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Stepping Into Greater Blessing

Stepping Into Greater Blessing                                   

Imagine you inherit a grand mansion. It is filled with beautifully decorated rooms. Walking in the front door, you are so impressed by the mansion's foyer you put down your luggage and set yourself up to live there. You live in the foyer for the rest of your life. Never using the dining room, the lounge, never sleeping in any of the bedrooms. You live and die just inside the front door. How dumb is that. 

But that’s what many Christians do with their salvation. They get in the front door, enjoy some blessings but never explore or enjoy the wonders and great blessings God had in store for them. Never enjoying the promise of 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Never experiencing all the peace, the joy, the fulfillment, the abundant life, that God promises. 

How do you move from the front door of salvation to enjoying the fullness of all God wants you to enjoy? Philippians 2:12 says you must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." We must do the work.

Prayer 

Prayer unlocks some of the rooms in God’s mansion of great blessings that he has for you. Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

The more you pray the more God will show you things he wants to do that will astound you. Prayer will lift you to a realm where you experience great and mighty things. 

2 Chronicles 7:14  "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Heal your marriage, your family, your finances, your addiction, your job, your health. Go home, lock the doors, get before God and seek His face. 

1 Chronicles 4:10  "And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested."

Jabez wanted everything God had for him, nothing more and nothing less. When Jabez cried out to God to bless him it was a powerful prayer that opened the heavens, rooms in mansion in his life. 

It is no surprise Jesus promised “ask and it will be given to you” (Matt 7:7). You have not because you ask not. God has many blessings in store for us but He insists we ask and keep on asking. 

Fasting 

Now if you add fasting to your prayers you will go to another stratosphere of God’s blessing, breakthrus and answers to prayer. 

“Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven. The man who prays with fasting is giving heaven notice that he is truly in earnest." Arthur Wallis, God's Chosen Fast: A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Fasting

In Matthew 6:16 Jesus said when you fast not if.  

Fasting is a key to breakthrough.

There are rooms in your mansion of blessings that contain your breakthrough and some breakthroughs won’t come without prayer and fasting. 

Mark 9:29 "this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting."

Fasting sharpens our prayers. 

Inner revival

Another blessing God wants every one of us to experience is inner revival. 

Saving of souls

If you have family, friends, work colleagues, fellow students you want to see saved, join us in these days of prayer and fasting. 

A preacher tells of how his mother would often say to his brothers and sisters you are all going to be saved because I am fasting for you. She fasted often. When one of kids began to stray she would say “I have to go on a fast”. She called it praying the price for him.  The result of this prayer and fasting? All 11 of his brothers and sisters were saved. 

Prayer and fasting can change a nation.

This is the calling and mandate on Church Unlimited and New Zealand and Beyond. It is why our conference is so important, the main event, the heartbeat of Church Unlimited. Our collective prayer and fasting will add enough power to our prayers to change our nation. 

Jonah 3:4, 5, 10 demonstrates the incredible power of collective prayer and fasting to change a nation. Our nation of New Zealand is in desperate need of an awakening and revival. God has placed a strong calling and mandate on Church Unlimited and it's members to be a part of bringing revival and transformation to our nation.

Fasting is a powerful discipline that far too many Chrstians avoid. If we practice fasting, we deny ourselves and do what Jesus said was part of being a true follower. 

Mark 8:34 "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." 

Release of world missions 

Acts 13:1-3 "Now in the church at Antioch ... as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away."

After prayer and fasting world mission was launched.  World history turned on the basis of that prayer and fasting meeting 2000 years ago.

 We can fill our lives with so many small things, worldly desires, too much food, that there is no room left for the great. God did not create you for this. The great God has planned for you life, hunger for  Him, personal revival can be released by prayer and fasting. 

Acceleration of expansion 

In this new era of acceleration of expansion it is so important for prayer to increase to sustain the wonderful things God is doing. I encourage all our campuses to increase in prayer and please support their local prayer meetings. We all need to pray more. It takes huge spiritual power to take new territory for God. Our vision is to impact regions for God - Northland, Auckland, New Zealand, the nations. There is so much God has called us to do, but it needs prayer and fasting to release Him to work. As we unite in prayer in Kaitaia, Whangarei and Auckland it will be so powerful. Soon there will more campuses. Imagine, campuses in prayer across our nation. The impact would be huge. Revival. While praying recently I felt God was saying "to fulfil our destiny in God we need to be a people who fast and pray".  

