Archive for the ‘Prayer and Fasting’ Category

Experiencing the Holy Spirit in Prayer

Many are awakening to the love of prayer, and are seeking to connect with God in a deeper way.  Seeking to experience the Holy Spirit is a biblical, tangible reality.

In John 5 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees; He says, “You do not have His word abiding in you, because [Him] whom He sent, Him you do not believe”   The Father sent Jesus, but they don’t believe Him. Why? Because they don’t have His word abiding in them.

  • Verse 39 is when it began to really become clear. He says, “You study the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are those which testify of Me. You are unwilling to come to Me that you might have life (Jn. 5:38).
  • Often we as believers confuse the value of bible understanding we get. We confuse its value, thinking, “It’s complete; it’s enough to have this.”  Yes, it’s valuable to understand the passage, but it’s incomplete, but often you end up with leaders who have head knowledge, but they don’t interact in a fresh way with the Living Son of God, by the Spirit.
  • I read that verse once and I was shocked, I said, “That’s what I do.  I’m searching”—you can also use the word ‘studying’—“the Scriptures. I’m engaging my mind. I thought that through Bible study I would experience life. That was the same problem the Pharisees were having; but here’s the key phrase, in verse 40: “But you are not willing to come to Me that you might have life” (Jn. 5:40).

    What came to my thinking the first time I saw this, changed me forever, it is that you can do Bible study all day long, but if you don’t take the Word to Jesus with a hungry heart, you don’t experience life. It hit me like a arrow, that I wasn’t coming to Him in this way. “You’re not dialoguing with Me. You’re not interacting with Me in your searching of the Scriptures.”  The written word must take us to the Living Word, this is the way to the life and food of the Word..

    So from that point on, I began to try and have a running dialogue with Jesus as I read the Scriptures.  Each passage is a door to knock on and ask Jesus for the Eph 1:17 spirit of Revelation.  The bible never says to read it in a year, but it says over and over to meditate on it.  A verse can be made a prayer quite easy.

  • The implanted Word delivers our soul from bondage to filthiness. 21 Lay aside all filthiness…and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (supernaturally deliver) your souls. (Jas 1:21)   7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…ask…and it shall done. (Jn. 15:7)

  • There are three components necessary for the power of the Word to live in us. First, we use our choice to pursue God with a spirit of obedience, faith (confidence He answers) and loving devotion. Second, we feed our heart continually on the Word (implant it in our heart) through mediation. Third, we need the activity of the Spirit to turn meditation into living revelation (turn water into wine, Jn. 2) to save or deliver us from sinful desires.  We must fellowship with the Holy Spirit by talking to Him.   Summary of the three components: we must obey God, feed on the Word and talk to the Spirit.

  • The bible highlights two ways to focus our mind in seeking God: God on His Throne (Rev. 4) and God in our innerman.  The Spirit flows from our “innermost man,” its where the Holy Spirit lives in us if we are born again.  We know from Scripture that He dwells in our innermost man (John 7:38), but we only experience Him in the innerman.  The innerman contains our mind will and emotions (Eph 3:16) We turn the attention of our soul to the Spirit in our spirit to grow in the deep things of God.

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

  • Meditation must be made prayer to enter the heart.  Christianity is relationship with the Man Jesus, we are sanctified and transformed by beholding Him, via the Word and Spirit.  Paul reveals here, that Scripture verses aren’t too just be figured out by the mind, but require the Holy Spirit to impact the heart, we want living understanding.  It takes God to get God.

38 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believes on me, the way the Scriptures say,  From his innermost being (belly, KJV) will flow rivers of living water.  (Jn. 7:38 NAS)

  • By believing the Scriptures with authentic faith, we will connect with God and experience the Holy Spirit.  This experience Jesus likens to drinking from rivers of living water.  I’m going to talk about some very powerful activities that have been highlighted as a focus in the prayer movement.   Its easy to slip from the discipline of pursuing God, we must resolve to go after loving Him with all of our heart.  Getting the Word alive in your heart takes time and focus, it must become your main priority, and you must resist activity and speech that hinders it.  If we will commit to agressively feed our heart on the Love of God, we will take spiritual ground and be anointed by the Spirit to love God in yet greater ways.  If we are not agressively taking new ground, we will lose the ground we have, in stagnation.
The Mind Mouth Heart Method
Reading Scriptures gets them in our mind, and we need to love God with all of our mind, but speaking them over ourselves and speaking them to God, gets them in our heart.  John 15:7 reveals that if His words abide in you, you will have greater authority in prayer and see more answers.
4 ways to go Deeper-

1) Pray-Read Scripture to God (thanking Him, asking for revelation or power to obey).

  • Jesus said “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)   Scriptures will impact us when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them.  We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material.  “We let the written word take us to the Living Word, Jesus.”
  • So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them.  The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them.  They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God/Christ to dwells within us (Eph 3;16-19).  We renew our mind (Col 3:10) and walk as a new creation.
  • So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings.  Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you.  We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love.  I ask for greater revelation of this love.  And we would worship and journal revelation.
  • Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation.  Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God.
  • The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples.  We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God.  It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.
  • 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26)
  • 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13)
  • 27 The anointing…abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)

2) Sing the Scriptures to Him

  • Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. (Eph 5:18-19 Niv)
  • I believe Eph 5:18-19 is being emphasized by many Spirit-led ministries, as the way to be filled with the Spirit.  The verse says we should not answer the longing of our hearts with drunkenness, but rather be filled with the Spirit, by Singing to Jesus the Scriptures. I believe this is one of the most important verses in the bible about prayer.   This message of singing the Word is being spread all over the world through the prayer movement, and it needs to be a part of our prayer life.  God created the human heart so that singing opens the heart in a way that nothing else does.  Singing the Word is the main biblical prescription, the premier way, to be filled with the Spirit and set on fire for God.  Jesus was the Living Word before He became a man, and now we encounter Him by singing and praying/dialoguing the written word.  So we let the written word take us to the Living Word.  But we must grow our hearts in praying the Word.
  • “Biblical ideas that you sing are ideas that you own.” They become yours.
    Premiere means to get the scripture deep in us: sing it, pray it, and not to the air, but to Him. Often.
    Is there anything as satisfying and powerful as singing about the details of Jesus, and declaring to Him that He is beautiful?
  • To pray consistently, pray the scriptures. The word of God is the “chariot” the Holy Spirit rides on best in our lives and heart.
    To pray consistently, sing the scriptures. Singing unlocks the heart, causes truth to go deeper, and makes prayer enjoyable.
    Sing the word of God until you feel something on the inside move. Then sing more.
    To study the word and comprehend it is transforming; to then pray it and sing it – consuming.
    Prayer & the corresponding power of the Holy Spirit makes the heart fertile soil for the seed of the word to flourish.
  • Click on the picture on the top right to see an archived worship with the Word set, with us at Ihop-kc, a 24-7 worship and intercession ministry.
  • When we stand before God on Judgment Day, He is not going to ask us how big of house did we get, or how big did we make our bank account, but how big did our heart get by experiencing His love and revelation (1st commandment.)

3) Fast

  • Fasting does not ‘earn’ us more of God.  It does increase our capacity to experience the Holy Spirit, and accelerate the process of communing prayer.  I have found fasting on water, 1 day a week, to be unparallelled in terms of its impact on my experiencing of God.  I am calling fiery believers to fast at least one day a week.  The benefits are tremendous in fasting two days a week, but let desire for God drive your fasting, not commands or religious spirit.
  • This depth of fasting is well within the reach of most people.  But we desperately need more revelation of Jesus as our Bridegroom who has burning desire for us and fiery affections toward us.  As we live in the truth of the bridal paradigm, we fast because we long for Jesus.  Jesus told the Pharisees the day would come when the Bridegroom would be taken away from the disciples, and then they would fast out of longing for Him (Matt. 9:15).  When Jesus ascended to Heaven after His death and resurrection, He was taken away in the sense indicated in this Scripture.  The Bride of Christ is meant to long for His return, His Second Coming, and fasting is one way we express this longing.
  • By knowing Jesus as our Bridegroom and seeing ourselves as His Bride, we will become energized with a spirit of prayer and filled with courage to live lives abandoned to God in holiness. Only then will fasting seem appropriate, reasonable or Continue reading
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Benefits of the Bridegroom Fast

PARADOX

       The subject of fasting is a subject with a paradox; it appears to be a real difficult and hard subject but the truth is when understood properly through the paradigm of a bridegroom in the pursuit of one fasting is exhilarating and some of you are beginning to believe the Lord is going to raise up multitudes of people across the earth. Millions that live a fasted lifestyle before a bridegroom God. We have studied the idea of a new paradigm of fasting introduced by Jesus in Matthew 9:14-17.

             It is a paradigm of fasting that enlarges our heart through encountering the beauty of a bridegroom… Jesus introduced a new paradigm of fasting very different from the Old Testament although the Old Testament paradigm is still a part of the New Covenant grace but this paradigm of fasting.. this understanding is a view of fasting that enlarges our heart through encountering the beauty of a bridegroom God who is lovesick with desire for us.. who possesses indescribable beauty.

            He brings us into partnership with Himself, it is that pursuit that enlarges our heart in a way that no other dimension in the grace of God can. The bridegroom fast is a term that I use that it causes us to receive greater measures of revelation at an accelerated pace and a deeper impact. There are three things. The measure is greater… the quantity of what we receive is greater … we receive more revelation and the pace is exhilarated … we receive it faster and the impact is deeper and that is what we are after. This grace of God uses fasting and the word as a Holy Spirit catalyst to speed up the process and enlarge the measure and the depth of which we receive the beauty of the Lord. Matthew 6:18, Jesus talked about, “My Father will reward you for fasting.” “so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:18) Jesus is talking about how His Father will reward us for fasting.

