January 10th – January 30th, 2018
Since Shiloh’s beginning. we have made it a priority to seek God first through prayer and fasting!
We do this collectively as a church for 21 days at the beginning of each year. Together, we faithfully seek God first, trusting in Him alone to create lasting impact in our lives, our church, and our world.
There are specific times in our lives when God is trying to get our attention. We believe that this is that time for you. God is calling your name. God is trying to help you take a turn in your life right now. During this 21 days of prayer and fasting, it is not only possible but probable that God will speak to you, change your life and use this as a time of encounter with Him.
We eagerly await what the Lord will do for us, in us, and through us during these very special 21 days. What a way to begin 2018!
” The proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”- Charles Spurges
If you would like to download the Daniel Fast Daily Guide please CLICK HERE.
Day 1 - Increase in spiritual hunger and holiness- By Pastor Javier Ramos
David asks God in Psalm 51:10-12: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
God knows our sin but longs for transparency from us. He is always willing to forgive! God is in the restoration business.Daniel 6:10: Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
It was Daniel’s practice, three times a day, to go to an upstairs room in his apartment, open the windows facing Jerusalem, get down on his knees and pray to God. No doubt, Daniel prayed at other times also. He probably prayed throughout the day. But there were these special times, times he set aside when it was his priority to meet with God in prayer. This was such a priority to Daniel that even when the king passed a decree that for the next thirty days people could only pray to the king, following this law was not an option. Daniel may have been an important official in Darius’ kingdom, but when the king’s law (don’t pray) conflicted with God’s Law (pray), the choice was easy. Daniel chose to keep praying.
In Daniel 6 he was thrown into the lion’s den, BUT GOD protected Daniel, delivered Daniel, honored Daniel, and put him in the Bible for all to see.
Of the many truths in this stunning chapter, one concerns Daniel’s prayer. Three times a day, he set aside a special time to pray. Nowhere does God command us that we must do the same, but there is wisdom here. Wisdom would suggest a special time, or several briefer times, set aside each day to meet with God in prayer - a time we prize, protect and prioritize.
We should pray throughout the day and have an ongoing conversation with our God. But it is wise to also have a special time of prayer each day. Maybe it’s not a long time, but it is our time with God. It is our time to talk and listen and be together, no matter what else happens that day. It is our time to connect with our heavenly Father. During that time, God will fill us up with His Holy Spirit, restore our souls and prepare us for whatever the day brings.Reflect:
- Describe your thoughts around Daniel and his commitment to the Lord.
- What special time will you set aside in the next 21 days to talk and listen to God?
Day 2 - Draw Close to the Lord By Pastor Melinda Ramos
James 4:8: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)
Hebrews 10:19-22: Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (NKJV)
What an amazing promise! God will draw near to those who draw close to Him! Drawing close to God implies taking action. It involves coming close Him in the same way that we long to be near those we love. Truly it is an attitude of the heart.
The choice to draw near to God is not based on a feeling but on faith. God is ready and willing to restore us back to right relationship with Him, but we just need to take that first step. He is knocking at the door of our hearts. He has given us access. He is always willing, but we must do our part.
The Father has always longed for His children to be near to Him. In fact, God created us to fellowship with Him and experience the power of His presence. His original intention in the Garden of Eden was to walk and talk with Adam and Eve. Yet, sin brought a breach into that relationship. The Tabernacle and later the temple gave a temporary bridge for God to meet with His people. But God provided a plan for redemption and restoration through the promised Messiah so sinful men could once again draw near to God.
Through the shedding of His blood, Jesus tore the veil that separated God and man. His sacrifice made it possible to restore God’s relationship with us. He sent His Son to die for us so that through Him we might draw near. Because of the cross, we can boldly approach the throne of grace and obtain mercy and forgiveness.
Even when we don’t feel Him, God is there, ready and waiting to receive us with open arms. Nothing can separate us from His love! This is something we can be assured of because it is promised in the Bible. True Christian faith is not based on subjective feelings, but on knowing what God’s Word tells us and He tells us that He is with us wherever we go.
How do we draw near to God? We need to invite Him to be a daily part of our lives. This means spending time with Him, worshiping Him, praying and talking to Him and reading the Word. It means coming to Him with a repentant heart. Daily we need to examine our hearts, bring our lives under the submission of Christ and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we draw near to God, He will be there right with us filling us to overflowing with His mercy, grace, forgiveness, joy, peace and never-ending love! (Other verses to read: Psalm 145:18; Psalm 65:4; Psalm 73:28; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 42:2; Matthew 6:33; Revelation 21:3; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:18; Romans 5:11)Reflect:
- How did Christ maker it possible for us to draw near to God?
- What steps can you take to draw closer to God?
Lord, I long to draw nearer to You than ever before. Please forgive me for allowing anything to keep me from pressing into Your presence. I will dedicate more time to seeking You and spending time with You.
Day 3 - Worship the lord with my whole heart by Pastors Daniel & Katy Wade
1 Samuel 15:22 (AMP): “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.”
What does it mean to worship the Lord with our whole heart? A simple definition of the word “worship” is to ascribe worth or value to something or someone. As we worship God in our church services and private devotional times, we ascribe (or attribute) to Him value by our outward expressions of love and adoration. Real God worship, however, starts on the inside first and then overflows into every area of our practical daily lives.
We can come to church and give the best praise, with the best “ootd” (that’s, “outfit of the day” for us non-millennials), put on the best smiley face, sing the best song with the best voice or shout the best shout – but then fail to follow the WORD of God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit’s voice day to day. We then become Christian fakers at best, “having an outward form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5). All show, no substance. I’ve been convicted of this plenty of times. Worshipping God with my whole heart really means I obey God. Period.
