Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 3 Focus: Church

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 3 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 3: Church

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be your church, Turning Point Apostolic Ministries. We often envision our set of priorities, God, Family, and Church, in terms of a 3-tiered structure, or a ladder of sorts. Our structure is different at TPAM, it’s set up more like concentric circles.

The Outer Ring = CHURCH

The Inner Ring = FAMILY

The Core = GOD

We sing the song by Israel Houghton, “Jesus at the Center of my life…” and that’s truly how we must live our lives, with Him at the core of everything we do, and everything we are. The closer you get to the center, the higher your priority. Everything emanates from the core, or the nucleus of our lives; GOD. Everything revolves around Jesus! When we keep Him at the center, everything else that flows from the center, will be properly aligned.

Each day this week will focus on a facet of our church. Take the time to prayerfully read through each passage, and unify with us on each of the various aspects of the “Outer Ring” that encompasses our lives.

Monday – Leadership: This topic is the first one of the week intentionally because as is often stated, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Without strong leadership, the focus of the remaining week’s prayers will be in vain. We must have strong, dedicated, focused, and highly committed leadership at TPAM. Leaders must always be willing to both lead, and to serve. Laser focus on the things that matter to our lives, and our walk with God, is essential.

Leadership includes our directors, teachers, team members, deacons, elders, and our pastors and their wives. Their roles cannot be overstated. They’re under constant attack in their own lives by the enemy, and must have a hedge prayed around them, and their own families as they seek to serve the church and their community, and yet maintain the delicate balance of family life.

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:14, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Jeremiah 3:15, Romans 10:14-15, Ephesians 5:11-16, 1 Timothy 2:1-8, 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Hebrews 13:15 – 18, 1 Peter 5:1-6

Prayer: Pray for wisdom, discernment, and for vision for the leadership at TPAM. Pray for a hedge of protection around our leaders’ families, relationships, health, homes, and finances. Pray for a balance of boldness and sensitivity towards the body of Christ. Pray for awareness of the times, and for courage to hold the line of holiness and separation from the world and its influence.

Tuesday – Members: The Bible explicitly teaches we are members of one body, the body of Christ. That comes with a diversity of gifts, callings, abilities, and talents. No one is more important than the other, but we are all at different levels of personal growth in God, nevertheless, He loves us all the same, and we all serve an important function in the body. There is room for everyone’s gift in God’s Church, but there is NO room for bitterness, unforgiveness, rivalry, jealousy, or gossip in the body of Christ. We need to encourage, uplift, support, and even “submit to” one another. And, most importantly, pray for each other.

Scriptures: Matthew 16:18, John 13:34-35, Romans 12, Ephesians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:7-21

Prayer: Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that God prosper and bless the church body. Seek God for ways to be a source of encouragement, growth, and support. Pray against the spirits that cause division. Pray for God to soften your heart toward anyone you have had a misunderstanding with. Pray for a spirit of humility, servitude, and love one toward another. Pray for the spirit of revival to stay steady in our midst, and for us to explode with growth in this new year!

Wednesday – Future Members:
As you look around our sanctuary each service there are a number of empty chairs. Those empty chairs don’t necessarily represent just current missing members of TPAM, they represent members that have yet to make our church their home for spiritual growth. Don’t be discouraged by the empty chairs, see that as a place for us to plant future members. God promised that if we planted and watered, He would give the increase. Let’s pray in hope. Let’s do our part to evangelize, invite, cultivate, and disciple future members. Remember, when we preach and pray to the empty pews of our church, we’re preaching in faith to the future members of God’s great church!

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18 – 20, Acts 2:36-47, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, 1 Timothy 3:15, 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Titus 2

Prayer: Pray for God to open doors for you to win souls. Pray for opportunities to share the love of Christ. Pray for your family members, friends, co-workers, and those you interact with each day for your light to shine and for Christ to be in all of your conversations. Pray for in-roads to share Christ with someone each day. Pray for your sensitivity toward someone that needs love, joy, and hope. Pray for boldness to invite someone to your church. Pray for wisdom and words to tell someone about the Lord.

