Roll Up Your Sleeves and get it Done!

A1 roll up sleevesWords can’t explain the deluge of emotions that comes over you when you see your daughter walk across the stage of graduation! It’s as if an internal video automatically starts rolling in your mind. The day they were born, the first steps they took and so on. I wish I could say it gets easier, but the emotions just continue as time quickly goes down the road of life.

But, there’s nothing more awesome then to see your children who have your “DNA” begin the journey of life. Now that we’ve wiped the tears of emotions away let’s remember the reality of the process! Dirty diapers, screaming through the nights, acts of devilish fits, deceptive disobedience and last minute school projects after a long hard day at work. Wow! There is definitely work involved in the process


Don’t just sit on your blessed assurance but continue the journey of faith  


of life. They will always be our children and have our “DNA” but without rolling up their sleeves and doing some work they will never develop into a successful reflection of their parents. They must learn how to be a functioning member of our household. Their “DNA” never changes but they are fashioned into a true reflection of who we are as they yield to our guidance.

Paul addresses in his letter to the Romans some of these issues of growing as a believer. (Rom. 7:21-25) They hadn’t been raised up under Jewish traditions yet they came to the new birth through Christ Jesus. He exhorts these gentiles, in Rom 12:1-2 that the process of life in the Kingdom of God goes on even after the new birth. We now have a new DNA and have become children of light instead of darkness. (Eph. 5:8) It’s like Jesus said to Nicodemus we have been “born again”(Jn. 3:3), and now have started a glorious journey as a believer in Jesus! We are now citizens of the household of God (Eph 2:19) through the finished work of Christ on the cross. (Col. 2:11-15) But that’s not all there’s more!

Paul Exhorts the believers in Rome not to just sit on their blessed assurance but to continue the journey of faith. He says in Rom 12:1-2, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. It is Continue reading

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Connecting with Heaven and disconnecting from bondages of this World

605374893The early evangelist Smith Wigglesworth knew the power of fasting and prayer. At the age of sixteen, he was impacted by the power he saw in the Salvation Army’s workers that others didn’t have. He was led earnestly to pray and fast for salvations. Much later in his life Wigglesworth recalled, “We used to have all nights of prayer. He said, “I fasted all day every Sunday and prayed, and I never remember seeing less than fifty souls saved by the power of God in the meetings with the children.”

Isaiah, 58:8 tells us, “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Here we see the victory of fasting in the scripture. Strongholds are broken with prayer and fasting. This would seem to tell us that there is an added power and maybe a spiritual overdrive when we combine prayer with fasting.

This is what Jesus tells His disciples, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting,” (Matt. 17:21). While Jesus and three of His disciples were having an incredible visitation on the mountaintop, unanswered prayers deflated the others. A father had brought his demonized child to the disciples and when they failed at bringing deliverance, the father approached Jesus as He came down from the mount. After Jesus rebuked the demon and set the young man free, the disciples asked why they couldn’t help the child. In verses 20-21 Jesus answered them, “Because of your unbelief… However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Jesus declared that in cases like this, nothing happens unless there is prayer and fasting. So, according to Jesus, fasting and prayer will build our faith and align us with His will. Jesus lets us know that when our prayers fall flat and when our flesh is weak that added power is available when we deny and humble ourselves through fasting. Prayer with fasting is a mixture of supernatural components that will change situations from ordinary to extraordinary. It transports us from fleshly strength to God’s supernatural power. Every believer should participate. As I have suggested, fasting is not trying to twist God’s arm but it is about the individual humbling and aligning himself with God’s will. Whether you fast short-term or for an extended length of time, you must be wise. Scripture highlights various lengths and types of fasts.

I often hear, “I will fast when God tells me to fast” or “It’s wrong to fast without God telling you to do it?” Those are statements from individuals who aren’t familiar with the scriptures. In Mathew 6:1-18, Jesus exhorts the believers to serve in three areas: “When you do acts of love, when you pray and when you fast; do it unto the Lord, not in a self-serving attitude.” The key word in doing these three disciplines is when you do them. It does not say if you do them. When you do them indicates it is not an optional discipline, but it should be a common practice. I think most would agree that doing acts of love and praying are definitely actions that Christ’s disciples should be doing. But, how can we then separate those two acts from the third exhortation that Jesus gave? He said, “When you fast,” just as He said when you pray and when you do acts of love. Therefore, we must conclude that the believer should have a lifestyle of fasting just as they should have a lifestyle of prayer and serving. Let’s do it!

