Empower 21 – Day 14

As we enter into the last week of our fast, I want to encourage you to focus on responding to what the Holy Spirit has been saying to you these past two weeks.

Simply stated, whatever God has said to you to do, obey and do it! One way to make application to what God says is to apply what I call the ABC test. The ABC test is asking yourself, “Is there:

  • An attitude – thoughts or mindset – I need to repent of or change?
  • Some behavior – actions or conduct – I need to repent of or change?
  • Conversation – words or type of speech – I need to repent of or change?”

It may not be something you need to change or repent of, it may be something God wants you to step out in obedience and DO! Obedience always requires faith!

As we respond in obedience to the Word of God and the Spirit of God we position ourselves for receiving the fullness of all that God has for us.

What God wants you to do may be simple, small, or seemingly insignificant but as you obey something supernatural happens. Your obedience may be the key to your breakthrough and blessing – or it maybe the key to someone else’s.

As He speaks, we obey.  As we obey, we experience breakthrough and blessing in our lives.  As we experience breakthrough and blessing, we become bold in our faith.  As we become bold in our faith, we become a Kingdom force.

Together we are building the Kingdom of God through fasting and prayer!


Empower 21 – Day 12

Prayer and Fasting Tips – Six Suggestions

(These tips will be repetitive for some, and for others who have not fasted previously hopefully they will assist you in getting the most out of the Empower 21 fasting ministry.)

1. Focus on God NOT on food.

2.  Journal what God is saying to you.

3.  Interpret hunger pains as a call to prayer.

4.  Read other books or materials during your fast that will stretch you.

5.  Make a prayer list so you can pray strategically and specifically.

6.  Pray.

Your participation in Empower 21 will bring you into alignment with God’s will, accelerate Holy Spirit activity in your life, and advance the Kingdom of God in Virginia.

If you have a testimony of what God is doing during the fast, I want to encourage you to share it.  Go to our web site: http://www.vacog.org and share your testimony.


Empower 21 – Day 11

As you participate in Empower 21 I want to encourage you to do the following:

1.  Ask someone, (a ministry partner/friend), to share the remainder of this 21 days with you.

This person is someone you can share your struggles, spiritual insights, and specific prayer request with.  This person will agree with you in prayer, encourage you in the journey, and rejoice with you in breakthrough and blessings.

2. Acknowledge “small” manifestations of breakthrough and blessing.

As you fast and pray God will give you “tokens” of blessings, signs of things to come.  For example:

  • If you are fasting for a financial need and you receive a “small” financial blessing- acknowledge it as a token of a sign of provision that is to come.
  • If you are fasting for a health related need and you experience some improvement- acknowledge it as a token or sign of healing to come.
  • If you are fasting for a relational need and there is a manifestation of kindness, forgiveness, and/or openness – acknowledge it as a token or sign of restoration to come.

When you acknowledge these “tokens” of blessing and breakthrough you:

  • also acknowledge that God is at work
  • set yourself in agreement with God in the work that He is doing
  • create an environment for the anointing to work
  • give access for a spirit of thanksgiving to be manifested.

Simply stated, you position yourself to receive the full measure of what God has for you.

Remember, fasting and prayer are the gateway to receiving breakthrough and blessing.


Empower 21 – Day 10

You probably realize by now that your “feelings” fluctuate greatly during an extended time of fasting.

It is important to understand that fasting is an expression and exercise of faith. It is making a decision of your will each day to continue with your fast. That is why it is important to make a commitment and have a purpose as you begin a season of fasting and prayer.

Fasting is a “spiritual discipline”  – you choose to set aside a special time to focus on God knowing that He will honor it. There may be days during a fast that you do not “feel” much at all, but you know as you spend time in the Word, pray, and worship the Holy Spirit is at work.

You cannot judge what God is doing in your life by someone else’s experience. While there are biblical principles and promises that relate to fasting, you must remember it is God who is at work in YOU, (Phil. 1:6); and what He wants to accomplish in your life is different than anyone else, even your closest friend.

We are all at different places on our “course” (2 Timothy 4:6 KJV), and our callings are different. Do not become frustrated or discouraged when your fasting experience does not match someone else’s. God is at work in you but, His purpose for you is different, His work in you is specialized.