Thursday – Former Members: A tender spot for many of us, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, moms and dads, who have fallen prey either to worldly enticements and entertainment, or to false doctrine. It’s like a knife to the heart of a parent to watch their son or daughter backslide form the truth they’ve been taught from their childhood. It’s like a constant churning in your stomach at the thought of those who once contended for the faith, who have fallen back into a world that will use them, abuse them, and kick them to the curb. There’s nothing that hurts more than to see the pain and heartache they needless endure, because they refuse to turn their heart again to God. But, they are not without hope. There is still a chance for them to return. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Never quit praying. Never quit believing. Never quit looking for them to show up one Sunday. Like the father of the prodigal, look for them while they’re a great way off; they’re on their way. We have a Heavenly Father that is in hot pursuit of them, and will overtake them with His love and mercy!

Scriptures: 2 Samuel 21:8-10, Job 1:1-5, Jeremiah 3:22, Joel 2:27-32, Luke 15:11-32, Luke 18:1-8, Acts 2:38-39

Prayer: Never stop praying for your unbelieving family and friends. Pray for the spirit of tenacity like the widow woman and the unjust judge. Pray in faith and hope that your children will be restored to the faith. Pray for God’s mercy upon them. Pray for all of those who have gone out from us, that God will once again tenderize their hearts, and that they will be restored to the family of God…before it’s too late.

Friday – Home Missions/World Missions: Our mission is critical. Our church is in the middle a tumultuous time. Workers are needed now more than ever, both at home and abroad. We must strive to be reaching the lost at all cost. God didn’t call us to be rich and powerful. He called us to reach our generation; to reach our world! Success in the world’s eyes fades. Success in God’s Eyes is eternal. Only what’s done for Christ will last. We need pastors and preachers, evangelists, Sunday School teachers, and worship leaders. We need missionaries, church planters, and new pioneers of the faith. We must have another generation of Apostolics coming up beside us and behind us. We ought to be inspiring our children and grandchildren to aspire to the work of the ministry. Plant the seeds early. The harvest is ready. Are you raising the next generation that will be changing the world? Or, have you taught your family to settle for worldly pursuits of fame, fortune and popularity? Challenge yourself today to align your priorities toward things eternal that cannot be taken away from you.

Scriptures: Matthew 7:13, Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:1-3, Luke 10:42, 1 Corinthians 3:9, Hebrews 13:1-3, 3 John 1:5-8

Prayer: Pray for wisdom to raise the next generation of Apostolics. Pray for future pastors, teachers, soul-winners in our faith. Pray for God to call future missionaries. And, pray for the works over all over America, and throughout the World. Pray for the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all organizations that are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for the World Missions Department of the ALJC. Pray for all of our missionaries, especially those in Europe. Pray for new works to start up all over the globe. Pray this End Time Harvest surpasses anything we’ve ever seen.

Saturday – Rochester:
Our beloved Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Macomb County, and beyond, need the Lord. But, before they’ll ever receive what we’re preaching, they need to know we love them, and most importantly, God loves them. We need to seek new and creative ways of engaging our communities. We need to be a light that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden. God planted us in Rochester, and Oakland County, for His Divine Purpose. He’s given us a burden to reach them, love them, and introduce them to Jesus Christ. Let’s not be complacent with past success. Let’s move forward in Jesus Name!

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Corinthians 9:8-14, Jude 1:17-23, James 2:1-13, 1 Peter 4:7-19

Prayer: Pray the light of God’s love through us intensifies so strongly that our community cannot help but be drawn to it. Pray for God to reveal ways in which we can better serve, and demonstrate both our love and His love for our city. Pray God grant us a permanent church-home in Rochester/Rochester Hills that will be built as a refuge for our lost and hurting generation, a beacon of Christ’s Love to all; a place where Jesus is the center of it all!

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 2 Focus: Family

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 2 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 2: Family

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be on our relationship with FAMILY. From the onset of our church we set our priorities; GOD, FAMILY, CHURCH. We know when we have a strong relationship with God, and a strong family at home, we’ll have a strong church. It’s important however, as we pray and fast, that we ensure we don’t isolate these (3) elements from each other; each one is dependent upon the other.

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday – Our Homes

Scriptures: Joshua 24:14 – 15, Ephesians 2:19 – 22

Focus: Make the choice today. Be intentional. Make your home a sanctuary. Our homes must be dedicated to serving God. We are of the “household” of God; our homes should signify this in every way. This holds true for married couples, singles, and widows/widowers.

Singles – These principles and focuses are not unique to married couples. A single person’s home should be just as much of an example of godliness and holiness. In fact, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:32 – 35, a husband or a wife, if they’re not godly, can be a “distraction” from doing what God has called you to do.

Prayer: Seek the Lord for direction for your overall home. Ask God to reveal to you ways in which your home may better represent Him, His Kingdom, and His perfect will for you and your family. Pray for God’s protection and provision over your family, your home, and our health. 