POWERFUL REWARD

              Fasting has a very powerful reward… a very powerful reward. We position ourselves before the grace of God to enlarge our capacity to receive at the heart level. The primary reward of the bridegroom fast is what we are looking at here and I have 7 different facets of the reward of this fast which is lovesick for a bridegroom God. Now the reward to fasting related to the pursuit of a bridegroom is what I mean by a bridegroom fast… the rewards are primary internal. They are rewards that touch the heart….all 7 of these benefits of the bridegroom fast are related specifically to the subject of intimacy with the bridegroom. The reason I say this is because the fast of the Old Testament were primarily external. They were released in terms of circumstances, our external life, but the bridegroom fast touches the heart.. our inner life. So it is a different paradigm, a different focus. Our hearts expand, our capacity, our spiritual capacity to receive increases.

            Our hearts expand… our capacity.. our spiritual capacity… to receive increases. That is the summary of it. The complexity of all human appetites change dramatically as we pursue the Lord by the grace of God through the bridegroom fast. Our physical appetites, our emotional appetites, and our Spiritual appetites are changed in a dramatic way as we pursue the bridegroom in the grace of God through the bridegroom fast or through the focus of pursuing a bridegroom . Desire is the key idea in understanding the bridegroom fast and again it is not external prosperity, although I believe in that, and I believe it is proper to seek that but desire is the key idea as we seek to understand the bridegroom fast and is the primary focus of our heart to enlarge desire or to encounter His desire.

             The bridegroom fast is understood and engaged through the focus of this subject called desire. It is understanding His desire, encountering His desire, having our desires fulfilled, enlarging our desires. Desire is the key word if you want to use that or enlarging our spiritual capacities. I like the word desire. In a nut shell He is imparting new desires to us. Desires of delight…. He imparts new desires and that is why the very fact that God makes this available is an awesome privilege to the human race. It is not a drudgery.. it is not the dreaded call to the life of fasting… it is an indescribable privilege because it brings us into new desires of delight. There is nothing that we crave more than to enter into this reality but most people do not know this reality exists and the way to it but the Lord Jesus talks about mourning, longing, panting after a bridegroom in lovesickness.

LOVING FASTING

           The fast that would accommodate and accelerate the process. Not only is there the impartation of new desires but there is the removal or diminishing of sinful desires. Beloved when our desires are lined up properly…life is wonderful. When our desires are out of line… life is burdensome… I do not care what kind of other dimensions are happening you could have the most powerful body and greatest money and all the fame in the earth but when your desires are lined up wrong…. life is very difficult and burdensome. So it is a pursuit of pleasure and enjoyment… whenever you read the word , joy, or most times you can use the word, enjoyment. It is a fast that releases joy or enjoyment. The Old Testament fast was related so often to suffering… to the affliction of our body .. to the affliction of our soul. There was a suffering end to fasting and that is the paradigm that has taken root in church history. It is a suffering paradigm of count the cost and pay the price but I tell you there is a pleasure, an enjoyment paradigm that I believe belongs to the subject of fasting. The result of the bridegroom fast is we grow to love fasting… I really do believe that!

           There is a book in the IHOP bookstore written by a Catholic monk called, “To Love Fasting.” It is a powerful little book on fasting and he was borrowing it from a well known document written about fasting and He said, “I want to call my book, “To Love Fasting,” and his premise is that is possible in the grace of God to love fasting. I believe that and I believe we can enjoy the grace of fasting to the degree where we actually lament the interruptions that come so we cannot be engaged in it.

            When the Lord begins to establish you in a lifestyle of this .. He said this and I have understood this lamenting of the necessary interruptions because of different things in life that will cause your schedule to be interrupted. When I read that in this book I agreed with it and the Lord has helped me in the subject of fasting and I get into the rhythm and routine I have carried on for the last couple of years and when something interrupts it .. it is not like “Oh good I am on leave and go do business as usual.” I love that exhilarating high feeling that is related when the Spirit is resonating with Jesus and for those who are just at the beginning of this journey… you might be so afraid of fasting all you can think about is the negative side but the exhilaration of the human spirit where there is a holy addiction to where you get accustomed to it and I believe what this man said about lamenting the interruptions that are sometimes necessary to that.

I understand that just a little bit… to love fasting… our hunger to experience God and even to sense the presence of God upon our human spirit begins to dominate our lives in a surprising way. This hunger finds it’s expression in encountering the beauty of a bridegroom God through fasting and it is a strange paradox that we actually hunger to fast. I believe it is going to be a common experience to love fasting but I do not believe it will be the immediate experience… in the first few months but likely it will take a while before some the of the things are rearranged in our souls to where we begin to experience the grace of God in this way. I have done plenty of fasting where I did not experience any of this I am talking about but in the last 2 1/2 years or so the Lord has been touching me in a special way in this and I have just said, “Lord this is good….. this is not the rock pile called life… this is an awesome thing to be called to.” The seven benefits or rewards are related to spiritual intimacy and when we have a vision of these 7 benefits it does create a hunger and love for fasting. Without a vision of these 7 things or whatever number you might attribute to it fasting is associated with despair. We despair the idea but when we get the vision of what it does and a little bit of experience …. I tell you it changes the whole way we view it.

             One of the things I know the Lord is calling me to is proclaim all the days of my life the vision of an exhilarated way to fast before the God and call multitudes to a fasted lifestyle and to hang before them the surprise that is awaiting them of actually being exhilarated in it and trying to convince them by the word and the Spirit that it is within reach for them and will change their life dramatically over time. I love that calling, at first I was a little perplexed by it but I want to do it and I want to call people to this all the days of my life because I believe in it.

Benefit #1 It tenderizes and sensitizes the human heart to freely receive more of God. It actually tenderizes the emotions to receive more in other words it increases our spiritual capacity …I say this typically as my summary statement of the bridegroom fast but I just want to say very definitively that it increases our capacity to receive. It tenderizes and sensitizes the heart. We receive increasingly… a supernatural ability to feel God. Beloved that is a stunning reality…I do not mean it increases.. automatically but over time a supernatural ability to feel and to experience God specifically His love and His beauty and the glory of His plan for us and when we feel His love for us and we feel loved back. When we feel a little bit of His beauty where we can see it and see our beauty in Him and we understand a little bit of the plan of God of the bridegroom, I tell you it is the foundation of the divine romance. This is the beginning of the superior pleasures of the gospel and it results in the anointing for the first commandment to be first grows in our lives.

It is the anointing for the first commandment to increasingly become first in our life. This is the fast that John the Baptist was focused upon. His fast was for the enlargement of his heart in God and the scripture say very clear that John did no miracles. Many people understand fasting and it is biblical (Matthew 17:21) fasting increases the power of God in your ministry but John fasted more than anybody with the exception of Anna that I know of in the scripture but he did no miracles at all and there are no records that Anna did any miracles. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) Fasting is related to the release of miracles Gabriel appears to John’s Father and says, “He will be great in the sight of God. He will be great in the sight of God.’ “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15) Matthew 11:11, Jesus calls him the greatest man ever born of a woman… the one with the burning and shining heart. His heart was like the burning and shining lamp of John 5:35 and this man engaged in this first commandment focus of fasting ... he did not mighty miracles. “He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. (John 5:35)

       So though I believe in that focus of miracles it is not the one John the Baptist was engaged in. I want to be great before the Lord and that is a Godly thing to want to do….you do not have to have fame, fortune, or any kind of gifting or position to be great in God’s sight. All you have to have is heart that refuses to let go. I believe this bridegroom fast is part of John’s greatness… this tenderizing of his spirit.

Benefit #2 It illumines the mind with the Spirit of Revelation. It releases the Spirit of the revelation of the logos of the Word of God and sharpens our mind and understanding in the word …the Spirit of Revelation comes in the direct sense with the word. There is another dimension of the bridegroom fast is that the Acts 2:17, dreams and visions dimension which I would put into this category. The spirit of revelation increases. I have had a significant increase of spiritual dreams about Jesus related to the bridegroom, the king, and the judge since I began to engage in this fast. There is a Spirit of Revelation that our understanding is quickened whether from the word or whether from the subjective dreams and visions revealing things about the word. I have had more dreams about the Word of God, I have had maybe 7 or 8 of them.

I do not really know the exact number and I do not know if I ever had one before where the Lord is speaking to me about the word awakening my heart to the word and particularly the word as it relates to the forerunner ministry. There is nothing better than when Jesus preaches Jesus. That is what happened on the Emmaus road in Luke 24:32, Jesus appears to the disciples and it is Jesus preaching Jesus opening the hearts and setting them on fire. When He left they said, “Did not our hearts burn like fire within us?” The scripture says Jesus opened their understanding and that is what the bridegroom fast does. It opens the understanding, either direct study of the word when you are awake or the Lord begins to visit in dreams and visions. “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 )

There is nothing more powerful than when God reveals God through the word and it is enhanced through the bridegroom fast. Everything really begins with God revealing God to our spirit, that is really the beginning point. In John 17, Jesus said, “I will proclaim the Father’s name in order that you would have the love that the Father has for Me.” Here is the logic: “I am going to teach you, I am going to reveal the knowledge of God to you, and the result is you are going to love me more. The knowledge of God awakens the heart to love and it begins with this knowledge of God. I believe through fasting God grants divine perspective on life. It expands our view of life as a very powerful reality… little things more consistently appear little and big things more consistently appear big.

