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Fasting Day 20: Fresh Inspiration from the Archives

Fasting archives

Fasting Day Twenty Posts from the Archives:

  1. The Calvary Road, Part 3
  2. Fasting Day 20: Returning in Power, Part 4
  3. Fasting Day 20: Returning in Power, Part 5
  4. Fasting Day 20: Keeping It A Part of Your Lifestyle
  5. Fasting Day 20: Three Promised Results
  6. Repentance that Reaches the Heart
  7. 300+ Names, Titles, & Attributes Of The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit
  8. My God Is: Names and Attributes of God
  9. The I Am … For Your Every Need (1): In Christ Is…
  10. The I Am … For Your Every Need (2): Praise Party

 

Fasting Day 20: The Calvary Road, Part 3

Man carrying cross

What we need above all else is to see and savor the glory of God in Christ Jesus. More than financial provision, more than physical healing, more than mended relationships, more than success on our job, more than success in our ministries – we need to see and treasure God’s glory in Christ.

After all, it was as we beheld the glory of God in the gospel that we were saved (2 Cor. 4:4,6). Beholding the glory of God in His promises, we are being sanctified (2 Cor. 3:18). By “fixing our eyes on Jesus” and “looking not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” and setting “our minds on things that are above” we will finish our course, keep the faith and persevere to the end (Heb 12:2; 3:1; 2 Cor. 4:18; Col. 3:1). This is God’s will for us and His work in us:

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

If this is God’s will and work for us, why is fasting necessary?

We are so constituted as fallen human beings, Jesus says, that “the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things [even innocent things like food] enter in and choke the word,” which is meant to reveal to us the glory of God (Mark 4:19). Therefore the fight of faith and the battle to behold the glory of the Lord day by day is fought not only by feeding the soul on truth, but fasting, to put our appetites to the test, if necessary to death. [i] …

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Fasting Day 20: Returning in Power, Part 4

Jesus walking

 

When we fast and pray, God promises that our health will spring forth speedily and our influence will increase.

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you…”
Isaiah 58:8

When we enter God’s chosen fast, He promises:

1. Your healing shall spring forth speedily (v.8)

Do you want healing in your body? Would you like to make healthy choices in your eating this year? (See Fasting Day 18: Health and Healing.)

Daniel did not want to defile himself with the king’s food. As a result, he fasted. He and the other men who fasted with him were healthier & better nourished than the men who ate the king’s rich, royal food (see Daniel 1:15).

In Fasting for a Spiritual Breakthrough, Elmer Towns tells about a time when the students of Liberty University fasted and prayed for the healing of their Dean of Students, Vernon Brewer. …

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Fasting Day 20: Returning in Power, Part 5

 

Are you in a crisis, in need of God’s help? Do you need supernatural intervention on your job or in your business? Are you in a financial crisis? Do you need poverty to be Jesus walkingbroken in your life? Isaiah 58 contains amazing promises for those who fast and pray:

Then your light shall break forth like the morning…
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Isaiah 58: 8, 11

1. The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard (v.8).

One translation says, “The glory of the Lord will be your backer up.” Your influence grows after a fast and God comes behind you as your backer up. God says, “I’m backing this family. I’m backing this business. I’m backing this ministry because they have sought me in fasting and prayer.

When the enemy comes against you, God will say, “I’ve got your back and no weapon formed against you shall prosper” (see also Is. 54:17). …

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Fasting Day 20: Keeping It a Part of Your Lifestyle

Calendar Planning

There is only one more day left of Pursuit 21. Before we conclude the fast and resume normal eating, I’d like to ask you to prayerfully consider how you will keep fasting a part of your lifestyle in the coming year.

Being Intentional

For most of us, if we hadn’t been intentional and decided last year that we were going to begin a fast in January of this year, we never would have done it. I know I would not have.

If I would have waited until Day 1 of Pursuit 21 to decide whether or not I was going to fast, I never would have fasted. I would have been too attached to my food to choose fasting. However, because I made the commitment in advance, I began my fast on Day 1 of Pursuit 21 even though my flesh was not at all in the mood. And oh how thankful I am — on this side of Day 1 — that I made the commitment in advance and have had these glorious days with God in fasting and prayer.

