Day 5 of Prayer & Fasting: Convict Us
Are you starting to hear the whisper of the Lord yet? Maybe your vision is clearing a bit and you're starting to sense clarity of mind? I encourage you stay alert and expectant. If you haven't trained your ear to recognize the voice of God yet, the most important thing I can tell you is His voice won't normally shout - unless He wants to, of course - but usually it will be in the form of a whisper to your heart, something that is recurring, and something that you just sense in your mind. God's spoken words can always be confirmed with His written word. He never says things to your heart that conflict with His written Word ... aka the Bible.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you sense God is telling you to jump in on a business opportunity in front of you that could benefit you financially. You are a little uncertain and hesitant because the people involved seem a bit shady to you, but you start thinking you could influence them for the better, and that you could use the money you could make to give it to the church, the poor and your mom who's in need, and you tell yourself you don't know enough to make any judgements just yet. You just can't get it out of your mind, and you think you feel the peace of God. You ask all your friends about it, you get advice from your parents, and you even read reviews online. You could even swear you heard God say out loud, "Do it."
It just may be God speaking and leading you, but this is where His written Word is really important because without confirming what you feel He's saying, you might just end up in a trap. So you spend some more time and you learn more about the company and learn all of its dealings aren't 100% on the up and up as far as integrity goes. This bothers you, so it causes you to test if what you thought you were "hearing" was really the Lord. So you go to the Bible or Google Bible verses on what God says about shady business dealings and you find Proverbs 21:6 that says, "The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death."
At this moment, you've heard God speak to you for sure! God is saying, "I don't want you to get any wealth by having to do anything in a deceitful manner." This is what you then use to make your decision. Will you have to be shady to make the business opportunity fruitful? If so, then you know this is not God leading you or pushing you, but rather it could be your own selfish desires and lusts or it could even be Satan tempting or trying to trap you.
This is when you begin to pray: "God, continue to sharpen my ear to know your voice so that I won't be deceived, and please convict me of my lust and greed so that I won't be tempted in this way anymore."
can promise you that if we were to use this process for every move we
made, we would become mature believers who as Jesus described in John 10, "don't
even recognize the voice of a stranger." We would have trained our ear
to the voice of the Master Jesus so acutely that the minute we were
being lied to or enticed, we would recognize it as someone other than
Jesus and run for safety!
DAY 4 CORPORATE PRAYER FOCUS: Convict us of things in our lives that do not please you and empower us to change.
I warn you: this is a risky prayer to pray! Don't pray it unless you're serious about going through the changing process, which can be painful. If you're tired of cussing or lying or gossiping, ask Holy Spirit to immediately convict you and then confess, repent and change. If you're tired looking at porn, thinking lustfully or cheating, ask Holy Spirit to immediately convict you, and then take the steps necessary to get free - confess to another person, go to counseling, be real and change. If you're tired of overspending, racking up debt on your credit cards or even overeating, ask Holy Spirit to stop you right in your tracks. Admit the problem, take the stuff back and get a refund, cut up the cards, go see a nutritionist. If you ask God for this, be sure He will do it because that is one of Holy Spirit's main functions: to convict us of sin and lead us into all truth.
He may even reveal things to you that you hadn't even realized were not pleasing to Him - maybe it will be in your thought life or attitudes - whatever it is just give Him permission to be the Great Physician of your soul too.
Whatever it is, let me teach
you that God is NEVER the author of SHAME and GUILT. He disciplines
and rebukes us like a good parent does, but He won't rub our noses in it
and bring it back to our memory and remind us of how dirty we are. If
that's happening to you, that's Satan doing that, and you have the power
to take authority over him and his accusations. God deals mercifully
with our sin, graces us to change, shows us and empowers us with the
tools to do so, and then forgets about our sin, treating us not as we
deserve. I know that not because I "heard" God say that (although I've
experienced it firsthand), but because I also read what He said in His
Psalm 103:10-18The Message (MSG)
6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
SOUL FOOD FAMILY MEAL
As a reminder, we are using the 20-day book study, Soul Food, by Havilah Cunnington of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, to guide our next 20 days, which will spark your own deeper studies with the Bible. This book is the perfect companion to your season of fasting. It looks at the spiritual food that God uses to fill our emotional and spiritual needs. You can order the book on Amazon if you'd like to go a little deeper, but below we will provide you the key thoughts from each day's devotional. There's also a 7-12 minute video that accompanies this study that we highly encourage you to log on and watch. This course is completely free and engaging! You can sign up for the FREE course here.
THE RESULT OF SIN IS SHAME
Day 4 of Soul Food: Shame
When we eat from tables we were never intended to eat from, it might be a quick fix but it will leave us emotionally, spiritually and mentally bankrupt. The shame we feel can leave us feeling helpless and cause us to hide; condemning and discounting ourselves.
The enemy wants to put your shame on display and then he wants to keep you there. Helpless, hopeless and ‘naked’. The Father does the complete opposite; He covers you and then calls you back into the light and into His arms.
When shame is experienced, we do not need to stay there and hide. Jesus’ sacrifice gave us the incredible gift of repentance. If we allow our shame to lead to lead us to repent, it can lead us back to Him.
"Immediately, the two of them did “see what’s really going on”saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden; they hid from God. God called to the Man: “Where are you?” He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.”11 God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:7–11 (MSG)
As God reveals thingsto you that need to be cleaned up, cut off or completely changed, I
challenge you not to be prideful or justify. Realize you're a mere human that has stepped into the light; that you were a new citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven; that you're learning a new way of living. I encourage you to just place all of you before the Lord at His altar and just go to Him and bow. He's a good Father waiting for you. His forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit waits to empower you and make you new and clean. This song is a beckoning of the Savior to you, and then your response to back to your Savior. This is one of those songs you want to go on a walk or a long drive and just let it play as loud as possible over you over and over again!
OH WHAT A SAVIOR! Isn't HE wonderful, Church? Sing hallelujah!
Keep going with your fast. God will be breaking through to those ready and willing!