In a social-media age, when selfies and clever idioms (to match our clever poses) are used to make us appear a certain way to the world, I hear God saying louder than ever that what He values is the obedient heart. The hearing and doing heart. The “seek first His kingdom and everything else will be added” heart.
In 2018, I want to grow. I can’t stay the same. I want to see Him more clearly, hear His voice better, know more of His thoughts and be entrusted with a greater measure of His demonstration power. But for any of us to really go ANY FURTHER up this mountain, we have to love Him enough to obey Him. And the higher we go, saints, the greater the requirement for obedience. The things we used to do and perhaps even some people who were once OK on our journey may not make the cut now. So be it. God have your way.Reflect:
- How has being in God’s presence changed you?
- Because everything we do can be an act of worship, how does this affect your view and more so, your attitude about common, everyday tasks?
As we enter into day 3 of the Daniel fast; more than blessings, more than comfort, even more than getting a clearer picture of our future, we ask for hearts that love You enough to obey your Word and heed [pay attention to] Your voice. I even hear You saying, Father, if we haven’t yet done the LAST thing You asked us to do, NOW is the time. We won’t delay! Doors are open until they are shut.
Father, today we ask for increased hunger for Your Word and increased thirst for Your righteousness. Most of all, as those who desire to worship You with our whole heart; we ask for the strength and the courage to obey Your voice above all others. Amen.
Day 4 - Reset the desires of your heart By Pastors Chris & Kelley Casimere
Psalm 37:10-12: Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
It is easy to go through life thinking, “I want this to happen”, or “ I hope this works out a certain way.” But as Christians we should always seek first the Kingdom of God and in so doing ask the Lord what He wants for us. As we pray and read the Word, we get to know God. We understand how He thinks, how He sees the world and how He wants us to live. We get to see His heart. The closer we get to Him, the more we know Him. Our desires can more easily line up with God’s desires when we know what those desires are.
Here are a few of God’s desires for us:
Healing – Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)
Wisdom – For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
- Prosperity – You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. (Psalm 128:2)
- Hope – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
- Fruit – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
As you can see, God wants more for us than we can hope or imagine. It is possible for our heart to desire the same thing as God’s heart. God shows us His heart through the Bible. His Word purifies our hearts as we read it and as that happens the desires of our heart are more pleasing to the Father. With a pure heart, we desire to do things God’s way, and we can call on Him and He will answer.Reflect:
What are your heart’s desires?
Do your desires line up with God’s desires? Use today to seek the Lord’s direction on the desires of your heart. Ask Him to help your heart line up with the heart of the Father.
When we do things God’s way, we have the heart of the Father and His desires become our desires and we are more like Him.
Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness. My heart’s desire is to be more like You. Turn my heart away from the sin and emptiness of this world and fill me with the love that You so freely give. Help my heart be like Your heart, guiding me in all I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day 5 - Walk in wisdom and revelation By Pastors John & Nina Baratiak
January 14thEphesians 1:17-19: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Proverbs 25:2: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
2 Timothy 1:13-14: Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
1 Chronicles 12:32a: Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…
Oh, what a privilege and an honor it is to be a Christian! It is the Lord who gives us wisdom and revelation to live our lives to the fullest as Kingdom residents. Our lives are truly to be lives lived abundantly! Can you imagine that the Lord conceals things in order for us to have the privilege to unveil them? There are no unknown or hidden things to God! When we desire to walk in wisdom and revelation we only need to turn to the Lord to ask Him to help us uncover the reality of what may seem dim to us at the moment. It’s the Lord who can turn the light on to help us to see!
We must observe what Revelation 3:18 instructs us to do - anoint our eyes with eye salve that we might see! It’s spiritual eye salve that we so desperately need in this hour. We can find it in abundance when we spend time with the Lord in prayer and in the Word. As we hear the Lord’s voice and have a willingness to obey, we discover we can perceive things with much greater clarity. The confusion we can often experience in this world begins to recede and we can distinguish the path ahead when we seek the Lord and immerse ourselves in His Word. This is how we begin to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds and find ourselves no longer conformed to this world’s way of thinking.
There are so many truths in these few Scriptures that will lead us to live a life filled with wisdom and revelation. One of the most important of them is that when we have received revelation and wisdom we need to guard it! That is what the Scripture in 2 Timothy 1 is saying. We must keep that which the Lord reveals to us by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we won’t find ourselves continually bewildered by the same type of situations. We should seek the Lord daily to give us the wisdom for this hour. Like the children of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12, we can have understanding of the times we live in and know what to do. The Lord delights to give this to us when we seek Him for it.Reflect:
How would your life be improved with a greater level of wisdom and revelation?
During this Daniel Fast, in what specific areas will you ask the Lord for increased wisdom and revelation?
Lord, help me to look to You to give me wisdom and revelation. I am excited to discover the hidden treasures You have planted for me to discover. Lord, give me a desire to have an increased hunger for Your truth and a willingness to guard it from slipping away from me. I pray that You will help me walk in a greater level of wisdom and revelation in 2018. Amen.
Day 6 - Living with an all-consuming sense of purpose By Pastors David & Marilyn Kiteley
Colossians 1:16: MSG: “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible… everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”
Daniel 1:8 MSG: “But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine.”
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s meat or wine so that he would in no way be distracted from his primary mission. Daniel and his three friends had been brutally ripped out of their spiritual heritage and the temple worship of Jerusalem and been placed in the heathen culture of Babylon.
It is noteworthy that they refused to be assimilated or to react against the system, or even to withdraw from the culture of Babylon where God had placed them. They were prepared to see God’s hand in it and to be submitted to the Lord’s sovereign plan rather than to be adversarial to the prevailing regime which did not honor the eternal God of Heaven.
