Begin the Journey
The Power Of 40: Enlarging Your Capacity
Welcome to the first week of the 40 Day Soul Fast! I will be journeying with you over the next eight weeks as we explore the life of the soul, the beauty of inner healing, and how to live more authentically from here on out.
Today, I want to talk to you about why we have set aside a period of 40 days to focus on the life or our souls. Why is this particular period of time so powerful?
Throughout the Bible, significant time periods have been marked by increments of forty. This is because the number forty represents transformation.
In today’s church calendar, the most significant forty-day period marks the time of Lent. This special time of fasting leads up to our celebration of the most life-transforming event of all -- the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate all that Christ’s Resurrection means not only to us personally, but to all of humanity, it is only appropriate that we take time to declutter our souls from those things that keep us from walking daily in the fullness of that knowledge.
What is keeping you weighed down and burdened day by day? What are the things cluttering your mind and weighing on your heart?
"It is time to free our souls from the toxins keeping
them bound in negativity, unrest, confusion & despair."
This is the true purpose of a fast. A physical fast for spiritual enrichment is for the purpose of eliminating those things that distract us from the truth of God’s Word or deter us from following His Spirit more accurately.
This is the purpose of Lent as believers everywhere prepare their hearts to live more fully in the resurrection life promised when Christ rose from the dead two millennia ago. It is a time to free our souls from the toxins that keep them bound in negativity, unrest, confusion, fear, and despair.
As spring approaches, we are called to shake the dust from the curtains and throw open the shutters to the full light of God’s glory arisen upon us. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” (Isaiah 60:1). I think of where Paul admonishes the Ephesians “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light” (Ephesians 5:14 AMP).
For this very reason I created The 40 Day Soul Fast.
The 40 Day Soul Fast is designed to empower you to cleanse your soul, renew your mind, unclutter your spiritual life, and hear from God more clearly—all for the purpose of resurrecting Christ in you and maximizing your own divine potential.
"The number forty represents transition and metamorphosis—
a time of testing and transformation."
Why forty days? It is certainly interesting when you begin to look through the Bible for examples of how God used periods of forty to mark great times of transition.
- God cleansed the earth by causing it to rain for forty days and forty nights.
- Moses was exiled for forty years before God sent him to liberate Israel from Egyptian slavery.
- Moses was alone with God on Mt. Sinai for forty days three different times before he finally presented the Ten Commandments to Israel.
- Spies searched out the land of Canaan for forty days . . .
- and because the children of Israel believed their fearful report, they were forced to wander the desert for forty years before entering the Promised Land.
The number forty represents transition and metamorphosis—a time of testing and transformation. After forty days, a human embryo becomes recognizable as a living child in the mother’s womb. After forty weeks, the child is born into the world. Forty represents a period of gestation, new birth, or renewal. A caterpillar that withdraws into a cocoon emerges after forty days as a butterfly.
Most significantly, forty represents a time of cleansing and regeneration. Again, look at the 40-day flood used to cleanse the earth. And did you know harvests generally take place in forty-day cycles?
"In biblical numerology, forty relates to the period
of probation before the fulfillment of a promise."
What’s so remarkable about the number forty?
In astronomical terms, forty days can be used to almost perfectly measure the rate of each passing solar year. In biblical terms, forty years represents a generational cycle. In biblical numerology, forty relates to the period of probation before the fulfillment of a promise. It is the product of five and eight, pointing to the action of grace (represented by the number five) leading to restoration and new beginnings (represented by the number eight). When it relates to capacity building and “enlarging dominion,” it does so by virtue of its factors four and ten, representing completeness and divine order, respectively.
Look at the sequence of events that took place in the New Testament when Jesus ushered in a new era of authority and dominion. After He was baptized and before He stepped out into the fullness of His ministry, the Spirit led Him into the wilderness where he was tempted for forty days and forty nights. After His resurrection from the dead, He remained on earth teaching His disciples for forty days before ascending into heaven—His earthly ministry and extended rule (through a body of believers filled with His Spirit) complete.
"Throughout the Bible, the number forty is
associated with deliverance and kingdom expansion."
We all know the story of Goliath who terrorized the army of Israel for forty days before David slew him. For the next forty years David seized unprecedented victories over Israel’s enemies even while a jealous King Saul attempted to kill him. When at last he became king, David, and then his son Solomon, each reigned for forty years of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
When Israel fell into sin, they were delivered into the hands of their enemy for forty years. Interceding on their behalf, Ezekiel the prophet bore their iniquity lying on his side for forty days. In the time of Jonah, Nineveh was given forty days to repent—but long before that, the whole earth was prepared for the glory of the Lord by being thoroughly cleansed by forty days and nights of purifying rain.
Throughout the Bible, we see the number forty being associated with deliverance and kingdom expansion. It marked significant periods of preparation and transformation in both the Old and New Testaments—from Noah to Jesus.
Consecrate the next forty days to clearing your mind, liberating your soul, and freeing your spirit by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. For it is for freedom that Christ has set you free (see Galatians 5:1)-“freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and upon which your peace—your security, safety, prosperity, and happiness—depends!” (Luke 19:42 amp).
By cleansing your life from the inside out, you will see all things become new in every area of your life. Please join me as we prepare our hearts for a fuller manifestation of God’s glory to be revealed in our lives.
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life.(Psalm 139:23 MSG:)
The Purpose Of A Soul Fast: The Self-Leadership Challenge
Welcome to Week Two of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
I hope you’ve been following along in the book and journal—and taking advantage of the phone app! We are only just briefly touching on each week’s overarching theme here—while the book takes you deeper into each day’s topic and the journal coaches you through each of the forty characteristics of an authentic person.
Today we are going to talk about the purpose of soul fasting, the symptoms of an unhealthy soul and how everything you experience begins on a soulular level.
When you feel weighed down—like you’re dragging around some kind of heavy baggage not knowing what’s inside of it—you’re in need of a soul fast!
If you feel like you’re drowning in a quagmire of mental clutter, stress, hurt, loneliness, or fear—fuzzy headed, indecisive, not able to think straight—or simply feel emotionally bankrupt—or as if something has a spiritual lien on your soul—you need to stop and clean your inner house! “Make a clean sweep of your lives,” as it says in Luke 3:16-17 (msg).
Breaking free, getting clear, and finding that peace and confidence that makes life joyful is the purpose of The 40 Day Soul Fast.
You are not alone when you feel those waves of despair crashing against your mind, or that for every one step forward you end up taking two steps back—circling, yet stagnate, bumping up against walls, blind. Every human being is susceptible to these nightmarish symptoms simply by neglecting the life of their soul!
The first step in healing and liberating your soul is making the decision to do so.
Destiny Moves At The Speed Of Decision.
If you are here reading this, I congratulate you on taking the time to invest in the life of your soul. You are already on your way to creating a stronger, fitter, better you. Believe me when I say that when your soul is fit and strong, everything else about you will become better and stronger!
