Day 21: Give Thanks
Psalm 95: 1-3 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.
Woo hoo! Rejoice we are both godly, proud and excited to be at the end of our 21-day Relentless 2023 fast. We have seen God do great things in the lives of our church over the past three weeks. we are grateful that you chose to go after God with us in the pursuit of his purpose for your life. Whether you started this time of fasting out with no clue what that meant or looks like for you, or if you were clear of your purpose, but join us for added clarity. Out of obedience to God we are grateful for you. Our desire for this day is just to give thanks to the Lord for what he has done and continues to do in our lives and through the Relentless church. One of the major ways we can express our gratitude to Dad is to get seed in the ground concerning that which he has revealed to you over the past 21 days.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
We get the opportunity to give back to God a portion of what he has blessed us with at the beginning of each year, and we collect our first fruits offering because we believe in giving God our first of the New Year. So, just as we set aside this time of consecration and prayer, we also set aside a special seed offering to give back to the Lord, who makes sure that we never have any lack, So today, as you are preparing for service, you’re getting your mind together you’re getting your clothes ready, all of the great things that you do before church.
Take a little time and seek the Lord and see what he would desire for you to give today. You’re already aware of all the ways to give here at Relentless, whether that’s in person, online, through cash app, or through our Relentless app, but do something a little extra and put some seed in the ground, if you have been blessed by what God has done for you not just in these 21 days but over this first month of this new year. Or in expectations of what you are looking forward to him doing with the rest of it. Again, we are grateful for you. We are grateful that you took this journey with us, and we can’t wait to both see and hear what the Lord continues to do in and through you throughout 2023.
Lord seal this time of fasting and prayer. I thank You for showing me myself through Your eyes over these past few weeks. Continue to download to me what Your desire is throughout this year. Continue to cover and keep me, allow me to properly steward that which You have given me. Now Lord, make a way so that I can put into practice what You have revealed to me both in my church and local community. Get the glory out of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Welcome to day 20! We are nearly at the end of this time of prayer and fasting we have had some days and times of serious introspection. We have asked the Lord to get us into alignment with what his desire is for our lives. We have prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Sometimes it can be scary to be vulnerable with God, to admit that we may not know exactly what we are doing, and that we are in need of guidance, but you have done all of that over the past few weeks. So today we want to be an encouragement to you, as God continues to unveil the intricacies of his specific purpose, and plan for you, know that he does not make any mistakes.
Romans 11:29 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
These spiritual gifts of God’s grace are immutable in unalterable. God never revoked them or takes them away. He meant to give Them, when he gave them to you and he does not go back on his word, have confidence in the fact that he purposed and equipped you, and only you to do what he is outlining and has already laid out for you and walk in that assurance with the insurance that it has been settled in heaven
Activity: Look in your mirror and say about yourself what God has said about you find your favorite scriptures and promises or use the ones below.
The cross of Christ is my power. 1 Corinthians 1:17
My God meets all my needs. Philippians 4:19
Because I place my hope in the Lord my strength is renewed. Isaiah 40:31
God is my refuge and strength. Psalm 46: 1
I set my heart and mind on things above… this gives me peace. Colossians 3:1-2
I guard my heart because it determines the course of my life. Proverbs 4:23
I trust God at all times because he is my refuge. Psalm 62:8
I live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 12:7
God I thank you that your word about me never changes I think you that you make no mistakes and you meant what you said when you said every good and perfect thing about me God I thank you that you are teaching me how to live up to what you have said about me that you are showing me what it truly means to walk after your purpose. I think you and I praise you for all that you have done and what you will continue to do in my life in Jesus’ name amen.
Welcome, it’s day 19. Today, on our journey to purpose, our focus is understanding that in order for purpose to be accomplished, we must love, People are our greatest resource, everything that God did in creation was about people. When Jesus walked the earth, although he did not tolerate sin, whenever he encountered people, he corrected them, and He showed them the way. He did so in love. In first Corinthians 13 has been coined the quote, love chapter 13 verses, it sums up the resolution answer to all things plaguing humanity at this present moment.
