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Directions for my immediate family and for my church family. One word of caution as you contemplate joining us in this time of prayer and fasting. I ask that you take this time seriously. If you feel that this challenge will not be possible in your life, find an accountability partner to help you each day. What you will discover by keeping your word, is that you can accomplish a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

If you need an accountability partner and do not have anyone to help, contact me and we will complete this challenge together. I am in your corner cheering you on. I want you to hear from God and be filled with the presence of God in ! It is time to get a new outlook on fasting. When practiced the right way, fasting is something that everyone should enjoy. Fasting is for every follower of Jesus.

"Awakening" by Stovall Weems

Too many people fast with a strict mind-set that focuses on abstaining. The fasting I am talking about is different. Of course it involves abstaining from food, but the mindset is completely different. It is possible to have minimum physical emptiness with maximum spiritual fullness. Fasting is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons believers can use.

There is a serious misconception that fasting is for serious, super Christians or only for times of crisis. Some even think fasting is only an Old Testament thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a closeness to God that you simply will not experience from prayer or personal devotions alone.

You must fast.

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Disconnecting from the distractions of the world through fasting, and connecting into the power and presence of God through prayer, brings a supernatural freshness and newness to our souls. What will you be fasting over the next 20 days? You could fast from social media or anything that would help you be more intentional in your focus on God and His Word. How close do you feel to God? I have observed that while the vast majority of believers start out with a lot of passion and zeal in their relationship with God, over time that enthusiasm subsides.

On a day-to-day basis, their relationship with God eventually becomes passive. There are occasional bursts of excitement, but even that excitement is short-lived.

Their walk with God seems to have a few highs, some lows…and a whole lot of mundane in-betweens. Does it strike you, as it has me, that there is something terribly wrong with a passionless, passive, mundane, monotonous relationship with God? The Bible is clear that our passion and spiritual fervor should be constant. Romans So why have so many Christians accepted a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for them? A passionate, thriving relationship with God should be the norm, not the exception for every follower of Christ.

Over the next 21 days your relationship with God can be awakened. Maintaining a fresh, exciting, passionate relationship with God is something we must literally fight to protect.

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Make no mistake about it—we have a very real enemy who wants nothing more than for our souls to be lulled to sleep, all while we think everything is okay. For the next 21 days, join us in the experience of fasting, prayer, and listening to the voice of God through His Word. Maybe at one time you were excited about God and were full of His life. Or maybe you are far from God and struggling with addictive behaviors or other issues.

The good news is that the potential for a lasting, thriving relationship with God really is there. It just has to be awakened. Take a moment to reflect and journal: What is your biggest obstacle to experiencing the zeal and passion described in Romans ? Ask God to ignite or reignite a passion in your relationship with Jesus.

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Why do we fast? You can do it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. I want to make it clear that under the New Covenant, fasting is not to get God to change His mind about something. Fasting is also not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. After you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your past, present and future sins have already been forgiven!

Do you see the difference? Fasting is not about mourning or sadness, but it is about celebrating the goodness of God. Make sure that as you fast you reflect and journal on the goodness, favor and forgiveness of God. Do you think of yourself as a temple? The Bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Even if you are going to church, reading your Bible, and worshiping there are times when you need to give your soul a good spring cleaning to make it fresh again. The constant demand on our mind, the distractions, and the noise can weigh us down and put us in a spiritual fog.

Life has a way of stacking on the pressure and pain, which causes our emotions to get out of whack. As we get tired and weighed down, our conscience can become desensitized, not really bothered by things that once convicted us. The fire within dims, and we shift into autopilot, operating from a position of obligation or routine in our relationship with God, instead of one of affection and fervor. Fasting hits the reset button of our soul. To receive the new things God wants to bring into our lives, we have to periodically hit the reset button. This is what I call experiencing a newness of soul.

What a powerful gift we have been given through fasting. Along with your fasting, make sure you slow your pace and remove distractions. Try to add some times of silence and solitude along with your fasting. This sequence is what I call agreement…alignment…assignment.

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When we are aligned with heaven, we find that God can use us in ways we never thought possible; then we begin to walk in our assignment —the purpose that God created us to fulfill. God has given you a specific and unique assignment. You are a masterpiece designed by God to make a difference in this world. There is a very specific purpose for which you were created.

God is the only One who can truly inform you of that purpose, and in order to fulfill it, you will need His power.

Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom

As you fast, let your hunger help you focus on God. Every time you experience a pang of hunger, ask God to increase your hunger for Him in the same way that you hunger for food. The hardest decisions to make are usually not between what is good and bad. Usually the most difficult decisions are between what is good, better and best.

It is so important to be able to clearly hear the voice of God when facing important decisions. Jesus regularly disconnected from the world to hear the voice of God. This awakening season is all about disconnecting from the world so that we can hear the voice of God.

All sorts of things will try to crowd God out of your life. The crowds constantly tugged on Jesus to heal them or to do another miracle. What might have happened if Jesus had listened to the voice of the crowds? He would have settled for a very good cause, healing, but missed his primary purpose to preach the kingdom of God to lost humanity.

It is then that you can prioritize your life around that purpose; this is a freeing place to be, and it uncomplicates your life. Your whole life will change when you understand that you were sent here by God. I do know that we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus.

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I want to challenge you to look at the normal activities of your everyday life and see them as opportunities to be a witness for Jesus. During your fast, look for ways to serve and encourage others at work, at home, in your neighborhood or at church. I love an ice-cold coke. Pop the top, and it has lots of fizz! Have you ever drank a canned coke after the top has been off for a while, and it has gone flat?