It amazes me how little we are willing to invest in the most important asset we have—the one asset that governs everything else we experience in this life!
The minutia that ties up our souls is one of the most misunderstood things keeping us from running with purpose and certainty. Experiences, events, habits, relationships, desires, and motives, even spirits, continually ensnare our souls holding us back from moving confidently forward in the direction of our dreams.
In his award-winning book, Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard wrote, “The hidden dimension of each human life is not visible to others, nor is it fully graspable even by our selves. We usually know very little about the things that move in our own soul, the deepest level of our life, or what is driving it.”
We must ask ourselves, “Why do I do the things that I do?”—“Why do I keep attracting the people I really do not want in my life, and repelling the people I do?”—“How can I break free from negative cycles?”
“Negative patterns prevent us from fulfilling our dreams and cause us to abort our purpose until we eventually die with the seeds of massive potential still locked up within us.”
Now more than ever, at this time in history, we must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
The weights that tie us down not only keep us vulnerable to sin, but also cause us to inappropriately respond to life’s challenges and adopt entire sets of behaviors that keep us stagnated and going around in circles. These negative patterns prevent us from fulfilling our dreams and cause us to abort our purpose until we eventually die with the seeds of massive potential still locked up within us.
Not only that, but when we are unable to break free from the junk cluttering our soul life, we keep those around us bound up as well. We become part of the problem rather than the solution. We are among the blind leading the blind. Jesus asked His disciples, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39.) We become the hurting that hurt, and the disappointed that disappoint.
“Many never realize there is a direct correlation between where they are now and every decision they have made.”
In my years of interacting and observing people, it has become glaringly apparent that most folks are generally oblivious to how their decisions and thought patterns affect those with whom they interact on a daily basis, and vice versa—let alone how everyday words and decisions affect their own destiny. This is heart wrenching to me.
I have spent my career as a civil servant, educator, and minister observing the debilitating burdens people carry who have been hurt or negatively affected by the words or actions of others, as well as their own.
The fact is, all of those negative actions and reactions are simply the outcry of hurting souls—a cry for healing and restoration—a desperate plea to be freed from the weights and bondages that have tied so many of us to continual defeat, failure, and despair. It is a self-perpetuating process the enemy has spun into perfection incarcerating the souls of humanity in prisons of offense, resentment, and unforgiveness.
I have come to the conclusion that most of the junk cluttering our souls has to do with the experiences we have had, or are having, with other people. The result of the choices we make within the context of our relationships.
“Your life is simply a representation of the sum total of your choices— choices that either enslave or save your soul.”
It all began when humankind first chose to walk away from a healthy relationship with God and to relate instead to the god of this world paying fatal attention to his deceptive propositions. Since then, we have observed generation after generation of deteriorating healthy relational ties, and as a result, the strengthening influence of unhealthy soul ties.
We have become an increasingly self-centered people, pursuing the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life—experiencing deceptive measures of success without ever fully maximizing our potential or fulfilling our purpose—and hardly ever do we do either with any real power or inner peace.
Many exit this earth prematurely while others are plagued with sickness and disease, or feel exiled to an inferior standard of living with its perpetual cycles of defeat and failure, or fall victim to self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors. They draw destructive people and circumstances to themselves simply by what they choose to believe.
Many never realize there is a direct correlation between where they are now and every decision they have made in the past.
“You are always only one decision away from living the life of your dreams!”
Destiny moves at the speed of decision. In other words, the life you are living—the state of your relationships, the joy and peace you are experiencing, or the sorrow and pain all find their root in the decisions you’ve made up until now. Your life is simply a representation of the sum total of your choices—choices that either enslave or save your soul.
Think about that for a moment. Ultimately, you are only one decision away from changing everything. One decision can change the trajectory of your life. You are always only one decision away from living the life of your dreams!
From here on out, make certain everything you say or do is aligned with the Word of God. James wrote, “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). Why? Because it is by choosing to do and not just hear the Word that you are “able to save your souls” (James 1:22).
Yes, it is up to you to take charge of your soul—and ultimately your destiny!
“The goal of the Soul Fast is to guide you through the process of discovering who you really are, assist you in examining all of your objectives and relationships, and establish you on the path to success and prosperity.”
For the next forty days, I will show you how to detox your soul and renew your mind so you can break free from the decisions that are keeping you from going around in circles. I will take you on a journey through the realm of your soul and the territory of your thoughts, and walk you through the mechanics of harnessing the power of your words and the extraordinary force of your actions.
You may have been handed a bad deal from the day you were born, but I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have be your final epitaph! The goal of this 40 Day Soul Fast is to guide you through the process of discovering who you really are, assist you in examining all of your objectives and relationships, and establish you on the path to success and prosperity.
My highest calling and greatest reward in life is launching you into a new level of victorious and joyous living by establishing you in the knowledge of the truth of God’s Kingdom—knowledge that will set you free regardless of the unfortunate events, decisions, or relationships you’ve been bound by in the past.
Jesus promised his disciples, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John8:32). The truth will set the real you—the divinely created you that has been held captive—free from the limitations of your unsaved, enslaved soul!
Let’s get started unlocking the real you!
Mark 8:34 MSG: What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
The Nature of The Soul: The Essence Of You
Welcome to Week Three of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
This week we will take a closer look at the life of the soul, what it is, and how it works. You are not alone if you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is the soul exactly?” or wondered why it is so important.
Sometimes the essence of who we really are is the most difficult thing to understand. Consider how much research has gone into studying the human body – think of the science that has been dedicated to understanding our cells and the chromosomes they contain which make us who we are!
As much as our true nature is revealed on a cellular level, so is the truth of who we are hidden within our souls! By understanding who we are on a “soulular” level, we are better able to diagnose our vulnerabilities, supplement our weaknesses, and nourish our strengths.
When I think of a healthy body, I think of a body that is able to defend itself from disease. I’ve heard it said that you are exposed to enough germs at any given moment to make you deathly ill, but as long as you keep our immune system functioning as it should, you can fend off even the deadliest germs.
Likewise, the health of your soul depends on its ability to defend itself against whatever may cause you dis-ease. You may understand how to keep your cells protected and strong, but what about your soul?
Your body provides a beautiful metaphor for how your soul functions. There are always forces at work bombarding your soul – trying to invade and break down protective walls – attempting to get a foot-hold where there is a weakness in order to throw your system off balance.
“Human souls are what kingdom forces are warring over.”
Just as a virus is a formidable enemy on a cellular level, so are the forces of darkness when it comes to the life of your soul.
I think of how laser technology is able to destroy cancerous tissue or disintegrate a malignant tumor, and how the light of truth with laser-sharp accuracy is able to destroy all the works of the enemy.
Human souls are what kingdom forces are warring over. God’s primary objective has always been to liberate the souls of humanity from the enslaving forces of the enemy so the sons and daughters of God can take rightful dominion of the earth.
