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.
1. the action of being rescued or set free.
I want to continue on deliverance and dig deeper on the four point I gave last week. The day after deliverance, you want to immediately follow these three points:
- Talk to the Lord
- Read Your Bible
- Create your sphere of influence
It is all about developing discipline. You got to live a discipline life. So I am going to touch on the first point of talking to the Lord. It is important to develop a prayer life with the Lord. Here you will gain guidance, encouragement, love, and instruction. This is your personal time with the father. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
It is so important to hear the voice of God for your life. It is good to seek counsel on certain situations, but we must not always take what people are saying for gold. God will place people in your lives known as spiritual mentors or spiritual fathers and mothers. I want to touch on is hearing and trusting the voice of God for yourself. I believe that many of us trust the voice of man over the voice of God. Usually when the Lord is speaking concerning a situation, sometimes we do not want to hear it because it goes against our own will. We have a habit of confirming the voice of God with man rather than confirming what man say with God’s Word.
I had a friend who was so sure that she was supposed to move out town because her spiritual mentor told her that she needs to move out of town. I posed a question to her saying, “What did God say about the situation?” She looked at me and said well I trust my spiritual mentor. My next question was, “Do you trust God?” Sometimes people can say things to tickle our fancy rather than speaking about what God wants for us. We are still stuck in the Old Testament tradition of going to the priest to speak to the Father on our behalf. We have to remember that those days are over. The veil has been torn down and we do not have to go through man to talk to God.
So the question I pose to you is that have you placed yourself in the position to hear from God? The Lord is waiting for us to speak to Him and He is waiting to speak to us. But do we harken to the voice of God? God is waiting for us to say, “Speak, for thy servant is listening.”
In the book of Proverbs, it says, “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God”.
Listening is an art. It takes time to realize when God is speaking, when it is yourself, and when the enemy is trying to speak. We will make mistakes and miss when God is speaking. But if you confess and realize when God is not speaking, it will help you to develop your inner ear even more.
Point number 2 is reading the word of God.
Point number 1 works hand in hand with point 2. You are able to hear God through His word. Here are some scriptures that talks about how God wants you to hear from Him:
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:47
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
There are topical Bibles available concerning various topics that can help when you are feeling a certain way. When you read the word, it awakens and stirs up your spirit, it gives you hope and sustains your life. When you stay in the word of God, it will lead you to live a life of freedom. The bible says that, man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds out the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Proceeding is a continual motion, it should never stop because God always has something to say to you. Psalm 111 says that, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Once you have the word of God in your heart on repeat, the desire to sin against God decreases.
Point 3- Create your sphere of influence
It is all about the company you keep.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”” Proverbs 13:20 says that, Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. If you do not know who is around you is best the influence for your life, pray and God will show you their heart. If this person, is not helping you to become better, then they may not be for you. If you people around you are condoning your bad behaviors and not call you out, then they may not be the great company for you.
Some of us created bad soul ties with people that should not have. If you are serious about breaking, the spirit of the Lord can break every tie, bondage, and chain. Learn how to create Godly soul ties such as with Jonathan and David. Jonathan saw the destiny of David and did all he could to help David get to the point where he needed to be. David was destined to be King, but Jonathan knew the way. Even though Jonathan was next in line, Jonathan knew the anointing was on David to be King. Now that is covenant.
God wants you to present yourself to Him and He’ll do the cleaning. We cannot make ourselves Holy. God does the sanctifying and purifying. Only God can blot of out our transgressions. He wants those things that we are holding on to. If it was our choice, we would want to hold on to those things. God said give it to me. God said I want you to lay aside every weight. God is with you through your deliverance process. He wants you set free. Deliverance is a day by day event and it takes effort from us to do so. One Sunday experience does not fix our problems, but it can help and push you to where you need to be. Nobody was born perfect, so let us respect and help those through their deliverance process. Let us not talk about and make fun of those who are trying. At least they are trying and not in denial.
We should be a community that would want to see everyone free and walking in their deliverance.
