This is day 21 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Matthew 27:59-60  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  (60)  and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Today is the last day of our devotion. Yesterday we remembered the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We have the good fortune of knowing that the resurrection comes tomorrow but those saints didn’t have any idea what was coming. All they knew what what they saw before them.

Their messiah was dead. Their movement was scattered. The folks that killed their leader were sure to come after them next.

I start to freak out when tax day is coming. I don’t know what I would do when the tax collectors were out to kill me!

If they thought about it they might have figured out that something was up.

Jesus always had a plan. I know he was lead by the Spirit and only did what he saw his Father doing, but he was constantly telling the disciples how to prepare.

If the whole thing was over, he would have told them. If the plan was going to fail, he would have let them know. When Joseph passed he gave clear instructions what to do with his body.

Jesus left no such instructions because he had no intention of staying in that grave. That’s why he borrowed one, he was not going to need it for long.

Have you ever cried out to God and demanded to know why he lead you down a road that was going to fail? Or why he left you helpless? Or why he didn’t tell you things would not work out? You probably didn’t get an answer from him because it’s still Saturday. Sunday is coming.

The resurrection of Jesus changed everything. It marked time. It marked God’s relationship with man. It marked what God has promised to us.

There are no failures with God. There are only Saturdays.

In every dry area of your life decide that today, the day before the resurrection, you will rejoice that death has no power over God’s plans. They may be in a grave but the grave is borrowed. You won’t be needing it for long.

This is day 20 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today is Good Friday. The day we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I can’t imagine any true follower of God was hopeful that day. God clearly spoke through word, signs, and wonders about the kingdom that was coming and yet he was murdered before anyone could see it come to pass. That had to hurt.

Dejected, many of the disciples went back to their pre-Christ lives.

Doesn’t that still happen today? We thought God was going to do something and when it doesn’t work out the way we thought it would we go back to the place we were before we believed. We start constructing limits on what God will do in our lives and try not to hope beyond those expectations. On the inside we begin to die and we wonder why life is so unhappy.

That has to hurt.

Paul prayed that we would abound in hope, that is, we would have such an abundance of hope in our lives that it would literally spill over like a glass filled to high. He prayed that this hope would come from Holy Spirit giving us a complete peace and happiness because of our faith.

That has to help.

Disappointment is both a sickness and an anesthetic. It harms our emotions and it inoculates us from trying for better. It is a double edged tool of the enemy to keep you from God and his best.

You won’t let that happen.

No, you belong to the God of hope and you freely welcome his Spirit to come and do such a work in you that you believe his words, even when he is hanging from a cross.

Do you have any impossible situations in your life? Are they more impossible than a man who is nailed to a cross becoming King of Kings? That’s impossible . . . for man. But it is exactly where God shines.

Pray in the Spirit today. Seriously go in. Speak to every impossible situation God has placed in your heart and let it know about your God of the impossible. As your faith grows, watch hope rise.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

I can’t help but think back on this week nearly two thousand years ago. On this day, the day before the crucifixion, Jesus was having his last meal with his disciples.

Surely he, of all people, knew what the future held for the men and women in the room. He knew the trials ahead, he said as much to Peter. He knew how they also would be persecuted, chased, tried, and most, murdered. He knew that they would be the carriers of the message of salvation and it would be their responsibility to carry his work to the ends of the earth and establish his church.

If that were me, I might be worried. I might be spending that time begging the Father for another year or two to make sure they were firmly set in the faith. I would want to teach them more scripture or ministry techniques, I would certainly want to help them with their constant need to feel important.

But Jesus sat there and had a meal with them. Later, he asked his father in heaven if he could make the terrible series of events go down some other way. Butin the end, he told the father that he trusted his plan to be perfect.

Jesus knew that if he followed the father, this great work of establishing the New Covenant would not fail. I struggle to imagine what it was like to carry the weight of that call. Yet he said his yoke was easy and his burden light.

