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Friday, May 1, 2009

Part 2--Fasting

Well, I am starting a fast this morning, for many reasons; but I am using the Beachbody 2 day fast as an aid. No food, just teas, shakes, water, some juices, and LOTS of prayer! I'd ask that you would keep me in yours as well for spiritual rejuvenation and continued healing, physically and emotionally. This is NOT about weight loss-this is about cleansing the body, mind, and soul. This is about getting the "junk" out that has accumulated over the weeks or months. I believe that the enemy seeks to kill and destroy, but we have already WON this battle, and it was when Jesus died on the cross. The enemy is a crafty little sucker and he can/will seep into your life if you have your guard down. Put on your armour every day, I will be praying this alot today..along with some others. I am ARMED! Bring it!

Ephesians 6:11-18
11 Put on the whole armor of God,so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood & flesh,but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the cosmic powers of this present darkness,
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day,and having done everything, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth
around your waist,and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
16 With all of these, take the shield of faith,with which you will be able to quench
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation,and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Every morning, and throughout the day when you are being tested and tried,you may want to use this as an outline to guide you in prayer. Picture yourself being surrounded by God's power and empowered by Jesus as he gives you each part of the full armor of God!

A. The Helmet of Salvation
1. My acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior saves me! (John 3:16) Have you accepted Jesus? Thank Jesus for saving you and reclaim his protection, healing and power for today and for eternity!
2. Put on the mind of Christ. One of the ways Satan pulls us down is through our mind. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is" (Proverbs 23:7). Examine what you say to yourself, what you think about, and invite Jesus to replace your thoughts with his thoughts. The Bible says that we can "have the mind of Christ" (1 Co. 2:16b). Pray that "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). Envision a helmet placed over your head to cleanse and protect your thoughts.

B. The Breastplate of Righteousness
1. A right relationship with God (righteousness) begins with repentance. When sin is working in our lives, we are being separated from God. Confess any sin (1 John 1:8-9) and any trust you have placed in getting right by being good enough (Eph. 2:8-9). Claim Jesus' blood to wash away every sin and make you right with God.
2. Invite Jesus to make you into his likeness (Rom. 8:29). Focus on letting Jesus fill you with his light and goodness, pushing out anything else. Envision Jesus filling your body with light and placing radiant armor all around your chest and back.

C. The Belt of Truth
1. God's Word promise that "you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Invite Jesus to show you the truth about yourself, both beautiful and ugly. You need not fear what others say if you know the truth about yourself.
2. The Evil One and the world are filled with deceptions. Pray for the gift of the Spirit to discern what is true about others and the world (1Jn.4:1-2). Ask Go d's grace to know and to believe and to speak and to live only the truth. Envision Jesus wrapping a wide, pure white belt around your waist, the belt of truth.

D. The Sandals of Peace
1. Stand in the Peace of God. "Allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts" (Col. 3:15). "Be still and know that I AM God" (Psalm 46:10). "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
2. Be ready to be reconciled with those with whom you are in conflict. Jesus teaches, "agree quickly with your adversary" (Mt. 5:26). Don't accept false guilt, but look courageously within yourself for the truth of any accusation and confess it. Be quick to ask forgiveness, to give it, and to seek healing for hurts in ourselves and others. "Happy are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God" (Mat. 5:9). Envision Jesus giving you new shoes so you can stand solidly and also run swiftly to meet others in peace. Put the shoes on your feet.

E. The Shield of Faith
The arrows with which we are assaulted are temptations, fears, and doubts about God and ourselves. The shield of which Paul writes is a large thick shield. When burning arrows were shot in warfare, the arrows sunk into the thick, layered wood of the shield and were quickly extinguished. Envision yourself holding a large shield with which you can stop any burning arrows shot toward you. That shield is faith in Jesus Christ, who let Satan do his worst to him on the cross, and who rose up in victory! "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Co. 15:57).

F. The Sword of the Spirit
So often we get tied in knots: family or cultural traditions, habits or addictions, promises we have made, or rules others (not God) have written on our hearts. Fears, desires, and all kinds of spiritual forces of in our world hold us in bondage. As we see the threats, temptations, illnesses and habits that bind us from living in health and freedom, envision Jesus giving you the sword of the Spirit. Take it and cut any bonds that have imprisoned you.

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. To claim its power, read and study your Bible, and memorize sections of it so that you have Go d's Word on your heart and ready when you are tested. Listen also for God's living Word in every event or inner nudging of your day or night. "God works together with those who love Him to make GOOD in ALL THINGS" (Romans 8:28).

G. Final Prayers
Paul tells us to complete our preparations by praying in the Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in worshipping God. Pray also for others, that all of God's people may stand strong and faithful in the armor of God!

Armor of God Prayer Outline:
Picture yourself putting on:

1. The Helmet of Salvation
Re-claim and celebrate your salvation.Let Christ give you his mind and thoughts

2. The Breastplate of Righteousness
Get right with God by confessing any sin.Invite Jesus to make you into his likeness.

3. The Belt of Truth
Ask Jesus to show you the truth about yourself.Ask for discernment to know God's leading from that of the Evil One.

4. The Sandals of Peace
Exhale fully and breathe in the Peace of God. Invite the Holy Spirit to show you anyone with whom you need to be reconciled. Forgive them and seek your forgiveness.

5. The Shield of Faith
Envision yourself with a mighty shield, capturing and extinguishing doubts and temptations.

6. The Sword of the Spirit
Take the sword to cut yourself free from anything that restricts you from living in faith and health.

Praise God for His Word, in the Bible and in life.

"Final notes prepared by First Congregational Church of Fair Haven UCC."


Jen said...

Wow Demi! Preach it Sista!! You ROCK! I admire you for your openess about your relationship with God. We need more people like this. Having a strong physical body is FABULOUS but having a strong spirit-man is #1. I agree with you that your mind will be renewed as you partake in this fast. Less of you...more of HIM! God says "draw near to ME and I will draw near to you!" What a promise!
You inspire me...from head to toe--inside and out!
Love ya!

J. Branson said...

Great words! Awesome! Way to go!