My point is this: if you wait until June, July or August to decide how fasting and prayer will be a part of your lifestyle, you may miss a great opportunity. Consider and pray now about how God would have you incorporate fasting in the coming months. I encourage you to prayerfully put a date on the calendar. It does not mean that when God calls you to a unique season of fasting, you will not obey. It simply means that you have intentional plans for fasting to be a part of your lifestyle.

Like Praying and Giving

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “When you give,” “When you pray,” and “When you fast” (Mt. 6:2, 5, 16). He made it obvious that fasting is to be a regular part of the Christian life. He did not say “if you fast” but “when you fast.” We are to give as much focus and priority to fasting as we do to giving and praying.

We do not wait until after we’ve received a paycheck, paid all our bills and spent money on frivolous things to decide whether to tithe. No, tithing is a deliberate decision we make in advance. It’s practically on our calendar. We know that when we receive a paycheck, we will give the first ten percent to God.

We do not wait until tomorrow morning to decide whether or not we feel like praying. We know that scripture exhorts us to seek God first. Therefore, we set our alarm so that we wake early for prayer — so that we have time to spend with God before beginning the day’s activities. Prayer is essentially on our calendar, our agenda, for the next morning.

What if you were to treat fasting in the same manner? What if you made plans now for a regular time of fasting and prayer?

An Example

When the Shades of Grace team and I traveled to Romania to minister several years ago, our team stayed in the home of Liviu and Mary Neagoe. Immediately upon arriving, we sat down for dinner and a time to get to know each other. Within minutes, the topic of fasting came up. We quickly discovered that we were all fasting twenty-one days in January.

Conviction quickly sat in as Liviu mentioned that he also fasts the first two days of every month — before he pays bills or makes business decisions. He gives God the first two days of the month.

The Holy Spirit’s point was well taken. Up until then, I followed God’s leading for individual fasts, but I hadn’t been so intentional as to put fasting on my monthly calendar. In my new friend Liviu, God showed me a powerful example of one way we can be deliberate about fasting — one way we can be sure it is a part of our lifestyle. …

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Fasting Day 20: Three Promised Results

wheat as a result of seeds

Do you desire a fresh touch from God? Do you want your children to be anointed men and women of God? Are you suffering financially? The book of Joel holds three key insights for you.

1. Fasting Breaks Poverty

2. Fasting Frees Your Children

3. Fasting Makes God Recognizable

Fasting Breaks Poverty

In the book of Joel, the people experienced a famine caused by an invasion of locusts. Their fields were ruined and the ground was dried up. Poverty ran so deep that not only did they lose their current crop, they lost the seeds – the potential for the next season’s harvest as well.

“The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down for the grain has dried up” (Joel 1:17).

Is this you? Has the economy wreaked havoc in your business this year? Did you lose income last year…and not only that, but you don’t have seed – investment dollars – to invest in your business in order to generate income this year?

God said to “blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly” (Joel 2:15). After the fast, the threshing floors were full of new grain and the vats overflowed with new wine and oil. God repaid the years the locusts had eaten. The people had “plenty to eat” (see Joel 2:24-26). God gave them autumn and spring rains – He saw their crops through to abundant harvest. Is this what you desire for your life, your family, your business, your ministry?

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Repentance that Reaches the Heart

Hand reaching dollar heart

Could you be fasting and praying, yet your repentance hasn’t reached your whole heart? Yes! Don’t end your fast without fully returning to God in the following area.

Fasting is a Time of Returning to God

A Biblical fast is a time of returning to God with all of your heart. Joel 2 shows us this:

12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God…

There is a connection between fasting, repenting, and returning to God:

“Rend your heart … return to God” (v. 13).

It’s easy to rend garments and fake sincere obedience to God, but He looks on the heart! “Rend your heart,” God says.

Rend Your Heart

You can appear obedient to God on the outside, while idolatries are secretly claiming the affections and devotion of your heart … particularly when it comes to finances. You can fake sincere obedience … all the while God looks on the heart of the matter, your bank account.

A Biblical fast is a time of getting right with God in every area of our lives. When we fast and pray, we become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice, and consequently, more aware of sin and disobedience in our lives.

It’s good that we can now hear His voice more clearly, but we can’t simply let His convictions go unanswered. We must respond! We must repent! We must return! We must obey!

So I ask you simply:

  • Have you been listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit on issues pertaining to money?
  • Has He been convicting you of not honoring God with your tithe?
  • Have you ignored His gentle whispers?

