I just bought this book by my friend, John Bankas. It is a new release that I am looking forward to read. John is a passionate person who loves Jesus and longs for a move of God both personally in his life and WAY BEYOND! You will learn a lot from this one.
Click the link to go directly to Amazon and buy it now!
Fasting Outside the Box: Fasting Guidelines for Beginners
God has really called out the independent — er, DEPENDENT spirit here in Isaiah’s heart. This isn’t necessarily a moral or ethical viewpoint that he has gathered together just because he WANTS to do right. This is a MANDATE to do the “God Thing.”
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. … Isaiah 8:11 (NLT)
For me, personally, this is what God wants as well. my world is pretty polluted with wanting to be both accepted and to be acceptable. The clear implication here is to think with our full HEART and MIND, but to ALLOW some kind of Holy Spirit filter to always be present. The words STRONG WARNING must be pretty serious considering their source.
Today in Isaiah 5, the prophet is calling people out in the form of a song. It begins innocently enough, but quickly takes a turn. A turn of truth. In our world, nation, cities, and even in our families we could actually join along in some of the verses found there.
These are sickened words of the reality of the times. Many have rejected the truths they know through learning God’s Word.
Bottom line to this chapter? JUSTICE. God WILL get the last word.
Other places in the Bible mention that God is JUST — AND — FAITHFUL to forgive us and help us to REALLY LIVE. We can find our way – path – to start with at least, by gazing intently at His purity and holiness.
Early this morning, just bed before I woke up there was a stirring in my spirit in the form of a dream. You have to realize that I rarely remember my dreams. But this one, I believe could be a result of this 21 Day journey that is upon us.
The dream was pretty brief – just a glimpse, really. The venue – our church, Central Assembly Church. Simply put, many people were gathered together around the front together. Music was playing quietly in the background while many people were lost in expressive worship. In this dream I can note three things they were doing.
- First, crying.
- Second, praying.
- Third, “Trying” to sing, but overwhelmed by the presence of God.
In reading Isaiah 4 this morning – it all made even more sense to me.
Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion (God’s chosen people)
and all who assemble there.
He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day
and smoke and flaming fire at night,
covering the glorious land. Isaiah 4:5 (NLT)
Those distracted people knew what the cloud and fire meant. That’s the way they started their REAL FREEDOM from slavery way back when Moses led them out of Egypt.
Do you something to share about your fasting and prayer journey? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Awakening Day 3
As I am praying today, I am looking at things I trust that should be shaken and/or removed from my life. I am going to take some time with this. I know this can become highly personal, so I will not be specific in this public forum. It’s kind of like another “Let Go and Let God” time for me.
In Isaiah 3, it starts out with a promise. Everything Israel had learned and come to trust would be taken removed. This was a big deal. It is “Job-like” — the Job in the Bible. But there is a HUGE difference. With Job, he was being TESTED and was BLAMELESS before God.
With the Israel people? They were being SHAKEN! And if you go down the list of what they were “trusting in” it seems horrendous to us. Some versions say EVERYTHING that SUPPLIES and
SUSTAINS. In fact we would NEVER become that way, right?
- Every bit of bread
- Every drop of water,
- All their heroes
- All their soldiers
- All their judges
- All their prophets
- Fortune tellers
- Army officers
- High officials
- Skilled craftsmen
Let’s think about each one of these things in our lives that COMPETE with God. Wouldn’t it be better to SURRENDER them than to have them REMOVED? An act of surrender is an act of the HEART.
Hostile is the focus in my prayer and Bible study time today. As I begin reading in Isaiah, it is obvious that things — actually PEOPLE– just aren’t right with God. And we know the challenge that Isaiah has before him, don’t we? Here are my “first thoughts” in bullet point form.
First, recognize the spiritual destruction all around you.
Second, be sure you understand your own spiritual condition, checking yours against the complacency and corruption.
Third, examine the rewards of choosing God over idols, complacency, culture that is contrary to His teachings, selfishness, and just plain pride.
Fourth, get ready to speak forth the Word of the Lord with confidence and boldness.
Ok, let’s START there. It IS only day ONE of this prayer season, after all!!
Tomorrow, (Monday, May 3) our church is beginning a 21 day fast. It can be something other than food, like Facebook, the Internet, LOST, 24, The Biggest Loser, or really anything. It’s what I’m calling “New School Fasting”. I will BEGIN by spending a lot of time in prayer and reading through the amazing book of Isaiah.
I recently saw pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Sacramento, California. One of the things mentioned there was that the book of Isaiah was the only full intact scroll to be found. I was intrigued and inspired to examine this wonderful book of prophecy, promises, encouragement, and hope. I am also leaving a lot of “God” options open with this journey. We always TALK about not putting God in a box, right. Sometimes big good expectations do not turn out to be GOD expectations. So I going forward with GOD ANTICIPATION!
What are your first thoughts going forward into this seeking/finding adventure?
If you want to listen to Sunday’s message online, just click here. It will help you get/stay up to speed on what’s up. Remember you can begin or re-start your FAST at any time. But I challenge you to do your best to keep at it and really make God the center of your seek/find time.
When it comes to seeking the Lord, what do YOU do? I am in that season right now. I need wisdom, understanding, direction, and inspiration. Actually, I am calling all of our church to do just that, too.
We will begin with a 21 day fast. A time of sincere “setting-aside-a-time-and-place” to all God to speak in to our lives. We need to hear our loving Father through His Scripture and through the Holy Spirit.
Right now I just want to change to be more like Christ, to see new things, to embrace those precious people He created to work beside me. His WORKMANSHIP. Tell me, if you had a time that was a springboard to something spiritually new … what was it for you? Share you story in the comments, ok?