Day 17 (01.26)

Read Romans 8:1 (clickable link)


Making prayer a priority is important. Make sure you don’t turn it into work. If your motive is to seek God, to enjoy God, to pursue God, then pray away. Don’t let prayer turn into legalism. Legalism is when you think you have to pray each day without fail at the same time, for a certain amount of time, and according to a certain format. And if you don’t look out—God will be unhappy with you. Remember the primary purpose of prayer is relationship building as you draw near to God as you talk and listen to Him.

Prayer can easily become about our performance rather than about knowing God. When that happens, prayer turns into a legalistic obligation, and the joy goes right out of it. Such a performance mentality actually sets you up for an inconsistent prayer life, because every time you fail to meet your standards, you will fall under condemnation, and instead of looking forward to your next prayer time, it will seem like a joyless burden. Instead of coming to the throne of God boldly and confidently, you will begin apologizing for missing your prayer time for a day or two or for cutting it short by a few minutes. It is important to keep our prayer times fresh. It is time to have an awakening in our prayer life.

Try changing up your prayer routine today. Listen to a worship song. Pray through a Psalm like Psalm 62 or 63. Take a prayer walk.

Day 16 (01.25)

Read: Luke 4:42 (clickable link)


Sometimes I can get easily distracted. How about you? It is so easy to get distracted by all the things going on in our lives. We can get wrapped up in all of the things that we have to do that we constantly find ourselves living in the fast lane of life. I suppose it is okay to be in the fast lane, as long as you are making regular rest stops to get alone with God. Even Jesus had to create space for His Father to fill.

Both Moses and John the Baptist created space for the Father to fill. They were in the desert when they heard God’s voice. I’m not saying you have to get a machete and hack your way out in the wilderness or travel to some desert somewhere, but whether it’s in your car, your bedroom or whatever, get alone with God so you can hear the voice of your heavenly Father.

Hearing from God doesn’t need to take a long time, but neither can it be rushed. You don’t have to pray and cry out to God for two hours a day every single day of the week to hear His voice. Reading your Bible doesn’t mean it has to be four chapters a day. We make this more complicated than it has to be. What you do need is a time that is set aside, a time for nothing but you and God, and you need to guard that time. Pick a place that works for you where you can really get alone with God and detach from the usual distractions. Come prepared to hear from Him, having things like your Bible, a pen, a highlighter, and a journal readily available. Have worship music within reach too. Keep your time with God fresh and new but also simple and sustainable. Find out what works for you and create space for God.

Day 15 (01.24)

Read: Matthew 6:3-4, Matthew 6:6, Matthew 6:17-18 (clickable links)


I find it very interesting: When God wanted to fill believers with the Holy Spirit, the most amazing filling of all, He didn’t ask them to think it all through and figure out how that was going to happen. He also didn’t force it upon them. He revealed what was in store for them and asked them to be ready, but then He asked them to create a space where it could happen.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:3-4, 6, 17-18 how we can create space. In these verses He doesn’t say, “if.” He says “when” you do these things. He assumed that, as His children, we would want to create spaces in our lives for Him to fill with His rewards. When you give, pray, or fast, you are creating space for God to do amazing things in your life.

For many, week three feels like a breakthrough week. As your body has become used to less food, you are more than likely experiencing fewer hunger pangs. Since your body has detoxified, you are most likely also experiencing less achiness and headaches. Because your body is not using as much energy to digest food, it can devote more energy into the restorative processes. During the last week you may also find you are sleeping better too. Spiritually speaking, this week can be really powerful as you find yourself in your fast zone, and your mind has made the leap to focusing more on God.

Make a choice to finish your fast strong, and ask God to help you keep your momentum (or even strengthen it) as your year goes on.

Day 14 (01.23)

Read: Matthew 6:33 (clickable link)


Prayer and fasting is about creating space for God, clearing a runway in our lives for God to land. When you want something new and exciting to happen in your life, then you have to create some space. An expectant mom goes to great lengths to create the perfect nursery space for her new little one.