Daniel and his closest companions knew that God’s purpose for their lives was far greater than their own personal fulfillment and peace of mind or wildest dreams and ambition and materialistic affluence or political influence in Babylon.Reflect:
- Do you have an all-consuming sense of purpose which will fice you fresh passion for 2018?
A prayer for the 6th day of Shiloh’s 2018 21-Day Corporate Fast:
That God’s presence will become so real both individually and collectively that everything we say or do becomes an act of worship.
That we will always be mindful to practice ongoing forgiveness on a regular basis.
That we will have a heart of compassion for those who are being unusually burdened.
That we will be willing to participate in another person’s joy with a spirit of celebration and thanksgiving.
Day 7 - Find and fulfill your destiny By Pastors James & Angie Archie
January 16thRead Daniel 1:1-21 Daniel 6:1-3: It seemed good to Darius [who became king after Belshazzar] to appoint over the kingdom 120 [a]satraps who would be in charge throughout the kingdom, 2 and over them three chief commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, so that the king would have no loss [from disloyalty or mismanagement]. 3 Then this Daniel, because of the extraordinary spirit within him, began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and the satraps, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire realm.
My wife and I recall when we were young people, even before we knew each other, we wanted to know, “What does the future hold for us?” Young Daniel, whose name means “God is my Judge,” must have had the same question. As a young teen, he was taken into captivity and transported from Jerusalem to Babylon. Daniel ended up in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar because he met the qualifications that the King described in Daniel 1:3-4. Daniel was very wise and his name was changed to Belteshazzar which means “who Baal favors.” The reason his name was changed was to wean him from his native land, his culture and his faith in the Lord God. But changing Daniel`s name did not change his character.
Daniel was given good food, a great education and everything he needed, but he knew if he took on the Babylonian culture it would lead to his spiritual corruption. He loved God and knew He had a plan for his life. He knew God's plan did not call for his spiritual life to decline. God's plans according to Jeremiah are “plans to prosper you and not harm you.” When our grandchildren were young they loved a song by "Psalty" that opens with, “God has a plan for my life, God has a plan for my life - I just can't wait to see what's in store for me - God has a plan for my life.” Daniel knew God had plans for his life and he was waiting for Him to reveal the plans. He must have been given a strong spiritual foundation. In the palace, he was surrounded by all kinds of immorality but his faith did not waver. We can assume Daniel had been taught God's righteous decrees. (For example see Deuteronomy 4:8-9)
Daniel`s first conflict came because he was asked to compromise and eat and drink the king's meat and wine, which had been offered to idols. Daniel was intentional and “resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and
wine.” (Daniel 1:8) Daniel knew favor comes from God above. God caused the official Ashpenaz to show Daniel favor and sympathy. Respectfully, Daniel asked Ashpenaz for only vegetables and water to eat and drink for ten days and then compare him to the young men who ate the food from the King's table. Daniel 1:15 says that Daniel “at the end of 10 days was healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” God gave Daniel knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning and Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. The wisdom God gave Daniel protected him. When Daniel was presented to the King he was found in “all matters of wisdom and understanding which the king asked him to be ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in his whole realm.” (Daniel 1:20)
Continue to read the book of Daniel; Daniel was intergenerational. He served under 4 kings—Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus—for approximately 70 years. Daniel was exalted because he was faithful to God. Daniel 1:2 says Daniel continued there even to the first year of King Cyrus 539 B.C. A note in the NIV study Bible says that Daniel was still living in the year 537 B.C, so he saw the exiles return from Babylonian captivity to Judah. What a destiny!
Daniel was under pressure to conform to what others wanted him to do but he refused to compromise! The book of Daniel tells of the many trials and tribulations he was subjected to. Daniel refused to yield and do things the way that Babylon did. Daniel stood for what he believed in and won the king's favor and was put in charge of the entire Kingdom. God ended up using Daniel in a very powerful way. Like Daniel, we need to have the courage to be different and not conform to what the world wants us to be and do, and God will give the promotion.Reflect:
Destiny is found and fulfilled in our relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 8:29, 1 Corinthians 2:7-9, John 3:16
Daniel was intergenerational! He ministered to all ages and racial groups (the Jews in captivity and the Babylonian people). He shows all generations how to find and fulfill their destiny; no matter your age, from birth to gray hair, God takes care of you. (Isaiah 46:3-4)
Daniel knew God`s Word, had an excellent spirit, was a man of prayer and trusted his God. (Psalm 119:11, Daniel 6:2,4,10, Proverbs 3:5-6)
Daniel was not afraid to stand for what he believed; we are to be like him. (Deuteronomy 31:4)
Daily ask God for His direction in finding and fulfilling your destiny. Daniel committed his plans to God. (Proverbs 16:3)
Father, thank You for Daniel`s example! We have gained insight on what it takes to stand firm for God when conflict arises. Daniel had no clue about the outcome of his resolve. All he knew was “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Lord, each day let us draw closer to You as we pray, read Your Word and serve in Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Day 8 - Produce the fruits of the Spirit by Revs. Eric & Lori King
Galatians 5:22-23: But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NKJV)
John 15:5, 8: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing...By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (NKJV)
Daniel stands as a great example and powerful picture of an overcomer of the world. Daniel followed the leading of the Holy Spirit in every area of his life. As he continually and intentionally yielded to the Spirit’s care and guidance, Christ’s character—the fruit of the Spirit—was produced in him and it was evident and visible to all. It’s no wonder, then, that Scripture declares that an “excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:3).
The word “fruit” in the Greek is “karpos” and speaks of fruit that is picked. The development of mature fruit in our lives takes time and cultivation. Just as natural fruit must be watered, cultivated and nurtured, so the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is a process as we abide in Jesus, study His Word and fully submit ourselves to Him.
