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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Cutting Corners will Always Catch Up with You Later

Atlanta Braves v Chicago White SoxStranger things have happened, but the story we read in Gen 16 can definitely be counted among that category. We drop in on a story that started much earlier with the God of the universe putting a divine stamp or call on Abraham and his wife Sarah. God had called them out from among their own people to a land that they had not been and then downloads a promise that they are going to be blessed beyond measure (Gen 12:1-3), as well as, their own personal family to be numbered as the stars of the sky (Gen 15:5). In Gen 16:1-2, 4 we read, “…Abram’s wife, had borne him no children…” which at this point had been some time from God’s initial promise.

In verse 4 we are introduced to Sarai’s impatience as she tries to help God fulfill His promise. As nice as that might seem, helping God out can get one in a bigger mess


Sweeping God’s Commands Under the Rug of our lives will only trip us up Later   (tweet)


then you might want. Sarai offers her Egyptian maid to take her place and conceive a child for her husband. Let me just say, men that’s when you step up and say no my dearest wife, never! But on the contrary Abram agreed and soon Hagar the maid became pregnant and the turmoil has never ended.

Through cutting corners and not allowing God’s perfect plan to be manifest, they birthed a son named Ishmael that until this day has produce conflict against God’s plan and agenda. In the same manner most of us have stepped in and tried to “help God out” as if He can’t do it Himself. When we do this we often cut some corners and even sweep the very commands of God under the rug. Everything might look good and clean from the outside but in all actuality it is filthy and sooner or later Continue reading

Asking for what’s on God’s Heart

IMG_2431In Ezekiel 36 we read a fascinating statement from the Lord to the children of Israel. God lays out His will and promises of mercy and love for His people. “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock,’” (v. 13). This scripture reveals that God wants us to ask for His will to be done. He invites us to inquire of Him for revelation and fulfillment of His promises!


As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. (Tweet)


It is His desire that we would know His will. Too often, we miss God’s great promises because we never knew they were for us. On the other hand, we might know of the scriptures but haven’t ever been taught that we must inquire of God for them. As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. It’s like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet listening. Knowing His heart empowers us to have confidence to ask for His will. Yet, we miss out by not communing with Him.

In Ezekiel 36:13 God reveals that His people should seek him and His promises with faith and expectancy. We also read in James 1:6-7 that the man who wants to receive from the Lord must pray with expectancy. The person who asks with unbelief will end up empty handed. It says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Prayer that is not seasoned with faith is nothing more than worthless religious jargon. It is impossible to catch the attention and favor of the Lord without a believing heart. God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises.

We see this same principle working in the book of Daniel 9:2-3. Daniel received revelation through the Word that the seventy years of the Jews’ captivity had ended. However, their release was not yet manifested. Therefore, Daniel began to set his face toward the Lord in prayer and fasting. This empowered him to be confident in intercession since he now knew God’s heart.


God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises (tweet) 



God promises that He will put His desires in our hearts when we live in communion with Him. (Ps. 37:4) His heart will become ours, transforming us to think as He thinks. God wants us to know His will and pray in agreement with Him. Too often, we want God to jump on our bandwagons of self-will instead of us connecting with His will and His heart’s desire. When we follow our own heart it leads us away from Him into idolatry. We become servants of our selfish wants and desires.

When we have discovered what’s on His heart and what His will is, then we can come into His presence with boldness and confidence. In I John 5:14-15 we read that if we ask anything in His will, that He will hear us. It goes on to say if He hears us then we can have the confidence to expect answers to those petitions. The key to answered prayers in our lives is to pray according to His will and purposes.

I am Not Letting Go!

holding onOne of my favorite stories is found in Matthew 15:22-28, where we see a woman from Canaan come to Jesus. You could say she was from the other side of the tracks. Yet, I believe she came to the one person who she knew could help her daughter. In Mark’s gospel he records this same story in chapter 7:25. It says that she “Heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.” What did she hear? By her actions I believe she heard He was a merciful loving miracle worker; therefore she was persistent in getting His attention. She believed He was good and just, so she honored and worshipped Him as Lord. As if there was no other hope, this gentile woman cried out to Jesus for divine mercy, that her daughter would be delivered from the enemy’s grip.