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body [a]to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [b]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [c]thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is [d]perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
It’s a simple as love! You’ve matured when you have learned to love. Love in spite of, love because of, love everyone because nothing that you do matters if it is not done from the seat of love. It is easy to love someone when you agree with them and they do things that you like all the time. It is a little more difficult to love when you do not see eye to eye but this is when it matters most, when it is not what you prefer to do. All things will end, but love will remain prophecies, will cease, tongues will cease, knowledge will disappear, but love never fails.
· Where are you operating from?
· Are you feeling your rocket with love? Do you approach your family, friends, coworkers, followers, etc. from love, or try to beat them over the head with what you think they should be doing?
· Do they see Jesus when they see you or do, they just hear you like a loud sounding symbol?
Lord, forgive us for not loving, like you love us help us to love everyone in spite of because the fact that you loved us first to love like Jesus love and remove anything that is preventing me from loving how you love me and I thank you for loving me today despite everything that I’ve done every wrong that I have committed you still love in Jesus’ name Amen.
Welcome to Day 18 and the first day of the last section Progress. Progress is the forward and onward movement toward an expected end. Over the past 17 days we have been in Pursuit of Purpose. We started with the question Why am I here? Understanding purpose was established before we ever were. God didn’t create anything without first predestining them to accomplish a tiny part of this overall plan. We all have an expected end. Then we moved into a process and discovered some steps that we can participate in, to operate ultimately in our purpose.
Once we were equipped with how to continue to sharpen our skills for purpose we peeled back and found out that we have a position in the Kingdom, but we have also been placed or positioned for what God has prepared for us. Over the next four days as we conclude our 21 days of fasting, we will learn the steps of progression so that we continue forward or onward toward our expected end.
We all were created first for God’s good pleasure. He gave us the opportunity to commune and be in relationship and presence with Him then Adam and Eve fell into sin. Ultimately, the world needed redemption and Jesus came to Earth, fully God and fully man and lived without sin to be the example as well he taught the people of his time about his Father in Heaven and provided us all the opportunity for reconciliation in relationship to God and guidelines for how a corrupt world can be saved, But it’s a choice and a conscious decision we have to make. Many are not aware that the option to live and have relationship with God and attain and retain eternal life is available. So, a charge was set for those who chose to be followers of Christ and this is our collective purpose.
19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen
This text outlines the overview of why we are all here. It is the intimate details of how you as an individual will go about spreading this hope in your daily life that God will show you. But every day that you have breath in your body is about helping another to see that they are forgiven, they are loved, they are chosen and predestined with purpose.
Activity: Who can you share God’s love and truth with today, this week, this month? How will you do this? _____________________________________________________________________________
Father God, we thank you for giving us purpose, direction and a mission to go out into the world and make a difference for your name’s sake. Give me the strategy, courage and wisdom to carry out what you have assigned me to and let me be your representative in the earth. Thank you for trusting me and giving me this opportunity to serve You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome to day 17 and our final Worship Wednesday of the Relentless Fast 2023. If you have not watched this mornings worship moment, go ahead and click the link and take a moment to worship with us. The right atmospheric conditions, along with the fuel, the counterweight and proper crew we have already discussed a key component for the rockets flight.
When a rocket launches exhaust pushes out of a rocket’s engine down toward the ground. In response, the rocket begins moving in the opposite direction, lifting off the ground. Earth’s gravity is still pulling down on the rocket. When a rocket burns propellants and pushes out exhaust, that creates an upward force called thrust. To launch, the rocket needs enough propellants so that the thrust pushing the rocket up is greater than the force of gravity pulling the rocket down. A rocket needs to speed up to at least 17,800 miles per hour—and fly above most of the atmosphere, in a curved path around Earth. This ensures that it won’t be pulled back down to the ground. (Erickson & Doyle, 2022)
We must also ensure that when we are launched into what God has for us that we have prepared our rocket for lift off and have assembled the propellant needed to keep the course. In today’s text found in Colossians we are reminded that the path has been cleared for takeoff and very thing that we have been promised are for us and we do not have to wait as we have the power and authority to bring, pray, live, walkout the things of God’s kingdom into the Earth when we set our sights beyond what we see naturally and what is happening around us in pursuit of what pleases God. For a clearer look let’s read today’s text in the Message translation
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.5 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy.