Think about that new thing that you want God to do in your life. Think about that problem that is blocking your path that you need God to remove. As much as God wants to do something amazing in your life, He is a filler, not a forcer.

Too often we spend so much time and energy trying to figure out and anticipate every scenario. We want God to do this; we want God to do that. But all the while God is saying, “Just create a little space for Me, and I’ll come in and fill it.” By seeking God and by following Him fully, you are creating space for God to move. As you fast and as you pray, you are making room for God to do what only He can do. He is a filler, not a forcer.

Maybe you have tried to participate in this fast but have found yourself stumbling along the way. I want to encourage you to keep going. Don’t be discouraged by looking at the times you gave in to hunger or messed up. Be encouraged by this: when we draw near to God, He draws near to us.

Day 13 (01.22)

Read: Matthew 6:9-13 (clickable link)


A great way to begin each day is by focusing on who God is! Today focus on the goodness, the greatness, and glory of God. Focusing daily on these three attributes of God gives us a complete picture or filter of grace. The Lord’s Prayer is a great prayer to help us think about the goodness, the greatness and glory of God.

When we call God our Father, it reminds us that we are His children. He loves, cares for, and provides for His children. He is a great dad. But that’s not enough, is it? You can know that you are loved and that God is good, but you can still be going through hard times. So we not only need to focus on God’s goodness, but we also need to set our minds on how great God is. Our great God is in heaven. When we think about our God in heaven, it reminds us that he reigns and rules and is in control. He has all the power that we need to make it through tough times. Lastly we need to give God glory. When you “hallow” God’s name (or make it holy), it is a helpful reminder that life is not all about us.

When you get up in the morning, your number one priority should be to get in the right mindset for your day. First things first – simply focus on who God is! Focus on His goodness, greatness, glory, and ask Him to help you see everything else through that filter. Remember, it’s not about what you do., it’s about who God is.

Day 12 (01.21)

Read: 1 John 4:19 (clickable link)


Today we are focusing on God’s love. The way we can grow in our love for God and others is by focusing on His love for us. God’s love is endless and it comes freely without any condition; He loves us no matter what we have or haven’t done. When you focus on God’s love, His joy and peace will follow.

Your feelings will follow what you focus on. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the goodness of God through His Word. When you focus on your faults, you’ll end up feeling condemned. Make sure you don’t fall into the performance trap. If you perform well, then it can lead to pride. On the other hand, if you don’t perform well, the fruit is condemnation. Either way the fruit of having a performance-based relationship is a lose-lose situation. If we try to come to God based on our performance, guess what? It will never be good enough. None of us could ever be that good; only Jesus was able to do that. That’s why we have to focus on God’s love for us.

Make sure you regularly meditate on verses that help you focus on God’s love. Today be intentional about focusing on God’s love for you and ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of how much He loves you.

Day 11 (01.20)

Read: Ephesians 2:8-9 (clickable link)


Grace is the foundation for a relationship with God. If we get grace wrong, then we pursue God in wrong ways. We don’t pray, fast, or read our Bibles to get God to love us more. It’s not possible for God to love us more than he loves us right now, and His love for us never changes. His love is not based on what we do, but it is based on what Jesus has done! Grace is undeserved favor.

Some people think that telling people about God’s grace encourages people to sin. I contend that it will do just the opposite. Understanding the fullness of the goodness of God actually causes us to sin less.

The way we love God more is by focusing on His love for us. We will live more holy on accident by focusing on the goodness of God than we will by focusing on all the “thou shalt's and “thou shalt not's.” I pray for a grace awakening in your life that you will realize how loved and accepted and forgiven you are by God. You can’t earn God’s love and grace; you have to accept it, receive it, believe it, and trust in it.

Have you been looking at God through the lens of legalism and religion? Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you see God through the eyes of grace and truth given to us in Jesus Christ.