If the purpose of fasting is to humble ourselves before God, then it is imperative that we allow our fast to bring us to repentance and obedience in our giving.

When You Give

Jesus said:

  • “When you pray …” (Mt. 6:5).
  • “When you fast …” (Mt. 6:16).

We’ve got that much down. Jesus didn’t say “if you fast,” or “if you pray.” He said “when“—He counted on us fasting and praying. Yes, yes, we’ve got that.

But there is a third “when” in that chapter. And it’s actually mentioned first in that chapter, before praying and fasting.

Jesus said:

  • “When you give …” (Mt. 6:2, emphasis added).

We cannot end our fast without examining this area so prone to disobedience.

During Pursuit 21, we’re seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (See Mt. 6:33.) We’re giving God the first of our year through fasting and prayer.

But are we really giving him the first?

We’re not truly giving Him the first of our lives if we’re withholding the first of our income from Him!

“Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine”  (Proverbs 3:9).

We’re not truly seeking first His righteousness if we’re harboring sin in the area of giving.

Bottom Line Desires

When we fast, we quickly find out what bottom line desires control us. When practiced rightly, fasting reveals the degree to which things have mastered us—whether food, or television, or movies, or social media, or sports … or money. These things are all good; they’re God’s gifts to us. But it becomes problematic when we elevate the gifts above the Giver.

The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. ~ John Piper (Tweet this)

Anything can stand in the way of us becoming true disciples—not just evil and not just food. Anything can rob us of devotion to God—even His gifts … including the gift of money and provision.

When we humble ourselves before God in fasting, our idolatries are exposed. We see what we’ve elevated above God and given greater devotion and affection.

One of these idols is money. We worship the idol of money when we rob God of what is His.

“A checkbook is a theological document; it will tell you who and what you worship.” ~ Billy Graham (Tweet this)

If the love of money is causing you to sin in the area of giving, it’s time to get right with God and return to Him.

How do you return? …

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300+ Names, Titles, & Attributes Of The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit

 God Names

 

This post is part of an ongoing series putting the focus on God—fixing our eyes on HIM and praising Him for who He is.

300+ Names, Titles and Attributes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

 

Abba, Father
Abiding
Able
Abounding and Abundant
Adequacy
Adonai, Lord and Master
Advocate
All
All-knowing
All-powerful
Almighty God
Alpha and Omega
Amen
Ancient of Days
Anointed of God
Answer
Architect and builder
Arm of the Lord
Ascended
Atonement
Author and finisher of faith
Authority
Available
Avenger
Awesome
Balm of Gilead
Banner to the people
Beautiful
Before all things
Beginning and end
Beloved Son of God
Betrothed
Blameless
Blessed hope
Blesses
Bread from heaven
Bread of life
Bridegroom
Bright morning star
Brightness of glory of God
Brother
Burden-bearer
Captain of the Lord’s host
Carpenter
Chief cornerstone
Chief shepherd
Child Jesus
Choice and precious
Chosen of God
Christ Jesus our Lord

 

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My God Is: Names and Attributes of God

God Is

 

God is who He says He is. And He does what He says He will do.

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19, ESV)

I pray that you will experience God personally and see Him intimately through His names. May He reveal Himself to you as the supply of your need—the answer to your causes of prayer and fasting.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

Names of God

My Abba– Father, my Papa God — Mark 14:36, Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6
My all-able, almighty God — 2 Cor. 9:8, Eph. 3:20, Rev. 4:8, 19:6
All-sufficient, my all-sufficiency (El Shaddai) — 2 Cor. 3:5, 12:9-10
All-knowing — John 21:17, 1 Cor 1:30
My answer — Jer. 33:3, Psa. 20:1, 6, 9
My authority — Matt. 28:18, John 17:2

My banner of victory — 1 Cor. 15:57, Pro. 21:31, Zeph. 3:17, 1 Chron. 29:11
Beautiful to me— Psa. 27:4, Isa. 33:17
Before all things that touch me — Col. 1:17, Rom. 11:36
My beginning and end, alpha and omega — Rev. 21:6, 22:13
My breach-mender — Isa. 58:12, Rom. 5:10-11, Eph. 2:16, Col. 1:20-22, 2 Cor. 5:18-19
My burden-bearer — Psa. 55:22, 68:19; 1 Peter 5:7