             In our natural life is: little things appear big and big things appear little. What I mean is that big things like eternity…the end time harvest… the great judgments … the shaking of planet earth…that is around the corner. .those are big things. The average believer the vast majority.. that appears as very little. .. the idea that they will someday actually give an account before God in eternity is something they think about every year or two. Big things seem real little! Beloved we are at the end of the age… that is BIG but it really appears little to most believers. Little thing look real big… somebody steals $5,000 from you and that looks like colossal …like life ending with bitterness kind of thing. We are mistreated in powerful ways … no matter how much we are mistreated at the end of the day it is really little.

          It really is compared to big things and I find that fasting enlarges my perspective of life. Life appears bigger.. the big picture becomes more clear… and effortlessly. It is a part of the reward of fasting. We are not as bogged down in the little picture…. there is a transcending in our understanding and I find that more often I have the ability to transcend the things that normally bog em down. My perspective is enlarge and I believe this would be the common testimony of people who have embraced the fasted lifestyle through history. We do not get lost in the pettiness that is so natural to every one of us. It is so natural for me to be lost in pettiness. Fasting enlarges our perspective and lifts us to a bigger view of reality. It is very very helpful especially in the understanding being enlarged in the realm of the beauty of God.

                  We see into the beauty realm of God….it is not only that but we see our own beauty in the Lord … our understanding is enlarged. An enlarged understanding changes everything about life…we put our cold heart in front of that bonfire and our heart gets larger in understanding and I tell you everything is different when our understanding is enlarged. God opens the realm of secrets to us…John 1:20… John laid his head on the Lord’s breast and the Lord spoke to him about Judas which was the first secret.. the first scandal in the apostolic company. We all know about Judas so it is not a big deal…but when Jesus whispered it to John it was a scandal beyond anything we could imagine. One of the twelve who did signs and wonders…is actually betraying Him is a massive powerful reality that Jesus spoke to him in its content. He laid his head on His breast and He began to speak things to John that He would not speak to others. “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” (Psalm 25:14)

THE SECRETS OF THE LORD

           The secrets of the Lord belong to those who fear Him... there is an enlarging of our capacity to enter into the deep regions… the secret regions of God’s heart. A million dollars cannot get you into that realm, a billion…. you cannot buy your way… you cannot manipulate your way into the secret regions of God’s heart but I tell you that prayer and fasting brings us and escort us into those secret regions of His heart. The spirit searches even the deep thing of God and gives them to us and the Holy Spirit will take the things that belong to Him (I add the deep things of Jesus) and give them to the disciples.Beloved that is serious.

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10) “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:15) We are supernaturally enabled to see things we could never ever see. I want to peer into those secrets things that are found laying our head upon the breast of Jesus but fasting opens up he secrets realms of God’s heart. Just a little bit of it but a little bit with our little weak humanity goes a long way. When we get into eternity we will find out how much the secret region of God’s heart … how big it really is. A little bit of it goes a long way … God will begin to give those that are called to the forerunner ministry details of how to interpret His end time activity.. how to interpret His plans related to the bridegroom, the king, and the judge. Fasting is essential to the forerunner ministry because the forerunner must understand some of the details of how to interpret the bridegroom, the king, and the judge activities in a way that makes sense of it to other people.

Benefit #3 It enlarges our emotions. Particularly in relationship to righteouness… I am talking about.

              The first point is that we are sensitized and tenderized and feel love but I am talking about right now in the realm of righteousness and to radical, righteous emotions, it says in Hebrews 1:8: “But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8) Jesus loves righteousness and He hates iniquity and I want to enter into that and feel what He feels about life. I want to feel more than loved and desired…. I want to feel hot emotions of love for righteous and hatred of iniquity. Our desires change, our emotional chemistry changes radically, not just in the realm of feeling love, that is the foundation… the number one point… but we begin to have zeal for Gods’ purpose and God’s ways….a zeal begins to lay hold of us.

                David talked about this is Psalm 69:7-10, when he talked about zeal for His house consuming him and he relates it to fasting and he relates it also to his brothers and friends misunderstanding him…. he appeared as an alien and they despised him for his zeal for the things of God. He had a passion and a zeal for the righteousness and the purposes of God. Beloved God wants to release zeal into our spirit in a new way and this zeal for God, this zeal for righteouness, this zeal for His end time purpose. “Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children; Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that became my reproach.” (Psalm 69:7-10)

“Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (John 2:17) Jesus was quoting King David in John 2:17. What I am talking about is the power to live a truly focused life….a Holy Spirit birthed intensity of being. Beloved there is an intensity of our being that when all the energies of our being are gathered up by the Lord and focused in the direction in the will of God in a primary way. I do not mean that we do not have the capacity to experience and engage in lesser things because we need to do that.

We have to mow the lawn especially if both your sons move out…. you know… who is going to mow the lawn? There is the mundanness of life that we are still engaged in. I am not talking about an irresponsibility related to that but I am talking about a Holy Spirit birthed intensity of being that is a tremendous gift of God that very few human beings have. That God would grant this.. it is empowering our emotions. Another way to say it is it enhances our preoccupation with God as the primary source of our life. It is a preoccupation with God as primary… we live before the audience of one. This empowering our emotions … the first place we discern it is in this birthing of zeal in our spirit for righteousness and for the purpose of God.

Imagine living a life where the primary energies of your life are gathered together into one Holy Spirit birthed intense focus. I am not saying that we do not engage the secondary issues of life… we have to. God has ordained that… He wants us to it is biblical to do that. To be a person of one thing in the primary sense… and that is always understood when the Lord talks about that .. it is always understood that we are a person of one thing in the primary sense but there are secondary things we still engage in. He said this about Mary in Luke 10:42, when he is talking to Martha and says, “One thing this woman has given herself to one thing.” What a statement … it is not true in the technical sense… she still washed her clothes and interacted with people and did things but Mary above all things was a women of one thing as was King David.

THE ONE NEEDFUL THING

               “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42) “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4) King David was the same and that does not mean that David did not go to war… he did go to war and he was good at war but what he meant was the primary preoccupation above everything else …he was preoccupied with one thing and that was the beauty of the Lord. The last week we looked at Psalm 42:7 and deep calls unto deep. When we experience a little bit of depth it commands us … it catapults us …. it thrusts us into new realms of depths of God. This thing has a life of its own… it thrust us forth… it catapults us and commands us into deeper regions of intensity of the Lord. I am not talking about just human intensity of personality that comes out of brokenness.

There is a human intensity that is related to just religion which is related to brokenness. I am not talking about you having an extrovert personality, you have to talk loud, I am not talking about temperament, I am talking about a focus of intensity of our being that is a gift of God. Most human beings never touch that ever in their lives but God is opening up unto us a lifestyle to enter into that grace. Most believers are content to live the majority of their spiritual lives bored… they really are. They want things, they want stuff, more than anything else even if it is to be anointed in ministry. I tell you … you can be anointed in ministry and absolutely bored out of your mind … I know of several men of God who have large ministries and they have said to me with their own lips, “I am spiritually bored!” They have vast ministries with miracle power it.

Most believers are content to live most of their spiritual life bored. Just going through the motions, a little here and a little there, a little bit of ministry. They want to make a name and establish themselves and be used of God of course but I do not want to be content with less than being a man gripped by God primarily and I know that you do as well. This empowered emotions begins with this zeal for God but it is not only that… it touches emotional desires for sin. I believe in never having a wrong feeling.. I do not know if that realm exist and I do not know anybody who lives in it so that is not even the vision I am putting before you but I am talking about in a substantial way desire for sin diminishes. Desire related to circumstances….changes dramatically. Our response I have found and I don’t want to use myself as an example because I am at the beginning of the journey and I have only experienced this a little bit but I want to talk about the testimony of others through scripture.

              There are some profound books on fasting through history… I am gathering quite a library of them and I had no idea so much was written on fasting it is not thousands of books but there are some pretty heavy duty books out there on fasting. I do not agree with all that are in the books, I eat the meat and throw out the bones….. just because it is in the book and the book is good does not mean that you buy everything.

You read it with discernment … you throw a lot out and you keep a lot. Our responses to circumstances, our responses to promotion and demotion, two opposite extremes become more and more the same response. I am not there where it is the same response but I have found in the last 2 1/2 years that I have been going after this thing with a certain diligence before … promotion … big opportunities and demotion the loss of opportunities is feeling more and more the same. It is not the same and I am not claiming that but it is getting closer and closer all the time. Traditionally in church history through the monastic movement this is called detachment and today the word detachment has a negative connotation like “detached from reality,” and what they mean is like detached from possessiveness and from living primarily as before people. They talk about detachment from… our identity is mostly established by what others say about us instead of what God says about us and a detachment from things as the primary source of our strength and joy. That is what they mean by that.

The word detachment is used negatively today but I like that word and in this detachment the ability to enjoy promotion but with an open hand … the Lord may give big things. Equally powerful is the power to refuse promotion… a profound example is John 6:15 they came, the nation came to make Jesus king by force. They said, “We will obey you… the army will yours…. the money will be yours, everything will be yours. The legislation and everything and He said, “No!”

“Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” (John 6:15) He was unmoved because to Jesus the pay was the same whether you raise the dead or take a nap literally the pay is the same in reality before God if we do the will of God. The ability to refuse promotion out of the will of God most believers have no power to refuse or even discern a promotion outside of the will of God. A promotion is a promotion that blinds us with a certain sort of euphoria if it is big … it is like, “Wow! Yes! I mean let me pray about it.” Of course it will be yes in a minute and a half… we lose our ability to see promotion out of the will of God as actually distractions that weaken our hearts with God.

BERNARD OF CLARIVOUX

          One of the most profound examples in history was a Catholic monk named Bernard of Clarivoux in the 1100’s he was born 1090 and died 1153 and is one of my favorite lives in church history. One of the most powerful men in the world as a little monk, a skinny little guy, but what I meant was he had just a small little sphere to start with and the king of France, Germany, and the king of Italy, three of the most powerful men on the earth besides the Pope, the four most powerful men in the earth would not act in a significant way without his blessing. These men would not act in a way that he would disapprove of….he would write them a letter an rebuke them and they would change their military strategies and make peace with the other nation. The four most powerful men in the earth were nearly disciples…of his. That is a little exaggerated but they followed his heart… this little Catholic monk in the valley of Clarivoux in France. They pressed him to make him Pope and he said, “No why should I be Pope when I have the nearness of God in my little hut over here?” So he refused to be bishop, he refused to be pope and said, “I will take one of my best guys, I have trained him for years, and he can be pope in my place.”

He picked him and the guy became Pope. It is not very often one guy votes and the guy gets in but Bernard says, “I refuse to be Pope. I don’t want to be Pope. I want to seek the Lord.” The reason I really like him … he has been a source of real inspiration for me… his major life book was the Song of Solomon. He taught it for years … this man was a man so committed to the bridegroom fast he understood the bridegroom fast in the 12 th century. He taught on it… he did not use that language but he taught on the fasted lifestyle before the beauty of the bridegroom God. Desires related to circumstances become the extreme ends we begin to respond more and more the same regardless what end we are on. Beloved that is serious freedom! When that begins to happen. We loose the energy we had for vengeance when we are mistreated. Our hearts, our emotions are enlarged is what I am talking about…. what bothers us changes.

What excites us changes, what delights us, what grips us, these things change, our emotions are changed powerfully in the pursuit of the beauty of a bridegroom . We begin to be distracted in a holy way by the pursuit of the Lord where we cannot do thing like we used to do them with the same kind of zeal we used to have for other things. I am not minimizing the necessity to engage ourselves in secondary things in life. I am talking in the poetic sense of life when I am talking in the poetic sense of life when I am talking about becoming a person of one thing. Promotion before people appears more as weak, vain, and temporary, and again I am not there but I have found a little bit more movement… I have found that a bunch of people really excited about what I am doing and offering something appears more weak than strong. It appears weaker than it used to appear… it appears more vain and more temporary. I am just a teeny bit on that but I want to throw it out there.

         Our energies for these things diminish little by little. The bridegroom fast increases this sense of detachment as has been used historically from living primarily related to circumstances. Circumstances will still bother us but living primarily … taking our life cues as to how things are going externally. We do not want to live that way because we are slaves all the time and there is a higher way to live. Another thing about these circumstances… in the midst of this fast the problems do not necessarily disappear. Some say through prayer and fasting… problems go away and that really does work …there really are fasts in the grace of God where God uses them to change circumstances and we believe in those and we like that. Crisis events etc… breakthroughs of God’s power. I am taking about the everydayness of life… there is no guarantee the problems will disappear… there is no guarantee the answers will appear.

I am not saying that but rather they come into divine perspective. We live more as Holy Spirit honeymooners with Jesus….what I mean by that is we begin to be preoccupied with love more than problems. You take a young couple they just got married and someone says, their car broke and they says, “Fine we will work on it in a couple of weeks. So what?” Talking about being preoccupied with love. Problems fall into a different category… I do not mean they just fall into a different category. I do not mean they go away and are all answered but they feel different. When we are preoccupied with love smaller things appear small they really do. I thought this fasted lifestyle was bad news but I tell you it is good news to have grace to touch this even a little bit.

Benefit #4 It strengthens a deep sense of our spiritual identity. That is what we all want is it not? We want a greater revelation of our true self … who we really are in redemption as Son’s before a Father and a bride before the Son. The two primary identities of the redeemed. Sons of God children before the Father and the bride before Jesus. We want to know and feel our true identity… because I tell you when our true identity connects with us we are powerful and fearless. I believe one of the great shocks of the ages when the thief on the cross dies a few moments later he wakes up, “Today you are with Me in Paradise.” And he says, “I am a King! Why didn’t anybody tell me that… I would not have been ripping everybody off.. if I knew I was a king all along. I would have done it differently.” He wakes up and before him is the prospect of royalty and a resurrected body and eternal glory in the eternal city with the Son of God who is lovesick over him and I can imagine the thief saying, “I did not know any of this. I would have done it all different.” Beloved we can do it different on this side.

            I do not know what is more powerful… which one of these… but when we connect and I am just connecting a little little bit but the more I do it … because I get this glorious tasks of teaching on Song of Solomon and Bride of Christ as my profession .. the last 10 years.. what an opportunity to get in the way of this. Sam Storms makes me teach on this! People flounder for years…without a sense of being anchored, without a sense of their bearings in life. The vast majority of the people of God do. They have an excessive preoccupation with themselves….which is totally natural … for you and for me. An excessive preoccupation with ourselves.. totally natural. It is supernatural not to have it. We should not be shocked when we meet people who have it… we are shocked when someone does not because it is totally supernatural to not have excessive preoccupation.

BECOMING A VOICE

We learn manners so we guard it and do not flaunt it or make demands on it but we are still totally obsessed with it. In our manners we restrict the expression of it but we are still obsessed and we still have an excessive obsession with ourselves even though through maturity of life we learn how to restrain the expression of it in our relationship with other people. What I mean is that we live enslaved to this idea of what we look like to other people and we are so hurt when we are not noticed even though we will never say it because we are polite and we have enough dignity to hide some of that. I tell you the bridegroom fast strengthens our identity with this stuff. It weakens the hold of jealousy, envy, and insecurity in our lives. It equips us to be more content to be a voice… I think of John the Baptist when he said, “I am a voice in the wilderness.” I know what it means to strive to be a face and manipulate to be a name in ministry. I have done enough of that in my day. I know what it means to strive to be a face and a name. John said, “I am a voice… I do not have to be known…that is not the point… I am just a voice.”

Do you know why? Because he heard the voice. When you hear His voice you are happy to be a voice because hearing the voice of the bridegroom in John 3:29, that was an issue of identity .. that did not just mean the Messiah is on the scene 10 miles down the road. He means more than that …he does mean the Messiah is in human form preaching openly now in Judea but it means more than that. “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. (John 3:29) Hearing the voice of the bridegroom is an identity issue.. a powerful identity issue. John the Baptist was a voice because he heard a voice he was content to be a voice instead of a name and a face. He had an inward tranquility of joy and gladness unrelated to having honor in the nation because the nation said, Matthew 11:18, they said, “John is demonized.”

         “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon.’ (Matthew 11:18) The consensus of the nation at the end of his ministry was that he was dangerous and demonized. Beloved in the vernacular of our day and the sense of that would have been a very painful thing to have people think you are demonized. I tell you a lot of the nation did at the end of his life he said, “My heart is filled with joy.” John that must have been pretty painful to have people think you are demonized. John says, “I do not live by their voice… I live by another voice.” I understand living by the voice of the people around us … I do it … we all do it but I want to live by it less and less. I want to live by another voice.

Multitudes said John was demonized. He was dangerous, he was deceived, and he a deceiver is what they said about him. He spent his whole life.. probably he began at 12 years old to begin to live this wilderness life, (nobody can know) and he goes to the age of 30 or so. Eighteen years of living a fasted lifestyle in the wilderness for 18 months of ministry and the gratitude of the nation to a fasting and praying man who was the greatest man ever born to a woman is to say, “He is demonized.” That is what the people of God said. Beloved that is a serious thing and he gives his final word in scripture in John 3:29, “I have heard the voice of the bridegroom and my heart is filled with joy.” He gives a very critical next statement in John 3:30, “He must increase and I must decrease.” John meant several things when he said that… he meant Jesus would take over the primary place in ministry. He said he was called to decrease and that was fine with him because he had heard a voice that gives him the power to decrease. More than just losing his sense of being the main man on the scene before the nation. I am convinced that John knew he was going to die and that was what he was also saying. It was his final statement in scripture and I believe John knew his death was just around the corner.

He knew the nation thought he was demonized…. John …. 18 months is all that you have.. preaching out in the hot sand never was invited to the temple, never addressed the Sanhedrin by invitation, never spoke in Gamaliel’s school like Paul the apostle was trained in. None of those things, the great teacher of Israel, out in a heap of sand… no one invited him to anything ever… the greatest man ever to walk planet earth besides Jesus…fasting and praying. Eighteen months his light is going out… imagine him saying, “For all the labor I did for this nation of helping to bring the awareness of the bridegroom to the nation …. they call me demonized and never open any opportunities to me at all! If I meet him I will ask him, “John what did that feel like?