Why is the human soul the front-line of the epic battle taking place between the kingdoms of light and darkness?
Because the soul is the driving force that causes a person to dream and gives every individual the power to create a new reality – a different outcome – to change the course of history.
The soul is the engine that gives a person the power to imagine a desired outcome and the determination to complete a goal. It provides the motivation, willpower, desire, drive, enterprise, passion, resolve, urge, and zeal to accomplish an objective. It is what makes the human will unstoppable.
The soul is both the navigational center as well as the engine room of a human being. It determines whether you move toward or away from God’s divine purposes—and it determines the speed at which you move in either direction, depending on whether it is fueled by Truth or deception.
Unlike the mind, the soul is the seat of one’s personality—it is where the genetic code of each individual’s drives, temperaments, aptitudes, intrinsic motivations, inherent desires, and innate abilities are imprinted. It is the “inner man” that is expressed through the outer man we all see when we look at one another.
“The soul is the driving force that causes a person to dream and gives every individual the power to create a new reality.”
The soul is our life force. It is made up of electromagnetic energy that can be measured. It is a substance that can be weighed.
In 1907, Dr. Duncan MacDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts discovered that the human soul consisted of a material substance that weighed approximately twenty-one grams—just less than an ounce. Through a series of experiments, Dr. MacDougall concluded that this substance was unique to human beings. How did he come to these conclusions?
As it was understood that the soul left the body upon death, MacDougall weighed his human subjects just prior to their dying and then again in the moments after they passed on. It was ascertained that upon death, the standard amount of weight lost by each of these subjects was twenty-one grams—whereas when he weighed various animals under the same circumstances, no weight loss was measured. Although Dr. MacDougall’s findings were never taken seriously by the scientific community of his day, more sophisticated measurement tools and electromagnetic detection devices have caused his theory to become more widely accepted in modern times.
Today, it is believed the average person loses closer to two ounces when he or she dies. Some scholars attribute this loss to what many have defined as a person’s electromagnetic life force, which is strictly unique to the human species.
Therefore, when we are referring to the human soul, we are talking about a measurable substance that has been scientifically proven to exist. This substance is what gives each person his or her distinctive identity, personality, mental faculties, talents, emotions, and will. It is from where we derive our sense of self and individuality.
In the words of Ray Charles, “What is soul? It’s like electricity—we don't really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.”
“Our soul determines everything about who we are, from our appetites to our ambitions.”
Our soul determines everything about who we are, from our appetites to our ambitions. It is our life force that leaves an indelible mark on all we meet—we may forget a face, but it is a person’s soul that leaves the most lasting impression.
The word “soul” comes from the Hebrew word nephesh, which when translated, generally refers to a “breathing, thinking being with passion, appetite, and emotion.”
According to The Hebrew-English Lexicon, it literally means the “complete life of a being” defined by the following characteristics: 1) soul, self, life, person, being, mind, consciousness, desire, emotion, passion, appetite; 1a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, the inner being of man; 1b) self, person or individual; 1c) seat of the appetites; 1d) seat of emotions and passions; 1e) activity of the mind; 1f) activity of the will; 1g) activity of the character.
The soul empowers a person to perform a task by providing an individual with ability, potential, aptitude, competence, capacity, facility, skill, and wherewithal.
The soul, which sets humans apart from every other created being on the earth, is governed by an individual’s will and unique pattern and process of thought—divinely ordained and comprised of a person’s temperament, personality, proclivities, mindset, disposition, destiny, and purpose.
The soul gives a person the mental faculty to make decisions including the power of judgment, discernment, discretion, volition, prudence, insight, foresight, conviction, belief, and faith. The soul endows a person with the ability to think and apply knowledge via the intellect, understanding, creativity, sensibility, wisdom, and what some have come to call, intuition.
The soul is the seat of one’s intelligence, conscience, and reason; it houses the mind, will and emotions of an individual. The soul is contained within a physical body that God created from the dust of the earth—a body created from the earth to interact with and function in the physical realm.
“What you allow to govern your soul is ultimately what you are permitting to occupy it. What are the forces occupying your soul?”
With the aid of five physical senses, the body enables humans to be conscious of the world around them giving them the ability to discern earthly things. In contrast, the spirit of man was created to reflect the image and likeness of God, making him God-conscious, and giving him the ability to interact with and discern spiritual things. So while the body is temporal and earth-bound, the spirit is eternal and heaven-bound.
These two planes of existence—the earthly and the heavenly—come together in the human soul. The great battles taking place between the kingdom of heaven and that of the world—between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness—are for the souls of humanity. These battles not only rage in our souls, but for our souls.
The soul, in essence, is where the temporal and eternal aspects of human existence intersect. The soul gives human beings the ability to discern the divine self—to be self-aware—and to consciously live a life elevated by the Kingdom of God while still physically bound to the earth. The soul is the seat of intention, conscience, and choice.
In other words, the soul is the governing mechanism of your life, which in turn is either governed by Christ, the world, or the enemy.
What you allow to govern your soul is what you permit to occupy it.
“God’s people struggle not only with the opposing forces at work in the world, but the forces at work in their own souls.”
- Is your soul governed by the love of things or the love of God?
- What do you spend the most time thinking about? What do you most hope and long for?
Hope acts like an anchor that will either tether your soul to the Kingdom of God or to the kingdoms of this world—to your painful past or to the promise of your future. Paul told the Colossians, “The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope” (Colossians 1:3-5 msg).
It is our hope in God alone that provides “a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).
From the beginning, God set mankind apart from the rest of creation by breathing into him His very own breath and causing him to become a living soul—an eternal thinking, feeling, rational, creative being like Himself. He created him in His own tripartite image—spirit, soul, and body.
The Trinity of the Godhead is comprised of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. When we are born into the family of God, His DNA is activated within us—His Spirit comes alive within our spirit, we are given the mind of Christ, and every cell of our mortal bodies is revitalized by the power of His Resurrection Life.
“The great battles taking place between the kingdoms of heaven and earth are for the souls of humanity. These battles not only rage in our souls, but for our souls.”
Every aspect of the Godhead comes alive in our own tripartite being—His Spirit comes to live in our hearts, His Nature takes up residence in our consciousness, and even His eternal Word is made flesh in our mortal bodies.
So why doesn’t every believer in Christ walk in complete victory in all areas of their lives? Why do God’s people struggle generation after generation, day after day, not only with the multitude of opposing forces at work in the world, but the forces at work in their own minds and bodies—even in their own souls?
The great Apostle Paul wrote about this very thing in his letter to the Romans, “But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (Romans 7:23 nlt). What is this enslaving power? Paul admitted that this power “makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do” (cev).
How can you be a child of God and still a slave of sin?
“What is keeping you from achieving the greatness God has destined for you?”
This is the primary question we will be dealing with throughout the 40 Day Soul Fast.
