10 January 2021
ARCI – Sunday notes
>> 2021 Transition to year of Renewal & Divine Distinction from
…2020 >> Breakthrough & magnification
- Wilderness experience
- … brokenness of the flesh
- … Magnification of the spirit
>> He must increase as I decrease …John 3:30
Starting our fasting season from tomorrow
- To do just that…
- A chance to magnify the spirit over the flesh
- Spirit and flesh are contrary and opposed to one another
- There is a battle within us of
- …giving up the things of the flesh for those of the spirit
- …not easy
Galatians 5:17 (NIV)
- For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Romans 8:7 (NIV)
- The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
From a religious fasting background
- Meat >> give up beef (red meat ) but can eat chicken or fish ( white meat)
- …on that day, chapati (which was a rare delicacy last century ) was cooked and one over ate
- Skip a meal…
- … breaking the fast before starting to fast
- … combining all the meals into one >> kula kweli kweli
Unaleta ujanja fulani >> trying to be clever with the Lord
- … and wonder why nothing changes
- …still focused on me and the comfort of my flesh
- … little to do with God, nothing to do with others!!
Remember one of the first times to do a proper dry fast >> no food or drink
- Decided to stay home
- by lunch time >> anxiety and body trembling
- by evening >> you feel like you are going to die >> understand Esau
- … sio kichwa, mgongo, mguu, heart palpitation
- … maybe like a drug or alcohol withdrawal
- call someone >> demons are rioting >> haki yao
With that drama, little or no prayer was happening
- >> not sure if I was therefore on a hunger strike instead of prayer and fasting
Isaiah 58 >> practical guidelines on fasting
- Don’t waste time engaging in a hunger strike
- Loving God & reflecting the love of God in us to others
- Having a time of personal Sabbath with the Lord
- … extending prayer and worship experience from now till next Sunday
- … This love of God reflected in my daily life towards others
1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
- If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Take time to focus on the spirit over the flesh…… an opportunity to grow spiritually … & purpose to be changed for the better… like 5 of the 10 virgins… ensure that our lamps are filled with oil.
Prayer and fasting
- Gauges ones spiritual level
- Parable of the 10 Virgins >> level of oil in ones lamp as they await the Bridegroom
- E.g. >> How much of the fruit of the Spirit one has and its quality
- If lacking, gives a person a chance to cultivate and increase it,
>> Why one is really tested & things go haywire when on a serious fasting & prayer journey..
- The child, spouse, boss, neighbor….start getting you worked up
>> A lady once was telling us how she couldn’t understand why
- …the times she decides to fast and pray and be tolerant to the husband and children
- …is the time that the husband and children really act up and get on her nerves
- … she was giving up on fasting and praying saying it added more problems to her family life
>> just giving a revelation of what is in you and the people around you
- … like a fire that turns up the heat or light that shines brighter in the darkness
- … exposes what is in you or others >>
>> basically >>
- …the demons in and around you manifest
- …& may hit back at your point of weakness for you to give up
>> Fasting & prayer check the presence & level of spiritual fruit in ones life…Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
- gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
- … no restrictions or limitations >> can’t have too much joy or peace
Galatians 5:18 (NKJV)
- But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Romans 8:2 (NKJV)
- For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Practically>> Spirit of God in me overrides the need to retaliate and sin when seriously offended
- But instead respond in love…
- Car splashes water on you when going to work
- … or someone bumps and steps on you with mud and does not apologize
- When your spouse does again and again something that irritates you despite your telling them
- When your child does something wrong
…Michael back to school >>
- Day 1 >> misplaces his writing materials
- day 2 >> Spoils his shoes… level of irritation getting higher
- day 3 >> puts a hole in his basically new track suit … at this level, one has to pause & turn off flesh
- One has stress and anxiety of other financial obligations and pending school fees
- How does one react
- >> release all your anger, stress and frustrations on the child
- >> respond with love
What does that mean >> to respond in Love…>> 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
- 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
- 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
- 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
- 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Have a practically love filled week!!