devotion (4)

Be a part of the 22 Days of Fire

New Year’s Day is coming and rather than just celebrating the turn of a calendar page, let’s make the day meaningful by seeking a fresh touch from the Lord!

Urge your church to become a part of, ’22 Days of Fire.’ It’s a Christ-centered way to start out the new year.

The first step this year is the New Year’s Day worship service, including prayer to rededicate your life and your church to the Lord and His purposes. A fellowship meal after the service would be a way to unify the people behind the vision for the fast.

The next step is a 21-day Daniel Fast until January 22nd.

A Daniel fast is patterned after Daniel’s fast in Daniel chapter one. Generally it consists of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, maybe eggs. While it’s not a rigid fast, to be genuine, you shouldn’t eat meat (including fish), junk/snack food, nor sweets (candy, desserts, donuts, etc.).

Each week has a specific focus:

+The first seven days of the Daniel Fast are to seek His mercy.

+The next seven days are to seek His wisdom and specific direction.

+The last seven days of the Daniel Fast are to seek His power and anointing for your life and for your church.

It’s recommended that everyone participating in this time of prayer and fasting have a prayer meeting during each week of the 21-day fast. Share what the Lord has shown you during the time.

If ever there was a time in our nation’s history when we need to seek the Lord it’s now! Let us join together to seek the Lord’s heart for our church, for our nation, and for our own walk with the Lord.9651028260?profile=original

For more information, you can go to the web page

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Most of you are aware by now that I have begun writing two blogs, one every other week. Next week I will continue an entry begun last week on Praying Your Politics.

This entry continues last week's post on examining yourself for the Relief of Repentance.

Look again at the powerful prayer of David In Psalm 139.

"Search me O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Searching you heart must key on Searching the Devotion of Your Heart.

I made a serious commitment to Christ the summer before my freshman year in high school. I went back to school a different boy. Sometime in that year a boy confided in me, cautious lest his friends

overhear. "I started going to church once. I was real serious about it. I went every Sunday and even on Wednesday nights. But after a while I just said, 'What's the use?"

I did not know what to say to him. And I'm not certain what he was saying. But most of us are aware of people who say something like, "I used to be a Christian. I was really devoted to God, but it didn't get me anything." Maybe they said something like, "I was devoted to God, but when I really needed something, He didn't come through."

Some of you may have thought something like that. But examine those statements with me. Was that person devoted to God or devoted to what they thought serving God would get them?

We need God's help to examine the devotion of our hearts. Do I love You, God? Or do I love myself. Do I love You, or do I love what I want you to give me?

There are a number of great things about God's searching in us. First, I can never see my devotions as clearly as God. I tend to see the specs in my brothers' eyes but I'm blind to logs in my own.

It is also good to go to God to ferret out my devotion because God loves and forgives me. Satan accused Job of loving God's protection and provision rather than God Himself. But even though it was partly true, God did not believe it. God always sees Jesus in me.

God also comes to us with the power to change our devotion. He speaks to us and draws our hearts to Him. O God, inspire the devotion of my heart. When I enter into worship alone or in church, when I take time to thank God for what He does for me, when I ponder my position in Christ, God’s Spirit draws me to love Him more and more.

“The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.”

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Shut Your Door

The deepest and most meaningful communion we have with God is when we enter into the fellowship of solitary prayer in the secret place. I call it the inner chamber. Jesus understood the importance of solitude. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

When you enter your own inner chamber, notice that Jesus suggests you “shut your door,” (Matthew 6:6). How good are you at shutting doors? It’s a very effective, yet little practiced method to leave the rest of the world outside. I know young parents who mistakenly think they have to let their little ones barge in on them whenever and wherever they like, without restriction. That’s a sure path to insanity.

Shut your door and it will fulfill its purpose, which is to prevent any interference and to enforce strict privacy. Along with the plain old door to our inner chamber, other “doors” we must shut include the power buttons on the television, computer, phone, iPod…you get the picture. That means turning them off, not merely letting them hibernate only to wake up and elbow their way into our private sessions with the Master.

It may be that we can measure the depth of our love for Christ by how “interruptable” our time with Him is. I often wonder if Christ looks at the array of techie devices sprawling across our desks and asks, “Do you love Me more than these?”

Your time in the inner chamber is the most precious time you have on earth. It is all that will prepare and qualify you for doing business in the public place. If you do not serve Christ behind closed doors in the inner chamber, you seriously stunt your ability to serve Him in the public marketplace, whether your marketplace is your family at home, or work outside the home, or even service to the church.

Jesus practiced solitude, apparently quite frequently. Are you capable of withdrawing into the absolute solitude of the inner chamber? Can you do it? Many believers cannot, because they have never really tried. It seems unthinkable to “go all solitary.” It’s as if they always need to be in the presence of other human beings in order to be a real person, or to be validated. On their own, they are bewildered, having lost their sense of self. It’s unfamiliar territory, and scary.

Jesus, who had the most amazing sense of “self” of anyone in history, withdrew into the wilderness, alone. A wilderness place is somewhere that is wild, desolate, sometimes barren, but really just untamed or uncultivated. For those who are inexperienced in personally relating with Christ, even their own inner chamber may seem like a wilderness place. There is a promise resting over the wilderness, though, a promise just for you. The wilderness will blossom. It will become a place of beauty, a fruitful, growing place. I’m sure that Jesus, having often trod the solitary path of prayer, experienced the wilderness environment in an entirely different way than some of us may at this point. Instead of finding it untamed and uncultivated, I’m quite certain it was His beloved inner chamber, a place of safety, fellowship, counsel, affirmation and productivity.

There is something to that idea. Can you see it? How vital it is for us to experience the potentially frightening and lonely wilderness parts of our lives from the perspective of the inner chamber. When we do this, we will see these areas tamed. We will experience them as exciting venues, filled with the beauty of God’s holiness, places that He holds in His hand, showcases for His glory. We will see them as places and times of opportunity for the Father to fulfill His eternal promise, “I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19b).  Go ahead. Give it a try. Give Him the opportunity to shine through your life. Be brave. Shut your door.

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Hide and Seek!


It's a little before dawn and I walk the 200yds from my comfortable cozy cabin, in the brisk clear air to The Prayer Chapel at Harvest Prayer Retreat Center in Indiana.

The moonlight casts a silver glow over the ice-covered lake. Entering the Chapel I experience the presence of God in the beauty of His creation as I quietly speak out the names of Jesus inscribed in a variety of scripts upon one of the walls.

I sit down at the writing desk and read a description of worship by Richard Foster which started like this: "Worship is living in the reality of God's creation with a heart open to receive all it's glory. Wow for the next nine hours that is what I did and incredibly it seems as if it were but one. As you watch today's PM3 may God give you a desire to come out of hiding in the busyness of life and TAKE A DAY, & BE IN HIS CREATION.

Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrr in the joy we share in Jesus and give away a PRAY NOW blessing today!



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