Difficult Season for You? Fast!

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Are things going a little crazy in your life? Are you dealing with confusion? Are you mentally or emotionally drained? If you are going through a difficult time – I have one recommendation – fast!

Fasting exposes the enemy.

I know what it’s like to be in a position where you are wondering “Why God?” “Why is this happening to me?” I know what it’s like to feel stuck. But, I also know that fasting brings answers.

Fasting brings revelation. Fasting brings understanding. Fasting opens your eyes and makes you more sensitive.

Whenever you deny something as essential as food to get closer to God, you become more sensitive to spiritual things and the voice of God. You receive revelation because you’re not focused on yourself – you are focused on Him; and when you’re focused on Him, wisdom and understanding come.

True story: my husband and I bought a beautiful bohemian rug for our living area. We spent a lot of time on the rug. We didn’t know that our rug was leaking dye. The skin is your largest organ and absorbs anything that you place on it – in this case, we were absorbing synthetic dye. We didn’t know it. We weren’t aware of what was happening to us.

For some reason, we felt compelled to go on a fast. During the fast, we discovered that the rug was leaking unbeknownst to us. There was a danger in our home that we were completely unaware of, and I am certain that fasting exposed the danger.

Fasting exposes danger, but it also reveals revelation.

I’ve experienced scenarios like this on more than one occasion, and I know that many, many other Christians have experienced the benefits and power of fasting.

Fasting provides direction, revelation and understanding but another key component of fasting is that it exposes the enemy. If you are going through a difficult season, fast and get answers. If you are enduring hardship, then fast, gain clarity, and get free.

Tithing Your Time

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Via Unsplash

Giving isn’t a command – it’s encouraged. And it’s encouraged with good reason because when we give, it transforms us. We evolve into better people when we are generous and unselfish. The doctrine of tithing often focuses on money, but another area that we often overlook is time. While being generous with our money transforms us; giving our time is also transformative.

Many years ago after getting my first “real” job in a corporate environment, God showed me that He wanted me to tithe. I soon realized that money wasn’t the only area of my life that I needed to surrender to God. Time was a part of my life that I had kept entirely to myself. I went to church on Sundays, but God wanted more for me. And so, I began the habit of tithing my time. There are so many different ways to tithe your time, but below are just a few.

Serve in your church – if there are areas of ministry where your church needs help, jump in. Many churches need help with the children’s ministry, or perhaps the church is looking for volunteers who are willing to pray for others or greet visitors at the door. Church is an excellent place to tithe your time.

Volunteer – Homeless shelters, foster homes, crisis centers, hospitals, libraries, and many other places need volunteers. We are all put on earth to help each other. Helping others fulfills our purpose, and is a beautiful way to tithe our time.

Give God the first of your day – In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to give a tenth. Before they paid workers, bought property, or did anything else, they tithed. You can tithe the first of your day by dedicating your mornings to God. When you wake up in the morning before you do anything else, pray.

Making Daily Appointments with God in 2016

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Via StockSnap

God desires to spend time with us. He wants us to live in His Presence. Many Christians are too busy for God – too busy with work obligations, family obligations, chores, errands, and entertainment. They are too busy to spend time with Him. Yet, time with the Father is so crucial to our spiritual well-being that throughout Scripture we are told to pray (communicate with Him), fast (draw closer to Him), and worship and fellowship both alone and with other believers (simply spend time with Him).

If you don’t make daily appointments with God, 2016 is a great year to start. Below is a simple How-to guide for spending more time in the Father’s presence.

Make an appointment. Treat this appointment with respect and consistency. You aren’t just meeting with your Heavenly Father – You are meeting with the King of Kings. If the president wanted a meeting with you, you wouldn’t tell him you’re too busy to talk; instead, you’d rush to the meeting. When you make an appointment with the Creator of the Universe, keep it.

Cancel and block out any distractions. You would never meet with a friend for coffee and then stare at your phone the entire time. Instead, you would be focused on your friend if you wanted the relationship to grow. If you want your relationship with God to grow, you need to focus on Him. I once heard Robert Morris illustrate just how important his time with the Father is. After one of Morris’ church members had given a very large donation, he requested a morning meeting with Pastor Morris. Robert explained that he was not going to meet with him because mornings was his daily appointment with God. Pastor Morris couldn’t be bought. Don’t let anything or anyone buy your time.

Look forward to your time with Him. If you treat your appointments with God like a religious obligation, rather than a blessed, beautiful event, you’ll quickly burn out. It is an honor to sit in His Presence. If there is any part of you that dreads the thought of spending time with Him, pray that God would give you a longing and strong desire to spend time with Him. God CAN change the desires of your heart.

Making daily appointments with God will strengthen you spiritually. They will help you grow in faith. Your daily appointments are sources of joy and renewal. And remember that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. Be blessed for 2016!

Lighten Your Emotional Load: Go to Church

People who carry unforgiveness, aren’t just carrying it in their mind, but also in their bodies. Scientific studies have confirmed that unforgiveness literally weighs you down. But I would hypothesize that it’s not just unforgiveness that ways a person down. I think that worry, anxiety, frustration, anger and other negative emotions can also weigh us down. The answer is to give those worries to God.

Leave your troubles at the altar is an old Southern spiritual saying. In Southern Baptist churches, there is this idea that you got to church and leave everything at the altar, in God’s hands. And you leave lighter.

I once attended a church with a congregation of about 15. It was a small church, and I liked it that way. I didn’t just like the size, but I also enjoyed the way that I felt after the service. I often left church feeling lighter – physically lighter.

Yeshua said His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. When we follow Him, we find peace and lightness – the weight of the world is lifted off our shoulders. When we trust in him, we don’t have to worry about everything around us and carry the burden of worry. Instead, He takes it upon Himself for us.

Cast all your cares on Him. This is a refrain echoed throughout Scripture. God cares about every little detail of our lives. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. Instead, He wants us to pray about everything.

There is a freedom in knowing He cares for us. It makes us feel lighter.