The Holy Spirit desires to produce that same life-enriching fruit in our lives as He did in Daniel’s. In fact, the Father’s design and plan is that this Christ-like nature be manifested in abundance in the life of His children. As Jesus stated in John 15, the fruit of the Spirit is only birthed when we not only stay connected to but also abide in Jesus. Like Daniel, we each need to purpose in our hearts to live by the Spirit, to walk according to the direction given by Christ’s loving, caring Spirit and to be obedient in following His Word. Only in this way will the character of Christ be made manifest in you.
Always remember that the Lord wants to work in each of us what is well pleasing in His sight. Today, let’s pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us so that we would each bear His precious fruit in abundance, allowing not only ourselves, but also those around us to taste and see that the Lord is good!Reflect:
What components of the fruit of the Spirit do you desire more growth in?
What steps can you intentionally take to daily abide in Christ?
Heavenly Father, I thank You that it is Your desire to conform me to the image of Christ and produce an abundance of fruit in my life. I ask You to allow me to clearly hear the voice of Your loving Holy Spirit, to lead me and guide me into your presence daily. Please put a fresh hunger for Your word inside of me. Help me to understand and apply Your Word to every area of my life. I open my spirit and heart to You today. Have Your way in me completely.
Day 9 - Live saved and delivered daily By Pastor Vickie Madden
Psalm 91:1-3: He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Moses is credited with writing Psalm 91. He was a living witness to the salvation and deliverance of God as He led the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land. The journey to the Promised Land created circumstances in which the children of Israel’s daily salvation was reliant upon God to be their refuge and deliverer from the snare of the fowler and noisome pestilence.
The Hebrew word "yashab" means to dwell, remain, or settle. To activate God's source of protection, we must live close to Him and remain in His presence. We dwell in the realms of God through our daily prayer, reading and declaring His Word, worship and trusting in Him.
In today’s society, people invest in all types of security systems for businesses and homes for the protection of their families and all that is valuable to them, in the natural. Spiritually, Psalm 91 is one the most comprehensive security systems that God has provided for His children. However, to reap the benefits of His shelter, protection, and deliverance, we are required to pay an activation fee. We are instructed to dwell in the secret place of the highest and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Placing our confidence and trust in Him, the source of our protection entitles us to anticipate and expect God to deliver us in in every area of our lives. He alone is the one who enables us to live saved and delivered daily. It would be senseless to purchase an expensive state-of-the-art security system for a home and neglect to activate the system. Yet, that is what we do as Christians when we fail to recognize that God is our refuge and deliverer.
Psalm 91:3: Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler
Jesus was led by the spirit of God to the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights he was starving. Satan appeared and tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. He came to set a snare for Jesus (Read Matthew 4:1-11) but Jesus countered the satanic attack with the Word! How can you tempt He who is the Word? The Word is our deliverer and our defense from the noisome pestilence, worries, sickness, addictions, depression or any snare the enemy would attempt to present. Jesus proclaimed, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. When we remain in Him, we have the authority to proclaim His Word that will deliver us!Reflect:
During the fast, I encourage you to read Psalm 91 over your family daily and see the salvation of the Lord.
Pray and ask God to reveal any areas of your life you have not submitted to His delivering power.
Father, I trust You to bring deliverance and salvation to my household. I walk in agreement with Your promises spoken in Psalm 91. I declare and expect the supernatural intervention of Your rescuing power, protection, response, shelter, the longevity of life and deliverance. Teach my family and me how to remain under the shadow of the Almighty, that we may embrace the fullness of your love.
Day 10 - Serve God together By Rev Pablo & Maggie Coronado
Philippians 2:2-5: Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 4:10-11: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others…If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ…
What does it mean to serve? What does it look like to serve God?
To serve is an action word. Serving causes a person to do something for someone other than themselves. It asks us to put aside our own selfish ambition and agenda for the benefit of others. It is a willingness to serve others in His name as an act of humble love (Galatians 5:13) and a form of worship.
We are the body of Christ and an extension of Him. By serving we create an environment where God can change lives in a radical way. Through us the world can know that God is a healer, a miracle worker and a God of compassion. Jesus demonstrated service in everything that He did, but He did not do it in His own strength nor by Himself. He of all people could have done it by Himself, but Jesus surrounded Himself with people who would serve alongside Him.
So often we find excuses for why we can't or don't serve: I don't have time. I don't have any special skills to contribute. They don't need me. But the reality is we all have something to give and “God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called”. The Bible gives use countless examples of unequipped people whom God chose because they allowed themselves to be used.
The call to serve doesn't just fall on a select few; the whole church body is needed (Ephesians 4:16). It is Jesus’ example of His relationship with God, how He served and whom He served with, that should drive us to work together to fulfill the Great Commission. First Peter 4:10-11 states that everyone needs to come together and serve to use their gifts to glorify God. Let us daily ask ourselves: Whom will I choose to serve this day? Will my household and I serve the Lord?Reflect:
What pretexts have I made or do I have about serving?
What does serving God look like for me and my family? Am I giving God my best and am I using the gifts he has given me?
Jesus, help me to be like You every day. Teach me to walk humbly in all that I do. Show me how I can serve others today. Use me, Lord, and let me be a reflection of Your love. Help me see that everything that I put my hand to and everything that I do should not be done in my own strength, but in Yours.
Day 11 - Live healed and reconciled By Revs Steve & Lesia Knudsen
Luke 17:4: Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.
The past two years have probably been the most challenging time for our family in our 36 years. My wife experienced a debilitating physical challenge, for which God is now doing a progressive healing. We lean on Him daily for strength and encouragement.
We also experienced a major break with a member of our family and were shut off from all communication. We missed out on sharing major family events (births of grandchildren) and the holiday celebrations that we had normally spent together.