What are the toxins and ties contaminating and entangling your soul keeping it vulnerable to sin and cycles of failure?
Even if you don’t feel bound by sinful behaviors or victimized by continual defeat, there may still be other encumbrances within your soul keeping you from breaking through and achieving the greatness God has implanted in you.
James 1:21 NLT: “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls”.
The Properties of Thought:
You are What You Think
Welcome to Week Four of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
We are already nearing the halfway mark in our eight-week series! This is where the rubber really begins to meet the road!
Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of the nature of your soul. As the seat of your mind, will, and emotions, your soul is the navigational center of your life.
You can harness your thoughts like a sailor harnesses the winds to take you wherever you want to go. In the words of poet William Ernest Henley, “[You] are the master of your fate, [you] are the captain of your soul!”
In his timeless classic, As A Man Thinketh, James Allen observed, “All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is a direct result of his own thoughts.”
Believe it or not, your life moves in the direction of your thoughts. Thoughts are the ever-present currents that move you either closer or further away from your best future.
This is what makes faith so powerful –- “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1).
The hopes and dreams you allow to fill your mind have the power to transform the world around you.
“What you think has the power to transform your life.”
You’ve heard me say that God speaks to you at the speed of thought . . . and that thought moves at the speed of light. As quickly as light illuminates a room, a single thought can illuminate your life. You are always only one thought away from living the life of your dreams—one decision away from changing your destiny.
Like short-wave radio signals, your thoughts send messages out on a specific frequency and are transmitted back to you as an experience or occurrence in your life. Your thoughts create a magnetic field around you—attracting either positive or negative experiences.
What you think has the power to literally transform your life.
Your life is what your thoughts make it. James Allen wrote that a person “will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.” This is the basic premise of the Law of Attraction.
“The energy created by our thoughts either attracts or repels the energy of what we experience as a result.”
The Law of Attraction is based on the principle that we attract into our lives whatever we focus on as a result of the energy that is exchanged in the process. Because all matter—seen and unseen—is comprised of energy, the energy created by our unseen thoughts either attracts or repels the energy matter of what we ultimately see and experience as a result.
This phenomena is rooted in the findings of quantum physics—which found that nothing in the universe is static due to the fact that all matter is vibrating energy—raw energy that responds to the vibrations of our thoughts, so that consequently “what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (Hebrews 11:3 nlt). To repeat, it is the essence of faith: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 nkjv).
Everything you see began in the unseen realm. The first book of the Bible tells us that God spoke the earth into existence—“the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Yet before God’s word ever was there were His thoughts. The source of all energy—and all matter—is the mind of God. The Creator—the Great Imaginarian—in Whose image you were created.
Your thoughts are powerful. If you want to change your life, you must change your thoughts. If you want to unstick or unclutter your life, you must first unstick and unclutter your thoughts.
“What you invest mental energy in is what you tie your soul to, both positively and negatively.”
How are unhealthy soul toxins and debilitating soul ties created in the first place? How can you end up cluttering your soul simply by the thoughts that you think?
It is due to this exchange of energy that takes place when you give something your attention, entertain it in your mind, meditate upon it, and talk about it. What you invest mental energy in is what you tie your soul to, both positively and negatively.
As currents of electricity create electromagnetic fields connecting positive or negative charges, your thoughts create similar fields. Your positive thoughts attract positive attachments; your negative thoughts attract negative attachments. Whatever your soul can conceive, there is potential for attachment. As a mother will form attachments to the life conceived within her, so your soul forms attachments to whatever it conceives.
The seed of a thought, like the seed of a life, when planted will always result in an exchange of energy and therefore some kind of an attachment. Whether aborted or stillborn, an exchange of energy has taken place.
An exchange takes place through investments of time, energy, attention, and action in the form of thoughts, deeds, or words. Exchanges can be both intentional and unintentional.
Sometimes we can be completely oblivious to what we’ve attached our souls—something may have taken hold in our mind because we inadvertently paid attention to it for too long. I believe this is why Isaiah stated, “he who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil . . . will dwell on high” (Isaiah 33:15-16).
You have to be careful about what you pay attention to—what you spend time and energy thinking about and dwelling upon. Your life will move in the direction of what you contemplate. As it says in Proverbs, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). What consumes your thoughts gives you a good indication of what ties your soul.
“Whatever you harbor in the innermost corridors of your thought-life will, sooner or later, reveal itself in the outer arena of your present experience.”
Our thoughts, intentions, motivations, and aspirations—whether they be secretly pondered in the heart, openly declared as a desire, or formally written as goals—mold and shape our personal universe into something either grand and beautiful or base and hideous. Whatever you harbor in the innermost corridors of your thought-life will, sooner or later, reveal itself in the outer arena of your life.
Whatever is hidden will eventually be brought to light. First Corinthians 4:5 states that God “will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” Just as a seed is for a time hidden underground, it will eventually breakthrough the surface and it’s true essence will ultimately be revealed.
Everything you see in the natural began as a spiritual seed—a thought.
The temporal realm has its roots in the spiritual. Grabbing hold of this profound spiritual truth will enable you to make some critical connections that can transform your life.
Once you understand that the spiritual realm is the “causal realm,” you will begin to grasp the massive power of your thoughts, ideas, words, and prayers—spiritual things that engineer, mold, and craft the current and future state of your temporal existence.
Proverbs tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” (Proverbs 23:7). Your outer world is a direct result of your inner world.
Every circumstance in life is a result of a choice—and every choice is the result of a thought. All those things that fill your mind hold the keys to your reality. Make it a habit to examine what your thoughts are chasing after.
We must learn to harness our thoughts if we are to effectively reign as kings and priests in this earth. We must understand who we were created to be as children of God and the authority we have in Christ. We have inherited the kingdom and been given dominion over all our adversaries—and we must think like it!
“The first thing we must do to take possession of God’s promises is take possession of our thoughts.”
We are told in Ephesians 6:12 that our fight is not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities—a fight that can’t be won with our hands, only with our minds. You must become as skilled in your thoughts as a swordsman is with his sword. Taking control of your thoughts will cause you to gain control of your life. That is what putting on the armor of God is all about. (See Ephesians 6:14-17.)
Therefore, the first thing we must do in taking possession of God’s promises is to take possession of our thoughts. This might not appear to require a great deal of skill or effort, let alone training or practice, but there is only one thing harder to master than your thoughts and that is your tongue! (See James 3:8.)
Winning the battle in your thought-life requires meditating daily on the truths found in Scripture, studying the Word of God so you are able to prove yourself when necessary, and becoming an earnest and life-long student of the art of spiritual warfare.
Throughout the New Testament we are told that our battles do not take place in the temporal realm but in the spiritual realm. We are told in nearly every epistle, “fear not, only believe” (Mark 5:36), “gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:3), “renew your mind” (Romans 12:2), and “put on the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We are taught in Romans that to “set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
“If you do not take control of your inner thoughts you will become a slave to the outer circumstances created by the storms raging in your mind.”