Jesus knew something you need to know. If you commit your work to the Lord, you will find your life firmly established in the middle of God’s purpose for you. He knew that all he had to do was live a God-conscious life, and he could not fail.

Give God your day today. Welcome him into every part. Give him permission to direct your steps, your thoughts, and your words. Then live your life today like you are responding to God. Stay conscious of the the Spirit of God with you. Watch how he leads and guides you. Don’t live today like it’s just another day.

Decide that today, you are going to live your life like every decision is another step toward the God plans in your life being established. The watch how he leads every part of your life.

 

This is day 18 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

John 3:8  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

We talk all the time about having a vision is for our life, our ministry, and our future. It is important to live life purposefully and intentionally instead of wandering and accomplishing little.

But there is a place of faith where we make all our plans in pencil and give God the eraser.

James knew this. He wrote in his letter that instead of making such firm plans and announcing them to the world, we should give God the final say. “Instead, you ought to say,’If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'”

Having no plan and relying on the Lord is a noble life. Making plans and allowing the Lord to change them at will is the invitation to the supernatural.

It is often hard on our ego when our plans don’t work out the way we want them to. We may have told people that by such a date we would accomplish a certain task or be in a certain place. This is only a problem if we haven’t given our ego and image to God.

God has an amazing purpose for our lives. He may show us destinations, but the timing is normally much more veiled and he rarely shows the course we will take to get there.

Surrender the course of your life to God today. Trust him for directions for today and enjoy the journey.

This is day 17 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Psalms 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

There are two different yet complementary prayer strategies in these two verses and a massive truth.

David at first talks about how he waited for God. Not only that, it says he waited patiently. Way too often, when we don’t get the answer to prayer we run to something else. We try a different strategy or we give up. Lots of times we have to wait. Rarely do we wait patiently.

Delayed answers are part of the process. God uses this time to refine us and perfect love in us. Waiting patiently is the faithful response to a God who says, “whatsoever you ask in my name I will do.”

However, it also says that God “inclined to me and heard my cry.” This speaks not an emotional cry but a focused, steadfast, persistent petition to God over a subject matter.

We have to live patiently before God, trusting that he has a perfect purpose for our lives. At the same time we need to come before him with passionate intercession, calling out for a better future.

Instead of going to God with an attitude of discontent, consider your time of intercession as putting in work for your future. Our consistent time before God petitioning for a better outcome changes the trajectory of our lives and the lives of the people around us.

We can’t give up, get frustrated, get bitter, or resign ourselves to our fate. Neither can we boss God around, make demands or make ourselves higher than him.

We need to wait patiently on the Lord and continue to cry out.

This is day 16 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

John 14:6  Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

We don’t live under the law in Christianity but certainly there are some rules. They are like guardrails on a highway. They are way off the side of the road and if you hit them you know for sure you are going astray. There are far more lane markers. You know, those little things that go bump, bump, bump when you change lanes or get too close to the shoulder.

The lane markers aren’t really a sign of danger, they are more there to make sure you are aware that your direction has shifted. Guardrails are all that is keeping you from falling into a ditch.

G.K. Chesterton said that Jesus did not come to make bad people do good things. He came to make dead people live.

This is a miraculous work that only comes through Jesus Christ breathing upon the spirit of a man and reconnecting him to his Father by the Spirit of God. The cross of Jesus was not an effort to change behavior. This was the plan to have people walk in their original destiny and live as God’s representatives on earth.

While people have tried to accomplish this through a set of rules, that proved to not work. No, the only thing that will keep you on the path with Jesus is listening for God’s voice and obeying. It’s great to hear what he is telling your friends. That can help us recognize his voice in our life. But you can’t get God’s direction for you by other people hearing it for them. In short, God’s rules for their season may not be God’s rules for your season.

In this season God may tell a friend to get up and begin to do the work of ministry. At the same time he may tell someone else that they need to learn to rest in him. That can be confusing if you haven’t decided that Jesus alone establishes truth.

Get alone with Jesus and ask him to establish truth in your life in this season.

