In them men wrestle with principalities and powers...
The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips.
It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul.”
— Samuel Chadwick
“Prayer is reaching out and after the unseen;
fasting, letting go of all that is seen and temporal.
Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution
that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves,
to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”
— Andrew Murray
A Man on a Mission
Psalm 139:13-16; For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
You may or may not be a big fan of this particular genre but being a guy, I always feel drawn toward action movies. The plots seldom differ from the hero trying to save nothing less than the entire world from annihilation. Of course, you also cannot have a good action movie without the villain in hot pursuit.
The hero will have to negotiate a labyrinth of tests and trials on his way to certain victory. We, as the entertained viewers, always know the end will be good and the hero will save the day. However, sometimes we’re not always so sure how it’s going to happen.
If you could step back, you could most likely view your life the same way. Life is like a roller-coaster with many ups and downs. Most of the time real life can be more entertaining than the best action movie. That’s why so much of our culture has been completely hypnotized by ‘reality TV’. Real life is far more interesting.
However, we must never forget that God is directing the movie of our life and even though we don’t always know how, He always leads us to victory and in the end and He always saves the day.
As the end of our fast is drawing close, take heart in the fact God has seen every step you’ve taken.
He’s seen the days when it was hard to say no to temptation and the days when you were wondering if it was really worth it. He sees everything. He sees what’s on the inside where it really counts. He sees the whole story. Allow Him to orchestrate the story of your life both today and every day to come.
Have you taken yourself out of the director’s chair and allowed your Heavenly Father to sit down?
If not, do so today. Don’t worry, He has the perfect story picked out and it’s one you could’ve never dreamed possible.
“God rejoices when we manifest a faith
that holds Him to His Word.”
~ Smith Wigglesworth
DAY 17 ~ JANUARY 23
“A godly man is a praying man.
As soon as grace is poured in, prayer is poured out.
Prayer is the soul’s traffic with Heaven;
God comes down to us by His Spirit,
and we go up to Him by prayer.”
— T. Watson
God’s Got A Blessing That’s All Yours
Acts 10:34-35 NIVThen Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
Romans 2:11 NIV For God does not show favoritism.
Ever get picked last for a team sport?
Ever feel like you were being stereo-typed or discriminated against simply because of who you are or your background?
Ever felt intimidated by someone else and made to feel as if you weren’t important?
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Even Jesus was placed into a stereo-typical category by Nathanael in John 1 when he remarked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
People are picked on, ostracized, left out, ridiculed and intimidated by others all the time. Unfortunately it’s simply part of being alive. As long as we live in a world of sin there will seemingly always be a ‘bully’ or an unappreciative co-worker forcing us to remember that patience and long-suffering are part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Overcoming these obstacles is something we’ll save for another devotion. Today, let’s focus of something amazing.
We serve a God who is the Creator of the Universe. Everything has been made by Him and for His good pleasure. If anyone has the ability to look down on us and judge, it’s Him. However, the Bible says that God is, “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) His thoughts toward you are good, to give you hope and a future. (Jer.29:11)
He knows you completely and yet still loves you anyway. He loves us despite our quirks and oddities. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts.
During this fast, have you found your desires changing any from the time you began to now?
He knows what you need most even if we sometimes get it all mixed up ourselves. He to wants to pick you first for His team and He never wants you to feel intimidated by Him or anyone else. There’s a special blessing He has picked out just for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for His fullness today. Also, if you are feeling intimidated or left-out by others, don’t be afraid to talk with Him about that too. Allow God to minister to you today.
DAY 18 ~ JANUARY 24
“Beware in your prayers, above everything else,
of limiting God,not only by unbelief,
but by fancying that you know what He can do.
Expect unexpected things ‘above all that we ask or think.’”
— Andrew Murray
A Blessed Child
Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
How many parents have made this statement, “I don’t care what it is. If my baby wants it and I have the means, their getting it.”
Is it spoiling the child? Probably!
Is that always a wise course of action? Probably not!
However, we all like a little something extra from time to time. The Bible says if we being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will God give to His kids. (Luke 11:13)
Whether we want to admit it or not, we as children of God are so spoiled.Our heavenly Father loves to give us gifts and things we want but sometimes don’t deserve. He gives us health, financial blessings, a good family…. the list could go on for days.
Who are we? …we’re blessed children of God.
Isn’t it amazing to realize how much God loves us.
Today, take a moment to look around and see all of the blessings you’ve received from Him. He doesn’t bless us because we deserve it. He blesses us because we’re His and He loves us. It’s as simple as that.
DAY 19 ~ JANUARY 25
“There is no way that Christians, in a private capacity,
can do so much to promote the work of God
and advance the kingdom of Christ as by prayer.”
“There is a general kind of praying
which fails for lack of precision.
It is as if a regiment of soldiers
should all fire off their guns anywhere.
Possibly somebody would be killed,
but the majority of the enemy would be missed.”
— C. H. Spurgeon
THE DARK DAY CHRIST DIED?
Mark 15:22-25 -- They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 23Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him . . . 25It was the third hour when they crucified him.
1Cor. 15:1-3 -- Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
There have been some truly dark days in history.
One of the most devastating pandemics in human history started in China and traveled along the Silk Road, reaching the Crimea by 1346. From there it was probably carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. It spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It came to be known as The Black Deathand is estimated to have killed 30–60 percent of Europe's population, reducing world population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century. The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover.
A series of bushfires ignited and burned across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, and resulted in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire; 173 people diedand 414 were injured as a result of the fires. As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on 7 February and nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed. Following the events of 7 February 2009 and its aftermath, that day has become widely referred to as Black Saturday.
The relocation of Native Americans in 1838 is called The Trail of Tears.
The slaughter of Jews by Nazi Germany is called the Holocaust
These are just a sampling of truly dark days in world or national history.
Another truly dark day in our history was the day that Jesus was nailed to the cross and received the punishment for all those who had, and would, sin in this world.
Jesus, the Son of God, a man who had done no wrong, was abused, beaten and crucified in the most horrific way. And what do we call this day? Good Friday!
Seems strange, doesn’t it? How wrong to call such a dark and horrible day “Good”. And yet, the difference about Good Friday is that we know it won’t be long until we are celebrating again. On the third day, we remember that Jesus rose again and conquered the ugly death He experienced. It’s important to acknowledge all that happened on this Friday, but we have the hope of the “Good” to look forward to the Sunday.
21 Day Daniel Fast
Just two more days left to this Daniel fast. I hope you are finding it enriching and even life changing. I also pray that Jesus Christ has become more real and precious to you than ever before.
Don’t feel that you have to end this fast after Breakfast on Easter Sunday Morning. I encourage you to not cease from the fast until you feel a release in your own spirit.
I will personally continue this fast for a few more weeks to come. Maybe not every day, but for a few days of each week. I have known of many who practice a regular, ongoing fast for one or two days of every week. Some fast every Monday and others for the entire weekend. Whatever you do, remember it is not a religious ritual but a Faith Function flowing from a heart of yearning love for God and all things holy.
Keep the Faith!
(P.S. If you are using these daily devotionals please email me at CraigC@swflministries.com and let me know what you think about this site. Thanks P Craig)