vice President Mike Pence declared that God talks to him many in the entertainment and probably even religious circles mocked him. Well I , “declare that God still does talk to His children, John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” If hearing the voice of God makes one crazy, well call me crazy!

I will be the first to admit that in my younger walk I had a very difficult time hearing the voice of Jesus Christ and only through many hours in His word, on my face, praying that eventually I began to hear His beautiful voice. Not like as in a face to face discussion or any audible voice (though I do believe that’s possible) but in my spirit, I without a doubt could hear His Spirit communicating with me. 1John 4:1-2, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:”

Interestingly the first time I can recall hearing the voice of Jesus, the word was “No!” I’ve been asking God to feel like He feels and He told me no. He did explain that I could not function with the love and compassion for mankind He has for mankind. Jesus then for just a moment let me feel as He feels, it is beyond any words that I could ever declare of His love for us.

Let’s get back to why I call it “downloading”.  For me it’s the easiest explanation, I’m in no way a computer geek, but I do understand the necessity to get updates periodically to keep my computer, IPhone operating at peak performance. As a Believer I need that for my spiritual well being also. Through growth and understanding of Jesus, His Kingdom, His Will for me, I not only hear him as I lie prostrate before Him, not only as I worship Him, not only as I read His word. But I can get downloads throughout my daily walk, as I’m mowing, as I’m sitting, and even as I’m at my computer typing my Blogs. I ask you today, are you Ready for Download? Jesus Is!

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Sacrificial Prayer

Desperate-Prayer

By Pastor Jeff,

Prayer has always been the cornerstone of the Christian faith as well as many other religions. As I studied many of the former Revivals it is sometimes overlooked as the main reason that the Holy Ghost could move with such signs, wonders, and power. The first century church when faced with persecution for preaching about Jesus, did this in Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

We need again to be shaken and a refilling of the Holy Ghost as the Church of old!

The thing you noticed about the prayer that was being brought about in any Revival what stands out to me is not so much the frequency but the intensity as those often found themselves prostrate before our almighty God in repentance and desire to become one with the Spirit.

The word that stands out to me is the word “travail”, the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah often made mention of the travail that comes from a woman in labor. As a man I can’t attest that I can sympathize with a woman in labor, but in prayer I’ve have experienced deep sometimes painful prayer which I have found parallel accounts with those in the midst of Revival. One thing I do know about a woman in labor is that when it starts it does not end until you have a birth. I pray this is the same with us, Paul spoke of this in Galatians 4:19, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you”

I, in future Blogs as the Lord permits will be sharing some of my experiences in travail for whatever the will of Jesus Christ is in my life. Many churches say they desire Revival but the sacrifice that comes with it is not what they are willing to sign up for. Prayer involves time and time is the one thing we have the hardest thing to give up. I believe Jesus is returning soon and I don’t want to see anyone miss it. So if it means a little lost sleep, missing my favorite TV show, even a meal or two, count on me to put my best foot forward.

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