We are instructed to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” because “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds . . . every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Every battle is won or lost in the arena of your mind.
If you do not take control of your inner thoughts you will become a slave to the outer circumstances created by the storm raging in your mind. The divine spirit within you won’t be driving your life, the changing weather and currents of your thought-life will. You must command your thoughts as Jesus commanded the sea. (See Luke 8:24.)
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Your Thoughts
Whatever your predominant focus is, that is what you give permission to exist in your life. Jabez chose to focus on his future desires rather than his present circumstances.
Many times people focus on the negative and they live in a cycle of negativity. You have to choose to focus on the positive. You have to train your mind to think on whatever is honest, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (See Philippians 4:8.)
Whatever is going wrong in your life is a result of your focus. If you don’t like something you are experiencing, change your focus.
In Genesis 13:14-18, God taught Abraham something about focus. He told him to look at the territory he was giving him, to walk the land in every direction, and visualize the expanse of his legacy. He took him to the seashore, had him run sand through his fingers, and said, “For every grain of sand, you will have a descendant.”
What did God train Abraham to do? He trained him to focus on bigger thoughts. He taught him how to visualize his destiny.
If you plan to change your future, do not focus on things or people or circumstances that are smaller than what you are truly desiring. Your focus will either feed your faith or confirm your fears. Learn to think like Abraham. Think intentionally, generationally, and even globally. You can never think too big or God!
You must also train your mind to think in the present—to think positively in the present tense (in grammatical terms that would be “the present perfect”). Think about the thing you want, what you hope to achieve, the person you plan to marry, and so on, as if you are already in possession of what you desire. Condition your mind to accept these thoughts and you will draw these opportunities and experiences to yourself.
Your success and prosperity hinge on what lies within your mind.
Sometimes the first thing you need to change is what you think God wants for you. He wants you to live a life of abundance. It is His desire to give you divine universal secrets to great success and prosperity.
There are many people who may not be as spiritual as you are, but nevertheless they have been able to tap into something great. Whether by accident or providence, they are living lives beyond their wildest dreams, and you can too. You must say to yourself, until this one fact becomes your conviction, “God wants me to live in abundance!”
A world of possibilities is waiting to be released “if you can but only believe.” Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
“Every great achievement begins as a thought.”
In Genesis 11, the people thought to themselves that they could build a tower to heaven, and because they saw this tower in their minds they were able to build it. God stopped them by causing confusion and making it impossible for them to communicate, because the tower became an idol to them. Nevertheless, this story wonderfully illustrates the power of our thoughts: “Nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6).
Man begins with a concept in his mind, something he believes he is able to accomplish; he joins his will and intellect to his imagination, and then the power of expectation sees it through. Every great achievement begins as a thought in the imagination of a person. Every thought is birthed in the spirit. Achievement, therefore, is a spiritual process.
Based on your ability to harness your imagination, life’s opportunities either shrink or expand. Albert Einstein said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Imagination drives the engine of innovation, discovery, problem solving, and peace making.
Whatever can be imagined already exists; it simply exists in another dimension—in another form or substance—and that is the source of all inspiration.
God conceived and by His Spirit spoke into existence all that is. He brought what already was in the spiritual into the temporal by the power of His Word. He breathes that creative force—His very Spirit—into a human being at the moment a person receives that Word into their heart.
It is His Spirit—the creative power of His Word—within an individual that gives inspiration and understanding of what already exists in the spiritual realm. “There is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand” (Job 32:8). That spirit in you has always existed—it is eternal—and it is the source of all revelation and inspiration.
“Inspirational thoughts are God’s way of finding expression through the minds of ordinary men and women.”
Our lives are built by a series of thoughts, much like bricks are used to build a house. The bricks are what bring the structure forth from a piece of paper and make it three-dimensional. As a man thinks in his heart—in the present active continuum—as he continues to think—he builds his life one brick at a time.
Your every present thought is a significant building block in determining the quality of your future. Many of us build lives like shanties while others build mansions. If your thoughts are inferior your life will be inferior, but if your thoughts are lofty and honorable you are laying the foundation to live accordingly.
Purpose to think inspired thoughts. Inspiration is a God thing. Inspiration is God Himself speaking into the heart of a human being. Inspirational thoughts are God’s way of finding expression through the minds of ordinary men and women. According to Isaiah 29:11, God’s thoughts are always good and not evil. I want to remind you that God is up to something good, and He has you in mind.
Enlarge Your Territory
There is a direct correlation between the quality of your thoughts and the quality of your life. What you think determines who you are, it determines what you are, where you go, what you acquire, where you live, who you love, where you work, what you accomplish, what you read, and so on.
You will never have more, or go further, or accomplish greater things than your thoughts will allow you. Therefore, you must create an opulent thinking environment in order to create an opulent life.
When you alter your thoughts, you alter your life. Your life is a reflection of your most dominant thoughts and meditations. When you meditate on success, you live a successful life.
“Use your thoughts like an architect uses a blueprint. Think about every detail.”
The trouble for most people is that they don’t know exactly what success would look like for them as individuals, or more importantly, what it would feel like personally. It is not enough to just meditate on success generally—you need to be specific.
Become the architect of your future. Use your thoughts like an architect uses a blueprint. Think about every detail. An architect not only thinks about the rooms in a house, but the types of windows, the size of closets, the location of outlets, and so on. Nothing is too insignificant. Think big! Think detailed!
If you want to progress in life, you’ve got to think progressive thoughts. To do so, something new must replace the old. You’ve got to think beyond where you are.
Alexander Graham Bell thought beyond the limitation of the dots and dashes of the Morse code, and went on to replace the telegraph when he invented the telephone. Become a visionary—be creative. Take the limits off your mind!
This is the challenge of creative thinking—you’ve got to open the spiritual channels of your mind so that God can download divine creative thoughts into your brain. When other people were unable to see what was going on in heaven, Jesus could.
Spend some quality time with God and ask him to enlarge your capacity for thinking and imagining—ask him to help you take the limits off. That’s what Jabez did.
In Chronicles 4:10, Jabez prayed, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory.” Not only did Jabez ask God to expand the capacity of his mind, but he asked God to protect it as well. He prayed to the Lord that, “Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.” Jabez knew that every evil thought he conceived would ultimately bring forth pain.
Do yourself—and the world—a tremendous favor by getting the toxins out of your soul by taking control of your thought life.
This week we are focusing on the characteristics of beauty, effortlessness, authenticity, focus, and order. Take some time to think about and discuss:
- What your thoughts are on your thoughts.
- How have you experienced “thinking for a change” in your own life?
Proverbs 4:23-27 MSG: Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
The Importance Of Identity
Mastering Your Mind
Throughout the 40 Day Soul Fast, we have been talking about the susceptibility of the soul to all types of influences. We began by introducing the concept of soul toxins and the various ties that bind and bruise the soul. We talked about the thought habits, relationship patterns, social influences, and inherited codes that impact the life of the soul.