This was a troubling and painful experience; we were hurt. We wanted our relationship restored so we had to prepare our hearts to be ready to forgive and to be reconciled without anger. This was a challenge as our pain was deep. We experienced anger, grief and heartache. We asked God to search our hearts and cleanse us from anything unlike Him, especially pride and unforgiveness. We asked for His love so that we could give it to those who had hurt us. We wanted to be like the father of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, who didn’t wait for the son to ask for forgiveness or say he was sorry or grovel at his feet before he ran to his son with open arms and unconditional love!
Two years later restoration has begun and our relationship is now in the process of reconciliation! We celebrated Thanksgiving together! Praise God!
We are still learning to love like God loves and to keep our hearts always ready to forgive.
We are often tempted to revive the offense, which can lead down the path of unforgiveness. But as believers, if we continually cast our cares on the LORD (1 Peter 5:7), He gives us what we really need. Peace. Hope. Love. And a heart to forgiveReflect:
Are you in conflict? What is the LORD telling you to do to resolve the matter?
Are you willing to put aside anything that would prevent you from loving like God loves us?
(From Psalm 139) Father, search me and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me. Lead me in Your everlasting way of peace. Help me to experience Your love so deeply that I freely offer it to others that I need to forgive.
Day 12 - Receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit By Pastors Emmanuel & Hayet Akuaku
Mark 2:21-22: No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:16-17: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and my handmaidens I will out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
Acts 2:39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off; even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Praise the Lord! From Galatians 3:27 (NLT), “... as many as have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” If anyone is in Christ, she/he is a new creation, the old life is dead, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Consequently, we qualify for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit.
Notice the difference between infilling and outpouring of the Spirit. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a move of God, through the Church, empowering us to evangelize and disciple our communities and the world for Jesus (Acts 1:8). Infilling of the Spirit transforms the individual believer for closer walk with God. We need both the outpouring and infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The new wine in Mark 2:22 symbolizes the joy, freedom and the power the Holy Spirit brings to help us serve God and reach our world uninhibited. But we must earnestly go after it; it doesn’t just happen. The early Church showed us the way in Acts chapters 1, 2 and 13. Your participation in this year’s fast is proof of your earnest desire for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our homes, the Church, our communities, state, our nation and the world at large.Reflect:
Meditate on the scriptures above and use them in prayer; expect the Holy Spirit to help you in prayer (Rom. 8:26).
The Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses for Jesus. What other ways is the Lord showing you to be a witness for Him?
Living in the love of God is the most excellent way to a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1-13)
Heavenly Father, we are ready for a fresh outpouring of Your Holy Spirit. In and through the Church, stretch forth Your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Your holy child Jesus (Act 4:30). Let this fresh outpouring transform the culture around us for Jesus. Cause your Church to walk in Your love to sustain the outpouring of Your Spirit, for Your love never fails.
Day 13 - To be served by visionary leaders By Pastors Jonathan & Jessica Overall
Philippians 3:12-14: "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Ephesians 6:19-20: “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in [j]chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
We can learn so much from the life and ministry of Paul. He was a strong believer and leader who had a great understanding of his vision and call as an Apostle to the Church. In these scriptures, we see Paul reveal his heart and passion for the vision that burned in his heart. His vision was to pursue God and see the fullness of Christ manifested in his life and ministry. In humility, Paul also understood the grace of God which was upon his life to fulfill these things. He was not ashamed to share his challenges and to seek prayer from his fellow believers. Paul did not covet the prayers of the saints solely for his own personal gain but for the advancement of the Gospel. The prayers of the New Testament saints played a key role in life of Paul and the impact of his ministry.
Read Nehemiah 2:17-20: In the story of Nehemiah, we see another servant of the Lord who was raised up to fulfill a specific purpose. Nehemiah was a man with a tremendous burden and vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. God also gave him a special grace to mobilize and lead the people in a unified effort. It took the support of others to accomplish the rebuilding of the walls. Despite the odds and opposition from the enemy, God used Nehemiah to stand firm on the vision and persevere to see it through.Reflect: Paul and Nehemiah were men of God with a clear vision of what they were called to accomplish. They both understood the need for the prayers and support from the people they led. God has called us to pray for each other, especially our leaders. As we stand unified in prayer, seeking the heart of God, we will also see God do great things through the church today. Prayer:
Lord, we thank you for every leader and member of Shiloh Church. We pray that you would bring great clarity of vision to the men and women of God who have sought your heart. We pray for the protection, endurance and resolve to stand firm in the midst of challenge and opposition. We pray that you would mobilize the body to prayerfully support the work of the Gospel and that this would be a season of fulfillment.
Day 14- To be a habitation for God's presence By Pastor Dawn Humphrey
Ephesians 2:22: “In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (AMP)
Acts 7:48-49: “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, And the earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest?” (NKJV)
Since the beginning of time the Lord has desired to be in perfect connection with humanity. Genesis tells the story of how God, using the dust of the earth, carefully fashioned and formed man into His image and likeness. This alone would have been an awesome beginning to the existence of mankind, but it doesn’t stop there. The Bible goes on to tell us that after forming us after His likeness, the Creator of the world intimately blew His very own breath into Adam, making man a living soul. The story of creation reveals just how intimately connected God desires to be with each and every one of His children. What’s awesome is that intimacy with the Father runs deeper that just breath that gives us life to live, but rather, we were also created with the ability to carry God HIMSELF, in the person of the Holy Spirit. Imagine that, in the same way that God uniquely fashioned and formed our outer bodies to be holders of the breath of life, 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that we are being fashioned and formed into a spiritual house so that we can carry the very Presence of God.
