Fasting for your Breakthrough

Every year our church is encouraged toward a type of fast.  Now fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose!  It is not a diet, or a popular health craze, it is a Biblical form of seeking God, and believing God for a breakthrough.  Fasting is an act of Faith!

There are multiple types of fasts mentioned in the Bible.  They include:

  • Full Fast (no water or food)
  • Liquid Fast (no food)
  • Partial Fast (Refraining from certain foods)
  • Interval Fast (fasting for part of the day, i.e., fasting during work hours, only having dinner)

Many of the prominent men and women of Scripture are mentioned in the Bible fasted. As they pursued and believe God for answer to prayer, individuals like Moses, David, Esther, Elijah, Peter, Paul and of course Jesus himself.  One of these Old Testament figures who provides some insight into his fasts is the prophet Daniel.

It was Daniel who was fighting for his life as a young man in a hostile land, and refused to eat the King’s meat.  It was Daniel who prayed to God for the interpretation of a dream and fasted (along with his fellow Israelites).  It was Daniel who fasted when he received a dream that disturbed him so much that he went on a 21 Day partial fast for insight and meaning to the dream.  Here are 2 such instances as recorded by Daniel, himself:

  • Daniel 1:12, which states, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.”
  • Daniel 10: 2-3, which says, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

Each time Daniel or any of the others already mentioned fasted, it was for the purpose of a breakthrough.  God was taking them to the next level, and the fast was a part of their preparation.  Two groups of people I would like to briefly address:

  1. Those who have already started to fast:  If you have already started to fast, and are struggling to complete it, you are in good company.  Fasting is not easy, but this spiritual discipline will release God plans and purposes like nothing else.  Don’t give up, you can make it.  After the first 7 days, most of the strange bodily experiences (headaches, muscle aches, runny nose…) will have ceased.
  2. Those of you who are considering a fast:  If you are not already fasting, and are considering if you should, let me assure you and encourage you… YOU CAN DO IT.  Fasting, along with prayer, will take your life, your family, your career, and your health to the next level.

It is time to dethrone King Stomach, and re-Throne King Jesus!  It is time to take your walk with the Lord to the next level.  It is time to believe God for that BREAKTHROUGH that has worried you, or consumed your mind.  It is time to activate your Faith and Fast!

 

5 Must-Haves for Every Week

Each year, many of us set new goals to spend time in contemplative prayer, and seek to move both our lives, and missions forward.  As I have established FAITH Goals for the New Year, there are 5 items that must be in every spiritual leader’s schedule to remain healthy and whole!

Not one of these items will ever gain recognition or accolades.  They are the private decisions that breed public success.  Examine your weekly schedule according to these criteria.

  1. Personal Meals with Family:  Nothing prioritizes family like time at the table eating.  Now I must confess, the older the children have become, the more challenging it has become.  However, your family is worth it.
  2. Intimate time with Spouse:  This doesn’t happen naturally or by accident.  It doesn’t happen in front of a TV binge watching on Netflix.  We have been formed with the capacity to be Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically intimate.  In marriage, all three are provided. For those who are SINGLE, I would encourage you to focus on the Emotional and Spiritual intimacy.  While physically intimacy at a sexual level isn’t possible, there are healthy options (i.e., manicure, massage, etc…).
  3. Create Space to Listen to the Lord:  Many have written in depth about prayer, bible study, and other spiritual disciplines.  Suffice to say here, there is no substitute to time.  However, let me caution you according to my own mistakes.  Time must not only be spent listening to the voice of God’s Spirit about your career or ministry, take time to listen to what God is say to your spirit concerning your own soul, relationships, and family.  This time must be created!
  4. Intentionally & Personally Investment:  Every spiritual leader, no matter the level or size of our ministry must intentionally and personally invest.  Our calling demands that we invest in 1-Leaders that God has already entrusted to us; 2-Followers that God has called us to lead; and 3-Unbelievers who we are called to reach.  We are still to do the work of an evangelist.
  5. Investment in Self:  As my friend John Palmer says, “Self-Care is not Selfish!”  May this be a year that you value your own life, as much as God does.  He redeems you Body-Mind-Spirit.  May you invest in your body through movement/exercise, in your mind through emotional health and intellectual engagement, and in your spirit through God’s TRUTH.

Each week, as you prioritize your schedule, be sure to schedule your priorities.

Breakthrough Living

Some years ago my car stalled out in a mall parking lot.  Although there were cars and people everywhere, I felt like I was stuck in the wilderness.  I was 16 years old, driving my parents Ford Escort Wagon.  So, I opened the hood of my car pretending like I knew what I was looking at.  I wiggled a few wires and stared aimlessly for a few minutes with my hand on my chin.  Thankfully, a kind older gentleman read the sign written on my forehead that read “CLUELESS!”  He offered to jump-start my car with his truck.  Within a few minutes, he connected the cables and the transfer of power took place.

Have you ever found yourself stuck emotionally, physically, spiritually, or relationally.  Do you find yourself “stalled out” in some arena of life?  Are you wondering how to jump-start your life with fresh power, energy and enthusiasm?

In my new book, THE 5 SHIFTS, the first chapter helps to identify where you are at and where you want to go.  I wrote it with the hope that the Holy Spirit could direct your steps toward your Promised Land!

ANSWER THIS 1 QUESTION:

If you woke up tomorrow and were no longer stuck, what would be different… how would you feel… what results would you see?

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As 2017 comes to a close, and a New Year begins, it is the ideal time to both reflect and project.  Let’s begin to believe God to lead us out of the wilderness, and into the Promised Land He has already purchased and provided.

Breakthrough living is forward living.  It is believing God for ALL His promises, while at the same time living with a content heart.  It is identifying where you are, and where God is leading.  It is attentively listening to the voice of God’s Spirit.  Breakthrough living is being grateful for God’s great REDEMPTION, yet believing Him for the great POSSESSION.

IT IS TIME TO MAKE A SHIFT!