No matter how daunting it seems to identify and understand all of the various ways your soul can be contaminated and bound, I want you to know that if you ask him, God will give you the discernment you need to pray and receive His bondage breaking—soul cleansing—grace.
The key to deliverance is embracing who you are in Christ—and who He is within you.
Whatever has ensnared you is not greater than God’s power to set you free. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV).
Ignorance, more than anything else, is your greatest enemy. Ignorance is what the enemy uses to keep you bound and afflicted in your soul. Not only ignorance of what is eroding your soul, but also ignorance of who you are as a child of God and the power you have to break free and live victoriously.
Understanding the identity you have inherited from not only your ancestors, but also your Heavenly Father, will help you maximize your potential and fulfill your purpose with greater precision.
“There is nothing the Bible talks about more than the power and importance of identity—knowing whom and whose you are and all you are capable of becoming.”
Knowledge about why you do what you do—as well as what you are capable of—will give you the ability to minimize your weaknesses while capitalizing on your strengths. This is vital to the health of your soul and essential to your empowerment.
In Ephesians you are told to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (4:22-24 NLT). In Christ you have been given a new nature—an entirely new genetic code. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).
Regardless of who you thought you were, or the family you were born into, or the part of the country you’re from, you are your Heavenly Father’s child. You can learn more about who you were created to be by learning about who He is. You have been made a partaker of His divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). You are to “be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).
I like how THE MESSAGE says it:
“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (Ephesians 5:1 MSG).
“Only by constant and continual renewal of your spirit, soul, and mind will you be able to change your beliefs about the capacity you carry for greatness.”
In God, you have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness “through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3). The more time you spend learning about the nature of God, learning the ways of Christ, and keeping company with His Spirit, the more you are transformed into His likeness—“becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG).
There is nothing the Bible talks about more than the power and importance of identity—knowing whom and whose you are and all you are capable of becoming. Early in the Old Testament, God told the Israelites, “You are the sons of the Lord your God . . . you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:1-2 AMP).
At the very end of the New Testament, we read that God has “made us kings and priests . . . and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelations 5:10).
If you are to fulfill your destiny of reigning on this earth as a king and priest, you must be “constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23 AMP). Constantly.
Only by constant and continual renewal of your spirit, soul, and mind will you be able to change your beliefs about the capacity you carry for greatness.
“The paradigm that governs your expectations will either gridlock or give way to what you are able to envision.”
The paradigm that dictates your outlook determines your outcomes. The paradigm that governs your expectations will either gridlock or give way to what you are able to envision.
You have often heard me say that if your context is wrong your conclusions will be wrong. Conclusion is a result of context. Change your perspective and you will change your potential. Your potential is only limited by your own perception of it.
This is why we are told over and over again about who we are in Christ. God is trying to change your mindset. He is giving you a new perspective and paradigm for framing your identity. You are to “put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:27 NLT). You are to “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10).
“What counts is whether or not your identity— your perception of yourself—is defined by God.”
“You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you” (Colossians 3:10 NCV).
Galatians 6:15 states that “what counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.” What counts is whether or not your identity—your perception of yourself—is defined by God. Allow yourself to be defined by your Creator, to live into that image—to be informed and transformed by the knowledge of who God created you to be.
Be defined by “Christ Himself, who is in you . . . [y]our only hope for glory” (Colossians 1:27 NCV)—your only hope of “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)—your only hope of breaking every yoke, setting aside every weight, breaking free from every encumbrance, being made new and completely transformed into the image and likeness of Christ Himself: “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).
“Faith in God’s transforming, identity-altering grace will free you from whatever cords of sin, addiction, or unhealthy relationships have bound you by feelings of inferiority.”
Be encouraged. Faith in God’s transforming, identity-altering grace will free you from whatever cords of sin, addiction, or unhealthy relationships have bound you by feelings of inferiority. As it says in Romans, “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20).
Never forget that “with God's power working in [you], God can do much, much more than anything [you] can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20 NCV). Remembering it is “God who works in you . . . to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) will empower you to fix your mind on His truth about your divine potential.
Bind yourself to God’s grace—fix your mind’s eye on the capacity building power of Christ at work in you!
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6).
This week, we will be focusing on the characteristics of faith, gratitude, destiny, identity, and purpose.
As you explore each characteristic throughout the week, think about the following questions:
- How can you more fully embrace your identity in Christ?
- What does that look like? How can you live that out?
- How does this knowledge enable you to live more authentically?
I pray you discover your true identity by acknowledging the Christ at work within you.
Romans 8:15-17 MSG: This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!
The Power Of Words
Healing The Hole In Your Soul
Welcome to Week Six of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
Last week we talked about the importance of identity. The Bible says God has made us kings and priests in order to reign on the earth. (See Revelations 5:10.) Peter tells us we belong to “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9).
The word royal is speaking of our kingly attributes as believers—and priesthood as being ordained to speak on behalf of God and “to bless.”
Too many of us have neglected our royal duty to decree blessings over our marriages, families, businesses, ministries, and every other realm of our lives.
The whole universe is waiting for you and I to take dominion, speak out, and give instruction. That’s what we were created to do! The Bible says, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19 ESV).
All of creation waits in anticipation for God’s called out and anointed ones to bring it back into alignment with the Creator’s original intent – to declare His glory to the nations. (See Isaiah 25:3 and 66:19.)
Every word you speak is pregnant with regal, creative power.
“We will only arrive at our desired goals if our words are aligned with the intentions of our thoughts.”
As we said before, you were created in the image of God. One thing we know about God, is that His Word carries immense creative power and always accomplishes what He intends it to. Through the Prophet Isaiah, God said, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10).
That is how everything that exists was created! God spoke out what He had seen in his mind. He dreamed about creating the cosmos, but it was not until His Word framed what He saw in His mind’s eye did the earth, the sun, moon, and stars, as well as every plant, animal, and humanity itself, appear.
Imagination has no power until it is expressed—and the most powerful expression in the universe is the spoken word. God spoke, and from “nothingness” came everything that exists in the physical universe. Hebrews states that, “The worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).
Words are powerful.
Not only that, words can be dangerous. James, the brother of Jesus, said, “The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire” (James 3:6 NCV).
Listen to how The Message explains it: “It only takes a spark . . . to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”
James also told us that if we could control the tongue, we would be perfect—“if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man” (James 3:2). And then he gave us further insight into the power of our words by explaining that the tongue is like a small bit used to guide a horse, or the rudder of a great ship used to steer it:
“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (James 3:3-5 ESV).
This is a powerful illustration of how we are to harness the power of our words in fulfilling our destiny.
“Line up your mouth with where you are going – then keep it steady and on course.”
For example, when a ship sets sail to cross the sea, the pilot plots out the course. He checks his calculations from time to time to ensure he is always headed in the right direction, and then he keeps the steering as steady as possible heading towards his predetermined destination.