This is day 15 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Psalm 20:5 We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

Today at church come with a clear focus on the victory God has for you.

Get to worship early. Prepare your heart to encounter God. Be in prayer before the call to worship. Ask Him to come in new and unexpected ways. Then begin to meditate on what you have been praying for during this season of prayer and fasting.

Maybe you need to sit in a different seat or get away from your seat during worship. Perhaps you will be bold enough to go to the front during worship and block out all the distractions. Then sing with abandon.

When you sense His presence begin to believe every promise God has spoken into your heart. Celebrate victory over every obstacle in your path.

Shout with joy and watch what God does in your heart.

This is day 14 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Proverbs 10:4  Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

One of the words for Revival Life Church for 2017 was “Live Less Lazy.” That is part of our goal to live life out of purpose instead out of convenience. Laziness is not just sitting idle or being messy or being unproductive.

Being lazy in this context speaks to the tendency to allow outside influences dictate our behavior instead of allowing value decisions to set the course of our lives. If you don’t set your priorities other people will and they rarely do so with your best interest in mind. But how could they? They don’t know what God has spoken to you or what you have decided will be the guideposts of your life. And they never will unless you decide what those guideposts are and live with them in mind.

Living less lazy means working during work time. It also means scheduling rest time and protecting that time to rest and recover. Living less lazy means having honest conversations with mentors to determine what the next season of your life should look like and setting a plan in action to see that come to pass.

Living less lazy means taking responsibility for the spiritual well being of the people in your life,  telling them about the hope you have in Jesus, and then inviting them to join you on the journey.

One glance at your bank transactions and how you have spent your time over the last month concretely shows where your priorities are.

Are these the priorities your life is supposed to be? Are you fulfilling your purpose with how you have arranged your time, money, and other resources? What steps can you make today to get these things into better alignment with your purpose and break the laziness patterns? Go do that today.

This is day 13 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

Deuteronomy 29:29  “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

We often lose our inheritance because we forget that we have it. Like losing the pin to your debit card does not empty our bank account, forgetting what God has given us does not wipe out our account balance with God.

Our testimony of God’s goodness not only serves as our account balance, it notifies others what God can do in their life.

Today, ask Holy Spirit to remind you of three specific things he has done in your life. Ask him with your mouth if you need to. Grab a pen and paper or get out your note taking app and write down what he shows you.

Write down a few specifics from the events that you experienced. Then begin to thank him for each testimony.

That breakthrough in your life is now alive and kicking ready to be released to the world around you. By bringing it to memory and enveloping it in praise it now has a freshness on it that can carry and impart faith to the hearer.

Fold up that piece of paper and save the note you took and carry it around the rest of the day.  Ask the Father to point out who he wants to empower with those testimonies. He knows who he wants to bring into your path to receive those testimonies today.

Next, ask God to make you sensitive to his leading throughout the day. Ask him to help you look for the person he has prepared to receive this prophetic promise. You will know who they are when they show up.

Tell them the truthful story of what God has done for you and how he has moved in your life. Then pray that they would receive the same.

This is day 11 of our 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Personal Devotion. The first day was on Sunday, March 26th and we will celebrate on the last day, Easter Sunday, April 16th.

1 Peter 2:5  you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Many of us have areas of our houses that are hardly used. Whether it is a closet that is rarely accessed or the bedroom of a child that has since moved out, there are wasted spaces in many of our homes. If those areas were deemed unusable it would hardly affect our lives.

Still, we would protect those areas of our homes from destruction like we would any other areas because we understand the interconnectedness of a house. You can’t have a blazing fire or roof failure in one area of a house and not have it affect the remainder.

So too with the body of Christ.

You are an integral part of what God is doing on the earth. Your call and purpose are every bit as important as the call on your favorite apostle or prophet.

While God is building his church he is also building his individual members as well. We are all temples being built up so we may function in our God jobs doing our God work.

The struggles you are facing are part of that plan. Every area of conflict and confusion is an open door to invite Holy Spirit to build in us the ability to bring God’s love and power to this world.