On Our Knees

Tonight I was shutting off the light and drawing the curtain so I could open the window. There was a cool breeze and it felt nice to have fresh air gently filling the room.

As I opened the window I noticed another window across the way from my own. The curtain was drawn back like mine. A faint light revealed that someone was there.

I recognized the older woman who came out in the mornings to tend her flowers. She was a tiny little lady with a meek and generous smile. We’d never talked, but there was a pleasant exchange between us.

Tonight she was on her knees with hands lifted high. I was immediately impressed. She had to be uncomfortable. She was not young.

It was obvious she was unaware that I saw her. I didn’t want to invade her privacy but I was fascinated by what I saw. The sight stirred and humbled me.

I snatched another peek. Her arms gently swayed. She was obviously adoring someone who was fully present to her.

A song of thanksgiving rose to my lips.  I got down on my own knees and began thanking Father. How could I not join the attribution to the One I knew worthy of such adoration?

We are created to worship and adore the One who breathed life into our being.

King David nailed it in Psalm 22:3, “God inhabits the praises of His people.”

It’s true! As we humble ourselves unto Him, we find His presence. Here we experience purpose and satisfaction far beyond earthly concerns.

God is looking for true worshippers who worship in spirit and truth. It is a beautiful sight to see God being adored simply and unashamedly in the quiet of the night.

I thought about my husband and my kids on bended knees. knees4prayinI envisioned my friends and family members bowing low in secret places before the Lord. I considered the persecuted worshipping in chains and dark places.

Whether or not we realize it, we all lift our hands to something or someone. We pray in need, and we pray in adoration.

Tonight I am reminded to pray for all who have yet to seek and find the face of Jesus. I am also thanking Father for all who have found Him -that we would shine like beacons in the night drawing deeper into His presence in such a way that provokes others to seek Him for themselves.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-15

Consider that wherever you are, on your knees is the most powerful and fulfilling place to be.

On path with the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your path straight  Proverb 3:5-6

on path

Are you on the right path?   Are there any areas of your life that aren’t on track?   Are you trusting God with ALL your heart; not leaning on your own understanding?

If you took a road trip from Texas to California, but took the wrong highway and ended in Montana, it wouldn’t get you to California simply to say you really want to go to California.  It wouldn’t even be enough to confess to someone that you made a wrong turn.  You’d have to do more than get off the wrong road.  You would have to get on the right road.  You would need some sort of navigation system.

In the same way, repentance is more than turning from something. It goes beyond confession to turning TO Christ and staying on course with Him.

Being on path with Christ involves trusting in Him to navigate you thru the details of every day living.  Be careful not to follow another’s course.  God created you with a unique plan.  Trust God on the path He’s set for you.

Invest time getting to know God.  Be a student of the Word.  Know His character and His ways.  Take time with Him.  Talk with Him throughout the day.  Recognize His voice. Take steps of faith as He leads you on the good path.

Prayer and Fasting

If your 2014 goals and resolutions include starting something new and growing closer to God, consider how that will be accomplished.  We intend to make more time for prayer, but our schedules are so full.  I actually calendar daily “appointments” for prayer.  It’s too easy to overlook.  Every year, our family takes a period of time for fasting.  It gets  posted on our annual calendar.  Have you ever fasted?

I used to absolutely cringe at the thought of fasting.  I envisioned overly zealous fanatics and hardcore health nuts depriving themselves of LIFE, having to crawl into the emergency room in need of an iv to revive them “back”.  dogwood park

Then, thirteen years ago our Pastor called our congregation to a 40 day church-wide fast.  Many of us were new to fasting, and I didn’t quite know what to expect.  I didn’t want to change my eating habits.  As one who eats healthy anyways, I knew I’d have a “limited menu”.

Those 40 days boosted my prayer life.  My relationship with God deepened substantially.  Fasting made me hungry for more of Him.

Fasting is very personal and private, even when you join others.  It’s a time to humble yourself; saying no to appetites, listening instead to the voice of Christ.

Everyone who participated in that 40 day fast was impacted in a great way.  My husband and I included our children, modifying the fast accordingly.   It’s now a special time of year our whole family looks forward to.  Every January we prepare our schedules and menus to unite with the people we share life with.  We value this annual time of prayer and fasting.

It’s a special time to draw closer to one another, as we draw closer to God.  We turn off the tv, say no to needless “grazing” and take time and focus to key in on our relationship with God.  Some of the most powerful times we’ve had with the Lord, have been times of prayer and fasting.

In our church, each family (even each individual) usually does their own type of fast.  Some fast from media, others omit all sweets and junk food.  Many do a Daniel fast eating only vegetables and nuts.  Some are more serious, fasting from all food.

Typically our fasts are 21 day days.  We finish the last day together with a special time of prayer and worship.  We then break the fast going out to celebrate with dinner.  I seriously love these days; so rich is the fellowship with God.

If you’ve never done a fast before, start simple and go easy.  Jentezen Franklin Ministries offer helpful resources online, many of which are free.

Get answers before you start a fast:

Why are you fasting?  What will your fast look like?  How long will it last?  Who will support and encourage you?  When and where will you make time to take time to be alone and listen to God?  

Schedule times for prayer throughout your day.  A scripture based devotional is a great tool to help you reflect and focus your thoughts on God rather than what you’re NOT eating or doing.  This is so important because it really is tempting to get caught up in the depravation and miss the whole point of WHY you’re fasting in the first place!

Keep in mind, that on an extended fast, the first 3 days will most likely be the most difficult.  And if you do mess up, don’t throw in the towel.  Just pick up and continue.  It will be worth it!

Our fast begins Sunday, Jan 12.  Devotionals will be posted daily on The Harvest website.  You can also hear a messages about fasting on The Harvest’s Podcast on ITunes.

Jesus didn’t say “If you fast.”  He said, “when you fast.”  Matthew 6:16

Fasting is a powerful way to humble your body, soul and spirit, placing focus on Christ above self.  “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13.   God never disappoints.  How better can we prioritize our time and attention?