Day 10 (01.19)

Read: Psalms 100 (clickable link)


Anyone who knows me well knows that I am passionate about hunting and fishing. It is easy to talk about what you are passionate about, right? I love talking with other hunters and fishermen about hunting and fishing. God created us to be passionate about what we love; therefore, we should always be passionate for Him!

When I went to a football game as a boy, no one had to teach me how to cheer for the LSU Tigers by saying, “Stovall let me instruct you here. It’s okay to clap if the team makes a good play, and you can shout and get excited. And this may really surprise you, but you can raise your hands if your team scores a touchdown.”

There is one undeniable truth about true fans: they are passionate. Just watch any professional or college football game or any World Cup soccer match. As the cameras pan the crowd, you will see passion. The fans have pompoms. They are wearing team colors. They are screaming. They may even be singing. They are just straight up into it. You know what it’s like in the stadium – loud! The place rocks with passion, because real fans are passionate about their team.

Whatever you are passionate about, you will also be emotional about. Awakening is about igniting a deeper passion for God in your heart. Put on a worship song! Lift your hands, open your hands, open your mouth, tap your feet. Ask God to ignite passion in you, to help you feel Him and express your feelings.

Day 9 (01.18)

Read: Ephesians 5:18 (clickable link)


When we experience staleness in our relationship with God for whatever reason, surrendering again is the first step to rekindling the fire within! We need to start each day with complete surrender. Surrender is more of an ongoing process rather than just a one-time decision. Full surrender to God means no more going back and forth with one foot in the world and the other foot in God’s kingdom. Following Jesus is all or nothing.

The surrendered life is the best life. It’s really the only way to live as a believer. But to get there, you’ve got to go all out. This means total surrender. No more halfway stuff; you can’t be a part-time Christian. God wants you to be a full time follower of Jesus.

When you fully surrender to God, you are filled with His Spirit and are awakened to His presence in your life. God will energize you and give you a hunger for His Word.

About this time in your fast, you may be experiencing some fatigue. Let yourself have extra rest if you need it. You also may be experiencing achiness, irritability, or fogginess. All of these symptoms are normal and will pass. Make sure you keep your water intake up. Keeping your water intake up will help flush out the toxins that your body is releasing and help relieve the symptoms more quickly. Finally, more than ever, this is the time you have to be vigilant about your spiritual focus. Great days are ahead, and you will be glad you pushed through this day and didn’t give up!

Day 8 (01.17)

Read: Matthew 16:24 (clickable link)


You can know God and never completely surrender your life to Him. Your sins can be forgiven, and you can be on your way to heaven, but you can still be in control.
You can add God to your life, but it can still be your life. You can still be in the driver’s seat.

Prayer and fasting is about getting out of the driver’s seat and getting in the passenger seat. To truly surrender means giving God your whole life and discovering the reality, joy, peace, freedom, feelings and experiences that come with truly knowing God. We often believe this is a one-time decision, but it is a practice we must regularly engage in to keep our spiritual fervor.

God is asking you a question, “Will you let me drive? Will you give me complete control? If you want all of me, then I need all of you.” Today will you tell Jesus have His way in your life?

Is there something that you need to surrender to God today? What have you been holding on to that you need to give back to God? During your prayer time today give God the things that you have been holding onto and watch how He moves mountains in your life.

Day 7 (01.16)

Read: John 10:10 (clickable link)


I love an ice-cold coke. Pop the top, and it has lots of fizz! Have you ever drank a canned coke after the top has been off for a while, and it has gone flat? There is no fizz! Yuck! Just Gross. We expect the fizz when we open up a carbonated drink, don’t we? We expect the fizz every time!

Passionate Christianity should be the norm for every believer—not the exception!
We would never settle for a flat coke that has lost its fizz. Likewise, we should never settle for a stale, mundane, dull, boring relationship with God. Are you vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God…the God of the universe…can end up flat?

Begin again today with a John 10:10 passionate, expectation of abundance! Don’t settle! Guarding the fire of devotion in your heart is the most foundational discipline of your life. Refuse to accept a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for you.

