Monday, January 07, 2008

The Power and Presence of God

On Wednesday starts our church wide prayer and fasting season for 21 days. This will be my 3rd year of fasting. Pastor Stovall did a great job on Sunday explaining why we fast individually and as a church. Many Christians believe fasting was something done just as a sacrifice to God-looking at it through an Old Testiment filter. The thing i love best about our church is how our pastoral staff only preaches God's Word. It's hard as a listener to deny anything they say because it says it right there in the Word of God. They constantly challenge me to be uncomfortable. Fasting is something I initially don't enjoy. I love my food. I love a plate of cornbread smothered in butter and honey. But that's what is so great about this time. It's finally not about what I want when I want it. My flesh completely seperates from my Spirit. I stop feeding my stAnk flesh and my Spirit starts to gain strength. The only reason to fast (spiritually) is to grow closer to God. To become more sensitive to his spirit. It's a time where I may not have the energy to even think about doing what i want. Schedules? HA, they don't exist during this time. Working out? See ya in February. I strictly have to make sure I'm giving my day all to God. Even if it's laying in bed listening to Shane and Shane all afternoon. There is a freedom in no doing things for safety. "I have to eat or I'll feel sick" "I can't just live off of fruits and vegetables, I can't function at work". How do you know? When God sees your heart, he honors your sacrifice, He knows you aren't doing it just to sacrifice-you're doing it to draw close to him. I was extremely anxious about this time. Gary and I have put off fasting (we usually did it always on Wednesdays) just for this time. We wanted to give these 21 days our full attention. There's something powerful when the church does it all together. We are all believing God for so many different things individually-but as a unit, here is our list:
1. Spiritual Awakening to the power and presence of God
2. Next generation (youth/children)
3. Greater global missions impact and partifipation
4. building fund for our new church

As crazy as it sounds, that was on our list of things we were believing God for in 2008. #1 is our true true hopes. Throughout all of the gospels, people are being healed, by just a touch. If we have the supernatural power of Jesus in us, why can't those things happen now!? Pray with us that God's presence, not filtered presence, but his true and powerful and mighty and unstoppable presence saturates us as a church, community, and even a nation this year. As Christians we have the power in our faith!
So, starting Wednesday Gary and I will only be consuming fruits and vegetables. We're cutting caffine, sugars, breads, and meats. Our faces are in Daniel, reading over and over again how much stronger he came out after NOT eating of the King's food. If you feel led to fast, or are curious, here are some good scriptures to read over: Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Matthew 17:21, Jeremiah 15:16, Daniel 11:32, Proverbs 16:3, Isaiah 58:6, Acts 16:25-26 and Hebrews 11:6.

May the Joy of the Lord be your strength!


sammie said...

II Chron. 16:9

Rachael said...

2Chronicles 16:9:
"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war"

Rachael said...

7-9 Just after that, Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said, "Because you went for help to the king of Aram and didn't ask God for help, you've lost a victory over the army of the king of Aram. Didn't the Ethiopians and Libyans come against you with superior forces, completely outclassing you with their chariots and cavalry? But you asked God for help and he gave you the victory. God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God's help. Now you're in trouble—one round of war after another." message version

shell said...

i found your blog through a blog through a blog and if you are a reader, i just read a fabulous book on fasting by john piper, titled "Hunger for God". amazing book