Friday, January 11, 2008

Time for a check-up...

At this time there is a nationwide prayer and fasting campaign underway that runs from January 1-21st sponsored by the International Center for Spiritual Renewal in Cleveland.

Our church along with many other churches across America is participating in this fast.

"Imagine what would happen in America if millions of believers united together in denying their flesh, pushing back their plates, and crying out to God for mercy?" An ever-increasing spiritual burden for our nation continues to overtake the soul of the America church. We are in a deep, spiritual crisis. The present state of our churches, the moral confusion of our citizens, and the lost condition of a new generation of Americans demands that we do whatever possible to make a positive spiritual impact."

I'm excited to be a part of this desperate move to cry out for our nation, our churches, our families, and especially what God wants to do in our lives personally in this coming year. It truly is time for a spiritual “check up”. I received an article today by J. Lee Grady with some guidelines God showed him to use during this time of prayer and fasting. I thought I would share them with you.

My personal prayer for you is that 2008 will be a year of breakthroughs, opportunities, and time that God's power will be demonstrated through your life and in your loved ones as well. I believe we are at a crossroad, and that this is a critical time in our history. Let's do what the prophet Daniel did as he as he spent three weeks (21 days) in mourning, fasting, and prayer for the Jewish nation. (Daniel 10:2-3)

Here is the list of questions from the article I read, you may want to consider and ask yourself:

1. What is my spiritual temperature? Jesus calls us to be fervent in spirit (see Rom. 12:11). The Greek word for “fervent” means, “white hot.” Too often I tend to adjust to my cool environment instead of heating things up. Yet people who are filled with the Holy Spirit should carry fiery zeal wherever they go. Has my spiritual passion been quenched by the busyness of life, selfish ambition or the lure of wealth? If I’m not careful, lukewarmness can become normal and prayerlessness can become routine.

2. What is my heart rate? I am called first and foremost to be a worshiper, but intimacy with God is not always my priority. Am I wholehearted in my devotion to Jesus, or do the distractions of entertainment, work and relationships fill up all my time? Does my heart beat fastest for Him, or have other interests replaced my first love? Do I truly live to please the Father alone, or have I become addicted to the praises of men?

3. Do I need an attitude adjustment? If I don’t walk with the limp of humility, pride will cause me to strut. Do I radiate the love, joy and peace of the Holy Spirit—or am I better known for anxiety, rudeness, cutting remarks and irritability? What happens when I am under pressure—do I manifest the sweet demeanor of a trusting heart, or throw a childish temper tantrum?

4. Is there anything toxic in my system? Am I harboring resentment toward anyone who has wronged me? If so, a bitter poison is taking its toll—and I could infect others and start an epidemic. I must forgive every offense, release every judgment and drop every grudge. Am I jealous of another brother because he makes more money or seems more successful? I must rejoice with him instead of secretly resenting his blessings.

5. Does my tongue need an examination? Does grateful thanksgiving pour out of my mouth regularly, or do I spend most of my time griping and complaining? Am I blessing people regularly with encouragement, or tearing them down with criticism and negativity? Have I grown so callous that I don’t feel convicted when I malign a person’s character by talking about him behind his back?

These questions don’t represent a complete list or examination, but they are a starting place in the process for taking a spiritual inventory during this season of prayer. I encourage you to humble yourself and allow the Great Physician to X-ray and examine every square inch of your spiritual life. The pain is worth it. Let’s repeat what David prayed when He was on the Lord’s operating table:

Search me O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way”. (Ps. 139:23-24, NASB)


Mimi said...

this is a wonderful post to make me stop and think!!!
I think that we all (and I mean me most of all)
need to have a Spiritual check-up
thanks for this post...

Heather said...

I have just caught up on all of your entries as I took a little break from the computer over the holidays! As always - you challenge me spiritually and I always walk away from your site thinking about the lessons you have taught me. Thank you for ministering to all of us out here in blogland - you will never know how much you have touched my life!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!
Love & FROG,

Living Beyond said...

WOW! Susan I came here because of your comment about the walk away the pounds DVD's I wanted to encourage you and cheer you on in your walk - both faith and physical! BUT now I see that really I came here because GOD wanted to affirm something to me!

You won't believe it but I have just come back from the Superstore after loading up on fruits and veg. I have been reading the book "God's Choosen Fast" and I felt very drawn to take part in a Daniel Fast again just fruit and veg. So I often struggle with a fast because I want my heart to be pure in my desire to fast and NOT be distracted by other things - you know what I mean.

So here I am landed on your blog - the first one I have visited tonight and you lay out for me an agenda/guide/devotional for fasting!!

THAT is a GOD thing - He speaks to me in ways I know it is Him and lady - THIS is Him!!

Bless you Lord! and thank you Susan for being lead of the Spirit to post this whether you knew it or not!!

Have a wonderful time of worship tomorrow!!

Bev Brandon said...

Susan, I saw on LPM blog where you grew up near Franklin St. I grew up there too. Attended Sacred Heart. I have lost contact with every living relative on my parents' side in N.O. since Katrina. Meant sometbing to me to know you are from there. Bev

Bev Brandon said...

Thank you Susan. I can just hear you in your New Orleans accent, in my own accent! Touched me tonight to find you cause it's like a piece of home. No, I have not been back as we have no one anymore. My parents died a few months before Katrina along with my brother. My sister and I live here in Dallas and have no knowledge of any living relatives in N.O. Some day I hope to go back to my roots. I remember visiting your beautiful blog a few months ago and am delighted to find you again. Bev

Amy B said...

I needed to read this! Thank you so much my friend!