As you complete the first week of your 21 day fast, make sure you are writing down the things that God is speaking to you. Continue to pray fervently for the main concerns in your life. Trust God to bring an answer as you journal your thoughts and inspirations through this time.

Day 6 (01.15)

Read: Luke 4:42 (clickable link)


The hardest decisions to make are usually not between what is good and bad. Usually the most difficult decisions are between what is good, better and best. It is so important to be able to clearly hear the voice of God when facing important decisions. Jesus regularly disconnected from the world to hear the voice of God. This awakening season is all about disconnecting from the world so that we can hear the voice of God.

All sorts of things will try to crowd God out of your life. Jesus faced pressure from the crowds, and he had to choose between doing good and doing God’s will. The crowds constantly tugged on Jesus to heal them or to do another miracle. What might have happened if Jesus had listened to the voice of the crowds? He would have settled for a very good cause, healing, but missed his primary purpose to preach the kingdom of God to lost humanity. Jesus knew that with so much need everywhere, He had to hear the voice of His Father, or He would have mistakenly chosen what’s good instead of what’s God. That is exactly what will happen in our lives if we’re not tuned in to God and hearing His voice over the voice of the crowd.

The voice of the crowd cannot answer the question, “Why are you here?” When you hear the voice of God, you begin to understand His purpose for you and what you are all about. It is then that you can prioritize your life around that purpose; this is a freeing place to be, and it uncomplicates your life. Once you begin to realize God’s purpose for your life, you start to understand something foundational about yourself; you’re not here on earth simply to exist but—guess what?—you were sent. Your whole life will change when you understand that you were sent here by God.

I don’t know your specific assignment in regards to your career, relationships, or other matters. I do know that we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus. I want to challenge you to look at the normal activities of your everyday life and see them as opportunities to be a witness for Jesus. During your fast, look for ways to serve and encourage others at work, at home, in your neighborhood or at church.

Day 5 (01.14)

Read: Ephesians 2:10 (clickable link)


One of the reasons I think prayer and fasting are so powerful when combined is that together they activate a chain reaction where we see God’s kingdom manifest on earth. This sequence is what I call agreement…alignment…assignment. When we come into agreement with God, we are aligned with God’s perfect will on earth as it already is in heaven. When we are aligned with heaven, we find that God can use us in ways we never thought possible; then we begin to walk in our assignment –the purpose that God created us to fulfill.

God has given you a specific and unique assignment. You are a masterpiece designed by God to make a difference in this world. There is a very specific purpose for which you were created. God is the only One who can truly inform you of that purpose, and in order to fulfill it, you will need His power.

Here’s the deal: when it comes to pursuing our God-given assignment, if you and I are not in tune with God’s voice, we will only hear the voice of the crowd and get weighed down by the pressures of life. Like a radio station we can’t quite hear clearly, all the voices will cause static and make it difficult for us to tune into the Voice we need to hear.

As you fast, let your hunger help you focus on God. Every time you experience a pang of hunger, ask God to increase your hunger for Him in the same way that you hunger for food.

Day 4 (01.13)

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:19 (clickable link)


Do you think of yourself as a temple? The Bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We’ve got to get “the gunk” out of God’s temple so we can hear his voice clearly and prepare ourselves for new things He wants to do in and through us. Even if you are going to church, reading your Bible, and worshiping there are times when you need to give your soul a good spring cleaning to make it fresh again.

As we live our lives, over time we can get all “gunked up.” While our spirit is eternally made new through Christ , our soul, which is the intersection of our mind, will and emotions, can become weighed down, heavy, negative, and sluggish.

The constant demand on our mind, the distractions, and the noise can weigh us down and put us in a spiritual fog. Life has a way of stacking on the pressure and pain, which causes our emotions to get out of whack. As we get tired and weighed down, our conscience can become desensitized, not really bothered by things that once convicted us. God’s voice is slowly muffled, and we begin to lose our passion for Him. The fire within dims, and we shift into autopilot, operating from a position of obligation or routine in our relationship with God, instead of one of affection and fervor.

