Thursday, December 27, 2012

40 Day Prayer|Fasting Challenge

ch at Hampton Roads, we are committing to put God first and to give Him the first when it comes to our year.  There comes a time when our desire for godly change outweighs our desire for food itself, that moment comes when we want to see God sized breakthrough in our lives and in the lives of those in our region.  We live in a time that without God involved we will only experience defeat and death at every turn. We need God present!  We ABSOLUTELY NEED His power at work for us.  We as a church will take a stand and declare Jesus alone to be our Sustainer, our Refuge, our Hope, our Savior, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Fasting & Prayer brings a new level of God's power into our lives and enables us to see breakthrough where we have not seen breakthrough before (Mark 9:17-29).  It is about aligning us with God's will, NOT hunger striking against Him in order to get Him to conform to our will.  When we align ourselves with Him He fights for us, directs us, guides us, protects us, leads us into our ultimate calling and brings a new level of breakthrough power into our lives. After all, this battle you and I are fighting is NOT physical (Ephesians 6:12).

Joshua 3:5, "Joshua told the people, consecrate yourselves (set yourself apart for God's purposes only), because the Lord WILL DO WONDERS (miracles, amazing things!) among you tomorrow."

CHR, God promises to do AMAZING things, God sized MIRACLES if we, His people will set ourselves apart for Him alone.  Our job is to consecrate ourselves, his job is to do miracles.  But His miracles are tied to our faith and our consecration.  If He is number one in our lives He will move on our behalf.  2 Chronicles 17:14 says:

"If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land."

We WILL see God bring breakthrough because we will NOT live pridefully.  Our humility WILL bring the favor of our God!

Details/What you need for CHR's 40 Day Challenge:

  • Starts January 1st 
  • Ends February 9th 
  • Purchase and work through Mark Batterson's book…..ALL IN 
  • Purchase ALL IN by clicking the link below:
  • Purchase a journal.  Write down specific prayers you are praying along with anything you feel God is speaking to your heart and mind.
  • Specific things to pray this year along with Sarah and I concerning CHR:
    • That CHR accomplish its vision well.  CHR's Vision: To lead people into becoming fully devoted followers of Christ.
    • That we do our part in The Great Commission, that we reach others.
    • That CHR and ALL of its people will walk in wisdom, favor and influence.
    • That CHR's DNA and culture would be spiritual maturity.  Spiritual maturity defined?  Serving others above ourselves.  (John 15:13)  
    • That CHR and ALL of its people would do NOTHING from selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3)
    • That CHR and ALL of its people would be anxious for NOTHING (Philippians 4:6), trusting God will be faithful in ALL things.
  • Now believe, sit back and watch God bring a new level of breakthrough to you, your family, your marriage and our church because we are seeking Him with ALL of our heart...

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Types of Fasts

Full Fast
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
The Daniel FastEat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
3-Day FastThis fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
Partial FastA partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
Scripture References for Fasting:Matthew 6:16-18Matthew 9:14-15Luke 18:9-14
Relation to Prayer and Reading of the Word:1 Samuel 1:6-817-18Nehemiah 1:4Daniel 9:3, 20Joel 2:12Luke 2:37Acts 10:30,Acts 13:2
Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing (Isaiah 58Jeremiah 14:121 Corinthians 8:8). May God greatly bless you as you fast!

(Jentezen Franklin)

Fasting Quick Tips

How to Begin
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

Preparing Spiritually
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25Luke 11:417:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).

Deciding What to Fast
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

Deciding How Long
Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. If fasting is new you may want to start slow.

What to Expect
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.

How to End
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

(Jentezen Frankiln)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pastors, Stop Leading

This title hit me like a TON of bricks this morning.  My mind goes back to Moses who was an amazing leader.  He led MILLIONS of people successfully out of Egypt (Exodus) and led them for years in a brutal desert and helped them position themselves for taking the Promised Land (Canaan).

But, why was he successful as one of Israel's greatest leaders?  How was he able to know where to go and what to do?  Well, there was a cloud that led them by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Then there was the massive amount of time he spent before God.  Seeking God's heart for the next step.

It comes to me that we, as pastors, seemingly responsible for the lives and souls of people have been trying to lead more successfully as the years progress and we begin to get anxious because the focus is on us being better leaders.  One of the key truths I see about Moses is that he was not an incredible leader, he was an incredible follower.

If you are wanting to alleviate the pressure of leadership, if you are tired of being attacked by fear, then stop trying to lead.  You and I, even though in the world's eyes are leading people, are truly as good leaders merely following.

God IS THE OWNER, we are the managers.  Jesus said very specific, freeing words that are a promise for you and I in the verbal exchange with Peter in Matthew 16:18, "......I will build My Church...."

Let's be GREAT FOLLOWERS.  Put the responsibility of building the church on God's shoulders.  His shoulders are designed to carry that weight.  Free yourself from having to create a result.  His is the church, His is the result, His is ALL the power.......all you can do is love people, love God and be obedient to what He is specifically saying to spend time with the Owner, He WILL be faithful to give you the next step IF you are listening....