So last week i talked about the 30 day fast The Lord led me on in the month of July. It was probably one of the hardest fast I have been on because of the tough lesson I had to learn.
I often get asked what kind of fast do I partake in? Do I do the Daniel’s Fast? No food at all? Well, it really depends on what The Lord leads me to do. I’ve done many types of fast, but this time I did what I called a 19:5 fast. I fasted for 19 hours of just water and then had a five hour window to eat. Where did it come from? The Lord! I am still a vegetarian and I recently limited my dairy intake from little to none. It was very tough in the beginning because when the five hour window opened up, I was eating whatever I could find. I began to realize that what I was eating was not good for the body and needed to make wiser decisions since it was the only meal I was able to eat. I started eating a little bit more cleaner and when I had very long days I tried waiting until I got home which made it tougher. But when I began to think that what I am doing is for The Lord, I was able to make it through those long days.
I went through an emotional roller coaster in which I could not really tell anyone about. I was a mess. There were some days The Lord called me to the floor of my prayer room and there were days where i just laid in the bed meditating. During that time, The Lord was teaching me about the doctrine of laying hands and walking in power and authority. I heard so many confirmations from others I encountered throughout the fast and when the power of laying hands broke out in the church, The Lord said, “This is part of the reason I placed you on the fast”. To see the power of God move throughout the house in everyone and not just one moment but a week by week encounter is a sight to see. The fast was not just for me but to pray and help push people into their next phase in their spiritual walk.
In my book, Praying and Fasting: Still an Effective Kingdom Principle, I talk about the power of praying and fasting for others. I still get joy out of fasting and praying. Right when I ended my fast, it seems like the enemy was waiting right there waiting for me. But I was not afraid because I heard the Holy Spirit in the midst of it encouraging and comforting me through it all. As I type, I am in peace. Even when the seas of life are raging around me, I meditate on Psalms 27: 13-14 that says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
What was my take-away from the fast?
As I mentioned last week, The Lord has been working on my heart. The kingdom is about building a community and loving one another. The Disciples spent just about every waking moment together and we as disciples should do the same. Pray for one another. Talk, teach, and to learn from each other. It is definitely a new place for me but I am coming around.
I am definitely in a season of praying and fasting. It has been very interesting to partake in. Nevertheless, i am grateful The Lord finds me faithful do go through. That encourages me even more to keep pressing and praying. I could not tell you why this mandate is on my life, but I will stay the course. It is not pretty and fun but at the end it is rewarding.
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In the month of June, The Lord told me to prepare for a 30-day fast in the month of July. I knew that the fast was coming because then I was feeling very emotional and burned out. I was not connected to God and I know when I feel this way, The Lord wants my attention. I have been more preaching and teaching than usual and in that, every time I finish preaching or teaching, I would feel discouraged and would be very hard on myself. So imagine preaching 4-5 times in one month and feeling down after each event. That was taking a toll on my emotions. I began to question a lot of stuff include His existence. I remember at the end of 2017, I felt the same way and The Lord shifted my life tremendously by showing Himself to me. So I knew something was about to happen during this 30-day praying and fasting moment.
So before entering the fast, I had an expectation that God was really going to show Himself to me! I mean a tangible moment. Little that I knew, the Lord began to show me myself! Ugh! The Lord began to show me what was really in my heart. He was showing me how to become a better leader. When I am faced with situations and they do not go as well, I am always very hard on myself. The Lord ALWAYS jump on my case about handling situations better and be the bigger person in an argument. Even if I am in the right! That was the hardest because I felt since I am in the right, I do not need to apologize. I did not even need their apology. I said what I said. Well, that did not sit well with The Lord and told me fix a situation that occurred during the fast. I said to The Lord, “I will not apologize!” Instantly I felt the anger of God and I heard, “You will not have good sleep until you do”. For two days I did not have good sleep! He literally placed me in a situation that I had no choice but to apologize and it literally shook the mess out of me! But once I apologized, The guilt from myself and anger of The Lord went away.
From this, He began to teach me about leadership. I would always say you will never know what type of leader you are until you are placed in situations to be a leader. I realized in many situations that I was not a good leader. Even though I had people looking up to me, I just did not handle situations in a godly manner. Even if peers around me agreed, God did not agree! God told me the one thing that I was missing in my leadership style was LOVE & COMPASSION! It was not like I did not love the people that I was leading, I did not have a drop of compassion when it came to them not carrying out assignments. My motto was: You only have one chance to mess up big or not complete an assignment when told. That sounds tough but my belief was we are all adults, we should not have to be told twice to do something and if you have a problem, lets talk about it. If you need help, let me know. God began to show me that there are levels to maturity. There are people that will be vocal with their concerns and there are those who will sit there until someone approach them to see if they need help.