 

Connecting with Heaven and disconnecting from

the things of this World

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

  1. We see various types of fasting in the scriptures such as complete fast (No water or food), normal fast (No food) or partial fasting (different times or limited foods). What type of fasting have you done in your life? Please explain.
  1. When you have fasted in your life have you saw immediate results or has it taken a while to see any results? Give an account if you can.

 

  1. How would you interpret what Jesus was saying in Mathew 6:1-18? How would you reply to believers that say they will only fast when Jesus tells them?

 

Quotes to Tweet:    

  • Prayer connects us with Heaven and fasting disconnects us from the bondages of this world – billvirgin.com

 

  • There is an added power and spiritual overdrive when we combine prayer with fasting     –   billvirgin.com

 

  • The believer should have a lifestyle of fasting just as they should have a lifestyle of prayer and serving   – billvirgin.com

 

#PrayerAndFastingLetsDoIt     #SolemnAssembly     #JoinTheFastingMovement

 

 

 

 

I am going to do it even if I have Screaming Eagles in my Stomach!

Thankfulness - sunsetFew Christians have seriously pressed into the realm of prayer and fasting. The church has nonchalantly looked the other way and has stopped talking about this biblical principle. Denying ourselves isn’t convenient or enjoyable to our flesh. I know when I fast it seems as if there are screaming eagles in my stomach!

God is awakening courageous believers to the understanding of the empowerment of a fasted lifestyle. Unfortunately, that will never happen until we crucify our flesh and combine fasting with our prayers. They go hand-in-hand. Hunger is one of the body’s strongest cravings. When the believer seeks God and His


I am going to Fast even if it gives me Screaming Eagles in my Stomach! –


kingdom by going without food it demonstrates self-humbling and a sacrifice of personal pleasure. (Ps.35:13)  It is a dynamic principle that every believer needs to practice throughout his or her lives. It can’t be just a quick fix button that we use when we are in a jam or a medal we wear to proclaim our self-righteousness.

In Isaiah 58:6 we read, “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke”? The scriptures openly tell us that God has chosen the fast as a way to loose bondages and release those who are oppressed. We see today many renowned ministers and ministries promoting fasting and prayer such as, Jentzen Franklin, Mike Bickle as well as, the late Dr. Bill Bright and his ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ International, have stirred churches, pastors and their congregations around the world to pray and fast for godly change. These men also live a fasted lifestyle and have seen the power and impact of it. Dr. Bright said, “Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.” Joel 2:12 says, “’Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’” Fasting is in the same category as wholeheartedly turning toward Him. Derek Prince said, “Fasting breaks down the barriers in man’s


Fasting can’t be just a quick fix button or a medal we wear to proclaim our self- righteousness.


carnal nature that stand in the way of the Holy Spirit’s omnipotence. With these barriers removed, the Holy Spirit can work unhindered in His fullness through our
prayers”.

Fasting gets the believer serious about God’s will. In the book of Acts, we see the early church practiced and was vigilant in fasting. Acts 13:2-3, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” Matthew Henry says about this passage, “We see here a divine warrant and commission to Barnabas and Saul to go and preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and their ordination to that service by the imposition of hands, with fasting and prayer.” The early church understood the seriousness of fulfilling God’s will and His calling; therefore, they denied themselves and fasted.

There is a moving of God’s Spirit upon the community of believers all across the world to live a life of prayer and fasting. Humbling ourselves before the Lord will bring a desire to hear His heartbeat and know His will. Isn’t it time for every believer to return to Biblical truth and practice this lifestyle? Getting serious in prayer and fasting will bring the powerful results that we so desperately need in our culture. Are you ready to get back to the Biblical principles of fasting?

   Thoughts to Ponder:  

  1. What do you think of when you hear the word fasting? Maybe going in for a medical procedure, or a hunger strike? In your own words define what you and your friends think about fasting

 

  1. What do you think the biblical principle of fasting’s part is in the church today. Is it a thing of the past ? Does it bend God’s arm to answer us?
  1. Other than the scriptures mentioned above do you know of any other Biblical stories of fasting? Explain the Story?