Because of sin, humanity had lost the privilege of being carriers of the Presence and the Old Testament tells stories of the people of God having to erect elaborate structures in order to meet and speak with God. We had come a long way from walking with Him in the cool of day. But thanks be to God that Jesus came and, because of the sacrifice made on the Cross, we have access once again to the Presence of God. Not only that, the Lord has reinstated us to our predestined place, which is to be a Holder and Habitation of Life itself.Prayer:
As people, built and created for a Holy Habitation, today let’s pray:
- That the Holy Spirit would search us and know us. That He would remove anything that can contaminate our natural and spiritual vessels. Pray alignment with His will, plan and purpose for our life
- “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24 NKJV)
- “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Psalms 51:7, 9-1 NKJV)
That the Lord would give us a true passion and hunger for His Presence, demonstrated in how we live our lives and how we set our hearts to prayer, worship and service to the House of God.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4 KJV )
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalms 22:3 KJV)
That we would continue to be built up, by the word of the Lord; spiritually and naturally according to God‘s plan and pattern.
“You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer upon spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5 NKJV)
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10 NKJV)
That we would realize and actualize the Presence of God. We want demonstration and power, flowing in and through us.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)
“For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:2-4 NLT )
Day 15 - Value Integrity By Pastors Michael & Noja Uadiale
Psalm 15:1- 3: Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.
Integrity refers to a state of moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character and honesty. A pronounced biblical example of integrity is found in the Book of Job. Satan accuses Job, asserting that Job is only faithful to God because of God’s blessing. God allowed Satan to afflict Job. At which point, Job’s wife said, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? (Job 2:9). Job maintained his loyalty and demonstrated a willingness to abide in God despite the challenges. He responded in Job 2:10 by saying “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
There are at least 5 ways that integrity benefits us and God:
Integrity testifies to our character as it allows others to know what to expect of us. An English author said: “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”
Our integrity is a compass to decision making. If we know what we believe, decisions are easier because we know what decision we need to make.
Integrity brings us comfort. As believers, our integrity will always be challenged. Living in integrity allows us to leave the outcome in God’s hands as Job did.
Integrity promotes trust. Our credibility to win others to Christ rests on our integrity.
Lastly, but most importantly, we honor God when we act in integrity, which in turn brings God’s blessings. In 1 Kings 9:4-5, God said to Solomon, “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and righteousness…I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever.”
Reflect on how you can develop and grow in integrity this new year.
Consider having an accountability partner and use them to help you with integrity in any area of life where you have struggled.
Father, help me to always focus on the collective good, be truthful, fulfill commitments, accept responsibility, respect others, confront unjust acts, forgive others and show fairness at all times.
Day 16 - Be cleansed of sin daily Bt Revs Mike & Merle Miller
Mark 6:30-34; 1 Corinthians 9:19-22; Acts 19:8-10; Luke 18:10-14; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 10:17-20; Hebrews 12:1; Exodus 30:19-21
As we pray for our community during this Daniel Fast we need to consider the actions/example of Jesus as He beckons us higher, to a new level of sensitivity and involvement. Jesus went to the synagogue regularly. He ministered there and taught there. But the vast majority of His ministry took place in “the community/marketplace,” where people lived and worked. He taught people. He fed people. He healed people. Mark 6:30-34 tells us that as Jesus looked out over the people surrounding Him, He had compassion on them for He saw them as sheep having no shepherd and He began to teach them. How do you see people? Paul said, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) Both Jesus and Paul were concerned about and involved in the community of people surrounding them. Acts 19 says Paul was so involved and effective in his outreach to Ephesus that in the span of two years all “Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”
I believe this is what God is saying to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 when He tells us to humble ourselves and pray. That, as we pray for the needs of others in our family, community, nation and around the world, we also stand in need of prayer to “turn from our wicked ways.” “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer”.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says there’s going to be a sad group of performance-based “believers” when it comes time to enter the Kingdom. Jesus addressed the subject of works head on with His disciples in Luke 10:17-20. The seventy whom He had sent out, returned rejoicing in the feats that had been accomplished. Jesus told them straight up, don’t rejoice in the power I have given you over the enemy. But rejoice in the fact that your names have been written in heaven. Here’s a paraphrase: don’t rejoice, take comfort or gratification in the works that you do and accomplish. Rejoice in the fact that you are saved. The best way to check having a callous or insensitive heart and trusting in accomplishments is to daily come before the Lord, acknowledging our need for forgiveness from sin and thanking Him that it has been taken care of by the blood of Jesus.
Think about it, We wouldn’t think of starting our day without heading into the bathroom to wash up. No doubt this morning, or whenever you started your day, or at some point during the day, you washed up. You washed your face, brushed your teeth, combed or brushed your hair and probably took a shower to freshen up for the day ahead. Or, maybe at the end of the day you washed off the dirt and grime from the day. To clean up, to freshen up, to be renew. Similarly, when we begin our spiritual day unto the Lord, we need to wash up, freshen up and be cleansed of ‘the sin that so easily besets us’ (Hebrews 12:1) prior to ministering and serving the Lord. We celebrate the birth of Jesus every day, not just on Christmas. We celebrate Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection every day, not just on Easter. And we should acknowledge and celebrate our salvation every day, not just when we reeive communion.Reflect:
- On Matthew 7:21-23 - Why were the people in v. 22 considered workers of iniquity?
On Exodus 30:19-21 - What is it we must do personally to fulfill the requirement ‘”to wash?”
On 2 Chronicles 7:14 – Are we walking in it daily? Is our position before the Lord one of humility?
Father, as I come before You today, thank You for saving me. Thank You for the blood of Jesus that cleanses me from all unrighteousness. I ask You to wash me anew and afresh today. Cleanse me of every sin in thought, word or deed, that I may serve You with clean hands and a pure heart. Help me to be Your hands and feet extended in the community around and about me today, to those that You bring across my path. To express Your love to all.