        “I recorded it … I had joy in my spirit! ” “How? Living in this esthetic lifestyle in the wilderness, rejected by the nation, practically not just from the governmental leaders, but never invited to any positions of honor of anything! How?” “I heard a voice! I knew who I was.” When you hear a voice you are happy to be a voice instead of a name or a face. A main result of that is fearlessness. I believe that fasting after this lovesick bridegroom as the anointing of the first commandment begins to grow in this a fearlessness begins to lay hold of our spirit that is related to a sense of contentment… a sense of detachment from living by our circumstances. When we hear the voice of a bridegroom it changes what we want… and what we fear losing also changes. When our desires change our fears change. What we are afraid of losing today will be different in ten years. We are afraid of losing a certain amount of things today but in 10 years the things we are afraid of losing will be different. The list begins to be more filled with things you cannot lose. Like the anointing of the spirit on your heart before God. No man can take that away from you… no Herod can take the anointing of God off your heart to love God.

Nobody can imprison you and take the Spirit of Revelation off of you. Nobody can cause you not to be great in the sight of the Lord. The things we fear losing changes… I find a new resolve.. a budding of fearlessness beginning to crop it’s head up here and there. A strength and resolve to take a stand…in a way that I know I will lose out with good men. I am not trying to pick a fight but I know I will lose out … I find it easier and it makes more sense and it is not as frightening because what I fear losing is changing a little bit, not a lot right now, but I have hopes in the next 10-20 years for it to increase. These changed emotions, this new identity, insulates us from this profound discontentment related to natural things. This profound discontentment. These are the first four benefits and rewards of the bridegroom fast … they are real things which touch our hearts in God.

God I want the reward! I want to enter into this and I want my weak heart to enter into the life of this in a greater way. Lord we love you and God I want the things I fear losing to change. I do not want to lose out on being great before God. I do not want to lose the anointing of tenderness.

       I do want to feel tenderness… I do not want to lose those things Lord. Those are the things I fear but no man and no demon can take them from me. God they are in your hands and I ask you Lord to give me more of these things that I am preaching beyond my experience. I want to walk in what I am flirting with and thinking about right now and am barely touching.. I want to be a man that is a burning and a shining fire like John the Baptist.

Technically.. I don’t love fasting.. .I love the feeling in my spirit brings!

My House will be a House of Prayer

I think to whatever degree the church may be powerless or ineffective it is to the degree we lack prayer, actual connectedness with Jesus.

Satan’s kingdom decreases when we pray. When we pray weak words and Jesus responds His kingdom increases and the enemy loses ground. So the devils attack on the church in America is to get us so consumed with the world that we do not pray.

Jesus said that His house is to be a house of prayer (Luke 19:46) and not a house of evangelism or missions or fellowship because He wants prayer to be the center focus of the church, that all activity of works would flow from the place of our connectivity with the power and authority of heaven. Power and authority which comes from friendship with Jesus and is released through our intercession.

The closer we get to Jesus the more authority we have to tear down the enemies kingdom so the enemy has us lured in a culture where all our free time is spent on media and tv and on the computer, and it all keeps us from prayer.

The more obedience we have especially in the area of speech the more we can get closer in prayer so He attacks us in our relationships, causing us to stumble in anger. He attacks us also with what we give our eyes to, media which puts lust or fantasy in our heart.

Now, i know prayer is boring for so many… But there is enjoyable prayer, and there are posts to that end on this site but just get a hold of this, God is not boring, you just can’t see Him right now. You have to labor in prayer, dialouge with the firey Holy Spirit within, and day by day prayer by prayer the veil lifts and He reveals a little more of Himself. The Word opens up to you and there begins to be life and enjoyment on the weak words on our heart. It’s a laborous journey as we rewrite the code of our heart from agreement for the reality of the earth to the reality of heaven.

But this is our duty to lose our life on the earth, that we would save it. We save it by becoming more connected to heaven and to the seeing of it established on the earth, His Kingdom coming, His will being done.

Let’s not sell our inheritance for a bowl of soup. Let’s not be so caught up in the culture and values of the world, or the computer stuff, the tv programs, the fellowship… that we don’t enter into what we were called and created to do.

What To Do In Our Personal Prayer Time

The Necessity of Developing a Prayer Life – A Resource from Ihop

We must offer specific prayers, not just think about our needs. God requires that we ask because it causes us to interact with His heart. He requires that we verbalize our prayers not just think on them.  This also helps us to control our thoughts in prayer.  Here’s some biblical starters on prayer.  Scripture contains the blessings God wants to give, guaranteed to be answered if we stay persistance, it’s what we were created to need and be fulfilled with.  Print this out and keep with your devotional material.

2 You do not have because you do not ask. (Jas 4:2)

6 In everything by prayer…let your requests be made known to God… (Phil. 4:6)

God’s resources are withheld to “starve us out of prayerlessness”. He jealously protects His relationship with us by not answering our need until we ask for them. There are blessings that God has chosen to give, but only as His people ask Him in faith (confidence with focus).

18 The Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you…19 He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isa. 30:18-19)

If we invest the effort to draw near to God, He will draw near to us by manifesting His presence.

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (Jas 4:8)

Do not grow weary when the answer to our prayer is delayed.

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 He who sows to his flesh will…reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will…reap life.

9 Let us not grow weary…in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Gal. 6:7-9)

We encounter His glory in various ways and measures including our heart being tenderized by the Word. We must not despise the small measures in which God releases His glory in us.

10 For who has despised the day of small things? (Zech. 4:10)

We focus our mind on the Father who sits on His Throne (Rev. 4) or on the Spirit who lives in our spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). We are not speaking to the air but to a real Person.

Take time to repeat the request often and slowly; and occasionally express your affection and thanksgiving to God. We are speaking to a Person that we love and who loves us. Take time for moments of silence with spontaneous sighs or groans (Rom. 8:26) and praying in the spirit. Do not think praying fast and loud is proof of being passionate. Being engaged is to be attentive.

Pray much in the spirit: seek to pray in the spirit for 1 hour a day focusing on the Throne. Paul prayed in the spirit more than all (1 Cor. 14:18). We edify our spirit and receive mysteries (revelation) when praying in the spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 4). In corporate prayer meetings, show consideration to others by praying in tongues quietly to avoid distracting others (1 Cor. 14:28).

2 He who speaks in a tongue…speaks mysteries…4 He edifies himself…28 Let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 28)

II. WHAT TO DO IN THE PRAYER ROOM

What to do in the Prayer Room: engage with what is happening on the platform by ‘repeating’ some of the ‘prayer phrases’ heard on the mic as we focus on God.

When not engaged with what is happening on the platform, we pray, read Scripture or study. I strongly encourage all to have an action plan to provide focus for their prayer and study time.

Personal Bible study action plan: read 10 chapters of the NT per day (6 days a week in order to read through the NT once a month). Read biographies of people who lived in the Spirit, study the individual books of the Bible (use FSM courses and commentaries) and read godly books.

Personal prayer action plan: establish a simple prayer list to provide focus to your prayer time.

We want the optimum benefit from our prayer time thus, we need to be focused in these times. I select and omit different parts of my prayer list each day and I leave it whenever I feel led to.

Three main prayer categories: my personal life, for people and places then for social issues

1. Prayer for personal life: inner man, ministry and circumstances (finance, health and relationships) along with prayer-reading the Word (turning it to conversation with Jesus)

2. Prayer for people and places: individuals, ministries, marketplace and governmental authorities and the destiny of cities or nations (Israel, Egypt, etc.)

3. Prayer for strategic social issues: justice (abortion, human trafficking), civil unrest (riots) or calamities (hurricane, drought, famine), or social crisis (Sept. 11, genocide, etc.)

Three main prayer requests: the gifts of the Spirit (God’s manifest power or favor), the fruit of the Spirit (godly character) and the wisdom of the Spirit (insight, revelation)

1. The gifts of the Spirit (God’s manifest power or favor)

7 The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one…8 for to one is given the word of wisdom…to another the word of knowledge…9 to another faith…gifts of healings…10 working of miracles…prophecy…discerning of spirits… (1 Cor. 12:7-10)

2. The fruit of the Spirit (godly character)

22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

3. The wisdom of the Spirit (insight, revelation)

17 The Father of glory may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him… (Eph. 1:17)

III. PERSONAL LIFE: RELEASE OF GOD’S GLORY ON MY INNER MAN

A. GIFTS: supernatural encounters with God: visitations, dreams, visions, manifestations (fire, etc.)

17 I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)

51 You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending… (Jn. 1:51)

B. FRUIT: (heart and speech): love for God and people with purity and humility

  • 37 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul… (Mt. 22:37)

Pray: Holy Spirit Release God’s love into my heart. The anointing to walk in love is our greatest reward (Jn. 17:26; Phil. 1:9; 2 Thes. 3:5; Rom. 5:5; 1 Thes. 3:12).

  • 5 The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit… (Rom. 5:5)
  • 26 That the love with which You loved Me may be in them… (Jn. 17:26)

2. Grace to set my heart to love to God by fully obeying His Word (Ps. 19:12; 139:23)

3. Tenderize my heart with the power and fire of God’s Word (Lk. 24:32; Jer. 20:9)

4. Impart God’s zeal to my heart (Jn. 2:17; Num. 25:11)

5. Guard my lips from loose speech (Ps. 19:14; Ps. 141:3; Ps. 17:3; Ps. 39:1). Sustained communion with the Spirit requires restrained communication with man (Eph. 4:29; 5:4).

