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

 

 

 

 

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Stuck with a Roommate instead of a Marriage?

College was a great time of learning life and broadening my world. But wow, roommates could really push me to the limit in the stress department. Learning to deal with each other’s quirks and habits, the good and the bad, was a whole different education. I know many can relate to having roommates, whether you went to college or just had another situation. Bottom line is though they have their place, once you move forward and find God’s soul mate for your life; you definitely aren’t looking for a roommate scenario. Unfortunately, many marriages are nothing more than a roommate arrangement.

In an age where marriage is being attacked and redefined it is essential that we understand how God defines marriage. In Gen 2:20-25 we have a look at the first marriage. It all takes place in a beautiful garden at the very beginning of mankind


Many marriages are nothing more than a roommate arrangement.   (tweet)


where Adam was diligent in his job, which was naming to the animals. The account reveals there was not a companion comparable for Adam amongst all the beast of the earth. I think that point alone should align many people to the fact that your pet isn’t ever suppose to take the place of who God has for you emotionally or otherwise! Therefore, God creates a woman from Adams side as he slept. In other words God custom made a wife for Adam out of his rib that would be designed to stand by his side.

In verse 24 we read the Holy Spirit’s definition of marriage from the start. He says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” God’s principle of the first was to complete a man with


When we become married the “I” becomes a “We”, and two lives become one.   (tweet)


a wife. They were to become one not two individuals co-habituating together. God knows each of our strengths and weaknesses, giving us a soul mate that will not be a clone, but one that will help us in the areas that we need help in and vice versa. Just like the famous line from the movie “Jerry McGuire” where the husband of a failing marriage comes to his senses and says, “you complete me” to his estranged wife. That statement whether you liked the movie or not is what a marriage is all about, two completely different individuals coming together to make a complete and compatible marriage so they can fulfill the purposes of God (Matt 19:6). When we become soul mates the “I” becomes a “We”, two lives become one.

The world’s view of marriage verses God’s view can be very opposite when it comes down to it. The world offers pre or post nuptial agreements as well as, when things 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

He Still Loves Me even when I Blow It

637685246Peter in his zeal blurts out “I will never be made to stumble”. Again moments later, in rebuttal to Jesus’ prophetic word in Matt 26:34-35, revealing that he would deny Him three times; Peter emphatically declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Strong words that came from love and a life that was transformed by the Master. As well, the other disciples followed in voicing their commitment and devotion to Jesus that historic night on the Mount of Olives not knowing exactly what would shortly transpire.

The city was doing construction on the sewer lines in front of my Aunt and Uncles house many years ago while they were keeping my siblings and me for a summer. My brother and I were at the young age where curiosity can make you do things you shouldn’t. I remember so vividly my uncle sternly saying, before he went to work that day, “Do not play around or get down into that construction hole”.   Well… even though we had made a oath and commitment that we would never do that we were overtaken and enticed with adventure. Being able to resist no longer, my brother lowered me into the hole later that day for a harmless look. Then at the sight of my uncle coming around the corner he ran and left me in the


Jesus still loves us even after we have made great commitments to Jesus and then failing Him and totally blowing it.     (tweet)


hole. The willow tree that conveniently hung over in my sight was a perfect place for my uncle to get a branch and proceed with one hand to help me out and wimped me all in the same motion.

More than the sting of the whooping was the pain of knowing I had failed in my oath and commitment that I had made to my uncle. The thought of disappointing him and possible losing his love was worse than any other pain I was feeling. It wasn’t until later that a valuable lesson was learned.

In comparison I can vaguely imagine the feeling of disappointment that Peter Continue reading

When you get Bucked off the Horse… get back on!

RODEO: MAY 10 Mother Lode Round-upNot everyone can say they have been bucked off a horse during their life. Well, it would seem that not only was it a “right of passage” in my upbringing but it was something that happened more than once. Even though my father had a talent for training and breaking horses. I had just the opposite effect on them. Whatever the reason might have been, whether the horse was ornery, poorly synched or just a wild hair, I’ve landed on the ground more than I would like to admit. But my father’s words


Just because you get bucked off the horse doesn’t mean you don’t get back on!    (tweet)


always echoed in my mind, “Bill, you must get back on”. His point being, if you allow the fear of “what if it happens again” keep you down, you will never get back on and enjoy the ride.

Over the years, many believers have been bucked off the wall of their responsibility as intercessory prayer warriors. Many have become discouraged from not seeing prayers answered; some have fallen asleep spiritually or grown spiritually weak and frustrated. But now is the time to shake off the spirit of fear, rejection and apathy and get back on the wall as intercessors and watchmen. For God has called you in these crucial days to be alert and watchful more than ever before in behalf of His people.

Just like getting bucked off of a horse—it is essential to get back on. Enough is enough! Whatever has caused you to be distracted, whether just or unjust, your fault or someone else’s, bottom line is it has knocked you out of your post,! The Father is lovingly saying, you must get back on the wall and fulfill your responsibility.

If the wall is broken down and needs restored, we must roll up our sleeves and build it back up. When Hezekiah saw the enemy’s onslaught, he realized the need to strengthen himself and his kingdom, (II Chron. 32:5). Things had gotten relaxed, the walls had eroded and were weakened; therefore, the King was alerted to set things Continue reading

Embracing the very Purpose of God with Hope!

sunriseMy pager went off at 11:30pm with a message saying I needed to go to a room at the far end of the fourth floor. As a hospital chaplain you never know what kind of situation you will be walking into when the call comes in. In this case I was puzzled when I arrived to a dark empty room filled with an atmosphere of hopelessness that could be cut with a knife. There was absolutely no one in the hall or even near by. A matter of fact, it was a section of the floor that was not occupied other than this empty room with a deceased corpse in it. Needless to say I was confused and


If God had a refrigerator, your picture would definitely be on it!   –   (tweet)


wanted to make sense of this situation and answer the “why”. I began to research and try to pieced together what had happened only to get a more complete understanding a day later when a newspaper article had came out with some details.

The patriarch of a national family company who seemed to have a life of success, notoriety and material gain had fallen into the clutches of suicide. Being at the age that one would think would be delightful and full of enjoyment it was filled with hopelessness to the point of prematurely ending his journey. Unfortunately, this same story is repeated much to often. Many people go through life never really understanding purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.

In Jer 29:11 we read God’s thoughts towards us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Did you hear that? God has good plans for you! He’s not up on a cloud somewhere with a hammer waiting to crush you. But has plans for your future filled with hope and goodness. He doesn’t look at you and think evil about you! Actually, the


Many people go through life never really understanding their purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.   –   (tweet)


psalmist says in chapter139 of Psalms in verse 17-18, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand”. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would Continue reading