Most of the time we are not even aware of all that God is doing or has done until some time after the completion of a time of prayer and fasting. Here is what you can be sure of – God is at work right NOW, doing more than you know, or feel.

God honors fasting because it is an expression and exercise of faith – and faith honors God!

 

Empower 21 – Day 9

Biblical Benefits of Fasting and Payer – (Adapted from a sermon by Dale Shields)

1. Produces spiritual clarity and sensitivity.

  • 2 Chronicles 20:2-4
  • 2 Chronicles 20:13-14

2. Brings brokenness and repentance.

  • Joel 2:13-14

3. Brings personal breakthroughs.

  • 1 Samuel 1:7

4. Brings deliverance from spiritual strongholds.

  • Isaiah 58:6
  • Daniel 10:12-13
  • Esther 4:15-16
  • Matthew 17:21

5. Brings the release of blessings, help, and God’s power to our family and friends.

  • Joel 2:18-20
  • Joel 2:28

6. It’s a practical way to preset our bodies to God.

  • Romans 12:1

7. Helps us discipline our appetites.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:27

Benefits of fasting and praying as a participant in the Empower 21 ministry.

  • Multiplied Kingdom influence. You are NOT fasting alone. You are partnering with thousands of other believers.
  • Mutual encouragement to continue. When and if you get weary or discouraged you can call someone else who is participating and receive encouragement.
  • Many testimonies of breakthrough and blessing. You are part of the release of God’s power all across Virginia.
  • Virginia Church of God becomes a movement of ministry and miracles. Something spiritual and supernatural happens as a result of our partnership these 21 days.

This list of benefits is not exhaustive but illustrative of the benefits of our Empower 21 ministry.  Thank you for your partnership and your participation.  Together we are building the Kingdom of God in Virginia.


Empower 21 – Day 8

Information for this post adapted from Bill Bright’s: Basic Steps To Successful Fasting and Prayer.

How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success.  By following some basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.

Step 1:  Set Your Objective

Why are you fasting?

In addition to determining your objectives personally ask God to lead you into His objectives for your life/ministry.  This will enable you to pray specifically and strategically.

Step 2: Make Your Committment

The Empower 21 ministry is designed with a bend toward the Daniel Fast.  However, there is personal and pastoral discretion in how long you fast and what kind of fast you undertake.  Making a specific commitment will help sustain you when you are tempted to abandon it.

Step 3: Prepare Yourself Spiritually and Physically

  • Begin with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition (Galatians 5:16-17).
  • Focus on God and His attributes (Psalms 48:9-10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
  • Confess any sin the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance (1 John 1:9).
  • Ask God to fill/re-fill you with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
  • Eat smaller meals before you begin your fast.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Step 4: Expect Results

  • The Lord will give your fresh, new spiritual insight.
  • Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened.
  • You will see answers to prayer.
  • You will be refreshed mentally, spiritually, and physically.
  • You will be positioned to receive blessings and breakthrough.

Remember to visit http://www.awake21.org and participate in their virtual conference.  You will hear 3 speakers daily giving a devotional on fasting.

 

 

Empower 21 – Day 7

Many of you reading today’s blog are concluding the first week of our fast. A lot of you are participating in your very first fast. Congratulations!

Empower 21 is designed for churches  and individuals to participate according to their own discretion. What is important is that we participate at some level. Most are doing a Daniel Fast, others are doing a liquid fast, and still others are doing a combination fast.

There are churches and pastors outside our state who are participating in a fast using the resource materials we provided to Virginia pastors. I am thrilled that we are able to resource pastors beyond our state borders.  We are all partners in ministry building the Kingdom in our places of assignment.

Several pastors have communicated with me wonderful testimonies of what God is doing in their churches during the first week of this fast.  One of the greatest encouragements during a fast, is to hear testimonies of how God is working in lives and churches.  God is always doing more than we know however, it is important to testify about those things we do know He is doing.

One of the greatest benefits of a season of fasting and prayer is that we are less distracted and more discerning as it relates to hearing God. I want to encourage you  to “listen to hear” what God wants to say to you this week.  I use the phrase “listen to hear” because it denotes intentionality and implies that we will respond to what we hear.

As you and I respond to the word of the Lord, He uses us to cause His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

With great anticipation and a spirit of thanksgiving lets move into this second week of Empower 21 and see what God has in store for us this week.