Day 17 - Experience revival By Pastors Jules & Lani Moore
January 28thRead Isaiah 6:1-8
Isaiah 6:8: "Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
Revival is a word that in many ways has lost its edge or has been over-commercialized by Christians. Revivals throughout history were moments in time when God by the power of the Holy Spirit would arrest men and women, young and old, with conviction and power. Cities were transformed by the presence of God. The church rose in prayer and a deep awe of God. Repentance was contagious in bars and schools and an area or location was quarantined by the grace of God.
We need a revival like the ones we have read about. In our nation, our cities, our homes, we need revival! How do we experience that? Well, through the prophet Isaiah we see how an encounter with God can cause revival personally and in a nation. Isaiah’s encounter with God transformed his life where he was no longer the same. Isaiah got a glimpse of God and the sight was so shocking, it broke all preconceived ideas about God. God became so clear to Isaiah, the angels chanted one word to describe who God is – “HOLY!” Isaiah responds to this spectacle with a revelation, repentance and a response. Revival is when we see God like we have never seen Him before. When we see Him for who He really is, this drives us to repentance. Why would such a great God love someone like me? His holiness reveals our weakness. Revival is when the presence of God encounters a broken man or woman and they become convinced of an all powerful God’s mercy and calling. Isaiah confirms his own sin and conviction: “Woe to me for I am a man of unclean lips…I am undone”. You need a personal revival like this. I need a personal revival like this! But what does Isaiah do? He repents and is able to hear from the sidelines about God’s great plan.
After being purged, Isaiah is commissioned: he RESPONDS to the call of God. Revival is less about us and more about seeing others who are far from God come to the saving knowledge of Jesus!Reflect:
- Where do you see God trying to purge an area in your life?
- Where might God be calling you to be a messenger?
Lord, purge my heart that I may be a messenger for You. Holy Spirit, help me to guard my confession and may my lips be pleasing to You. Lord, I ask that You encounter me, change me, reveal to me how big You really are. Break off any misconceptions I have about You. We need your presence in our nation, city, and homes. Reveal who You fully are. I repent of any areas of sin in my life; cleanse and wash me. Lord, I respond to Your call to tell others of Your great plan of redemption.
Day 18 - Uphold righteousness and justice Rev Valerie Mitchell
Ps 103:6: The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. (KJV)
Psalm 37:39-40: The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (NIV)Matt 5:10-12: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV)
Read Daniel 3:13-18 and Daniel 6:16 -25
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to Nebuchadnezzar, if it be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand O king. But if not, be it known unto thee O king that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, along with Daniel, have a lot in common. They were all commanded to compromise their personal convictions and obey Nebuchadnezzar. Instead of doing so, they gave bold and unhesitating witness to their allegiance to the one true God. They had a hope and a faith that were fixed on Him who was their refuge and strength.
They also knew that the wrath of God against sin and disobedience was far worse than human wrath. As an expression of their unconditional faith, loyalty and complete trust to God they said, “But if not.” They chose to put their faith and trust in God no matter what the consequences.
Daniel’s character proved to be the same as his friends. No manner of hurt was found upon Daniel when he was thrown into the lion’s den, because he believed in God, although the king tried to get Daniel to believe in his god. God’s angel shut the mouths of the lions. God showed Darius that His power is greater than any lion. Daniel’s name means “God is my Judge”. He was vindicated by the Lord. They brought the men who had accused Daniel and threw them into the den, along with their family members.
Darius then changed the decree that, in every dominion of his kingdom, men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is the living God and steadfast forever. His kingdom shall not be destroyed and His dominion shall be even unto the end.
In our daily walk with the Lord, our faith as Christians will be tested to see if we will keep His commandments. We are blessed to know that God will deliver us as we continue to stand up for righteousness. We must look beyond ourselves when faced with situations. We need to see through the eyes of Jesus. Because of the obedience of Daniel the decree was changed. Darius saw that there is no one or anything greater than God. The lives of those in our communities and the people who are on our job can change as we continue to trust God.Reflect:
Describe your thoughts about Daniel and his commitment to stand for righteousness and justice regardless of what happened to him.
What can you do today in your community or on your job to make a difference?
Darius saw that there was something different about Daniel. Can those around you “see Jesus in You?”
Father God, we speak to every City and Community from the North, South, East, and West. We pray that everyone who names the Name of Jesus would stand up for righteousness, justice, and peace. Jesus, it is You who executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed in our cities and our communities.
We repent for bowing down to worldly systems or any graven images (anything that we set high above You) or for any way that we have compromised for the sake of fitting in or not feeling rejection.
JESUS, we reverence You, the one who has saved us and delivered us out of darkness. We pray that our light will shine in the midst of darkness and that the world will see You. In the midst of adversity, we will continue to speak boldly and give praise to our God declaring that YOU reign over heaven and earth.
Jesus, we run to You! You are our stronghold (refuge) in our time of trouble, and there is none greater or mightier than our God who is able to deliver us. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. You are our strength for today and our hope for tomorrow. AMEN.
Day 19 - Experience God's presence and power By Nacho & Roxanna Buenrostro
Psalms 140:13: Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.
Daniel 6:10: Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
God is omnipresent and He manifests Himself to those who seek Him. We have direct access to the presence of God through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 4:6)
We can experience the presence of God anywhere and everywhere. All we need is a heart that is willing to worship Him. Worship means obeying and living for Him. We can experience the manifestation of the presence and power of God in the midst of our worship. We can worship at home, work, church or any other place. If we do this, God’s presence will be with us at all times and will help us in our daily lives. (Psalm 22:3, 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, Psalm 140:12-13)
Many times we face great conflicts in our lives but the presence of God in us will help us through those times. Our encounter with God will give us the answers to many of our questions and doubts. Daniel was the prime example for seeking the presence of God. He paid the price by fasting for weeks knowing that only through God would he find the solution to his problems (Daniel 10:1-19).Reflect:
What are things in my life that inhibit me from persistently seeking God’s presence?
