Sunday, January 08 2012
Day 1: Engaging the Spirit Realm (Daniel 10)
Summary: This period of consecration will open your eyes to spiritual things that are not knowable in the natural. Spiritual allies will be fighting for you to release blessings in answer to your prayers. Your body may feel weak for a time, but God will give you strength through the reassurance that you are deeply loved by God.
Action step: Set aside DAILY time for prayer and Bible Study. Believe that God is operating on your behalf, releasing blessings in the heavenly realm. Determine to trust God for the answers to prayer, no matter how long it takes for them to manifest.
Day 2: An Earnest Plea (1 Chronicles 21:18-27)
Summary: David went in obedience to the Lord to worship, and was willing to make a sacrifice to purchase something to be dedicated to God, even when he could have used his influence to get it for free. When God saw David’s sacrifice, God removed the judgment to be executed against his people. Obedience and sacrifice are the keys to victory in your life. We can plead to God with our lips, but obedience and sacrifice demonstrate our sincerity. They can change the course of negative consequences and evoke God’s grace and mercy.
Action Step: If there is something in your life that you are seeking God’s forgiveness for, ask for that forgiveness, but also commit to obeying God’s Word and answering God’s call to sacrifice during this period of consecration. It may cost you something, but it will gain you everything.
Day 3: Expect the End to be Better! (Daniel 1)
Summary: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah committed themselves to eating only water and vegetables for ten days, and asked to be tested at the end. At the conclusion of this period they ended up looking and feeling BETTER than those who had the king’s rich diet. They were also given special spiritual graces of knowledge and wisdom. Committing yourself to God during this time we should EXPECT to be both physically better and spiritually more in tune that we would otherwise.
Action Step: Today take some time to write out some expectations for the end of your consecration. What are you looking for at the end. Begin giving God thanks NOW for it.
Day 4: Focus on God’s Word (Psalm 119)
Summary: David’s extended statement on the power of God’s Word details how important it is to make The Bible the central driving force in our lives. Often we rely more on our own instincts, experience, and senses to determine our course rather than God’s Word. But if we hide God’s Word in our heart (vl 1), let it order our steps (vl33), establish our short and long term direction (vl05), God will give us more strength and wisdom than we’ve ever had.
Action Step: Determine to write out a scripture from this passage that speaks to you. Repeat it eight to ten times during the course of the day and try to commit it to memory. Praise God for giving your spirit new strength.
Day 5: The Three Pillars (Matthew 6; 1-18)
Summary: Jesus focuses on three pillars of spiritual life in this passage: giving, prayer and fasting. He emphasizes that we aren’t to do any of these in order to get respect from others, but rather to please God and enhance our relationship with God. Giving, praying, and fasting are spiritual sacrifices that we do primarily for God’s pleasure, not to gain approval from anyone.
Action Step: Ask God to weed out any attention getting motives from our fast. Tell God that you are doing it for God and God alone.
Day 6: Connect it With Justice (Isaiah 58)
Summary: Fasting is useless if it is not accompanied by self examination. Isaiah points out that God’s people were doing the spiritual discipline of fasting, but at the same time exploiting people and participating in injustice. Similarly, we must ensure that our fast is not so inwardly focused that we are not working to make a difference for those who are experiencing oppression around us. Fasting and prayer can be powerful in destroying yokes of oppression and bondage around us if we commit ourselves to not close a blind eye to what is going on around us.
Action Step: Identify a social justice cause that you are concerned about (poverty, violence, education, etc.). Begin praying for social change and identify one way in which you can participate in making a difference.
Day 7: How to be a Spiritual Warrior (Matthew 11:12; Ephesians 6:10-18)
Summary: We believers must realize that we are at war, and that our choices are a matter of life and death. In order to survive we must (a) Get right with God (repent of unconfessed sin), (b) Declare War on Satan (determine that he WILL NOT rule your house), (c) Pray DAILY, and (d) Exercise our faith - believe God for a godly goal which seems unattainable.
Action Step: Talk yourself through putting on the armor of God before you meet your day (Ephesians 6:10-18)