My cornerstone, sure foundation — Isa. 28:16, 33:6; 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20
My cleansing — 1 John 1:7, 9; Isa. 1:8
My comforter — 2 Cor. 1:4-5, Psa. 23:4
Compassionate and gracious — Lam 3:22, Exo. 34:6, Psa 103:8, 111:4, 116:5, 145:8
My unshakable confidence — Psa. 71:5, Pro. 3:26, 14:26; Heb. 4:16, 1 John 5:14
My counselor, my friend — John 14:26, Isa. 11:2, John 15:14-15, Luke 7:34
My covenant-keeping God — Deu. 7:9, Mal. 2:5, Heb. 8:6
My creator — Gen. 1:1, 1 Pet. 4:19 My defender and defense — 1 John 2:1, Pro. 23:11, Jer. 50:34

My deliverer — Psa. 18:2, 144:2
My desire, more precious than silver —Isa. 26:8, Pro. 3:13-15, Psa. 73:25-26
My endurance and encouragement — Rom. 15:4-5, Phil. 2:1, Heb. 6:18, Dan. 6:26, Psa 112:3,9
Ever-present with me, available, near — Mat. 1:23, Psa. 139:7, Acts 17:27
Everlasting I AM — Exo. 3:14, John 8:58, Psa. 106:48
Exalted — Psa. 18:46, 148:13, 97:9; Acts 2:33, 5:31

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The I Am … For Your Every Need (1): In Christ Is…

what you need

Do you need something desperately? Are you becoming anxious as your situation moves from concern to crisis?

Your need, whatever it is today, has been met in Christ Jesus. It has been met in Him just as the Israelites’ needs were when God was leading them through the wilderness.

. . . . . .

When God led the Israelites to the Red Sea, they were shut in with the sea in front, the mountains on both sides, and Pharaoh behind. God led them to a place of human hopelessness—to wit’s end!

Had the Israelites simply believed one promise God had made to them, they could have been free from all worry and fear. God had told them where the cloud stopped, they were to stop. He would carry them, and guide them and tell them where to pitch their tent. (Deut 1:33)

The cloud stopped between Migdol and the sea—a place that baffled them and put them at wit’s end! It was impossible for them to figure out a way through the Red Sea … and Pharaoh’s army was fast approaching.

Are you between a rock and a hard place? Between the sea and Pharoah? With no way out?

How did you get there? Do you think the devil put you there? God put you in this place—no matter how bad, how hopeless, or how senseless it seems.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Ps. 37:23, NLT)

“The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].” (Ps. 37:23, AMP)

Long before Israel left Egypt, God’s plan was already set. He had already commanded the winds to blow at a certain day and hour to part the Sea. He had known all along exactly what He was going to do!

In the same way, God has a plan to bring you out of your storm.

“With God rests my salvation and my glory” (Psalm 62:7).

Your way out—the meeting of your need—rests with God. It has rested with Him long before your trouble even started. He’s not worrying, fretting, and ringing his hands, trying to figure out how He’s going to meet your need.

Israel was afraid and fainted at the Sea. They didn’t trust that God loved them and was busying Himself with their every step, providing for their every need.

God still delivered Israel, but they sang their song on the wrong side of the sea. They didn’t pass the spiritual test … and consequently, had to take the test again.

At Marah

Three days after the Red Sea miracle, Israel was back in another test—in need again. They were hot, tired, and desperately thirsty, having traveled in the desert for three days without finding water.

They arrived at Marah, where there was water, but it was bitter and undrinkable. … The people cried out in fear, anger—hurling awful accusations against Moses and God saying, “You’ve brought us here to die!”

God knew the waters were bitter. But He had a plan. There was a certain living tree near that bitter pond, and He would use it to purify the waters for Israel.

. . . . .

This tree represents the cross of Christ. God has already planted a tree of deliverance for you! In Christ is the plan, the power, and the provision —and the perfect timing—to meet your need! God just wants you to look to Him expectantly and confidently trust Him.

At Rephidim

Because Israel failed to trust God at Marah, they came to another testing ground at Rephidim where there was no water for the people to drink. It had no stream, no well—not even a trickle of water.

How could God have led Israel there? It must have seemed like a paradox. This was the driest place in the whole wilderness. …

God Himself allowed His people to grow thirsty: “And the people thirsted there for water…” (Exodus 17:3).