Is Jesus the center of my life?
Lord, please help me organize my time and life around You. I want You to be the center of my life. I want to seek Your presence daily because I want to experience Your presence and transforming power. Only in You is there fullness of joy. Only in You will I be changed and transformed to be more like You. Help me to show Your grace, love, and power to my community!
Day 20 - Live filled with God's glory
January 29thPsalm 22:27-28: All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. Habakkuk 2:14: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. At a time when Israel was rebellious, immoral, and indifferent towards God, Moses prayed, “Lord, show me Your glory!” God was quick to respond to this prayer. And Moses saw with his own eyes a portion of the glory of God. But he also heard the voice of God declaring His glory: God defined His glory by describing His nature. “I am the Lord, God! I am compassionate, merciful, loving and forgiving. And I am perfectly just and will not excuse the guilty.” “Yahweh! The Lord God! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.” Exodus 34:6-7 So when we pray for God’s glory to come, we are praying for His nature to overwhelm our nature. We are seeking His nature to drive out the influence of sin nature, demonic nature, or any influence in a region or culture that is counter His nature. This hour for us is not unlike the time when Moses prayed this great prayer. We, too, are at a time when our nation and our world have never been so contentious with God. The name of Jesus stirs deep resentment in many people. Holiness is rare. Morality is in rapid decline. And the church of Jesus Christ is in a battle for its existence. According to a recent Barna study in America, 3,500-4,000 churches a year close their doors. Churches lose 2.7 million people a year to nominalism or secularism. And 1,500 pastors a month are leaving the ministry. Moses could have prayed, “God meet our needs.” But this circumstance demanded so much more than “meet our needs.” He prayed, “Show me Your glory!” We are in a desperate place today. We join our hearts in intercession to pray, “God, show us Your glory!” Overwhelm the numbness of our hearts with Your fire. Revive me with Your presence. Show Your glory in the church. Let Your miracle-working power confound the mind of men and women of all walks of life. Move Holy Spirit. Show us Your glory in America and all over the world. “Father God, Show us Your Glory!” Reflect:
- Will you begin to pray, “Lord, show us Your glory” so that the world will see and know Him?
- What does it look like to be the ‘salt and light’ in the workplace, school, or neighborhood you live in?
Day 21 - Continually ask God first By Pastor Javier Ramos
Conclusion- 21 days ago we embarkes on a journey together with one goal in mind "Make God First!"
Joel 2:12-14: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent, and leave behind a blessing."Psalm 9:10: Those who know your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 1 Chronicles 29:13: Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Colossians 3:2: Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Joel reminds us to return to God and rend our heart, our very soul; bear it all and lay at the foot of the cross. The enemy will use any and all obstacles and roadblocks to try to keep us from Jesus, especially through distractions and deception. We have to daily return to our purpose and finding our identity in Jesus.
Today we celebrate the journey. Today we come before the Lord, probably a little thinner than we were when we started, but grateful for what we have encountered and for encountering Him.
These last 21 days were never about the physical challenge, but rather a spiritual journey. We have been chasing after God as we prayed and fasted. We have deliberately chosen to pursue Him and focus on Him and seek His presence. Let's deliberately carry what we have learned from His Word and have heard Him speak and let this be the beginning of "all things new" as opposed to the end of a season.
Tell yourself this is just the beginning of a new day and way to experience God in your everyday life. Remember you are loved. You have an amazing purpose. You are appointed and you are anointed. God is with you and you have all you need to continue to grow. Use those tools wisely and regularly.
As we conclude our 21 days of prayer and fasting, it is important to ask, “Now what?” How can you remain committed to seeking Him? Very simply, decide to love God, seek Him and make Him your priority. That’s right, decide to have a willingness, then look for opportunities to spend time with Him and to learn from Him. Daily.
Decide each day to chase after Him and not the things that so easily distract us from Him. Daily. Give Him your whole heart. Daily. Look for Him through people, circumstances, His Word and creation. It will take a daily intention, a daily effort, a daily desire and time. You will discover the value as you see your relationship with Him grow and develop and you continue to fall more and more in love with Him.
Hebrews 11:6 says that God will reward those who earnestly seek Him. Will you continue to earnestly seek after the God of this universe who loves you completely and desires to walk with you daily? I promise you the reward will be great because my God is great!
As you step into 2018 with God's Grace, consider this prophetic Scripture your commission:
Isaiah 61:1-3: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.Reflect:
- How will you continue to pray daily and seek God through Scripture now that our 21 days of prayer and fasting are ending?
- Will you pray daily for a hunger and a thirst to chase after God and seek His presence?
- What will you commit to intentionally doing so that you are seeking God daily?
Please pray for the worship service on Sunday. Pray that this time of prayer and fasting will accumulate into a beautiful time of worship as we conclude with communion and ask the Holy Spirit to break out at Shiloh Church during all of our services.Prayer:
Father God, I praise You for these last 21 days of focusing on You. Thank You for the promise that You will be found when I seek You. You don’t hide from me but You constantly draw me near. I ask You to put a hunger and a thirst in my life for You, Lord. You are so beautiful, so amazing, so forgiving, so good, and I am deciding to chase after You with all of my heart from this day on. Lord, help me to put You first and seek Your face. I love you, Lord, and I want to love and know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Please take a moment and let us know how this 21 Day Fast impacted your life. Send a comment or story to firstname.lastname@example.org.