Tuesday – Our Children

Scriptures: Genesis 18:16 – 19, Deut. 11:18 – 25, Psalm 127, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:1 – 4

Focus: Godly Children – Godly parents raise their children to love the Lord and be faithful to Him in every facet of life. Your role as parents, aunts, uncles, mentors, leaders, cannot be overstated. Sure the church must do its part, but it’s incumbent upon all of us to raise our children in the fear of the Lord. Encourage your children to join you on this fast, and instruct them about these scriptures. Children, honor and obey your father, mother, teachers, ministers, and leaders.

Singles – Just because you are single does not diminish your part as a role model. Our children need to know how to live godly lives both as a married or a single. Step up to the challenge. You can demonstrate for them profound lessons on trusting in God for all things even when facing them as a single adult. Your role is just as vital as any other in our church. Pray for our children, pray for those you mentor and lead, and perhaps, before you know it, you’ll be praying for one of your own one day. 

Prayer: Seek God’s direction for your child’s future. Through prayer, filter each decision you make for your children, nephews, nieces, and students through the perfect Will of God. Children should pray for God’s favor, protection, guidance, and wisdom. And, children should pray for their parents, their teachers, leaders, ministers, and pastor.


Wednesday – A Godly Husband

Scriptures: Genesis 2:18 – 24, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:21, 25 – 32, Colossians 3:19, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Peter 3:7

Focus: Godly Husbands – We’re commanded to leave and cleave as husbands, making your relationship with your wife one of your highest priorities. We’re commanded to love, and even “submit” ourselves to each other. Usurping the Word of God as your weapon, or endeavoring to demand respect vs. command respect is a recipe for a broken relationship. Seek to be the priest of our home, the godly example of your home, and your wife’s best and ablest protector. Never let anyone or anything come between your relationship with your wife, regardless of how noble the cause. Your relationship should mirror that of Christ and His Church.

Single Men – you’re not off the hook here. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future spouse, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mrs. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for godly wisdom and sensitivity as your wife’s husband. Pray for God to reveal ways in which you can grow closer to your wife. Pray both that you are the humble and godly husband she needs, and that she be the godly and tender wife that you need.

Thursday – A Godly Wife

Scriptures: Genesis 3:15, Proverbs 31, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:22 – 24, Colossians 2:18, 1 Peter 3:1 – 6

Focus: Godly Wives – While Eve is often blamed for partaking the forbidden fruit, she didn’t do it alone. But in the middle of God’s Divine judgment, women are given a promise that a redeemer (Gen. 3:15) will come from them and her seed “would bruise the head” of Satan! That’s prophetic of the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Women, you are the continuation of God’s Divine Creation. You were literally created with a profound purpose; to be a help “meet” or suitable for her husband. What he lacks you supply. What you lack, he supplies. This is not a 50/50 proposal; rather it is a 100/100 proposal. While we all need love, men are told to love their wives, while wives are told to submit, or have respect for, your husband.

Single Women – you guessed it, you’re not off the hook either. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future husband, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mr. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as a husband’s partner in your home and over your family. Seek to be the godly example to the younger women, and may your prayers be your family’s most vocal advocate before God’s Throne!

Friday – Our Finances

Scriptures: Leviticus 27:30, Proverbs 8:3 – 10, Proverbs 10:22, Proverbs 19:17, Micah 3:8 – 12, Luke 6:38, Hebrews 7:4 – 10

Focus: When giving to the Work of the Lord, be it your local church, or foreign missions, you’re not simply putting your money in a man’s hand, you’re returning a tenth of what God has blessed you with. Admit it, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not destroyed. We have what we do, and can achieve what we do, because of God daily loading us with benefits. Acknowledge Him as your sole/soul provider by returning your tithes and offerings unto Him, and see if He won’t open the windows of heaven’s blessings and pour them out upon you and your entire household.

Prayer: Pray for a renewed sense of God’s goodness in your life. Pray God increase you in direct proportion to your generous heart. Pray God create in you a conduit through which blessings will flow so that you in turn will be blessed and can bless others.

Saturday – Our Work

Scriptures: Psalm 37:5, Psalm 75:6, Psalm 90:17, Deuteronomy 28:1 – 14, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 2:14 – 15, Colossians 3:23, 2 Thess. 3:10 – 12, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7

Focus: We must never forget the source from whom all our blessings flow. Our work will never prosper without God’s Divine blessing upon it. Our careers are important, how we make a living is critical to our survival, but “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Endeavor to be a wise steward with your talents, your giftings, and abilities. Use them for the glory of God and He will promote you in due time. And, remember nothing you do for Christ is a waste. He always rewards the faithful.