Activity: Reflect on the scripture above
· How does knowing this reassure your position in God?
· How do you feel about the promises that you have seen thus far?
· Express your gratitude to God today.
God, I thank you for a new perspective, a Heavenly perspective to know that I live on Earth, but You said that Heaven could come to Earth and I can be in the Earth but not of. You have elevated my thinking, but my heart and mind are still grounded. You have set me above and not beneath, given me the power to overcome whatever may come my way and the gift of the Holy Spirit to provide a way of escape when I need one. Thank you for the position You have given me and the faith to keep it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hello, it is day 16 of 21 of the Relentless Fast 2023! We are in day 4 of 5 of our position in purpose. For the last 15 days of the fast we have been discussing our purpose and calling what it looks like, how we pursue it, the process we must walk out to be complete in it. As well the past few days we have been examining our positioning, that is where God has placed us for purpose as well as the posture we must be in for alignment. Today’s text in John 15:4-8 reads
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[a] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Are you familiar with this text? You have probably heard it in a sermon before, seen it on a t-shirt or maybe you participated in our Relentless Circle Life Group study about abiding during the pandemic. If you have done, seen or heard the text in any of these settings then the focus was probably on Jesus being the vine that we are abiding within and God the Father as the vinedresser. Now this is a very, very important component of the text but as our focus is on purpose for our lives let us look to the branches.
He is indeed our source as the vine, but we are the extensions of Him as the branches that carry the nutrients, the downloads God gives us out into the world that fruit can be produced.
Wow! What a great responsibility we have been given by being positioned adjacent to himself. As Christians we sometimes require pruning by the gardener or vinedresser and is a good thing in order to cut off the dead or areas that are not growing. A good gardener will do whatever it takes to help the vine bear fruit.
Activity: Answer the following questions.
· What kind of fruit is God looking for us to produce? We spoke about some of it days ago.
· How is your fruit holding up?
· What is God seeing when He is examines your branches?
God, I thank You that I abide in You, I rest in You, I hope in You, I find peace in You. I pray that when You are examining my branches, that You find fruit but if You don’t that You pull out the shears and begin to prune away anything that stands in the way of me bearing fruit that is worthy of Your inspection and brings Your name glory. I thank you that it is already so, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
It is day 15 of the Relentless Fast 2023! The wisdom of God. It is not solely about gaining intellectual skill set but Spiritual discernment that will allow you to navigate 2023. As we have made our way over and through the first few weeks of this new year we hope that we have helped you to shed “stinking and thinking” about your life, your circumstances, your past and realize that you have been called with a purpose, God has provided you with gifts you only have to ask Him to unlock them so that you can begin to be the answer to what your community and His church needs.
1 Corinthians 2:9-11
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
Wisdom comes with a level of maturity that we have been journeying to ascribe to albeit in our weekly worship, our discipleship classes, our circle groups and hopefully personal study. God reveals the mystery of the word to us when the Holy Spirit opens our eyes of understanding. The gift of divine revelation is treasure for the mature believer. Our part is to trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into the truths of God. That is exactly what our time of fasting and prayer was set aside to provide a space for the veil to be lifted from our eyes, for our focus to turn towards God and block out all the noise and daily distractions, to spend more time in the word to understand what God says to us as well about us.
· What practices will you keep throughout 2023?
· How will you continue to pursue God and His wisdom and truths this year?
· What other areas do you desire growth this year?
