Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY THIRTEEN

I don’t like to wait. When I was younger I hated waiting for Christmas morning. I had a cousin who would sneak downstairs during the night, rip open several of his presents, take a peek, and tape them back up to try and hide the evidence. He hated waiting until morning! I hate waiting for my favorite author’s new book to come out. I think there is good reason “patience” is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).  

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY TWELVE

I fear so many in the church today don’t have the same attitude toward sin as this tax collector mentioned in Luke 18:13. So many think “lightly” of sin and don’t realize it puts a wall up between us and God. God is holy. A Christian cannot indulge in a life of habitual sin and not feel the tug of the Holy Spirit saying, “My son, my daughter…. this is not for you. Repent.”

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY ELEVEN

Yesterday we looked at Psalms 51 and you were asked to pray and ask God to show you anything in your life that is hindering you from having a clean heart and a steadfast spirit. As you can see from today’s Scripture dealing with sin is a prerequisite for “seasons of refreshing” that come from “the presence of the Lord.” The bible says in Numbers 32:23 that “be sure your sin will catch up with you.” Sin must be dealt with for revival to happen. Revival isn’t something we can just pray and ask God for. There must be work on our part first. I’m not suggesting our works move the hand of God. But when we deal with our sin it moves the heart of God, because He loves us and desires to bless us. When we don’t see God at work it’s likely because of our sin and rebellion.

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY TEN

Psalms 51 is a beautiful picture of what a repentant heart looks like. The bible refers to David as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22) even though he committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11). David wasn’t a perfect man. If he was alive today, the world would be rallying to have him removed as king and arrested for murder. David did not go unpunished for his crimes. The baby born out of David and Bathsheba’s adultery died. David sought forgiveness from God and asked Him to renew an unwavering, faithful, steadfast spirit within him. And God did! Here’s another beautiful picture of God’s grace: Jesus’ lineage can be traced back to David himself (Matthew 1:1-6).

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY NINE

I want to deal with a topic today that we don’t hear talked about much in our modern church culture.  We hear much on the issues of grace, the work of the Holy Spirit, the need for God-centered relationships, etc.  And, of course, we should.  These are essential to our daily walk with Christ.  The fact is: God is actively pursuing us, inviting us to know Him in deeper and deeper intimacy.  The fact that God is seeking after us requires us to yield to His call to be the Lord of our lives in complete submission.

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY EIGHT

Yesterday we looked at the tendency to latch onto substitutes to try to deal with the pressures of life.  The enemy is always ready to offer us a way around God’s design.  Initially these substitutes give us a sense of relief, even of freedom.  Eventually though, like the prodigal of Luke 15, we discover that a false freedom is not an escape from bondage, but an escape into it.  Substitutes create idols out of things and people that become barriers between us and God.  In the end, everywhere we turn becomes a dead end.  Our lives becomes like a maze hedged up with thorns (Hosea 2).  Everywhere we turn results in greater pain than the one we tried to avoid.

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY SEVEN

In Jesus Christ it is possible to experience God’s fullness on an ongoing basis.  In Him it is possible to abide in the Father’s presence and bear spiritual fruit that is supernatural in nature.  It is possible to live out of the liberating life of the Holy Spirit breaking through all that the enemy of our souls uses to keep us bound up in our fears and frustrations.  But, not without a struggle!  And even though we know this to be true, that spiritual conflict is inevitable, it is the tendency of all of us to deviate to the path of least resistance.  We want victory in our lives, but we don’t want to have to fight to get it.  We want overcoming by osmosis rather obedience.

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Fast Forward: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: DAY SIX

It is not uncommon to get so caught up in the demands of living that my passion, my energy for life dries up.  What started out as a simple diversion, to help relieve the pressures of the day, now has a stranglehold on me. My argument may be that these are “sinless” substitutes, but no matter, they have become weights on my soul that do not satisfy the ache of longing that is always there.  The essential element of life, my relationship with God, has been neglected due to a maxed out schedule and a weariness of mind and body that desires to be entertained rather than invest in the time and energy that a walk with Christ requires.  Attitudes have crept in that keep me hostage to my baser desires and emotions rather than those that glorify the Lord. 

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