If we expect the church to fully operate in its capability, we have to love one another. Love rules all! God is love. We have to show love and compassion toward one another. As leaders we should always position ourselves to learn and we should always be in a position to assist and teach. This season of my life, God is teaching me about love, and I will teach about loving others. Even the most difficult people we encounter, we must love them as well. Even the people that talk about you in your face and behind your back, we must love. My heart is constantly being changed and The Lord is always showing me to myself. I am able to slow down in situations and hear from The Lord what to do rather than reacting so fast to the point where I would miss the instructions of God. What God suggest always goes against the human grain. But I know for sure, whatever God suggests, it is right and good. It is God!
Next week I will talk about what my fasting and praying entailed…
Lately I have been faced with issues that I know the enemy is trying to put his hand upon. Usually when attacks from the enemy rises, we instantly back down and breakdown. I refuse to allow that to happen. God has so much in store for me and there are promises that are remained to be fulfilled.
Prophesy is so important because it is The Word of God being released and in timing be active in the atmosphere. Prophesy is for the believer to edify and uplift one another. God has given all believers the ability to prophesy at some level (Numbers 11:29).
I wanted to cancel hearing prophecy over my life because at one point I was receiving so much prophecy from others and when I saw it come to pass, it was a decoy! I followed the whole prophecy from the beginning to end. I was so hurt and discouraged that I said out of my mouth, I never want to hear another prophetic word from anyone. I was that mad. I told God that if it is not from God or my pastor, I do not want to hear it. God told me to think back to every word He has said to me from this last year and follow that. I read in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 says that, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. So I prayed to God asking if the word was given through someone you was from You or an evil spirit.
Every word you receive, it must be tested. in scripture it says that, “Beloved, do not believe every Spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).” Even those you may respect might be under the influence and do not know it. Test everything. No matter how credible the source may be, all given word must be tested. This is through praying and asking God for discernment. I believe The Lord allowed to go through this to increase my discernment and hearing from Him.
Here are some points when receive a word from God (source: BLB)
- Remember a prophet must not contradict anything God has previously revealed.
- A prophecy must always points back to Jesus Christ.
- A prophet’s life must be consistent with the prophecy he or she gives.
- Because someone meets the above criteria does not necessarily mean that the message is from God. The leaders of each particular assembly should be the ones who make the determination.
- Prophecies should be tested, and if they hold true, they should not be despised.
I am known in my church to do declarations. Usually I would read them from a book or The Lord would give them to me hot off the wire. For this current situation I am facing, the word of The Lord began to bubble up inside of me and I began to declare. I encourage you to used the declarations over your life.
How do we recognize these satanic agents? By discernment.
I command all organized forces of darkness against my life to receive commotion, lightning and thunder, in the name of Jesus.
All demonic organized network against my spiritual and physical progress, be put to shame, in the name of Jesus.
I command all demonic mirrors and monitoring gadgets against my life to crack to pieces, in the name of Jesus
I command every agent of frustration to loose its hold over my life, in the name of Jesus.”
I cancel the assignment of spiritual spies that try to take spoken prophesy and manipulate it in the name of Jesus
I cancel the assignment of decoys that are trying to enter our lives in the name of Jesus.
We cancel backlash from this declaration in the name of Jesus.
We confuse the assignment of the satanic agents in the name of Jesus.
I command all evil records planted by the devil in anyone’s mind against my advancement to be shattered to pieces, in Jesus’ name
O Lord, catapult me into greatness as You did for Daniel in the land of Babylon.
O Lord, help me to identify and deal with any weakness in me that can hinder my progress.
I bind every strongman delegated to hinder my progress, in the name of Jesus.
O Lord, despatch Your angels to roll away every stumbling block to my promotion, advancement and elevation.
Let power change hands in my place of work to the hands of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus.
I receive the mandate to put to flight every enemy of my breakthroughs, in the name of Jesus.”
I shall receive the prophetic word of the Lord and test it against what the Lord has told me and the Word of God.
I shall use discernment and follow the voice of the Lord
And it is so in the Name of Jesus
Anger can take over a person in an instant. When we act out of anger, we do not think first. We act first. In result can lead to detrimental issues. Proverbs 14:17 says that, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.”
The other day, being in a rush, I closed my computer too quickly and the computer shut down completely on its own. In result, I lost a portion of revisions that I was working on. I had never gotten so angry in my life. I was at the church and I could not let anyone see how angry I was. I immediately left and stood at my car. I was slamming things, yelling, about to pull my hair out because I just lost 2 hours worth of work.I could not get in the car to drive because I knew I would speed out of anger. I knew the Holy Spirit was coaching me through the whole thing because as I was driving, there was a sense of ease or calmness that came over me all of a sudden. The whole drive home, the Holy spirit had to coach me through the whole thing. Even though I just lost 2 hours of work, I was going to stay up for hours to catch back up. But the Lord rest assured in me that all was not lost.
