Going Forward Together: Day 8

Sometimes life takes our breath away and I believe God wants to give us a fresh wind. As we end our 8 days of prayer and fasting, I pray that you have received a fresh wind to push you forward in 2021.
My favorite James Bond movie of all time is Casino Royale. In one of the scenes James Bond is poisoned and is fighting for his life sitting in the front seat of a car. He is on the verge of death when Vesper Lynd helps him to regain consciousness. He immediately got a second wind and went back into the casino to finish the job. The surprise of his arch villain when he saw James Bond back in action.

I know that was just a movie, we are dealing with some real-life issues. The enemy may have thought you are down and there is no way of you coming back. But you’re getting your second wind to go forward.
Second wind is a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running, whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and too tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion (- Wikipedia).

Sometimes we feel tired, disappointed, and stuck in life. The days become long and seem to drag on and on. No matter what your current circumstances, it’s never too late to ask God for that second wind, a force that will propel you forward into God’s best for your life in 2021.

It is a good feeling to get your second wind, to feel that your strength is renewed as that of the eagles, so you can continue in the fight of faith. The Prophet Isaiah had that thought in mind when he said: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles … (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).”
Caleb, of whom it is said three times in Scripture that he wholly followed the Lord, could say at the age of eighty-five: “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain… (Joshua 14:11-12, KJV).” My God, as I’m writing I am feeling a second wind pushing me. Praise God!

Let me close with a declaration over you Progress Family.
I declare over you Isaiah 11: 2 – 3:
• The breath/spirit (ruah) of the Lord shall rest on you,
• The breath/spirit (ruah) of wisdom and understanding,
• The breath/spirit (ruah) of counsel and might,
• The breath/spirit (ruah) of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
• Your delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

During these days of pandemic and physical distancing we are all growing tired. There are days when we feel faint, weary and about to collapse. God says hang on because His timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God is not. Do not stop waiting on God, He never stops waiting on us. When we wait with Him, He will renew and refresh our souls.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13(NIV).

May His hope refresh your soul and spirit!

Going Forward Together: Day 7

It’s ”the economy, stupid.” This phrase can be traced back to James Carville, who was a strategist for Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential bid. The story goes that Carville posted a sign around campaign headquarters with three phrases, and the one about the economy one was the most memorable.

In order to keep the campaign on target, Carville hung a sign in Bill Clinton’s Little Rock’s campaign headquarters that read:
1. Change vs. more of the same.
2. The economy, stupid
3. Don’t forget health care

Although the sign was intended for an internal audience of campaign workers, the second phrase became a de facto slogan for the Clinton election campaign. It soon became the rallying cry for the Clinton campaign and later entered pop culture. Carville was right, like most Americans of voting age in 1992 who cared deeply about their finances, much has not change almost thirty years later.

“I don’t know about tomorrow; I just live from day to day. I don’t borrow from its sunshine. For its skies may turn to grey. I don’t worry o’er the future, for I know what Jesus said.

And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. Every step is getting brighter as the golden stairs I climb; Every burden’s getting lighter, every cloud is silver-lined. There the sun is always shining; there no tear will dim the eye; At the ending of the rainbow Where the mountains touch the sky.

Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand.
But I know who holds tomorrow And I know who holds my hand.
I don’t know about tomorrow; It may bring me poverty. But the one who feeds the sparrow, Is the one who stands by me. And the path that is my portion May be through the flame or flood; But His presence goes before me And I’m covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand But I know who holds tomorrow And I know who holds my hand.”

Ira Stamphill was an accomplished musician and minister. On April 23, 1939, he married Zelma Lawson. Zelma, a minster’s daughter, was a gifted musician who played piano by ear and accompanied her parents on a local radio program. For years, Zelma traveled with Ira and joined him in serving the Lord as they shared the gospel in one crusade after another.

However, life was not perfect and Zelma eventually became disillusioned with the life they had created. Zelma eventually decided that ministry was not for her and left Ira. Ira was devastated and continued to try to reconcile with her, remain true to his vows and forgive her. The couple divorced on October 7, 1948, after almost a decade of marriage. Sadly, Zelma died in a car accident on February 12, 1951. During the years of separation, divorce and Zelma’s death, Ira is said to have sunk into a deep depression. “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” was written during this difficult and trying time in Ira’s life.

I don’t know what the economy will be like in 2021. But this I know; I know the one who holds tomorrow. Put your confidence and trust in God.
Philippians 1:6, declares; “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (NKJV).

Prayer Target:
• Pray for economic recovery. We all know how Covid-19 has affected the health of the global population. It has also had a devastating impact on the economy. One way we are going forward together is by praying for a stable and healthy economy.
• Pray for wisdom and discernment for economic leaders to make righteous and good decisions.
• Pray for business owners in our church family and community.
• Pray for the health of our local and global ministry partners.
• Pray they recovery from a reduction of financial support. They are all facing difficult challenges.
• Pray for the recovery of Local Churches.
• Pray for the financial health of small membership churches.
• Pray for revival to come through the local churches.
• Pray for all the seeds God has planted through our social media platforms to grow and produce new and faithful followers of Jesus.

Going Forward Together: Day 6

Nothing distorts reality and Christian joy more than discouragement. Discouragement can paralyze a Christian with fear, isolation, criticism, tiredness, and fruitlessness. When it strikes reason disappears, in its place comes distorted perception.

Nothing grips the heart more than misery. And discouragement can be a crippling disease if we do not know how to respond to it. Satan’s most effective tool against the followers of Christ is not always outright sin, in many cases it’s just plain old simple discouragement.
In many cases, this can lead to many sins; or at best incapacitate a believer to be unproductive, resentful toward others, and angry at God and man.

Psalm 121
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.5 The Lord is you keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.7The Lord shall preserve you from all evil He shall preserve your soul.8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore (NKJV).

One of the problems we face today is our inability to express our need for help. It is almost as though we are afraid to ask for help because it might show us to be weak in some way.

One of the finest things we can do for each other is show them that our strength does not come from ourselves, but that it comes from God, and our children need to learn that they should never be afraid of God’s help in their lives.

Too many times we fail to run to God for help and as a result, others fail to see this important example. It is not weakness to admit that we need help, and especially in these difficult economic times. Let’s go to the Lord as a church family asking for His help individually and corporately.

Prayer Target:
• Pray for those who have lost jobs and income.
• Pray for the recovery of jobs.
• Pray for good news to come to God’s people.
• Pray for families in crisis brought about by the coronavirus.
• Pray for emotional and relational healing for families. In the midst of the quarantine the evil one has been very busy. Alcohol sales and the use of pornography have exploded.
• Pray for counselors and law enforcement who are responding to more domestic calls.
• Pray for there to be a season of spiritual birth and revival for families all around the globe.