6. Release the fear of God in my heart (Jer. 32:40; Ps. 86:11; Isa. 11:3; 66:2)

7. Fill me with perseverance in godliness, labors in ministry and persecution (Col. 1:11)

8. Fill me with joy, peace and comfort (2 Thes. 2:16-17; Rom. 15:33)

C. WISDOM: revelation of God’s personality and Word with wisdom to walk out the practicality of love and humility (Eph. 1:17). Knowledge of God’s love for me (Eph. 3:17-19; 1 Jn. 3:1).

Revelation of God’s will for my life (Col. 1:9). Revelation of God’s End-Time purposes (Dan. 11:35; 12:10). Reveal to me eternity (Ps. 39:4-6, 90:12), the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21), the Judgment Seat (1 Cor 3:11-15), the resurrected body (1 Cor. 15) and hell (Rev. 20:11-15).

  • 17 The Father of glory give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of Him… (Eph. 1:17)
  • 9 Do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding… (Col. 1:9)

IV. PERSONAL LIFE: RELEASE OF GOD’S GLORY THROUGH MY MINISTRY

A. GIFTS: the full release of the gifts of the Spirit in my life (1 Cor. 12:7-10)

1. Power on my hands: Spirit released on those we lay hands on (Acts 8:18; 19:11-12)

2. Power on my eyes: prophetic insight to see God’s secrets for others (1 Cor. 14:25)

3. Power of my mouth: power of conviction on my words (speaking or singing)

  • 8 He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment… (Jn. 16:8)

4. Spirit of prayer: release God’s burdens in me (Ezek. 9:4; Zech 12:10; Rom. 8:26)

5. Spirit of boldness: fearlessly and fully proclaim God’s word (Acts 4:29-31; Eph. 6:19)

B. FRUIT: that those I impact walk in sustained godliness and reach others (multiplied impact)

  • 16 I appointed you that you…bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain… (Jn. 15:16)
  • 19 The wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. (Mt. 13:19)

C. WISDOM: inquire of the Lord to know the who, what, when, where in my ministry (Col. 1:9)

  • 12 Epaphras…always laboring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Col. 4:12)

V. PERSONAL LIFE: CIRCUMSTANCES (PHYSICAL, FINANCIAL AND RELATIONAL)

  • 2 I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Jn. 2)

A. GIFTS: God’s power and favor on all my circumstances (Ps. 91, Deut. 28:1-14)

1. Physically: on my body for heath, protection, strength to fulfill my assignment in life

2. Financially: abundant blessing that I may help others

3. Relationally: for unity (remove all division) and favor (strategic connections)

B. FRUIT: that God’s blessing on my life results in righteousness and joy increasing in others instead of resulting in oppression or harm. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.

  • 10 That you…being fruitful in every good work… (Col. 1:10)

C. WISDOM: inquire of the Lord to know who, what, when, where related to my circumstances. To have paradigm shifts as I receive creative wisdom for my family, relationships, marketplace, etc.

Helpful Fasting Guidelines

Mike Bickle’s Rewards of Fasting –great free book!

Disclaimer:

The level at which a person engages in fasting food should be determined according to age, and with regard to any physical limitations.  Those with a known or suspected physical disability or illness, or those with any history of an eating disorder, should never fast, except in consultation with, and under the supervision of, a qualified doctor. Pregnant or nursing mothers should not fast food or drink as it could negatively affect the health and development of their baby and their own personal health.

“But the days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” — Matthew 9:15

Fasting increases our capacity to receive from God.  The Holy Spirit lives in our innermost man but we only experience Him in our innerman (see the greek Eph 3:16/Jn7:38).  This taking on of ‘voluntary weakness,’ positions us to be strengthened Spiritually and our capacity for God increased.  It accelerates the work of the Spirit, and increases our capacity to receive from the Spirit.  To connect with the Bridegroom, we feed our hearts on the affections of God.

It does not earn us more of God, but it does make us more sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  New levels of authority in prayer are unlocked in new levels of intimacy in God and maturity in the Spirit.

Jesus said the Father will reward those who fast (Mat 6:15).  He said “When you fast,” not if you fast, implying He was expecting fasting to be a discipline of His disciples.  Many are seeking to build their life on the rock of the sermon on the mount (and will be called great in heaven,[Matt 5:19]) and part of the lifestyle of the sermon on the mount is fasting.

There has been a resurgence of fasting and prayer in recent decades, as God calls His people to regular fasting as part of a normal Christian lifestyle. We must prepare ourselves adequately so that the fast can honor God and fulfill its purpose. The following is a general overview of biblical precedent and guidelines for wise fasting to help and encourage you.

I have actually Gained weight on fasts in my early days, because i though there was something magic about the types of food I was eating, so I wrongly focused on vegetables and fruits and shakes instead of quantity.  Its quantity of food that makes it a fast.  Daniel had a job where he had to function well so he couldn’t water fast, so he ate some things for strength, it wasn’t that there was something spiritual in vegetables.

Fasting moves our heart, deepening our yes to God and makes us more susceptible to the leadings and the revelation of the Spirit as we ask for it.  Music is one of the most powerful forces on the planet so the 24-7 prayer sets at ihopkc.org are your friend here.  Scripture set to prayer set to music is key to sustaining a prayer focus.

Pray the Word

Prayer is key, fasting without prayer is dieting.  So much power comes from taking Scriptures and making them prayer.  We must take the written word and let it take us to the written Word.  Also God has created the body so that Spirit filled power comes from singing Scriptures and tongues (Eph 5:18-19).  Fasting intensifies this.  We want to be filled with the Spirit, and studying Scriptures helps us understand application and significance, then taking those revelations and praying them and meditating on them and beholding Jesus transforms us.  As with any prayer “don’t stumble over the time-delay.”  Sometimes revelation comes right away, sometimes as you’re passing the salt at the table.  Journaling revelation helps us steward it.

I find feeding my heart on the affections of God from Scripture sustains me in fasting and beholding Jesus in the Scriptures is often easier and more transformative.  A prayer list helps!  Set a side goals for your time in prayer and areas you want break through.

Don’t pray to the air, focus on the One who sets on the Throne.  Focus on the indwelling spirit.

Remember, fasting food weakens us physically and mentally as we position ourselves before the Lord that our heart may be tenderized and become more sensitive and able to receive more from the Lord.

Fasting is Biblical

The practice of regular fasting as normal Christian behavior was taught by Jesus (Mt. 6:16–17, 9:15), exercised by the early church (Acts 13:2), and has been the regular discipline of believers throughout church history.  The practice of fasting in Scripture usually includes,  abstinence from food (Dan. 10:3) and may be engaged in for varying durations—typically for no more than a few days at a time.  Fasting for one or two days a week over the years is quite remarkable in impact.

Abstaining from all food for extended periods of time is biblical but should never be undertaken without counsel and appropriate supervision.  The same standard applies to an absolute fast (Esther fast—no food or water for three days) of any duration (Est. 4:16).  The maximum length of an adult fast that is biblically supported is forty days without food, for a male adult in good health, and three days without water. The Bible does not speak of children engaging in fasting food.

Fasting is Always Voluntary

Though spiritual leaders may invite others to join in corporate fasting with a specific goal in mind and for a specific time, fasting can never be forced or made compulsory. In light of this, fasting should not be mandatory requirement in the body, but we should promote and encourage it as a biblically and historically proven means of obtaining God’s grace in the context of commitment to prayer and to the Word (Joel 2:15).

Fasting Regularly

Participation in regular fasting as a lifestyle necessitates a healthy lifestyle on days when food is not being fasted, and should include exercise and a proper diet. A “fasted lifestyle” is a disciplined lifestyle, in which we steward our bodies and time with wisdom and diligence. Fasting is not only abstention; it is an exchange where we abstain from certain things in order to “feast” on God’s Word and prayer, whereby the abundance of His grace is made more readily available to us. When undertaken with this type of commitment, a fasted lifestyle is sustainable on a long-term basis, just as it was for Daniel and his friends (Dan. 1).

Some with health issues can fast speech which is powerful.

The Benefits of Fasting

While the physical impact of fasting is real, the spiritual benefits of fasting are undeniable. Any fast undertaken must be done with spiritual wholeheartedness and wisdom when dealing with our physical body; we must count the cost honestly and honor the temple of the Holy Spirit. Whether we are partaking or abstaining, everything should be for the glory of God.

Physically Preparing for a Fast That Extends More Than Two Days

Prepare your body for the fast and prevent constipation during and after the fast by eating certain preventative foods at least two days beforehand (even longer before an extended fast), such as: fresh fruit and raw vegetables, fruit or vegetable juices, oatmeal, etc.

Eat smaller meals a few days prior to the fast

Avoid high-fat and sugary foods before the fast.

Make your commitment and determine the length. You can fast in many different ways. Pray and ask God what he will give you faith for in terms of the duration of the fast.

A Daniel fast, with vegetables and water, is good for those carrying a heavy workload.  Don’t get french fries from McDonalds saying they were once potatoes etc.

A fruit or vegetable juice fast allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Many people have done a 40-day juice fast. If you have sugar sensitivities or problems (e.g. diabetes), consult your doctor before attempting this (or any other) fast.

A water-only fast has been undertaken by many people and had incredible results.  Depending on your weight and metabolism, you can go forty days on water alone.

A total fast is without food or water. Do not go beyond three days without water. Discuss your plans with your doctor, church leaders, and spouse or parents. Many do not encourage this type of fast without specific confirmation from the Lord  or through your church leadership or parents.

Helpful Hints for Your Fast (Physical)

Drink plenty of non-tap water. (Drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day is a good rule of thumb whether you are fasting or not.) Distilled water is most beneficial, but filtered and purified water also work well.