 Quotes to Tweet:    

  • I am going to Fast even if it gives me Screaming Eagles in my Stomach! – billvirgin.com
  • Fasting can’t be just a quick fix button or a medal we wear to proclaim our self-   righteousness. – billvirgin.com
  • Getting serious in prayer and fasting will bring the powerful results that we so desperately need in our culture.   – billvirgin.com

#FastingGivesMeScreamingEaglesInMyStomach     #JoinTheFastingMovement

 

The Highest Call to a Believer is …

images-53Whether it’s dreaming to be a lead singer of a band or a top billed movie star or MVP of the Super Bowl we are infatuated with importance and becoming what we believe is success! Isn’t it amazing how we, as well as our whole society identify with what we feel is the most important position.

Unfortunately, we have allowed that exact thought pattern to invade the church. In an era of a mega churches on ever channel and ministers of the Gospel being exalted as we do to rock stars, it can distort our understanding of what is


What we think is important and successful to God is often totally opposite and upside down to what is in God heart.


viewed a success in God’s eyes. We have been deceived in thinking the most important thing we can do to honor our Lord and Savior is found in the limelight. We have been distracted from our heart devotion to God to become defiled by our own determinations to be famous.

I am reminded of God’s word in Isa 55:8 that says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.” What we think is important and successful to God is often totally opposite and upside down to what is in God heart. Even though being a successful minister, and ambassador is important and needed in the body of Christ it is not the highest call of God for us.

Jesus sets the record strait in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, where Martha had welcomed Jesus into her home. I can only imagine like most women Martha was getting things ready and wanting to serve Jesus with the best of


We have been distracted from our heart devotion to God to become defiled by our own determinations to be famous


her abilities. I am sure that Martha wanted nothing less than to please and honor Jesus. But when she saw her sister whom was just sitting at Jesus’ feet and not helping with the serving she was distracted and became agitated and frustrated going to Jesus to complain. We read in verse 40 where Martha says, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Martha’s words reveal that she was not only distracted from what was important, but discouraged at Jesus for not helping and disconnected from Mary due to offence. I think if we are honest we can all identify with how she was feeling and reacting.

Jesus addresses this viscous cycle that we find ourselves often caught in with what is important to Him. He says to His host, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. Jesus calls Mary on the carpet and gets her focus on what is important. Her heart was in the right place; Martha was trying to be a good host and desired to please Him. Yet, even though her motive was right her method was off.

Jesus’s words in vs. 42, “only one thing is needed” expresses the necessity of what Mary was doing. He lets us know that her action was needed, was good, was her choice and ends with a promise that would never be taken from her. What was Mary doing? She was sitting at Jesus feet, listening to His words. This isn’t about a posture but is about the priority of Gods people positioning themselves in God’s presence, pondering His words and understanding His promises.

It is our intimacy and worship before the Lord, which is of most importance to God’s heart. (Ex. 28:1-4, Deut. 10:8-9) We are created to worship Him. (Jn. 4:23-24) I encourage you to be established in what God thinks is priority and not be distracted. Then and only then should we venture out to be about His business!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:

  1. Do you remember growing up wearing your NFL teams sports jacket or dressing like your favorite movie star? What kind of things did you do to mimic those you thought were successful? Explain? 

 

  1. What do you think are some of the most import jobs you can do for God? How would you describe sitting or standing before the Lord? Is it talking about a posture or position?

 

  1. Describe what kind of benefit there is in ministering to God? Are we wasting Time? Shouldn’t we be about His business? How would you encourage others to value a place of prayer and worship before the Lord?

 

 

That Fragrance is Head Turning

82206053The aroma filled the room, as my wife sprayed her perfume each morning, as she would get ready for her day. The smell would change the very atmosphere in the room and catch my attention every time she walked by. There was just something special about her fragrance that represents more than just a good aroma. It represented her and who she was. That daily routine never seems to get old.

It reminds me of the story in Mark 14:3-9, where we are introduced to the women in Bethany who ministered before Jesus. We read in verse three she, “came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” This caused an outcry of disapproval and disgust from some that thought it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Yet, someone else’s head turned also.

Before we judge this as a menial disagreement about some cheap perfume being wasted, let’s look a little bit closer. This wasn’t a story of a bad practical joke that had gone bad, but was a sacrificial act with a much deeper meaning. This women we know as Mary of Bethany who we also read about in Luke 10:42 as well as in Mark. She had an Alabaster


When we minister to Him. It’s a fragrance of beauty that will turn His head and catch His attention.   (tweet)


box filled with a costly fragrance valued at a year’s wage. This wasn’t just any perfume but more of an heirloom that had probably been given and added to over time. It was much like a hope chest that is given to a daughter and then filled over time with things that would be useful for her future. It represented her past, present and future!