Prayer: Seek God first in all things. Ask for wisdom (James 1:5 – 8) and favor in the right areas of your career, your education, and your occupation. Pray for favor in the eyes of those you work for and with. Pray you properly represent Christ in the workplace and your profession. Pray for a spirit of integrity, honor, and excellence. Do not pray for wealth as much as for wisdom to be a steward with the blessings God has already granted you.

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 1 Focus: God

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 1 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 1: God

Scope: Our focus for 7 days will be on our relationship with God. We will focus on aspects that will draw us closer to Him, by utilizing God’s Word to help us incorporate repentance, renewed focus on set times of prayer, creating a family altar, purging ourselves of fleshly things that over time have crept in unawares. Setting the stage here is critical for the success of the remaining 2 weeks. To optimize the effects of this fast, please avoid the usage of worldly media, social media, and entertainment f or this entire week. Give it all to God!

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday
Scripture: Exodus 20:1 – 17, Deuteronomy 6:1 – 9
Focus: Keep God FIRST in your life. Confess and repent for things you’ve allowed to challenge His Divine Authority. Renew your Family Altar.
Prayer: Pray for courage to keep God first despite worldly pressures. Pray for strength to overcome fleshly appetites and desires.

Tuesday
Scripture: Luke 12:25 – 34, Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 12:2
Focus: Godly pursuits. Fight worldly distractions. Build solid trust and faith in God.
Prayer: Pray for strength to entrust every facet of your life unto God. Pray to build your life on things eternal.

Wednesday
Scripture: Mark 12:28 – 30, Matthew 15:8, 1 Peter 1:13, Jeremiah 24:7
Focus: Loving God with all your soul, mind, heart, strength
Prayer: Pray for opportunities to devote every aspect of your being to loving God.

Thursday
Scripture: Micah 6:6-8, 1 John 4:16, Amos 5:14 – 15, 1 Corinthians 14:33
Focus: Simplicity in your walk with God. Love the things God loves. Focus on the things God focuses on.
Prayer: Pray against confusion and complication of God’s plan in your life.

Friday
Scripture: Malachi 3:16, Deut. 8:11 – 20, Hosea 4:6, Jeremiah 2:32, Revelation 2:4
Focus: Rememberance of God in all things. Not leaving your “first love.”
Prayer: Pray for awareness of God in your life; to always be mindful of Him.

Saturday
Scripture: 1 Thess. 5:18, James 4:14, Romans 12:1 – 2, James 4:7
Focus: Sacrifice, Thanksgiving, Submission to God and His perfect Will
Prayer: Pray for a new revelation of godly sacrifice. Express Thankfulness; Seek a new found devotion to God’s perfect will in all your life!

21-Day Fast (Days 18-21) Feasting on the Fast

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14

12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Waiting on God

As I reflect over the past 21 days, I can’t help but criticize myself for my attitude during moments of the fast. I deliberately tried to absorb myself in the fast. Trying to glean as much as I could spiritually, while denying myself physically. I would catch myself though, wanting to hasten the fast. You know, “get it over with!” This was something of an endurance test to be sure, but I had a difficult time making the distinction of enduring the sacrifice, while enjoying it at the same time. If that’s too deep, let me say it like this. I have been known to “rush” things along in my life. Even as I type this, I’m in a hurry to get out how it is I’m feeling. Fasting forced me to wait. I had to wait out the hunger pangs (some people call them hunger pains…I see why). I had to wait on the presence of the Lord to sustain me. I couldn’t rush the clock, I wasn’t living meal to meal. When I would have loved to have been “waited on,” I was doing all the waiting on the Lord.

Don’t Dismiss the Fragments

There are many insights God has given me on this fast some of which will surface later. But when I took my first bite after the fast was over, it dawned on me how good each morsel of food tasted. Even the fragments, or crumbs that I would have ordinarily dismissed and shoveled into my mouth without thinking, tasted delicious. Part of the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 wasn’t JUST the fact that he fed 5000 men (plus women and children). Don’t forget, there were 12 baskets of fragments that were picked up AFTER everyone was fed. So, I’ve learned during the fast, that yes, the meals are wonderful, but don’t dismiss the fragment; smaller things that are still quite tasty and deserve to delight my spiritual taste buds. They too work to sustain me, and are deliberate blessings God intends for me. I shouldn’t dismiss them as inconsequential. I should scoop them up, and savor each blessing, no matter how small.