It is wise to abstain from strong stimulants such as caffeinated and sugary drinks during a fast, including the artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks. Also, avoid soy protein drinks, which have been known to cause health problems during a fast.

If you are on a juice fast, drink raw fruit juices such as apple, grape and pineapple, which are excellent sources of necessary natural sugar to stabilize blood sugar and keep energy levels up. Orange and grapefruit juice are also good, but these are not recommended for arthritis or allergy sufferers. Monitor juice acidity carefully as it can cause canker sores (mouth ulcers). Raw vegetable juices such as carrot, celery, beet or green vegetable combinations are excellent as well. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can be made in a juice extractor or purchased ready-made (be sure to buy juices without any added sugars). Some of the benefits of drinking raw juice versus bottled are that it does not stimulate digestion (hunger) and it maintains all of its enzymes and nutritional value.

Expect some physical discomforts because of the detoxification process, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains or dizziness. Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches, but it is a part of the detoxification process. Physical annoyances may also include weariness, tiredness, nausea and sleepiness.

During a fast, four major areas of the body are going through a detoxification process. Take care to attend to each of these:

The large intestines — During a fast of three days or more, taking an herbal laxative (inquire at your local health store) before bedtime will help eliminate solid waste products; these can cause headaches and sluggishness if left in the body during a fast. This should be done early during the fast and then intermittently throughout the rest of the fast. The body begins detoxifying during a fast, depositing the toxins into the intestines. If you do not take a laxative, the toxins can hurt your intestines or reabsorb into your bloodstream, making you feel nauseous.

The kidneys — Drinking fruit juices, vegetable juices, broth, or just plenty of water will remove many toxins via the kidneys.

The lungs — If strength permits, walk half an hour during the day to help cleanse the lungs. Also do some deep breathing throughout the day by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

The skin — Since one-third of the waste products eliminated during a fast are removed via the skin, adequate bathing is essential. Use a natural bristle body brush or loofah sponge on your skin prior to bathing, to help cleanse the skin.

Helpful Hints for Your Fast (Spiritual)

Seek advice and permission before the fast. Seek medical advice before the fast, especially if you have any existing medical concerns or conditions. If you are under 18 years of age, discuss your desire to fast with your parents. Spiritual covering, submission, and unity are important factors when fasting. Discuss your plans with your church leaders. Remember, fasting is an attitude of the heart! Ask them if they would consider fasting with you.

Fast and pray in order to humble yourself and purify your worship. In fasting we are not trying to get something from God, but seeking to realign our hearts’ affections with His. In fasting we can more readily say, “We love you, Lord, more than anything in the world.” Lust of any kind is perverted worship, but fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts from every other rival.

Don’t boast about your fast. Let people know you won’t be eating only if necessary (Mt. 6:16–18).

Do the fast with someone else. Two are better than one!  I encourage couples, parents, kids to consider fasting together.  Several generations fasting together has a powerful impact.

Have a clear target as your prayer focus. Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal), the people perish. Write down your vision, so you can run with it (Hab. 2:2).

Take time to pray and read the Word. This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions. Reading books with testimonies of victories gained through fasting will encourage you, too. Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince, Fast Forward by Lou Engle, and God’s Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis are just some of the books about fasting that are available.

Expect to hear God’s voice in the Word, dreams, visions and revelations. Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (Dan. 10:1–2). There is a fasting reward (Mt. 6:18).  Take Scriptures and sing them to Jesus, ask for revelation on them, personalize them if you feel led and the context allows.  Try to pray in tounges 15 mins or more a day.  The Spirit will unlock things for you.  Develop a prayer list, such as asking the Spirit to reveal the Father to you more, Eph 1:17-20 and Eph 3:16-19, John 15:9, John 3:29 etc.  Here’s a few ihop lists FELLOWSHIP and Prayer Time.  If nothing is working try the ihop webstream (the picture under Worship Video Archives on the right) or misty edwards or laura hackett youtube videos.

Prepare for opposition. On the day of your fast you can bet that donuts will be at the office or in class. Your spouse (or your mom) will suddenly be inspired to cook your favorite meals. Press through. Many times you may feel more tension build at home. Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand on the victory of Christ.

If you fail, don’t give in to condemnation. The “to fast or not to fast” dilemma can be a major tool of the enemy. Even though you may fail several times, God always extends grace. Just hit the “delete” button and continue on your fast.

Feel free to rest a lot and continue to exercise with supervision.

Some breakthroughs often come after a fast, not always during it. Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. It is our conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.

THE WISDOM OF WEAKNESS

  1. 2 Cor 12:9 gives a spiriutal principle that God’s strength is made perfect in voluntary and involuntary weakness. In 1 Cor 1 Paul talks about strength and in that chapter, Paul seems to refer to the cross that we as disciples must all pick up and follow. Luke 14:27 And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Paul says this cross is foolishness to the world, and we know it is not a literal cross for us unless we are persecuted. Paul is referring to the weakness of the lifestyle disciples must live (2 Cor 5:15).  These values of the ‘fasted lifestyle,’ are the expressions of restrain such as prayer, giving/tithing, serving, and cheek-turning/blessing/meekness.
  2. God has chosen weak things for the Kingdom, its how He chooses.  Just like prayer is weakness in time, tithing is weakness in money.  Like fasting as a way into more of God. 1 Cor 1:27 God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. God has chosen fasting as a weak thing, an expression of the cross that we are to embrace. It seems likely Paul referenced Isa 58: “Is this not the fast I have chosen” here. (note v9 about how complaining can hinder).
  3. He’s chosen the weak thing of fasting as one way into the 1 Cor 1:23 power of God and the wisdom of God. For 2 Cor 12:9 God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. If we want more spiritual strength, we must at times embrace weakness.  When He Eph 3:16 strengthens us with might in the innerman, that might is to increase our ability/capacity to contain the Spirit of God, even eventually unto the fullness of God.
  4. We can experience answered prayer and the Spirit without fasting.  Fasting is an intensifier, an accelerator, and is and expression of humility, desire and discipline. The person who fasts understands the gap between what God wants to give them and what they are actually experiencing.

How to Successfully Break Your Fast

Break your fast gradually. At this point you will need to exercise watchful self-control. Break your fast on a meal that is light and easy to digest (i.e., a pound of grapes, a shredded apple, watermelon or steamed vegetables).

When breaking a fast of ten days or more, the break-in period should be extended one day for every four days of fasting.

A fast of three days or more should never be broken by eating a normal meal (including animal proteins, bread, sugar, dairy and processed foods) because these heavy foods put a severe strain and shock on the digestive organs which have been resting throughout the fast. Eating too heavily after a fast can produce serious discomfort (stomach cramps, nausea and weakness) and can nullify the physical benefits of fasting; it can also cause serious irreversible complications.

After breaking an extended fast, continue drinking fruit or vegetable juices because the stomach is continuing to detoxify.

During any fast exceeding two days, your stomach will shrink. Do not over-expand it again by overeating. If you have been prone to eat too heavily, guard against going back to this habit. If you train yourself to eat more lightly, your stomach will adjust itself accordingly.

While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:

1st–3rd day after the fast (increase amount of days for extended fast) — Eat fruit and raw/steamed vegetables only. Example meals for the first few days are a pound of fruit, a baked or boiled potato without butter, steamed vegetables, or a vegetable-only salad without oil-based dressing. Avoid bananas for the first few days; they have no juice in them and can easily cause constipation.

Thereafter — you may return to heavier foods such as animal proteins, but maintaining a healthy diet after the fast will promote lifelong health and allow you to fast correctly in the future.

Take extra care in breaking a water fast. Begin with drinking fruit or vegetable juices and gradually ease into eating fruit and steamed vegetables.

It is important after a fast to begin to discern between real hunger and cravings so you do not feed your cravings.

Important Medical Information

Years of fasting incorrectly can cause permanent physical damage to your body.  These negative effects are not typically felt at a young age, but they will accumulate after years of fasting. In their zeal, some people have begun fasting in an extreme way before understanding how fasting physically affects the body; increasing your understanding and taking care of your body while both fasting and eating will ensure your ability to live the fasted lifestyle for many years to come.

Pregnant or nursing mothers should never fast all food and/or drink, as fasting could be very dangerous to their baby’s development and health, and their own personal health.  Pregnant or nursing mothers could engage in types of fasting such as giving up certain kinds of food. However, women who are pregnant or nursing must always maintain a balanced diet.  Any kind of fasting which leads to detoxification could be dangerous to the baby as the toxins can affect the baby via the mother’s milk or her bloodstream.

People who have struggled with eating disorders in the past, should undertake any fasting with wisdom and caution. Fasting should not be used as a motive for weight-loss; it is important to enter back into “normal” healthy eating after a long fast (as described in the previous section).

If you have a diagnosed illness and/or are taking prescription medicine, fasting should only be done under the direct supervision of a doctor or healthcare professional.

Some people have trouble fasting and become extremely hungry, dizzy and nauseous because they have undiagnosed low blood sugar, so they should drink fruit and vegetable juices to help keep the blood sugar stable during short fasts. If the juice contains too much sugar for your system, dilute it by 50 percent with water or drink a “green drink” (made by juicing carrots, celery, spinach and parsley). If these or any symptoms persist, you should stop fasting and seek immediate professional help from a doctor or healthcare professional.