Daniel - Daniel had a call to bring an end to the peoples' Babylonian captivity. Only after 21 days prayer and fasting did he fulfill his destiny. 

Jehoshaphat - 2 Chronicles 20 describes how a great army was marching against Judah. Jehoshaphat turned to collective prayer and fasting and the nation was saved.

Esther - A decree was issued that all the Jews were to be killed. This was greatest crisis they ever faced. Hitler had only a third of the Jews at his mercy but the Persian Empire had the entire Jewish nation under their control.  Esther called for 3 days of collective prayer and fasting. God saved a nation and he can save ours. 

Prayer with fasting opens the door for you to experience the vast mansion of God’s incredible blessings he wants you to enjoy. It will make your testimony echo Psalm 23 "...my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..."  

Paul had one of the most powerful ministries ever. He practiced fasting.

2 Corinthians 11:27 "I have been ...in hunger and thirst, in fastings often."

Prayer and fasting will increase the anointing and power of God flowing through our lives. 

Imagine two beams: one horizontal and one vertical. When we fast we go vertical, our focus goes Godward. Today’s Church has become more horizontal focused. In the West it has become all about me, meet my needs, teach me, help me, bless me. With prayer and fasting for a season we take focus off ourselves and our needs, off the horizontal and focus on God. Going vertical is about ministering to the Lord. We mostly want God to minister to us. Let it be His turn for a season. When you put God first the amazing thing is all else is added to you (Matthew 6:33).

We are caught in a great spiritual battle for our nation, to see it turn to God, we need to call people to collective prayer and fasting. Along with humility pray and fasting are the biblical means to seeing a nation healed described in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The word 'humble' can speak of fasting; David said in Psalm 35:13 "I humbled myself with fasting".

Some people who need healing don’t get better, it is not because their condition is incurable but because they won’t follow the doctor's orders. Many nations are not healed for the same reason. Our Great Physician has given us the prescription for healing; the question is not can God heal our land, but will we swallow the prescribed pills? It is not that easy to swallow.

Follow the  model of Jesus 

Matthew 4:1-2 "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry."

Before beginning His public ministry, before healing anyone, before preaching His first sermon, Jesus fasted and prayed 40 days. Why would God himself need to fast and pray? Jesus wanted to establish a pattern and model for all us who wish to make an impact for Him.

If you want to be used by God in your life, your business, your career or ministry, then you need times of prayer and fasting. If Jesus the Son of God needed to fast and pray to fulfill His destiny we also need to, unless there are medical reasons why we can’t. Derek Prince says some parts of God’s will for us will never be attained without fasting. Some of God’s greatest blessings will only be released through fasting and prayer.

Motivations for fasting 

You don’t have to do it but it lifts everything to another level.

Increased Spirit power 

After fasting Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. Fasting increase God’s power in our lives and gives us spiritual muscle.  Before beginning His public ministry, before healing anyone, before preaching His first sermon, Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days. Jesus established a model for us. If you want to experience more of God’s power and favor in your  life, church, career, family,  add times of prayer and fasting.  

The Bible and history teaches us that every significant outpouring of God’s Spirit has been preceded by persistent prayer. There is no other biblical formula. It is so clear, we have tried virtually every other method and yet our land remains far from God and in desperate need of healing. Paul says in 1 Thess 5:17 to "pray without ceasing". He doesn’t say sing without ceasing, fellowship without ceasing, preach without ceasing, fund raise without ceasing. But pray without ceasing. That’s revival praying.

In recent years we have seen massive advances in Christian music and praise and worship but it seems we have gone backwards in prayer. I don't mean we shouldn't advance musically but we must make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of prayer and fasting.

In Luke 11:1 the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. After that question Jesus taught the only two parables that deal with prayer. The widow who goes to the judge and the man who wants bread in the middle of the night. You could sum up Jesus teaching on prayer in two phrases: don’t give up and keep on praying. 

In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called the nation to a public day of prayer and fasting saying

"it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord." Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863.



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