If you have been following my weekly blog, I am on the topic of deliverance. Many of us attend churches where the Spirit of God moves in and there is a point during service where people can come down to the altar to confess their sins and profess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Many charismatic churches take their newly or well-attended members through a process called deliverance. During this time, the believer is confessing their sins and hang-ups in their lives and want to be free and changed from it. Those who do not possess Christ in their hearts would sometimes have demons manifest out of them just like in the Bible days which could cause gnashing, vomiting, and other types of manifestations. When all is said and done, they go back to their seats and we call what they have gone through is deliverance.
We have to remember in scripture Luke 11 says that, “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” So once the whole deliverance has taken place at the altar, there is a chance that the person will be attacked even harder than before. But do we teach or warn the people?
Many Christians face in their days of walking with the Lord coming to a point where they have to give of something that is preventing them from walking closer to God. Matter of fact all Christians. You cannot be saved and remain in the same lifestyle you lived before salvation. When you come into Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). All of us deal with things that trip us up but we are ashamed to show our shortfalls. Sometimes God will take it away or allow it to be our thorn in our flesh (2 Cor. 12:7). The true testing is the day after deliverance. You may question yourself and say “Am I really delivered? What am I supposed to do now?” The problem with the process of deliverance that the church culture has created is that we go through the motions of crying, throwing up, and being laid out on the ground, but there isn’t any follow up or further counseling. I have experience more of a taunting after the fact rather than encouragement and support. Many Christians have experienced the same thing.
I remember learning about the deliverance process and in that was walked through deliverance. Many think when we go through the steps of renouncing and repenting at the altar, that is all that need to take place. But as I grow in God, I am learning that deliverance is a daily process. Not just the one-time process we experience at the altar or in the prayer room. We must always remain in prayer and communion with God. When you spend so much time in God, the temptation to slip back lessens because of the Word and the vision of your future that is being poured inside of you. Inner healing begins to take place and your intimacy with the Lord becomes stronger.
So some may ask, I need practical steps! What can I do to maintain my deliverance? Deliverance requires purging of the soul. Let’s take for example your struggle is overeating. I believe these next few steps can be applied to any given situation. First after the church service:
Before you begin to get on the phone to talk to friends and family, talk to God. Talk out the situation and the process and I say not only do I believe I am delivered but I know that I am deliver. You have to keep speaking positivity over yourself saying that “I am delivered” You need to constantly speak well over yourself. 2 Corinthians 10:5- Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ
For many this may be difficult due to the fact that many do not read their bible so they do not know where to go in the scriptures. There are many bible aids out there that can help you find scriptures that addresses your problem. A few examples are
- John Eckhardt- Daily Declaration series
- Cindy Trimm- Spiritual declarations
There is no reason for us not to know what scriptures to stand on because there are many resources that can help us
- Create your sphere of influence
If you want to do better, it is all about the company you keep. Change the people around you. It is easier said than done but if you want to save your life, you got to do what you need to do. The Holy spirit will give you the words to say and the direction as needed. Pray to God to show you who you need to be connected to. There are those assigned to help you to get you to your next destiny
You got to keep the word hidden in your heart. This can only happen through repetition. You have to repeat something over 13 times in order for it to become your reality. Your deliverance is your reality. I want you to walk in it
As you start your Monday, be encourage. Read or listen to the word of God. Remember that you are delivered healed, and set free. God has great things in store for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says that, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Here is the FB live video:
The Day After Deliverance Pt. 2
America has been in an emotional transition for a few weeks. From watching the on-the-edge election campaign to dealing with the string of murders that not only affect the black community but mankind. What is the need for America at this point? The Last thing we need is a new president. The last thing we need are protests and marches. Not to minimize the importance of them. We are dealing with severe injustice in the world. But we as Christians must remain spiritual in the midst of natural disasters and chaos.
This is an opportune time for churches to stand up. It is easy to point fingers and shoot blame from one group to another and to keep that cycle going, but we must stand back and see what is working in the background of the current affairs in the world. The problem is that many churches are not trained to see the spiritual but to solely focus on the natural. It is difficult not to stay focus on the natural because we are being bombarded with media and it causes our emotions to rise. There is a spirit behind what is causing fear in the hearts of man. There is a spirit behind what is causing protesting and civil unrest. We cannot walk around in fear for our loved ones, or do not want to continue life ourselves. Psalm 112:63 says that the righteous will never be shaken. This is the time for our spirit man to kick in and ask the question, “Lord, what’s going on in the realm of the spirit?”