Lord you are worthy of all the praise, glory and honor on today. God, I ask that You give me a complete understanding of what You desire to do in my life. I also ask for wisdom to steward well. Direct my steps and make them sure. Stand me upright and mature in spiritual growth and the assurance of Your call. You have appointed me to come to the knowledge of You more in 2023 and I am a cup, fill me up Lord. Allow me to recognize when the Holy Spirit is beckoning me to times of worship and prayer. I thank you in advance for where You are maturing me to and the glory that You will receive from my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome back it’s day 14! Have you ever tried to drive your car and it would not crank because you did not have any fuel. Or have you ever tried to workout but just could not get going because you forgot to have lunch so that weight training session was not going to happen? Just like the rocket won’t go without the proper mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen needed to provide the fuel that allows the power in the engines to operate. We as believers must be in the proper place and positioning to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’s baptism that is both fuel and power for the purpose we have been predestined to accomplish.
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be [a]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The power that we receive from the Holy Spirit in the Greek is Dunamis and is described as a special miraculous power, ability, abundance to go and complete the assignment. The kind of power that transforms who we were to what God’s desire is for us to have the Holy Spirit working within us. Not our natural earthly ability but to complete our tasks from our position in the Holy Spirit. Our assignment is to evangelize the World and the strength, the wisdom, the direction that we need is found in the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us if we will let him. We to can perform miracles, signs and wonders. We first must receive him, but we then must make the time to commune with him so that he can continuously download the specifics to us individually. Jesus is the name that saves, and the Holy Spirit will direct your conversation.
Heavenly Father, I am grateful for the opportunity to be the recipient of your power and the vessel to continue the work that You started through Jesus Christ. Remove any distraction that would cause doubt or keep me from hearing from the Holy ghost and moving in the power that You have given me. I thank you in advance for the impact that we (You and I) will have on the Earth for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome Family. It’s Day 13. We have journeyed through almost two weeks together pursuing our purpose and understanding our calling. Today we begin five days of grasping how we have been positioned by God and how we should position our thinking surrounding our purpose. In terms of launching a rocket we know that personnel are essential along with the mechanical components of the rocket itself. The key roles of the personnel who monitor and or are traveling on the rocket are equally as important as the physical location of the vessel itself. It would not be wise to launch a rocket in the middle of a busy city downtown off of the city council building. There needs to be clearing around the rocket as it exits its docking space the exhaust and flames have plenty of space to be dispelled.
What does that have to do with us as Christians? When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior there are a number of things that He establishes for us. Truthfully, that were always ours we just had to make the choice to receive them. In today’s text found in Ephesians Paul outlines exactly that. So much can be said about how God has positioned us from this text alone; from his great love that saved us and made us alive, to him raising us and sitting us in Heavenly places it is full of hope for our purpose and direction in God.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Let’s take a moment to hone in and focus a bit on God’s grace in verses 8-10. We have been “graced” or empowered that is to be granted the authority or power to do a thing. The creator of the universe has given you the power to complete your specific assignment is the “position” that He has placed you in the position to win but it doesn’t stop there you and I both have a responsibility to have the faith that was described above to believe that He will do what He said that He will do. What have you been positioned and empowered for? God will grace you run your business. He will grace you for the relationship. He will empower you for you to deal with difficult people.
Activity: How can you exemplify your faith in the position that God has given you? What can you do? Reflect on the reading from today and use the SOAP method and allow the Lord to speak to you.
– Scripture – Read a passage of scripture and write down a verse or two that jumps out to you.
– Observation – What are your observations that you note from this scripture?
– Application – How does it now apply to your everyday life? What can you do to apply this in your life today?
– Prayer – Write a personal prayer based on your observation and application.
Father, I realize that You know that I have need even before I ask it, but I am asking that You help me to get into alignment. May I be found in the position to hear, see and receive all that You desire to download into me. I thank you for gracing and empowering to do what You have called me to. Continue to show me the way, don’t allow my mind, my thoughts or the people around me to be deterred from what You have said about me. I want to see Your word fulfilled. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome back, it’s Day 12 of the Relentless 2023 Fast. We are happy to have you as a part of this corporate experience this year as we Lift and Launch in 2023 into what God has for each of us individually as well as collectively. Have you ever heard the phrase, show me who you hang around and I will show what your life will look like or something similar to it? Growing up I can recall my mother always would speak to me about choosing carefully the people whom I would surround myself with and how these choices would and could affect my future. I’m sure you too have had your fair share of experiences with people who perhaps did not have the most positive influence in your life or did not desire God’s best for you for whatever their reasoning may have been.