God allowed it to seem dire—and to be dire in the natural. Babies were crying, children were wailing, grandparents were suffering parched throats. Parents looked at their families and thought, “In a few days we’ll all be dead.” So they turned in anger to Moses, crying, “Give us water to drink!” In spite of having seen God’s love and care for them and His miraculous, delivering hand, Israel was still depending on man—on the flesh!

God had a plan before they got there! He had planned to have Moses go up Mount Horeb to a reservoir of water that He had prepared. Moses was to take his staff (with which he struck the Nile), strike the rock, and water would come out.

The rock represents Christ. (See 1 Cor. 10:4.) Again, we see that in Christ is the plan, power, provision, and perfect timing to meet your need! He is the supply. The need is an invitation to His supply.

At every test God was waiting for a response of faith from Israel.

What is your current Sea, Marah, Rephidem? How are you responding? In faith, or grumbling, complaining, trying to maneuver your way out through human means?

  • Are you unemployed? Have you sent out a thousand resumes to no avail? Have you used up all your savings, maxed every credit card, borrowed from every source you can, and exhausted all means of living?
  • Are you underemployed? Without enough to make ends meet?
  • Are you or a loved one in the midst of a health crisis?
  • Do you have a relationship that is broken and needs healing?
  • Is your business about to go under?

As children of God, we have other options besides living in fear, worry, and anger at God. God knew what He was going to do for Israel and He knows what He is going to do for you in your crisis. He has a plan and has had it long before you reached this crisis.

God already had a plan to have the winds part the Red Sea. He had already preserved a tree in Marah to heal the waters. He had already chosen a rock on Mount Horeb out of which He would supply Israel’s water for decades … and He has a plan to deliver you!

In Christ is the plan, the power, the provision, and the perfect timing to meet your need! Look to Him expectantly and confidently trust Him.

All Our Needs are Met In Him

The existence of a need is the evidence of God’s supply. The need is God’s way of inviting you to partake of His supply—His meeting of your need. And that need has already been met in Jesus Christ who dwells in you.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3, HCSB).

Do you have your doubts as to whether your need has already been met? God’s divine order is that the supply always comes first before the need. …

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The I Am For Your Every Need (2): Praise Party

I AM

“I AM” in Hebrew is closely related to God’s personal name, Jehovah or Yahweh or YHWH (Exo. 6: 3), which occurs more than 6000 times in the Old Testament.

It suggests the timelessness of God, the very foundation of all existence. Revelation 1:4 also may suggest this, “from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come.”

Jesus probably alluded to this in John 8: 58, “Before Abraham was born, I AM!” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13: 8). [i]

The answer to everyone of our needs finds its existence in Him. Everything we need, He is!

God, who miraculously met the needs of His servants in the Bible. has not changed! Your heavenly Father is the same mighty, loving, miracle-working God today. He will do the same for you! He stoops down to make you great (Ps. 18:35).

Have a Praise Party

List every emotion that you are feeling and every need you have in one column. After you have acknowledged all your emotions and needs, go through the names of God until you find the expression of His character that meets each need. For every need you have, there is a corresponding attribute of God. So beside each emotion or need, write down the name or attribute of God that relates to your need.

After you have done this, turn your pity party into a praise party. (You probably already began having one as you saw how God promises to meet your every need in Himself.)

Your heavenly Father is a BIG God! He is able to do far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (Eph. 3:20)

Everything we need, He is!

He is:

Abba Father when we need fathering
Acceptance when we feel unwanted
Adequacy for our inadequacy
All-sufficient in our lack
Amen, true witness when we are tempted to lie
Answer for our questions
Author of faith for our unbelief

Bread of life for our spiritual hunger
Bridegroom when we need companionship and cherishing
Bright morning star for darkness in the valley of the shadow of death
Broken and spilled out when we feel we’ve been used
Burden bearer when we are heavy-laden, tired and weary
Before all things when we’re surprised by the unexpected

Cleansing for our sin and shame
Closer than a brother when we’re lonely
Comforter who wipes away our tears
Defender when we’re under attack
Deliverer for our captivity
Door-opener when we see no way out
Everlasting arms beneath us, carrying us, when life has knocked us down
Faithful friend when other friends fail us
Forgiveness when we’re too hard on ourselves or others
Fullness when we’re empty

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