Fasting hits the reset button of our soul. To receive the new things God wants to bring into our lives, we have to periodically hit the reset button. This is what I call experiencing a newness of soul. What a powerful gift we have been given through fasting.

Along with your fasting, make sure you slow your pace and remove distractions. Try to add some times of silence and solitude along with your fasting.

Day 3 (01.12)

Read: Galatians 5:1 (clickable link)


Why do we fast? You can do it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. I want to make it clear that under the New Covenant, fasting is not to get God to change His mind about something. Fasting is also not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. After you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your past, present and future sins have already been forgiven! You don’t need to fast to obtain favor or receive mercy, because through Jesus you live in a continual state of God’s mercy. Instead, fasting is a way of celebrating the goodness of God and that because of Jesus, we have already received God’s mercy, forgiveness and favor.

Under the Old Covenant, the entire mindset was to “do in order to become.” But under the New Covenant, the operating principle is “you already are, therefore act like it” --- rejoice and celebrate that Christ has set you free.

You don’t have to fast for mercy, instead, celebrate the mercy given to you as a free gift through your relationship with Christ. Under the New Covenant you don’t fast to obtain the Lord’s favor because you perpetually live in the favor of the Lord. Do you see the difference?

Fasting is not about mourning or sadness, but it is about celebrating the goodness of God. Make sure that as you fast you reflect and journal on the goodness, favor and forgiveness of God.

Day 2 (01.11)

Read: Matthew 6:16 (clickable link)


It is time to get a new outlook on fasting. When practiced the right way, fasting is something that everyone should enjoy. That’s right…enjoy! Fasting is for every follower of Jesus. Too many people fast with a strict mind-set that focuses on abstaining. The fasting I am talking about is different. Of course it involves abstaining from food, but the mindset is completely different. It is possible to have minimum physical emptiness with maximum spiritual fullness.

Fasting is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons believers can use. Maybe you’ve never done it before. There is a serious misconception that fasting is for serious, super Christians or only for times of crisis. Some even think fasting is only an Old Testament thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:16, “When you fast.” He did not say if you fast!
There is a closeness to God that you simply will not experience from prayer or personal devotions alone. You must fast. You get a revelation of God’s Word when you fast that you simply cannot get any other way. Disconnecting from the distractions of the world through fasting, and connecting into the power and presence of God through prayer, brings a supernatural freshness and newness to our souls.

What will you be fasting over the next 20 days? Your fast doesn’t necessarily have to be food. You could fast from social media or anything that would help you be more intentional in your focus on God and His Word.

Day 1 (01.10)

Read: Romans 12:11-12 (clickable link)


How close do you feel to God? Most of us sense that there’s more to a relationship with God than what we currently are experiencing. I have observed that while the vast majority of believers start out with a lot of passion and zeal in their relationship with God, over time that enthusiasm subsides. On a day-to-day basis, their relationship with God eventually becomes passive. There are occasional bursts of excitement, but even that excitement is short-lived. Their walk with God seems to have a few highs, some lows…and a whole lot of mundane in-betweens.

Does it strike you, as it has me, that there is something terribly wrong with a passionless, passive, mundane, monotonous relationship with God? Aren’t we vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God… the God of the universe…can end up with the flavor of stale bread? The Bible is clear that our passion and spiritual fervor should be constant. (Romans 12:11) So why have so many Christians accepted a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for them?

A passionate, thriving relationship with God should be the norm, not the exception for every follower of Christ. Over the next 21 days your relationship with God can be awakened. Maintaining a fresh, exciting, passionate relationship with God is something we must literally fight to protect. Make no mistake about it—we have a very real enemy who wants nothing more than for our souls to be lulled to sleep, all while we think everything is okay.

For the next 21 days, join us in the experience of fasting, prayer, and listening to the voice of God through His Word. Maybe at one time you were excited about God and were full of His life. But now, if you’re honest, you know other things have grabbed your attention, and your heart has hardened to the joy and freshness you once felt. Or maybe you are far from God and struggling with addictive behaviors or other issues. (And, by the way, is there really anyone who doesn’t have issues?) The good news is that the potential for a lasting, thriving relationship with God really is there. It just has to be awakened.