It’s Not Over

I will not be able to close the chapter on this fast for a long time. I thought once I had eaten, I would be able to say that I have arrived at the end of a journey. I can’t say that. In fact, not only is it NOT over, it’s just begun. Laying aside your flesh for several weeks like that can leave an indelible mark on you spiritually, if you allow it. I’m going to allow it.

Paul said he didn’t consider himself to have apprehended perfection, but he was still pressing. While at one time I thought the end of the fast meant the end of a journey. I now know today, as odd as this sounds, I’ll be feasting on the effects of this fast for a long time to come. This fast has set my journey off on the right trajectory for 2008. I’m going to forget all the failings, faults, and trials of 2007, and I’m going to do what Paul did…I’m going to press on toward perfection.

21-Day Fast (Day 8) NO TRESPASSING

It’s Not My Body – I’m SOLD-OUT!
During a fast it is difficult to avoid thinking about the effects that fasting has on our body. Well at least we think it’s our OWN body. With the grumbling stomach, the fatigued muscles, the loss of body mass, and just the general feeling of exhaustion, we’re quick to take ownership. But, upon reflection and study we find a passage of scripture in I Corinthians 6:13…

Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Reading further in I Corinthians, Paul goes on to hit even closer to home…

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

NO TRESPASSING
So as we continue to fast, pray, and seek God’s face, it’s a good reminder to allow God to take ownership of the body, the very Temple of the Holy Ghost. Not until we begin to fast are we truly cognizant of just how many things we, as the body of Christ, allow to trespass on His property.

I think it would behoove every Christian to post a “NO TRESPASSING” sign on their lives. This works for several reasons. One, it reminds us, that yes, God granted us use of this body, but it is temporal. So giving way to things that contaminate our temples violates God’s sacred trust in US! Secondly, our enemy is well aware of this “NO TRESPASSING” sign even as he dares to tread on the property for which Christ gave his life. When this happens, God is prepared to aptly defend his territory. After all, He gave the most precious thing He could, His only begotten son, that we might have life, and have that life more abundantly. I’m reminded of one of my favorite scriptures in James 2:19 – Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Your Body Does Matter
So many people feel it’s inconsequential what happens to their body. That’s not the way God sees it. If that were true, then what happened to Christ’s body would have been inconsequential too. But Peter says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:24). Christ loves us too much to allow us to be banished to a fiery pit for eternity. Do you wonder if Hell is real or not? There’s no way God would have went to the lengths He did to save us if it were not!

God’s made a great investment in you, and He’s prepared to defend it. Why don’t WE do what WE can to live a righteous and holy life? We can bolster that defense, by avoiding the deadly things of this world that could contaminate us and ultimately destroy us.
 

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

How Do I Feel?
I still have my moments. Literally positioning my hands to type, my arms become fatigued. Climbing stairs feels like I have 50 lbs. attached to each foot. Maintaining my liquids has been key though. Spiritually, the Lord is fueling my thoughts continually. When I get in that realm, I’m motivated to go farther. I’m definitely in uncharted territory. I’m currently wiping off my own personal “NO TRESPASSING” sign. It’s gotten a bit weathered, and the words a bit faded over time. I want my enemy to know beyond the shadow of a doubt when he’s overstepped his boundaries. All I can say is, he better be prepared to suffer the consequences! If God be for me (and He is), who can be against me?

21-Day Fast (Day 7) Eating Like a Bird

As I prayed today, I realized that fasting is not new to me in another sense. Spiritually, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve fasted for way too long! And I can’t say, in all honesty, that I could have before this fast really appreciated these words by Job in chapter 23 verses 10-12…

 10But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.    11My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

   12Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Eating Like a Bird 

When I read this passage in Job, I could not help but envision a tiny bird, whose sight is limited, and its ability to provide for itself impossible. Suddenly, as the mother bird arrives at the nest, the chirping babies vie for the attention of the necessary food. Little by little, the birds are able to gain strength. With each meal, their tiny bodies fill in with their first flight soon in their wings. They don’t know what journeys lie ahead for them, they just know, they desperately need this food, and not until they mature enough, will they be able to take flight.

