Friday, January 28, 2011
Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #4
(I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have a medical education. This post is based on personal experience only.)
After trying lots of fasts over the years I have learned a few things about my body and how to fast. As I mentioned in my previous post on The Discipline of Fasting there are many types of fasts. I need to cover two things in this post... first and briefly, since we are coming off of a 21 day fast lets look at...
Going on and off of longer fasts...
When I am going to be fasting three days or more, I begin days or a week or more ahead cutting our complex, hard-to-digest foods. For me, I cut out sweets, meats, breads, pasta, and processed foods. Next I cut out dairy (except the Activia I eat daily), and then I will start a fast with Fruits, Veges, and grains (oats, nuts, and rice). I usually can go straight to Juice or Water from there. I will do the same thing coming off a fast. I will add back in grains, then bread, then dairy, etc.
*tip* Avacadoes are VERY good for coming off a water fast. This fat is good for the digestive system to work on and get oiled up again.
Grace...Whenever you fast you must stay in tune with the Spirit. If there is not grace, don't go harder on your fast. Use wisdom. Sometimes I have much grace and sometimes I dont. Look for ways to be radical that don't hurt your body. With that said, lets talk about the importance of...
Regular Weekly Fasting...I started regular weekly fasting three or so years ago. Before that, I fasted often one to three days a month but not consistently. Here's what happens when you commit yourself to consistent fasting. For example, if you are going for a water only fast one day a week, remember what I stated above about preparing your body, you will need to watch what you are eating the day before and the day after. This very well could effect your entire diet. I am not going to state the personal choices I have made in permanent diet changes, because it is still in process of becoming better and better, but that is all in effort to give my body to the Lord.
Some may not want to hear this, but eating unto the Lord is as important as fasting unto the Lord. I will say this, I have made a decision to moderate what I eat as a life-fast to the Lord, lest food become my God. Just like you do 21 day fasts or 40 day fasts on occasion, this is how I have chosen to eat things I consider "indulgences".
Lets also look at fasting other things than food...
I will confess I have had seasons of being addicted to watching television shows, mostly when I am sick in bed I. What happens for me is I slowly lose my spiritual appetite and become dull. Now, maybe you are a great person of discipline and you have supernatural encounters and balance a media life, I'll speak to everyone else... If you are going to fast regularly, you need to keep your heart alive. This is the opposite of "dull". This means you would need to make some life choices regarding TV and internet usage.
We went for a season without internet in our home. We figured, if we needed to go online, the inconvenience of having to do it while we are at the church would help us to only be online doing what is truly necessary. Maybe that would be helpful for some of you as well.
One Last Thought...
Recently we were given some Little House on the Prairie DVDs. I never watched that show as a kids, so it was all brand new to me. I have really been getting rocked by the simplicity of life they led in those days. In one episode, Pa, Michael Landon, was sitting up at night after the kids all went to bed in his chair, and the only book in their house was the Bible. He picked it up and started reading it, and then set it down and turned in.
I was really impressed by that. No television, no radio, his entertainment was family, the Bible, and his fiddle. Many people need this picture in mind to truly understand what this term, "fasted lifestyle" really means. Regular weekly fasting will truly help you to change your 24/7 life, I guarantee it.
Here's a Good Resource for Breaking A Fast
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
This is a Resource I created to help give a platform for those trying to structure their time in large chunks in the Prayer Room. If you are an Intercessory Missionary especially, it is important to have direction for your Sacred Trust time.
Different Types of Prayer Focus:
I. Adoration - proclaiming who God is and the attributes of His character
II. Confession - personal cleansing, repentance, putting on of Christ’s nature
III. Thanksgiving - praise offering, remembering the works of the Lord, meditation
IV. Communion – fellowship with God, talking about what’s on Your heart, thought cleansing
V. Supplication - asking, intercession, and petitioning according to His will
VI. Meditation – disciplined time meditating on small portions of scripture, writing and drawing revelation from the passage (read, write, say, sing, pray)
VI. Bible Study – studying and cross referencing passages and Biblical themes of personal interest or teaching preparation
It is important time is spend in the proper order, for example, adoring God first, exalts Him and who He is in your mind, thus naturally leading to seeing ourselves and less than God and in need of confessing our weak areas and need for Him. This then naturally leads us to thank Him and so on. Meditation and Bible Study usually soar once we have cleansed our heart and minds and fellowshipped with the Spirit.