So in essence she was giving her past and present successes and failures, as well as her future hopes and dreams to Jesus. She wasn’t pouring out just a perfume but her life. The aroma that filled the room moved Jesus’ heart. It was much more than a temporary fragrance, but was her life’s incense that came before the one who would give His life as a


We are called to stand before Him as Priests! (tweet)


sacrifice for her and the world. Jesus took notice, standing up for her and declaring that this would be a memorial to her through out history. Mary was standing before and ministering to Jesus.

Mary’s actions were representative of what the Levites were separated to do before God. (Deut. 10:8-9) It says they were chosen to “stand before” and “minister” to the Lord. The phrase to “stand before” means to remain and present oneself and the word Continue reading

Praying Prayers that Shake Things

108220532We get a snap shot of the disciples praying in Acts 4:29–30. Peter and John had gone to their own Because of the threats from the Sanhedrin. Then all of them began asking the Lord to move in their behalf with power from on high, praying that they might see signs and wonders, enabling them to speak the Word with boldness. When they had finished, the place began to shake, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Resulting with them going forth in power.

When was the last time the place where we were praying began to shake from the power of God? Maybe we haven’t been touching God in prayer like we should. Lord Tennyson said, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

Prayer is to revival and God’s outpouring as evaporation is to a cloudburst of fresh rain. You can’t have the one without the other. As we pray, it’s like the evaporated water, ascending to the heavens. The clouds of heavens fill full of the prayers of saints. Then the clouds move to a dry and thirsty place, to pour down the


What we sow is what we shall reap. So then, let me ask, what are we sowing? (tweet)


rains of revival on the cracked desert soil of humanity. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” It is through prayer that we sow, cultivate the hard soil and reap a plentiful harvest. What we sow is what we shall reap. So then, let me ask, what are we sowing?

When the church begins to press in, laying hold of the promises of God, then we will finally come to the place of reaping God’s best. D.L. Moody once said, “The world has not yet seen what God can do through a person completely dedicated to Him.”

Will we stand in the gap before the Lord? Well, it is time that we answer that question with a thundering yes! This country is in need of a militant, praying church, possessing the land that the Lord has given us through tenacious prayer. Let me end with an inspiring story in history from David Shibleys’ book, A Force in the Earth.

“In 1806 a group of students at Williams College in Massachusetts sought refuge from a sudden rainstorm in a haystack. As the rain beat down, they turned their retreat into a prayer meeting. They asked God to use their lives. As they prayed, their


When the church begins to press in and lays hold of God’s promises, then we will reap God’s best.       (tweet)


faith rose to believe God could use them significantly to fulfill Christ’s great commission. When the rain subsided, they left with the rallying cry, “We can do it if we will!” This unobtrusive meeting went down in history as the Haystack Prayer Meeting. Today, this spontaneous prayer time is seen as the beginning of the mission Continue reading

My Stomach is Screaming like Eagles

Thankfulness - sunsetMy stomach was in turmoil as if there was a war going on within my most inner been. My mind began to be flooded with thoughts such as, “Was this really how I was suppose to be feeling”? Why would anyone put themselves through this agony anyway”? I was in Bible school and had been fasting for several days for the first time , along with a team who would be going on a mission’s trip together. If it would not have been for the powerful results and definite impact in peoples lives on this outreach. I would have probably never attempted fasting again, writing it off as a sadistic form of self-torture. Yet, God’s word reveals otherwise.

Fasting gets us in a place where we can be molded and shaped for the purposes of God. The Lord has a master plan for His people, and when we fast and pray, we are saying “yes” to God’s will. We are tuning into the realm of the Spirit.

In Joel 2:12 it says, “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” When we come before the Lord, we must come with all of our heart. We can’t come with a divided or a reserved heart. The Lord wants all of us or none of us. Jesus says in Matthew 22: 37, “You shall


When we fast, we are virtually saying we want God more than we want physical life    (tweet)


love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” When we fast and pray, it is basically a choice of willingly denying our flesh and its desires for the purpose of spiritual things.

A fast rightfully defined is virtually doing without food. We see when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness in Matthew 4:2 it says, “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” Jesus had not been eating food, as we see in Luke’s account, “He ate nothing.” Hunger pangs and the Continue reading