How much sweeter is it to achieve a goal or accomplish a task when you have someone with you that is supporting and encouraging you along the way or that is helping you to achieve what you set out to do. It is essential to have a group of individuals that can encourage you and help to push you into a place of excellence, towards what God has destined you for.
Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.
It feels different when people come along for the ride. Those who have taken a journey in life before and can provide insight and direction. Those who can give caution to possible missteps or mishaps or have a listening ear or word of encouragement along the way or can agree with you in prayer or pray for your journey. It matters who is in your rocket ship. Unnecessary dead weight can prevent you from getting to the altitude needed to reach your destination. However, it is a totally different experience when the people in the ship are sucking up all the oxygen, using all the fuel to do tricks, eating the rations and not contributing to the mission, but giving you both a headache and heartache.
Activity: Spend time seeking God asking him to show you people’s hearts and motives for wanting to be around you. But don’t just ask Hi, then not listen and do something about it. When you see the “red flags” caution and believe it when people show you who they are, pray for them but then graciously dismiss them from this part of your story. Then pray and ask God to send the right people, those with His heart and a heart for you and what the Lord desires to do through you.
God, we thank You for what you have done thus far as a part of this fast and what you will continue to do over the remaining days. Thank you for covering and keeping us and on today while we are in prayer concerning our relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, and everything in between give us clarity about the people who are in our ship. Show me who should stay and who has to go as we continue this journey towards the purpose that you predestined for us. Guard my heart but let my ears open to hear from you and move in obedience, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome to Day 11 Family! As we continue in our pursuit of purpose for the remaining days of this Fast and the year. We bear some of the responsibility of ensuring that we are in a posture to steward well what we have entreated the Lord for. It does us no good to ask something of the Lord that our character will not allow us to sustain over time. Today’s process step deals with that expressly. Just like adding the ingredients to a recipe to make a cake. In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul speaks to the Church at Galatia concerning their behavior, conduct, their Christian experience, the false teachers and preachers, and how to identify them and stay away (sound familiar?). Chapter 5 specifically that we must first live by the Spirit and then walk in the Spirit and how this is accomplished.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
S/N: Relentless Emerge has an extensive 8 Lesson study on the Fruit of the Spirit. What does building a Godlike character look like? Going back to the recipe analogy
– This year how can you practice building God-like character?
– What people, places or things do you need to release to draw closer to God and exude His character in your daily living?
God, I thank You that You are the source of everything good and perfect those gifts come from you. I thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live inside of me and be the living water that refreshes my heart and renews my mind. Holy Spirit fill me today, remove anything that is not like you, any thoughts, words, actions, or motives that do not align with your word. Lord, I pray that your Holy Spirit teaches me each day how to be more like You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome to Day 10 of the Relentless 2023 Fast. Today we learn the third step of our purpose process and today our focus is on our conduct and studying. Recall being in school whether it was grade school or during post-secondary education even whatever you may be doing presently, whether starting new employment or beginning a new hobby or activity it was necessary to not just read the material but to spend time studying – devoting your time and attention to gathering knowledge around whatever the subject matter may be. How much more efficient were you at applying the knowledge around the subject once acquired when the test came?
2 Tim 2:14-16
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to [d]strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and [e]idle babblings, for they will [f]increase to more ungodliness.
If this is true and it is for natural subjects for school, work, and other activities, then how much more diligence, zeal and effort should we have about the God of the Universe and His plan for our lives? The Bible is our textbook and is full of practices, activities, and essential guidelines for how we are to walk out our faith. We are to exercise a completely sold-out effort of mind, emotions, and our will to understand and apply the Spiritual and literal principles of the Word. We learn God’s Godlike character when we embark on the journey of Discipleship and here at Relentless Church, we offer Relentless Emerge Discipleship Courses that teach you these principles and several others in more detail.
Activity: One of the methods we like to employ in Relentless Emerge is the S.O.A.P. method of study. Apply this method to today’s scripture and keep the method in your arsenal for future study.
