One way of gaining deeper intimacy with GOD is in our times of fasting. In the book of Matthew, JESUS was questioned as to why HIS disciples didn't fast:
"Then John's disciples came and asked HIM, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but YOUR disciples do not fast?" JESUS answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast." Matthew 9:14-15 NIV
In the book, "Awakening the Messiah", by Messianic Rabbi K.A. Schneider, he writes, "fasting makes us hungry and thirsty for GOD. When we fast, we look to GOD alone as our source of life. As we recognize our sole dependence on HIM, a greater focus and clarity will evolve in our lives, drawing us into greater intimacy with HIM."
Rabbi Schneider also goes on to say, "Fasting done in the right way changes us. GOD uses it to transform us and to gain possession of us for HIMSELF. You may not necessarily experience bliss as a result of fasting, but as you rely on GOD to be your only source, you will be drawn into greater intimacy with HIM, and over time, your passion for intimacy with HIM will be realized."
Today, there are so many things on t.v. and in the news, even in our communities, that take our eyes off GOD. I have been thinking on the 9/11 tragedy and on all the things going on that have seemed like our nation and world are worsening. When I use my eyes to see, I can get pretty discouraged.
A few days ago, I got awakened by the LORD at 5:30am. HE hadn't done that in a long time. I was obedient and got out of bed and spent time in the Bible and praying for issues and people HE put on my heart. Since then, HE has been faithful in calling me to quiet time with HIM and HE has been putting a greater filling of the fruit of the SPIRIT in my spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Then HE reminded me of my own valley time in 2008 and how in the midst of hardship and an episode of being on my knees crying and calling out to HIM, HE told me in my spirit to praise HIM.
Praising GOD feels like the last thing we want to do in painful/hard times, but it leads to breakthrough. Peace will come upon you to overflowing--even laughter at times!
Well, HE has been telling me to go into praise-mode for our nation and world need GOD to intervene now more than ever. HE will fight these battles for us and show HIMSELF mighty on our behalf. So in all things praise HIM for HE will inhabit the praises of HIS people!
An update on the Good News Club outcome--We ended up having 58 kids from the West Marshall Elementary School attend in the Elementary School Library!! 41 of the kids committed their lives to living for JESUS CHRIST, accepting HIM as their Lord and Savior. It was awesome! We had numerous volunteers from all different denominations and 6th grade kids up to retired persons! Even some of the volunteers made the same commitment. The LORD also put on our hearts to get the kids Bibles, so GOD provided and we did it! Those kids were reading their Bibles out the door! In fact, a little girl came into the Library after all were gone but a few of us volunteers asking for a Bible because her neighbor came to Good News Club and told her about the free Bibles. Of course we gave her one and information to know JESUS personally so that the Bible will make sense for her. That was a Divine appointment, just like all the rest of the six weeks.
We will be starting up again in the fall and also having a vacation Bible school 5-day club this summer in Melbourne, State Center and Rhodes. Please keep praying for HOLY SPIRIT movement and complete control by HIM for all involved to be changed by HIS love!! Thanks again--we couldn't do it without prayer!
Today I learned that my sister, Sharon and my parents were almost killed in an auto accident this weekend. Sharon drove my parents down to their winter place in Arizona this weekend. While on the trip, someone a car ahead of them missed their exit and proceeded to hit the brakes to "go back" or something. Sharon said the car right in front of her came to a screeching halt and the rear of the car elevated to a degree and her car stopped not far behind them. Fortunately, no one crashed. It wasn't until Sharon looked in her rearview mirror and saw a semi-truck coming full-speed at them that she knew trouble was upon them. She heard the semi honking and watched the entire scene unfold from the rearview. She watched in horror and told my parents, "we are going to die". Suddenly, at the last possible moment, the semi veered into another lane and they were safe.
As she was telling me this story today, her eyes welled with tears, as did mine. GOD saved my sister and parents that day. GOD gave them more time on earth, as HE did for me over 14 years ago.
GOD gave us more time, not because we deserve it, but because HE is so generous and merciful. This morning I was reading in the book of James, chapter 2. It says that "Mercy triumphs over judgment." (James 2:13) Mercy is defined as unmerited favor, undeserved kindness. We definitely are undeserving, but GOD so desires to be known and wants us to get close to HIM in friendship, that HE'LL divert an accident for us to have more time to get to know HIM so we can be with HIM now and know it, and be with HIM eternally. I've been praising HIM all day for many reasons, especially for saving some of my family members.
I met GOD through JESUS CHRIST when I was led to understand that HE loved me enough to spare my life March 3, 1995. But I learned after I met HIM that HE did it so that by being in friendship with HIM, I could be saved. I call it being saved to be saved. Look in Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 13:24-27. JESUS told people who came up to HIM that did not know HIM personally, to be gone (they were banished to hell) because HE never knew them. This is what saves us.
If you don't know HIM personally, please ask JESUS into your heart and ask HIM to forgive you all your sins. Make HIM your personal Savior. Make what HE did on the cross personal to you. After all, if you are someone who knows GOD spared your life from dying in your past, you know that GOD is taking your life personal, too. Get to know HIM. Become friends with HIM. He is my very best friend. I can't explain this incredible friendship, but it is real. GOD loves you so much!