If you are having digestive trouble after breaking a fast (i.e., diarrhea), mix a cup of unsweetened applesauce with a cup of cooked brown rice.  This should stop the diarrhea.  Also, take digestive enzymes (inquire at your local health store) to aid your stomach’s digestive transition.
Minors/Children

Minors are discouraged from fasting food and should never engage in fasting without express parental consent and oversight.  Minors who desire to fast are encouraged to consider non-food abstentions, such as TV, movies, Internet surfing, video games and other entertainment, perhaps even quit it altogether. If older teenagers do fast food under their parents’ supervision, I encourage them to use juice and protein drinks to sustain them, out of consideration for their health and metabolism.

Additional Resources on Fasting and Healthy Living

The Rewards of Fasting, Mike Bickle and Dana Candler!!

Fast Forward, Lou Engle!

Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting, Derek Prince!!!! (minus the pre-trib chapter)

The Genesis Diet, Dr. Gordon Tessler

God’s Chosen Fast, Arthur Wallis

Hunger for God, John Piper

http://www.billbright.com/howtofast/

http://www.freedomyou.com

How to be fully delivered?

In the book The Prophetic Whisper, Richard Gazowsky shares the significance of a 40-day fast that the Lord gave him:

My wife and I had gone to Carmel, California for a time of extended prayer. On the third day, while we were praying at the beach, a swarm of flies ascended from the ocean surface as if orchestrated by an invisible conductor and swept like a blanket across the water and onto the beach. I ran over to the place where Sandy was praying to see if she was alright.

“Richard it is so strange,” she said. “While I was praying, I brought up the name of a pastor’s wife whom I knew had been tempted to commit adultery, intending to intercede for her. As soon as I mentioned her name, these flies rose up off the ocean.”

No sooner had she finished, then the Lord quickened my spirit and said, “I am going to show you a secret vulnerability in Satan’s kingdom.” His weakness is in the flies. Later that day, we went to the Carmel public library and looked up the word fly. I discovered the meaning of Beelzebub, and found one of the names of Satan is “Lord of the Flies.” Scientists have discovered that flies have a reproductive period from 4 hours to 40 days depending upon the species. When pest controllers go to eradicate flies in a certain area, they spray pesticides everyday for a 40-day period. If they destroy the reproductive cycles of presently existing flies, they can kill off a whole generation of future flies. I then saw what God was trying to show me. Satan can’t fight for long periods. If a Christian will pray consistently for a 40-day period, he will be able to conquer most satanic strongholds in his life.

Pure and Spotless Bride Made Ready

Two passages talk about the church being unified and powerful at the end of the age when Jesus returns, Eph 4:11-13 and Eph 5:24-5. We will look at those in a minute.  Now many people don’t have faith that Jesus could do this in the church before His return, because of how divided and weak we are now.  But the Scriptures do describe it happening before Jesus returns.  There are 1000s of prophesies that have been fulfilled, God will fulfill His Word, we must have faith.  Let’s consider all the prophesies that will help the Bride become ready for the end-times.

1.) The Joel 2 outpouring of the Spirit happens in the end-times.  Joel 2 is known as one of many ‘dual fulfillment prophesies.’  When Peter said it was happening in Acts 2, it was only a down-payment, for Joel was specifically talking about the events of the end-times.  There’s little debate that many OT prophesies have an initial fulfillment, then a second final, primary fulfillment that will happen in the end times.  Joel described it happening in the end-times, in the context of other end-time events.  Most importantly Joel said it will be poured out on all flesh, not just 50 people in an upper room.  When Jesus pours out His Spirit like Joel described it, it will bring about much instruction and clarity and help us get unified, though there will be some who fall away rejecting the Spirit just as the Pharisees rejected Jesus. But ultimately, the outpouring of the Spirit will help bring in the harvest.

2). The Harvest. Matthew 13:39 talks about the Harvest at the End of the Age.  The Harvest will not be brought in by a divided backslidden church, but rather a pure and spotless Bride.  If the Harvest was even 1/8 of the projected population in 2025 it would be a billion souls coming to Jesus.  Contrast that with the projected 4% of this generation being evangelical believers at the time if natural trends continue.  Hype and manipulation will not bring in the harvest, but the answered prayers of the prayer movement, and evangelists that have labored in the place of prayer, and have been anointed to bring it in, like Finney and Wesley and such, will do it through the Spirit.

3.) The Harlot  Paul wrote “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away[apostasy] comes first, and the man of sin [the antichrist] is revealed (2 Thes 2:3).  John the Apostle wrote “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev 17:6).  This will lead the first 3 1/2 years of the End-Times in false peace and false prosperity.  The Harlot Religion of Revelation 17 will persecute the church, the saints, and yet many in the church will fall away from the faith into her Christ-less works and prosperity and become apostate.  They will be seduced by her religious message of unity of all faiths and good works and deny Christ. The Harlot will have an effect on the church, we who resist her will prophesy against and be united in standing against this deception.  Biblically, a harlot represents one who used to be in covenant with God, many of the leaders of this movement will be ex-Christians.

4.)The Tribulation (the Judgments)  The tribulation is God’s judgment on the Antichrist’s worldwide empire, not the Church.  Much of the church will be protected, though there will be some martyrs, Revelation 15 is clear about that.  The events of the end-times will cause many in the church to fall away from the faith, to the harlot religion or to offense at God, or into the rising widespread sin. Some will succumb to the pressure to yield to the antichrist.  Many more in the church will die and go on to be with the Lord from the destruction from the judgments.  But so very many will hear God and be spared, do greater works and miracles, there will be so many miracles, obviously in these times miracles will be very needed. (Mic 7:15).  The tribulation and the Matthew 24 birthpangs preceding it will serve in waking the western church up stop wasting all its time in entertainment, selfishness and leisure and embark on a life of prayer and fasting (Mat 9:15; 6:16) so we can walk in power and Christlikeness.  Jesus gives more authority to those who know Him.  Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he (antichrist) will corrupt by flatteries: but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do great exploitsJohn 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.  Jer 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me.

5.)The Prayer movement   Man cannot bring in the harvest alone, it is the strategy of God to use people to pray  and ‘release’ the Holy Spirit in power on the world.   So many ministries have so many ‘better’ ideas than prayer and that is why we see so little fruit.  By praying the prayers for the lost that the Spirit gave Paul like the “Eph 1:17 release of the Spirit of revelation unto the knowledge of Christ”, God responds and draws real people to Jesus (John 6:44).  He enlightens their spiritual eyes to see Christ.  (This prayer is crucial for mature Christians too.) Jesus’ desire was that the kingdom and the will of God would be completely manifest on the earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).  Jesus won’t do this “in a vacuum”, apart from men and women doing it in partnership with Him.  Jesus said that His kingdom would not come not by human force or might and not by human intellect or wisdom, but by Godly wisdom – simply by saying back to God in prayer what He told us to tell Him through the Word and Spirit. It is as the church all over the globe and these “set”, full-time watchmen like myself ask the Lord persistently and cry out day and night (Luke 11, Luke 18:7-8), He promises to release speedy justice and establish the kingdom of God on the earth.

6.)Holy Spirit Fellowship Along with intercession that increases the Kingdom of God and destroys darkness, this message is going forth in the prayer movement: Jesus said in matthew 4 “Man does not live by bread alone, but every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” Now in the past we have interpreted this verse as meaning that we are to ‘live by’ the ethics and lifestyle of the Scriptures and prophetic instruction of God.  Which is partially correct.  But the context was the issue of sustenance and being hungry after fasting.  If we begin to actually “eat” the Word of God and not just live by it’s teachings we will begin be ‘filled by the Spirit”(Eph 5:18-19) and no longer lack such deficiencies such as not being able to do the works Jesus did, and greater.  Communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit is transformative.The ministers and preachers who have labored in prayer and are covered in prayer move in the power in of Spirit, as Jesus did.  John 14:12 states that some will one day do greater works even, and this will happen through the power-releasing prayers of intercessors.  Paul said he labored to be counted worthy to be entrusted with power in spiritual authority (1 Thes 2:4).  

The Transforming Power of Prayer

John 5:39-40 contains a powerful, timely message for this hour.  The Pharisses, much like the church today, were rebuked by Jesus for living by the Scriptures, but not turning them into prayer with God.  Hearing someone teach the Scripture can be compared to reading a menu that stirs our appetite. We do not fully feed on the Word by hearing someone teach. We may be inspired in our faith, but we actually feed our spirit as truth becomes part of our prayer language with God. In other words, we are not really fed until truth enters into our dialogue with God in our private life.  Taking Scripture and asking for revelation on it, making it a direct prayer or asking for power to obey it.  Ultimately I am talking about letting the written word take us to the presence and revelation of the Living Word.  More on this in part II where we will go deeper and also look at the Rapture, false worldwide religion and Antichrist.

The signs of the times confirm we are in the generation of the Lord’s return, so then the question is will we be like the Matt 25 virgins who had lacked the oil of the Holy Spirit.  Will we multiply food like Jesus in famine?  Will we heal the sick from war, plague and natural disaster?  Jesus said we would do greater works, and those who do great works live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting based on the sermon on the mount.  As we commune with the Holy Spirit and know Jesus, we are transformed into His image.  As we are transformed we are entrusted with more power, as we do what we see the Father do, by revelation.

This is the hour to dial down, say no to things and radically reorganize our time.

Jer 12:5  “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses?

Psa 32:6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.

More on this in part II where we will go deeper and also look at the Rapture, false worldwide religion and Antichrist.

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