Certainly, along the way, he may have to adjust the helm to go around storms, navigate currents, or avoid obstacles in the water, but he always steers with his focus more on where he is going than what he is going through. If he constantly changes the steering from one minute to the next fixated on his present circumstances, the ship is more likely to go in circles than it is to arrive at the desired port of call.
For the pilot, the course is created first in his thoughts, communicated through the rudder, and then realized as the rest of the ship lines up with his intent. For us, our lives only arrive at our desired goals if our words are perfectly aligned with the ultimate intentions of our thoughts.
You must take the time to carefully consider your course.
Where are you heading and what will it look like when you get there?
Let your imagination take over. Spend time daydreaming about where you want to be in life. Read about it. Study that place. Write about it in your journal. Draw it. Paint it.
Let your mind run free with the possibilities of what you could attain.
Now talk about it. Line up your mouth—the rudder of your life—with where you are going. Then keep it steady and on course.
“Your every decree is pregnant with the power and potential to revolutionize your life.”
What happens to a ship if you head it in one direction at one moment, and then turn it in the opposite direction in the next—and keep doing that over and over? Pretty simple—it goes nowhere. This is what happens when people speak about the good things they are expecting to happen one minute, and then spend the next half hour talking about all the negative things happening to them that are keeping them from getting there.
They are turning their lives in circles. They line up their spoken words with where they want to go for a little while, then when they meet a storm along the way, all they do is talk about the bad weather and lose track of where they were headed in the first place.
They forget that they have the power to turn their lives around the storm or press on through it toward the sun shining on the other side. They forget that the “Son” has never stopped shining on their lives, no matter how dark the clouds in the sky are.
Even in the midst of what looks like catastrophe, keep speaking the blessing, keep the ship of your life on a steady course, and before you know it the storm clouds will clear and you will have broken through your difficulty and left it far behind you.
Your every decree is pregnant with the power and potential to revolutionize your life.
Words are worth your attention. Be mindful of what you are proclaiming, declaring, and asking.
“Learn the art of blessing, for in blessing a thing or a person, that thing or person must bless you.”
Proverbs 18:21, states “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Choose to use your tongue to bring life and not death, to bless and not to curse—even when it comes to your “enemies.”
Learn the art of blessing, for in blessing a thing or a person, that thing or person must bless you. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14).
When you practice the art of blessing, blessings will gravitate toward you, or as Deuteronomy 28:2 says, “blessings shall come upon you and overtake you.” Conversely, in cursing a thing or a person, you draw curses upon yourself.
Again, as James said: “A double-minded man [is] unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7).
What did he mean?
A double-minded person is a person with conflicting thoughts—someone who holds two different opinions at the same time. That person is the pilot, who steers his ship towards one port for a while, then reverses to steer it towards another in the opposite direction. “He . . . is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).
At one point your life is headed towards blessings because that is what you have spoken, and the next it is headed towards cursing because that is now what your mouth is proclaiming.
“Our daily declarations and decrees have the power to alter our destiny and change the quality of our lives.”
I am convinced that believers tend to live beneath the standard God has ordained for His children because of ignorance. We do not know that our daily declarations and decrees have the power to alter our destiny and change the quality of our lives.
Proverbs 13:3 states that “He who guards his mouth [watches what he says] preserves his life.” If guarding your words causes you to preserve your life, imagine what happens when you do not guard your words?
Speak Out Your Blessings
Place your hand directly in front of your mouth and declare out loud, “I am blessed, all of my needs are met and I have more than enough for myself, my household, and extra left over to give to others.”
Did you feel the power of those words coming forth out of your mouth like a breeze? Those same words will come back to you, manifested with hurricane force, blowing into your life abundance and blessings or lack and calamity depending on what you speak.
“Words have power, presence, prophetic implications, and no geographical limitations.”
Choose to steer your life into blessings by filling the atmosphere around you with words of faith and victory.
Words released into the atmosphere do not disappear and dissipate. Words have power, presence, prophetic implications, and no geographical limitations. They create a magnetic force that pulls the manifestation of what you speak—good or bad, blessing or cursing—from other realms, regions, and dimensions.
Did you know that some of the greatest Christians of all times were lawyers? Many in our culture today make fun of lawyers and politicians, but throughout history, lawyers have revealed some of the greatest truths about God we have ever known.
Moses was “the law giver,” and the Apostle Paul was a Sadducee—one who studied the Word of God as the law book on which to govern society. Martin Luther of the Reformation began his career as a lawyer, as did the great revivalist, Charles Finney.
What made them so powerful? They read their Bibles as lawyers would when studying to prepare a case, and they put more faith in God keeping His Word than they did in any earthly laws or political promises. Then they took those words and charged the atmosphere around them with biblical truth.
They changed their world through what they spoke.
“Speak life into your dead areas—speak light where there may be darkness—you’ll be amazed at what God’s words in your mouth will do!”
When you read the Bible, you need to take God’s Word personally. His promises are for His people, and if you have received Him as your Lord and Savior, that means you.
Speak life into your dead areas—speak light where there may be darkness—you’ll be amazed at what God’s words in your mouth will do!
This week we are focusing on the characteristics of integrity, responsibility, potential, impeccability, and compassion.
Focus on what you are saying about yourself and others. Maneuver the ship of your life by steering your tongue!
Think for a moment…
What does that mean to you? What must happen in your heart for there to be a change in your mouth—in order to “speak for a change”? Think about how can you “speak for a change.”
Come into agreement with what God has already said in His Word about you and your situation. Get God’s Word on it. Then, fill your mouth with His promises and change your world.
Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
The Power of Doing
God’s Chosen Fast
Throughout the past weeks, we have talked about what can entangle our souls and create toxins in our minds; we’ve explored the nature of the soul, the properties of thought, the importance of identity, and the power of words. But as we come to the end of our 40-day soul fast campaign, I want to emphasize that above what we think or say, is what we do.
At the epicenter of what Jesus came to teach humanity was the healing power of love. It governed all He did and was the divine force by which He operated. Jesus was moved by love, led by love, empowered by love, endured the cross by love, and by love was resurrected to intercede on our behalf—continually driven by love—at the right hand of Love itself, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).
Everything Jesus did was infused with the love of God. He demonstrated how we are to walk in the same kind of love. He filled us with His very own Spirit to lead us in the ways of love and empower us with an ever-increasing capacity to love.
We are told in Corinthians that without love we are nothing. Paul wrote, “though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith . . . but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).
It doesn’t matter how much you pray, worship, or discipline yourself if you are not walking in the love of God. What you do can clutter your soul as much as what you think or say. Your behaviors are just as toxic to your soul as your thoughts.
The purpose of a soul fast is to cleanse your heart and mind of toxic thoughts, words and actions, because everything you say and do is a result of what is in your heart. Not only that, but your every word and deed--attitude and behavior—either further pollutes or purifies not only your own soul, but also the world around you.