As we journey on this fast, our spiritual vision too is limited at best. Without the food that we’ve grown accustomed to physically, it has heightened our sense spiritually. And so like the small birds, we begin to chirp (or pray). Suddenly, when WE need it the most, our Heavenly Father swoops down and gives us even more than our necessary food.

It’s still quite early in the fast, but as I cherish each spiritual meal with the Master, I’m excited about the journeys that lie ahead. Physically, I can’t feel the strength, but spiritually, I feel my wings beginning to surge even as I find the comfort of being beneath shadow of Almighty’s wings.

Psalm 91:1-4

   1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

   2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

   3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

   4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

How Do I Feel? 

For today anyway, I feel as though I’ve lost my pre-occupation with food. That doesn’t mean that it’s not an ongoing issue in my fast, but I’m coming to grips with it. My hunger has somewhat subsided. I have to say I was waiting for this moment in the fast, and it arrived late yesterday. I’m still weak mind you, but as a whole, I’m feeling as normal as can be expected. I think I let my self dehydrate. Once I loaded up on water, I was amazed at the turnaround physically that I experienced. The hunger pangs are not as frequent, and I rested much better last night.

Praise the Lord for his sustaining and keeping power!

21-Day Fast (Day 6) The 3 P’s – Plan, Process, Product

The Student Teaches the Teacher

If you’ve stopped by our News Page, you will have stumbled on the latest entry from me about my son Nathan preaching last Friday (1.04.08). He did an excellent job in the small amount of time he was allotted. He came out of the gate with a very inspiring and motivational thought about the 3 P’s of living for God. Sitting in the audience it dawned on me that my son was actually delivering God’s Word to, not just the church in general, but to his dad. Even as I write it I’m deeply touched that God would inspire my son to deliver something that would bless me… his father.

The 3 P’s of Living for God

Not to worry, I’m not going to re-hash is sermon entirely, but I had to share this as an entry today because the words he spoke to me rang ever so true this day, the hardest day of my fast so far.

Plan

God has a plan for each of us Nathan said. Not exactly a deep thought but reassuring nonetheless due to its context. I think at times fasting is a bit extreme, especially 21 days, but I’m following an ancient biblical principle and God doesn’t just throw things in His Word for the sake of taking up space. So I trust God that there is in fact a Plan behind this entire idea of starving yourself and feeling weak, worn, and depleted. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Process

Ah, here’s where some of us stumble. The best laid plans often fall short because they remain just that; plans. They’re either drawings, diagrams, or some sort of strategic battle plan. It all looks good on paper doesn’t it? The planning stage of any project seems to be where I love to spend the most time. I try to encompass every facet. I try not to leave any stone unturned, and to take into consideration every foreseeable outcome. The execution phase or process, is the acid-test. Will the plan hold up once the actions begin to manifest? Here’s where my trust in God is paramount. Lacking faith or trust at this moment will lead to failure, not on God’s part, but on mine. So as they say in show business, “The show must go on!” I will be like Paul, I will I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Product

Here’s where some serious rejoicing can come in. Job was indeed a man that went through the process without the advantage that we have of knowing what in the world was going on. We can read back over his story and garner a harvest of thought and encouragement. Imagine the trust and tenacity Job chose to exhibit during the darkest time of his life. He said this in the midst of it all, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Job 14:14. He didn’t have the Word at his disposal as we do because his trial preceded Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. At least we can seek solace in the scriptures, Job was actually living HIS scripture…for the first time!

Now consider II Corinthians 4:16 – For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Or, how about in Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

And finally, to sum it all up in I John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Indeed, what a product!

How Do I Feel? 

I like how Pastor put it yesterday, “I feel pretty puny!” I went to bed early last night (for me) at 8 p.m. and woke up at midnight wide awake. I decided to get up and see what the Lord wanted, and we had a great Bible study this morning until 2:30 a.m. When I woke up for work at 4:30, I felt fine for the first few minutes and the dizziness, nausea, and weakness was almost too much to bear. I pressed on anyway. I was greeted at work with a host of smells that nauseated me almost to the point of vomiting. I rushed to my office in time to rest and let it subside.

It appears that my sense of smell is in overdrive. I wasn’t aware that this sort of thing happens and it may not to everyone, but even the smell of my own cologne made me gag today. By 9 a.m. I was feeling as normal as one can feel after 6 days of not eating.

One other note. I mentioned that I was drinking 4-6 cups of herbal tea. Not anymore. I gag at the smell and the mere thought of the taste. I’m on strict water with Real Lemon added, either hot or cold.