Take a moment to reflect and journal: What is your biggest obstacle to experiencing the zeal and passion described in Romans 12:11-12? Ask God to ignite or reignite a passion in your relationship with Jesus.

Introduction

Thank you for taking part of our 21 Day Fast. We pray and believe that God has big things in store for you and you take time to seek Him and align yourself with His heart. We will be walking through a devotional and reading plan from Pastor Stovall Weems - available through the bible app here.

 

As you begin this fast, there are a few things to think about:

REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS: As the first few days progress, depending on what fast you choose, your body may begin to fatigue from the lack of food that it has become accustom to. This can also be true if you give up non food related items. Your mind is going to react from the change of daily pattern and not feeding on the media it is used to receiving. It is important in those moments to remind yourself why. You are doing this to seek God and draw closer to Him.

FOCUS ON THE GOOD: As we progress through the fast and begin to experience the fatigue mentioned above, it becomes easy to begin to complain and see only the negative that we are experiencing. We must in those moments focus on the good that will be experienced from this. Don't live your days complaining to others the negatives you may experience. Instead, focus on giving God gratitude. Another important thing to remember is to be careful with restricting yourself during the fast. It is a good idea to be very clear in what you are planning to "give up" and be consistent throughout the 21 days. However, if you spend all of our time focusing on what you can't do, you will leave yourself little time to focus on what you can do. Don't become so strict with your diet or with giving something up that you loose sight of the goal.

GIVE GRACE WHERE NEEDED: During this time, you will reach a point where the desire to "slip up" will become so great that you may ultimately make the decision to eat or consume something that you have given up. If this happens, give yourself grace. Dwelling on mistakes will take away from seeking God. Be sure to reset yourself and get back on track. Ask others who are walking through this with you to help you stay on track. If you know someone who is doing this fast that may slip up, extend grace to them as well. Help them stay on track but don't beat them down if they make a mistake.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BODY: We have talked about fatigue and we know that the first few days can be the most challenging. We know that you will begin to feel different as you stop giving your body certain foods. Be sure to keep check of your health. While we know that we are denying ourself certain things, we must make sure that it never moves into the health concern category. While we want to complete these 21 days, never let the desire to complete this fast put you in a situation were your health can be a concern. Make adjustment and speak with a medical professional if necessary.

 

COMMON FAST TYPES:

DANIEL FAST: based on the Biblical book of Daniel. It involves a 21 day ad libitum (as much or as often as necessary or desired) food intake period, no animal products and preservatives, and inclusive of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

MODIFIED DANIEL FAST: similar to DANIEL FAST listed above; however may be altered in some way. Examples is doing the DANIEL FAST but also including bread or crackers in your diet. Or perhaps eating meat in one meal per day.

ONE MEAL FAST: consists of completely giving up one meal per day to use time to pray and read God's Word. This is best to be done consistently with same meal each day, but can be modified based on the situation.

JUICE (LIQUIDS) FAST: a fruit or vegetable juice fast that allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. If you have sugar sensitivities or problems (e.g. diabetes), consult your doctor before attempting this (or any other) fast. This fast can also be modified to add supplements to water or juices.

POSSESSION FAST: giving up a particular possession or technology for 21 days. This includes TV, game console, computer technology, etc. During the time you would normally do these activities, take a moment to pray, worship, or read your bible.

SOCIAL MEDIA: fasting from one or all social media accounts during the 21 day fast. If this fast is chosen, it is recommended that you log out of the accounts or hide the apps to remove temptation. It is also recommended that when you feel the desire to scroll on social media, take a few minutes to pray, listen to a worship song, or read from your bible.

 

As you fast, we are believing that God is going to do some great things in your life. We know that the best is yet to come and we pray you begin to experience it while you seek His will.

Be blessed.