Adoration: (can start at 15min. and expand to 60) Choose a passage of scripture (or a few) and begin to recite the Words and tell God who He is as He is revealed in that passage. [ADORATION Prayer Book by Bob Hartley is a great resource tool.]
Confession: (15 - 30 minutes) this may be shorter or longer, this is something you need to press through even when you don’t feel it, when lacking what to ‘confess’. Confession is never about putting yourself down and receiving condemnation. It is always about facing the true convictions of the Holy Spirit and seeing God for who He is in His rightful place of authority in your life. When you don’t know what to confess, try these:
· Your need for Jesus
· Your need for wisdom
· Your lack of understanding and knowledge of God
· Your human weakness
Thanksgiving: (5-15 minutes) Thank Jesus for the attributes spoken of during the adoration time and confession time, count your blessings, see the riches God has bestowed on you in the physical, emotional, and spiritual. [I personally have a daily list I go over reminding myself of all God has done for me, it begins with my salvation.]
Communion: (30 – 60 minutes) Cleanse your thought life of all the things that have been rolling in your head, talk to the Lord about what is bothering you, heavy on Your heart, not asking for anything, just engaging in a conversation rather than ‘venting’ to a friend. Take time to sit still and listen in your heart to His response. Journal any responses you hear from the Lord.
Supplication: (60 -90 minutes) This will be very different for each individual. It’s important to know that you may not cover everything everyday, but if you have a list to work down it helps get you into the place of prayer. If you feel an increase of the presence of the Lord as you are praying for one area, stop there and spend more time on it. Here is my Supplication (Asking/Intercession) list:
- Pray for Myself, Strengthening in my inner man. (Mike Bickle has a great resource Booklet, “Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man”
- Intercede over my husband and family
- Intercede over individuals on my heart from a list in my journal, including a list of people I am contending for their healing .
- Pray and ask God for financial favor over individuals who sow/have sown into me personally, my family, and my ministries
- Intercede over the pastors and leaders in my life and my church
- Intercede over area of Justice, social and political movements, California, Etc.
Bible Study: (60-120 minutes) Have a bible study action plan, books of the bible you are going after in deeper contexts hermeneutically. For example, I break my plan down quarterly and monthly, so if I am studying the Bridal Paradigm, that is the quarter study, each month I may focus on one chapter at a time of the Song of Solomon and going through every cross reference. Study slow. Take time to chew, journal, meditate, pray the verses, ask God for understanding, etc. Don’t just quickly move through commentaries.
I hope this encourages you and I believe it will give you direction in the area of developing a deeper prayer life!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
- In the Prayer Room
- On a worship Team
- On a prayer team
- At an Encounter God Service
- In the House of Prayer Office
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
- Transition, Change, Travel
- To awake (physically or spiritually)
In 333 BC Alexander the Great conquers Persia under Darius III in the Battle at Issus. He also conquers western Asia Minor, Phrygia, Byblos, Sidon, Syria, etc. Alexander the Great and his four successors are commonly believed to of fulfilled the prophecy in Daniel 8:5-8 as interpreted in Daniel 8:20-22. The historian Josephus even recorded that Alexander spared Jerusalem after the high priest presented the book of Daniel to him.
In 333 AD Flavius Julius Constans, the youngest son of Constantine I, is made Caesar at Constantinople. He later becomes co-emperor along with his brothers Constantine II and Constantius II. Constans tolerated Judaism, banned pagan sacrifices, and opposed Arianism (a belief which states that Christ, and by extension the Holy Spirit, was created and is therefore separate from, and inferior to, God the Father).
Sunday, January 2, 2011
“In the last days I will pour out my Spirit…”
“… for the Day of the Lord is coming, For it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.” Joel 2:1-2