Setting the Course for 2011- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

Setting the Course for 2011

Setting the Course for 2011

The Course:

There is something you can do this month that will set the course for what God does in your life throughout 2011 — something that will bring you closer to God and release His wisdom, guidance and blessing in every area of your life.

Corporately fasting in January is much the same precept as praying in the morning to establish the will of God for the entire day. If we will pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Are there things you are aching for God to do in your life? Maybe you’ve been praying about them but it seems there has been no answer.

Fasting takes prayer to a higher level of fulfillment!

When you fast, you embark on a spiritual journey that will change your life. Not only are you more likely to get your prayers answered, you will draw closer to God than ever before.

The First

Up until a few years ago, I – like so many other Christians – overlooked the significance of fasting.  I believed in giving God the first of my day, the first of my week and the first of my income, but I was  missing a vital element: the first of my year.

Prior to that time, I fasted occasionally…when I felt a need to draw close to God, but fasting wasn’t a regular part of my lifestyle, like prayer and giving. Since I’ve made fasting a part of the beginning of each year and a part of my lifestyle throughout the year, I’ve seen God’s hand of blessing in unprecedented ways.

The Desire

Many people fear the hunger pains that occur during the first few days of a fast.  With the mere mention of the word “fast” stomachs begin to grumble and growl. But this feared deterrent is actually a welcomed friend.

Thoughts of food can be the very things that spur a faster on to continual prayer.  During a fast, desires for food turn my day into constant communion with God. Each time I feel myself longing for food, I tell the Lord, “I want you more!  I am hungrier for you!!” I believe you would agree that there are things we desire more than food:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

The Reward

Jesus promises to reward those who practice fasting in the right way with the right motives.

”When you fast…your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).

The theme of Matthew chapter six is three main Christian duties: giving, praying and fasting.

Most Christians would accept without question that it’s our obligation to give and pray. But it is equally our obligation to fast. And just as God promised to reward those who give and pray, He has guaranteed a reward to those who fast!

The Ability

As we begin this New Year, I urge you to prayerfully consider giving God twenty-one days of fasting and prayer. Respond obediently to what the Holy Spirit tells you.  If He leads you to fast, reply with a simple, “Yes sir.” Don’t worry about how you are to fast…or whether you can make it twenty-one days.  All He wants is your obedient reply.  He will give you His ability to follow through.

“For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants” (Philippians 2:13, TLB).

The Holy Spirit will be faithful to call you to the fast He has ordained for you – a full fast, a Daniel fast, a partial fast…or a mixture of all three. He will give you specific direction.  All He wants now is your simple commitment to obey–made only in faith. God will honor your obedience and trust in Him. He will give you wisdom, direction, strength and grace for the fast.

The Invitation

I would like to personally invite you to join me on a twenty-one day fast beginning January 14th. (We are launching Pursuit 21 the evening of 13th at Passionate Pursuit, with most beginning their fast on Friday, the 14th.)

No matter where you live, you can join us–even if you can’t travel to join us in person.  (When I first fasted twenty-one days, it was with Free Chapel in Georgia.  I never traveled there, and never met with the group in person, but God used their corporate fast to incorporate fasting into my lifestyle.) Beginning and maintaining a fast is much easier when we join with others.

Mark January 14th, 2011 on your calendar and prepare to be blessed!

I’m excited for what God has in store for us individually and corporately as we begin 2011 with fasting and prayer! Join me in the pursuit and let’s experience God’s promised reward.

“…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis added).

Question:Would you like to set a course of blessing for the ENTIRE year? Would you like to reap rewards in April, May, June…even into December because you dedicated the first to God in January through a fast?


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