When you are angry and emotional, you have to quickly shift to wisdom. Wisdom told me to leave the church quickly. Wisdom told me not to hop in the car and speed off. Wisdom caused peace to go through my mind and body. Wisdom told me that all is not lost. Being emotional without wisdom is mania! It causes you to become crazy and emotionally driven. That is why the enemy fights against us to receive knowledge and wisdom! We need to get wisdom to handle our emotions. Proverbs 14:29 says that, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” God wants to shift us to use his wisdom more in situations and learn how to live in a climate of peace and wisdom.
You have to learn how to resolve anger before it gets out of hand. Ephesians 4:26 says that, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”. Have you ever gotten so angry that you stopped talking to God? Anger causes you to be estranged from God or causes you to be a stranger to God. See how the word “anger” in is the word “stranger”? It pushes you away from God because you are so caught up in your emotions to a point where you will not allow yourself to hear from Him. Anger distorts your view and judgement of everything.
So the next time you get angry, slow yourself and shift to the wisdom of God. Do not run from God but run to God.
For the past month, we have been talking about Praying and Fasting. Many of us can feel led to go on fast or we attend worship assemblies that participate in corporate fasting. At the end of the day we have a choice to answer the call to pray and fast. When God is requiring something from us, our response to the call is what is important. The key principle that is in play here is obedience.
I want to encourage you to pick up the phone and answer the call. When we hear praying and fasting at first hand, we instantly get nervous and start to think of the things we cannot do rather than it being an opportunity to do something for God. Once I started thinking about praying and fasting as opportunity and a privilege, I approached praying and fasting with a better attitude.
It is not just about abstaining from food and praying, but it is the obedience to the call. If you are a believer, then you will get the call to pray and fast. Matthew 6:16, it starts out with, “When you fast”, that means that in your walk with God, you will fast and it will be unto the Lord. God requires our obedience and it is a conscious decision that we must make.
We must remember the fast that God has chosen for us. It is not just abstaining from food, but it is about reaching out to others. I also approached praying and fasting from Isaiah 58. Our fasting and praying helps others and we should be active in helping God’s people. This is God’s Will for us. Look at the beauty of fasting and praying. It is about others, and not ourselves. There is a blessing in choosing to fast and pray.
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8
The trend of partaking into the Daniel fast has been around for years. Many churches have taken it on and made it a part of their culture. When churches call a fast, it is usually the Daniel’s fast. We tie and cross the stories together to make it sound more friendly and attainable rather than telling the story how it is supposed to be. The word fast means to “cover mouth” or to abstain from food. If you are not abstaining from food, then it is not consider a fast. If you decide to take some food out of your diet, then it is a diet modification.
When I decided to study Daniel, I was very shocked on what I found out and that we have been approaching the Daniel’s fast completely wrong. It shows that we as a people do not read scriptures for ourselves and allow religious traditions to carry on for years.
It is all about going through the book of Daniel and really read about what is going on.
The church gets the Daniel fast from Daniel 1 when Daniel refused to defile himself and would not eat from the king’s table. He asked permission to just eat vegetables (it does not mention fruit) and drink water and for 10 days and they would be judge accordingly.
But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
We have taken this practice and said that when we go on this fast, we would gain intellect and wisdom like Daniel and the other boys had received. This went on for only 10 days. Not 21 days. This was technically not a fast. Nowhere in scripture does it say that it was a fast. It was an eating modification or diet. Daniel and the other young men decided not to go on the fast because they did not want to defile themselves. Their providence, Judah, were under Babylonian captivity. To partake in any Babylonian tradition or lifestyle would be dishonorable to God. So where did we get this from? Over in Daniel 10:
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.”
Still, in this scripture it says that he did not eat any tasty food, meat, nor wine. Pleasant food in other translations. You have to understand that Daniel had the best of the best. He did not partake in the royal foods. The food that he did partake it could be define to vegetables and unleavened bread. Daniel went on a partial fast because of the news he received. There was so much adversity going on in the land. The Jews has the option at this moment to return to their land, but many decided to stay in Babylon and it grieved Daniel. Daniel constantly had dreams and visions and he was not in a good place. The burden of the people was upon His heart and all He could do was to cry and fast unto the Lord.
Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
This is not a pretty fast that we have portrayed it to be. For years, preachers and pastors have taught this story all wrong. And I am one of those. But I have decided not to walk in ignorance and walk in the truth. Daniel was praying for a nation and it grieved him so much!
So what does this mean?
We as a people are not ready to pray for the nation. We still are fighting over arguments on Facebook media by bashing each other in the kingdom. While the world is dying and perishing, we are caught up in the minor. The enemy has gotten us and we do not even know it. We are not ready for the Daniel fast mentioned in Daniel 10. We do not want that burden nor have a desire to have that burden. The state of the world is not getting any better and the earth is waiting for the sons of God to get in place. Romans 8:19 says that, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” The earth knows who we are but we do not!
So we must be conscious of partaking the Daniel’s Fast. If we are going to do it, let’s make sure we are doing it for the right reasons. I would not recommend this fast if you do not have a strong prayer life. This is another level of spiritual warfare and we must be secured and planted in the word of God.