Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Push Away From the Table - cont.

Yesterday, I was sharing about fasting and resulting breakthrough when we deny ourselves and seek God's face. Again, this is taken from Christian Life Center 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting Devotional Guide.

Breakthrough to solve complex problems - see yesterday

Breakthrough to revival - see yesterday

Breakthrough Crippling Fear & Negative Emotional Habits
A habit is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition. We have all acquired a rather good habit of brushing our teeth. At least I hope we all have. Brushing our teeth keeps them in good enough shape to help them last our entire lifetime and it also helps with making friends. The point is...habits are things we do frequently enough that the behavior becomes almost second nature to us. A habit can be good or bad, beneficial or destructive.

Some habits are not as good fur us a brushing our teeth. In fact, they can hinder our relationship with God and others. For example, if I repeatedly allow myself to get worked up or irritated over small things, I will soon become an irritated and angry person over more than just external circumstances or situations. But rather, irritation & anger set up camp internally as a result of my choices over time. A person can eventually come to realize the problem is not with everyone else but with him/herself. However, it is often so late in the process that counseling and sermons do little to help.

After one of the most spectacular victories in all of Bible history, Elijah found himself paranoid, depressed and filled with self-pity. An angel appeared to give him supernatural food, though this did nothing to rectify the negative emotions controlling him. However, after his fast at Horeb, he walked in fresh purpose and perspective. Denying his natural desire for food helped him to h ave victory over his very human but destructive emotions. 1 Kings 19

Breakthrough to Compassion/Missions-Consciousness
Abundance of food has insulated us from the realities of a world in need. When my husband and I were missionaries to the Philippines, one of our students in the Bible school asked me one day "Ma'am, are you rich?" I replied that according to American standards I was not rich. Rueben thought about it for a moment and replied, "Ma'am, poor means having nothing to eat."

"Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast our; when you see the naked, that you cover him and not hide yourself from your own flesh?" Isa 58:5-7 NKJV

One thing the American church often forgets is that fasting is not just doing without food. It is focusing on the needs of others rather than on our own. The widow of Zarephath was willing to give up her food to feed Elijah. Are you willing to divert some of your budget to meet the needs of others. Ask yourself: Should I give some money to help someone less fortunate? Who should I give it to? How much should I give?

Good food for thought~

Day Two - Chasing the Dream
"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be." Philippians 3:12

Prayer Focus: Thank God for determination and passion to chase our dreams. Thank God for where He has brought you to today. Thank God for gifts, talents, goals and dreams He has placed inside of you. Ask Him to help you and help our church to see clearly how far He wants to bring us and then continue to have the courage to chase after it!

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