The purpose of fasting in the life of the believer is to take self off the throne and allow God’s love to reign there instead.
This is why God was so adamant about the children of Israel rightly understanding the purpose and requirements of His “chosen fast.” He reprimanded the children of Israel through the prophet Isaiah because they fasted in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. In Isaiah 58:6, God asked, “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen?” He challenged them for their fasting of food and their showy self-denial, when He would rather they cleanse their lives of selfishness, self-promotion, pride, and greed.
God wants His people to purify their hearts, not their intestines.
The purpose of fasting in the life of the believer is to take “self” off the throne and allow God’s love to reign there instead.
The practice of self-denial should be evidenced by putting the needs of others before our own, not gossiping, complaining, or blame-shifting, not indulging ourselves in sinful behaviors, not abusing people or taking advantage of them, but by making ourselves available not only to the needy but also to our own families.
In speaking of the great Father of Faith, Abraham, James wrote, “his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete” (James 2:22 NLT).
Take a moment to meditate on what God calls His “chosen fast” from Isaiah 58:2-12 (NLT):
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
Isaiah is telling us, as Paul told the Galatians, “faith works through love” (Galatians 5:6). James told us that if faith “does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)” (James 2:17 AMP). In speaking of the great Father of Faith, Abraham, James wrote, “his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete” (James 2:22 NLT).
In other words, if we don’t walk in the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22), then the gifts of the Spirit are of no use (see 1 Corinthians 12).
Jesus shed new light on what it means to “fulfill the law” and live righteously when He said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV).
This is what we have come to know as “The Law of Love.”
Think about God’s Chosen Fast in light of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 MSG:
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
As our souls prosper, we will live in health and prosper in every other way.
In other words, if we don’t walk in the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22), then the gifts of the Spirit are of no use (see 1 Corinthians 12). God seeks to develop our character, not our charisma. God wants us to grow in godliness…or God-likeness…becoming more and more like Him. Peter gave us a step-by-step strategy for growing in love…and therefore God-likeness…from a small seed of faith. Listen to how he explains the process:
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life . . . We have received all of this by coming to know him . . . And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (2 Peter 1:3-9 NLT).
This is how we prosper our souls. And as our souls prosper, we will live in health and prosper in every other way. (See 3 John 2 AMP.)
How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word.
I ask you, what is the fruit in your life from having gotten all of the junk out of your heart, the clutter out of your mind, and your soul free from entanglements?
What evidence would you expect to see after having cleansed your mind from toxic thoughts, your soul from debilitating attachments, and your heart from unwholesome desires?
What is different about you as a result of the 40 Day Soul Fast?
How does a life lived from a detoxed soul look--and how will you keep it that way
Isaiah 58:6-8 MSG: This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed; cancel debts. What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.
Sealing The Healing
The Cleansing Power of Love
As we mark the completion of our 40 Day Soul Fast, it is appropriate that we seal all that God has revealed and renewed within us with praise and celebration!
This week, in particular, we are celebrating newness of life as we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—although He was dead, He now lives!
That resurrection life is now alive in every believer: God “immense in mercy and with an incredible love . . . embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ” (Ephesians 2:1 msg). This is what compelled Paul to say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 nlt).
At this time of year we are reminded about our true identity in Christ. It is a time to reconnect with God’s original intent for our lives and recall who He has created us to become—a people set apart and set free from the slavery of sin and the bondage of death.
Passover is a time to remember that it is only because of the blood of the lamb—the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross—that we are cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Feast days and celebrations have always been significant in the life of God’s people.
God told the children of Israel still living in Egypt to smear the blood of a sacrificial lamb across the doorposts of their homes and said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13 nlt). So every Passover, the same Passover Christ celebrated with His disciples before going to the cross—what we celebrate as the Last Supper on Good Friday—we remember that it is the blood of the lamb that brings life, peace, and hope.
Peter said having “been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace” (1 Peter 1:2 nlt)—and then added: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19 niv).
Only the blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse and restore peace to your soul—resurrection power we are reminded works in us each time we partake of the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of Him.”
Paul wrote about the newness of life this meant to each person willing to smear Christ’s blood across the doorposts of their heart: “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! . . . God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start” (2 Corinthians 5:17 msg).
Simply put:“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (nlt).
Now that’s something to celebrate!
You are a new person in Christ with massively unlimited potential as you grow in the knowledge of Him.
Feast days and celebrations have always been significant in the life of God’s people. At the end of any important season, the people of Israel were commanded to stop and celebrate—or rather commemorate and give glory to the One who brings the blessing and “makes all things new”—year after year, season after season.
Why? Because periodically we must stop to remember in Whose image we are created!
God understood the necessity for His people to establish regular intervals to stop and reconnect—to recall their true identity in relation to their Heavenly Father and the Creator of all things good and perfect.
Seal the healing of your soul by giving thanks and glorifying all that God has done! Stir your soul to bless the Lord and to “forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
Imagine what that divine nature in—and working through—you could do to heal a world made corrupt by evil desires.
This is what the Passover celebration is all about. It is a time of remembering and reconnecting with your authentic, divine self—your resurrected, redeemed, recreated self.
You are a new person in Christ with massively unlimited potential as you grow into the knowledge of Him. Peter summed it up this way: “Through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness . . . He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4 niv).
Imagine what that divine nature in—and working through—you could do to heal a world made corrupt by evil desires. Imagine what one healed soul might do to heal the world!
Think of what Mother Theresa, William & Catherine Booth, John Wesley, Charles Finney, Oral Roberts, and Billy Graham did to change the world they lived in! And what about Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Golda Meir—the list goes on and on of people—people who were but one singular person moved by something greater themselves—to bring transformation and healing to bear on the world around them.
Imagine what you could do in the knowledge of God!
We are only at the beginning of walking in the newness of life God has prepared for us!
Study the life of David. David pressed into the Spirit of God and then embraced it and made it his own. He had a “heart after God” and a soul that made “its boast in the Lord” (Psalm 34:2)—David knew full well that the Lord “redeems the soul of His servants” (Psalm 34:22)—he understood and esteemed the value of his own soul and when all else around him seemed to be falling apart, he was able to say “all is well with my soul.”
David never hesitated to cry out to God, “My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word” (Psalm 119:81 esv), or to continuously pray, “Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul” (Psalm 119:169 msg).
Don’t neglect the life of your soul!
Although we are at the end of our 40 Day Soul Fast, we are only at the beginning of walking in the newness of life God has prepared for us.
The journey has just begun!
I encourage you to continue to “possess your souls” as Jesus told His disciples toward the end of His earthly ministry (Luke 21:19)—and as Joshua instructed Israel in his epic farewell, “vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God” (Joshua 23:11 msg).
Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives—now that we're no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin . . . we're free to live a new life in the freedom of God!”
(Romans 6:4 nlt; 7:6 msg)