The response she received could have easily discourage and offend her, causing her to give up. First, Jesus kept silent and did not answer. Most people hate the silent treatment—it deeply frustrates them. I think the majority of us in this situation would have stomped off offended. Right?

Secondly, Jesus says in a roundabout way that the miracle she desired was not for her. And as if that was not devastating enough He tells her that the promises were not for her. Then, He calls her a dog (Mk. 7:27)! But, instead of getting bitter and offended, this woman replies with the most astounding words. “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table,”(Mk. 7:28). She declares that the crumbs from the Master’s table are good enough for her situation. In essence, she says it only takes one crumb from the Master to solve her need.


                        Persistence and commitment in prayer will always bring a fruitful and rewarding result.   (Tweet)


            In all this, she is worshipping Him, undistracted by her feelings or her pride. Her persistence reveals the faith within her. I believe she had a glimpse of His heartbeat, therefore, she pressed in towards Him. In her time of great need, her request seemed to be long in coming, but she wouldn’t stop. Her faith was being purified and perfected to the point that Jesus announced that she had great faith! The result was her daughter was healed that very instant.

            As we press into His presence concerning His promises, we can be faced with elements that can cause us to either back down or press in harder. Sometimes, God is silent and at other times He deliberately offends our minds to reveal what’s in our hearts and to see if we are serious about seeking Him. If we tenaciously press in and not let go of His promises we will see them manifest. Too often, when our requests are slow to be answered we are offended and gripped with bitterness towards God. The bottom line is that we don’t understand God’s workings and therefore we are robbed many times of God’s miracles. We might not understand God’s ways, but He is always working in us both to will and to do for His pleasure. The same was true in this woman’s situation. He is always working in us for His glory.


     If we tenaciously press in and not let go of His promises we will see them manifest. (Tweet)


It’s God’s heart for us to walk in His purposes and blessings. However, there are often delays in what we ask because He desires to work in us things that will enable us to see the manifestation of His promises. When we understand these principles, then we will have a confidence and a persistence that will enable us to hold on to His promises until we see their fulfillment.

The Breaking point of Breakthrough

Glacier1This morning while in my prayer time I felt the Holy Spirit gave me a picture lesson.  Many of the great glaciers in Alaska have worked their way down the slopes to the ocean. The face of these glaciers advance when more accumulation of snow and ice begin to mass then actually melts.

So these Ice Rivers begin to slowly move down the least resistant path just as a normal river that we are accustom to does. They are slowly being coerced by gravity at such slow speeds that you cannot see the movement unless you measure it or visit where they meet the ocean.  This is one of Alaska’s most common boat tours. People come to watch huge slices of the glaciers breaking off and crashing into the ocean. It makes such a splash that it sends ripples of gigantic waves and icebergs speedily going forth affecting all that’s in its ways.

We have continued to pray and stand for God’s purposes in our lives and communities for years. Through it all there are times of great spiritual accumulation and increase and there are times of dryness, melting and decrease in the spiritual climate.

But as we press into God there is a shifting and movement that begins to happen. Whether we see it or not! Though the evidence might seem prehistoric or even non-existent the result screams “we’re wrong”. Just as in the case of the glaciers, if you are on the mountain top or along the glacier in a valley somewhere, you cannot see the movement at all. But it is moving and carrying rocks and debris for miles and even grinds it to powder along the way. This massive scraping and eroding of anything that stands in the way causes the surface to become smoother and ultimately pick up speed.

Yet, unless you are down on the vast sea and open ocean you cannot see the true affects. Isn’t it much the same way in our spiritual lives? Unless we get down where the rubber meets the road or in the midst of the sea of people going about their miserable daily lives we will not see the results of our cry for revival.

People may come to watch the great splash and waves of revival from everywhere. But, without the courageous and unselfish spiritual intercessors that contend high in the mountains and down in the midst of the valleys for revival there would be no movement or let alone waves of refreshing that crashes into the sea of humanity.

Our contending in prayer is making a shift and movement! Whether you are seeing it or not the results in the valley you’re in, is definitely happening.

There is coming in the near future a wave of revival and crashing interruption of God’s glory that will send ripples in every direction affecting everything in its way.  Marriages, rebellious children, lost loved ones, physical afflictions and so many other things that need a wave of God’s glory to change them.

Don’t quit now!

It’s coming so get ready and anticipate it!    It seems slow but it’s so close!     It’s “Slow Close”.