God leads us into brand new, unexpected, things. He surprises us with His perfect timing. He shows us all we need to do in preparation as we get closer. It could be at that very moment that He requires our next step of faith. He also guides us into alternative ways to do what we have been doing.
We face the most frustrations when God is preparing us. He does not let us know all His plans to keep our doubts and insecurities out of His way. He leads us to take leaps of faith along the way and enables us to carry them out. When He shows us the “new’ He has for us, we have already begun walking in it.
It is our character growth that launches new opportunities. The new job, project, or relationship go hand in hand with the newness of Christ’s life we exhibit. We prepare for the new to manifest by saying yes to the Lord, from our heart. Yes, to Him, His plans, and His ways, without knowing the specifics. As we say yes to whatever He has, the specifics unfold. Let us welcome all He leads us to with excitement and the manifestation of His best, from glory to glory.
Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
Periodically, the Lord leads us to fast so we can be ruled by His Spirit instead of our flesh. In the Word, Paul speaks of disciplining his body and taking it into subjection. To bring our body under complete control, or subjection, means we conquer and master the flesh by the Spirit. As a spiritual being, we know there is a constant war between the flesh and the spirit. Even though the flesh should never dominate us, we face an ongoing war with temptations. Fasting, led by the Spirit of God, helps us walk victoriously in this daily battle.
Abstaining from what our flesh desires is different for each individual. People crave different food or drinks. A beneficial fast is the one that enables an individual to say no to what the body desires most. For some individuals it may not be food or drinks, but watching TV, surfing the web on a computer, playing games, relationships or speaking negatively. Based on what needs to be overcome in the flesh, it may be helpful to first say no to one thing before attempting to rule another.
Saying no regularly to our stomachs makes it easier to say no to other temptations that come our way. The key is for each one of us to seek the Lord on how He specifically wants us to fast. When we do so corporately, in one accord, we are strengthened and find ourselves walking in the Spirit, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
It’s through feasting on the abundance of the riches we have in Christ that we are able to fast from what hinders our freedom.
Our enemy throws fiery darts at us to destroy our destiny, but he can see that God has given us the opposite. We feast on God’s peace when confusion comes. We feast on God’s love when rejection comes. We feast on God’s truth when lies come. We feast on all that we have in Christ to fast from all that comes from our enemy. This is done in every area of our lives: spirit, soul and body. We feast on drinking water so we can fast from sodas. We feast on healthy food to fast the unhealthy ones. We feast on good relationships to fast from those that may be hurtful.
Not only does feasting help the fasting, but the opposite is also true. When we fast and overcome the desires of our flesh, by God’s grace, we are able to feast like never before. We run more swiftly to the table the Lord has prepared for us in the presence of our enemies. The enemy can only watch; he cannot come to that table. In Christ, we feast and are full, Hallelujah! Our spirit is strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. The reward of a fast is a greater feast of the things of God. We fast and feast, from glory to glory!
Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”
The presence of the Lord in our lives is truly amazing, and the most important reality to keep in mind at all times. When we know that God is with us, we look for Him, and to Him, above all else. As we do, we make room for Him to lead us and His perfect will to be done.
It’s not this or that we need to look for, it’s the Lord, and then all things align under His divine leadership. It’s when we feel as though we are not worthy of His presence that we find He is there to carry us through. It’s when we see our weaknesses that we become aware of the power of His strength. It’s when we think we don’t deserve His glory that we realize His glory shines regardless. It’s when we think we have nothing to give that we find He gives Himself to us, by His grace.
In His presence there is fullness of joy. In His presence no hindrance can remain. No fear, worry, depression or loneliness can stay when we know that God, Himself, is with us. It’s when we trust He is here that we draw near to Him. If God is for us and with us, who can be against us? Oh the glory of His presence, from glory to glory!
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated ‘God with us.’ ’’
As we make room for the Lord in every area of our lives, He becomes a host, not a guest. We do not desire a simple visitation of the Lord, we desire His habitation. We go from temporary to permanent; from seasonal to continuous. As we celebrate our savior’s birth, we pray that He will be welcome in every household and occupy a bigger place than ever before!
When it was time for Jesus to be born, Joseph and Mary were forced to stay in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. The lack of concern for them, even with Mary’s condition, showed their poverty and thus, Jesus, the Savior of the World, was born in a manger where no one would expect such royalty. Even now, though He is Lord of all, He continues to look for hearts where room is made for Him. We may think our hearts are not clean or ready for the Lord; however, God looks for us to invite Him in, not because we are ready, but because without Him we can never be ready.
When we prepare for guests, we make sure the house is clean and everything is at its best. When we prepare for hosts, we turn the keys and everything we have over to them. As the host, our Lord sweeps clean our home and transforms it from a manger to a mansion. He doesn’t look at what is made for Him; He looks for those who are willingly making a place, from glory to glory!
Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
God aligns every part necessary for the accomplishment of His purposes in our lives. As part of this preparation, He brings clear confirmation.
A confirmation brings verification of something we believe in our hearts. We first have faith in what God has spoken to us, and then see God affirming His word along the way. He desires us to have surety in our steps. He knows we only want His will to be done because He hears the prayers of our willing hearts. We pray not to go any other way but His way, with confidence in His ability. God confirms and affirms His word to us unexpectedly, surely and clearly.
The more impossible something appears to be, the more affirmation we receive. God watches over His word to perform it, assuring us with care and love. A confirmation for Mary was her cousin Elizabeth, who had been barren, but was now expecting a child. We often are connected with others of like precious faith who also believe in miracles. It confirms to us that with God the impossible is possible. With God, the supernatural is natural, from glory to glory!
Luke 1:36-37 “ ‘Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’ ”