The solution is to pray. It may sound evasive and so simple but it is about what you are praying. If God has given you a heart to pray for the nation, God will show you what it is you need to pray for. In Acts 17:26 says that, “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” The times that God appointed are in motion and we must tune in to what God is saying doing. Even though it may seem chaotic in the land, remember God’s word in Isaiah 46:9-10 that says, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.”
How can we make God even greater? By coming together and fighting the spiritual warfare, not the physical. Ephesians 6:12 says that, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” You cannot pick and choose when will you be in the natural or in the spiritual. The spirit realm is the causal realm and it is more real than the natural. We must live a daily life with our mindset in the spirit realm and constantly praying the things that the Lord is trying to show us. Revelation 3:22 says that, “‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We are the church and we are the called out ones. God is speaking loud and clear. The question is who is posturing themselves to hear to make great the works of the Lord? Whatever we go up in the spirit to bind, it will bind here on earth. Whatever we go up in the spirit to loose, it will be loose. This is a call to the church to get into our rightful positions and be the watchmen, the leaders, the true prophets God has called us to be. Once we do what it is God wants for us to do by making his name great, then God will make our name great. 2 Samuel 7:9 says that, “I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.”
For the past few months my new church has been in a season of transition. From new jobs to new homes, the church has been blessed. We have been exposed to great new relationships and been confronted with the truth of others in the midst of lies. There are those who experienced job loss and home loss as well. Many have experience the good side of transition and there are those who had been dealt a bad hand to play the best way they could but God never left their side. We also see those who refuse to transition and stay in the current situation they are in.
I experienced a taste of both sides. I received a promotion at my job that gave me $4,000 more a year. Two months later, I had to quickly move out of my apartment and into my mom’s house. The owner sold the building and did not tell the tenants that it would be converted for a place for the MRDD. We were supposed to be given 60 days but the previous owner refused to break the news and put the new owners in a bad position to tell us now we only have 30 days. So I quickly moved out of my house and moved everything in storage within 3 days from hearing the bad news. I had no idea what to do.
It moved me WAY out of my comfort zone. I am a person who lives alone and do not mind it. Perfect rent. Perfect place. Before given the bad news, literally my prayer was, “Lord, I have everything I need and I thank you for it. I do not ask for much so I am grateful for what I have. It may not be the best, but it fulfills my needs.” Then the doorbell rang. After receiving the news, I wanted to cry and scream but I remember the season the church is in that I currently attend: The season of transition. God is always moving and transforming us to look more and more like Him. When you are in a comfortable position, prepare to be moved to the uncomfortable. Just know that it is God’s Will.
How do you conduct yourself in the season of transition? What prayers are you supposed to pray? I am a very private person so for me to even write this is a huge step! One thing that I am learning in the midst of my transition is to wait and hear from the Lord. I have so many people in my ear telling me what I should do. Waiting in (not just on) God can seem like the longest wait but even in the longest wait has its meaning and purpose. He redeems time and restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). You can have confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, NIV). Not one minute of your journey is a waste of time. See it instead as a priceless opportunity for learning and growth.
My prayers never changed because God remains to be faithful and good. A mind at rest stays at rest until an external greater force moves it. Transition requires the mind to shift from one paradigm (a way of thinking) to another. I had to see God in the midst of storm. I could not focus on the storm but what comes after the storm. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says that, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” Even though the end of a thing cannot be made out at the moment, you got to keep your mind on the higher because God will always exceed our expectations (Eph. 3:20).
If transition is where many of us are in this hour, then humility will be the path to peace. If we act out of a humble heart we will show to ourselves and to God that we are the people He wants us to be. Don’t speak against transition but embrace it. Remember that God is always with you. Sometimes you may not be able to feel Him, but He is there standing by. Never try to figure it out on your own. God has the ultimate plan and answer during your season to transition. During the season of transition God, will mature you, grow you up, heighten your senses and allow you to be more aware of God in your life. Just remember to mediate and stand on His promises.