– Scripture – Read a passage of scripture and write down a verse or two that jumps out to you.
– Observation – What are your observations that you note from this scripture?
– Application – How does it now apply to your everyday life? What can you do to apply this in your life today?
– Prayer – Write a personal prayer based on your observation and application.
Lord thank you for today and all that are you doing in and through me. Help me to stay focused and open my mind and heart to hear You and grow and develop the more I discover in Your word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Welcome to Day 9! We are now in the second part of our process and may be the most important and that is to pray. The necessity of prayer in the Christian’s life is like air to a living thing. In the same way that you inhale air and air enters your lungs, then the oxygen from that breath begins to move throughout your blood and fills your cells. Meanwhile, the carbon dioxide and other waste gases are moved away from your lungs and expelled from your body when you exhale so that you can continue functioning and you do not go into hypoxemia, which ultimately leads to death naturally. When we are not in communication with our Father the life source of our Spiritual being we can experience Spiritual shortness of breath, headache, coma, and seizures.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
What does it look like to pray without ceasing? Kind of like it does breathe. Just like the comparison above we breathe without thought. We are not consciously or consistently telling ourselves throughout the day, hey you might want to take a breath right now, we could use some oxygen. No, you just do it. The same is true for prayer. U right We should have a lifestyle of prayer and that is not always long ornate prayers but maybe an internal God, I thank you for goodness or Lord, I need you right now to come into my situation.
Prayer isn’t a complicated thing but should be a consistent one. It is in its simplest of forms communication with God. He wants to know the good, bad, and the ugly. He wants to hear your praise and adoration towards him. He desires to lead you, guide you, give you direction, and comfort you in times of need but you must choose to invite Him into your situation.
Activity: Reflect on the following and take to journal your responses and possible changes you could make if needed.
– What does your prayer life currently look like?
– Are you making time to communicate with your father?
– Are you inviting Him into every situation with you?
– Are you seeking him for the big decisions?
Today fill in the blank with your prayer about your prayer life for 2023.
Hello and welcome to Day 8 of the Relentless 2023 Fast. Today begins the process portion of our 21 days of fasting and prayer. A process is a series of actions or steps to achieve a particular end. Too often we get caught up in whatever the “end” is and do not focus on what is needed to achieve that end. Over the next five days of the fast, we will look at some essential but not exhaustive steps in the process of achieving, attaining, and becoming all that God has purposed us to be.
The pressures of life can be overwhelming at times, bills, work responsibilities, husband/wife, kids, and thoughts of whether I am achieving what I should be at this time in my life. There are so many things that take our focus and capture our thoughts, worry, anxiety, stress, comparison, false expectations, feelings of failure, and keeping up with the proverbial Joneses our minds can race 1,000 miles per minute it seems and so many things can fill our thoughts that God never intended to be there. How can we take hold and arrest things that have been keeping us bound?
12 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your’; [b]reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
One of the most successful things I have experienced is first, obedience to God and His word, then the practice that is outlined in today’s scripture reading. God has justified us by faith, so we can live a righteous life through His sacrifice. So, He asks us to present ourselves in a way that honors Him, then goes further to say stop trying to be like everyone else and conforming or complying with the present world system, values, and their conduct but make new your mind and surrender to God’s will for your life.
This can be done in several ways daily. Always by prayer, journaling, spending time talking to God, and giving over the things that are crowding your mental space. Exercise like the many classes Relentless Life Center offers, our own Pastor Ave’s Monday night “Breathe” class is an excellent example.
Activity: Practice diaphragmatic breathing for 5 to 10 minutes daily. When you begin, you may feel tired, but over time the technique should become easier and should feel more natural.
Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your head on a pillow.
You may place a pillow under your knees for support.
Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage, allowing you to feel the movement of your diaphragm.
Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling your stomach pressing into your hand.
Keep your other hand as still as possible.
Exhale using pursed lips as you tighten your abdominal muscles, keeping your upper hand completely still.
You can place a book on your abdomen to make the exercise more difficult. Once you learn how to do belly breathing lying down, you can increase the difficulty by trying it while sitting in a chair. You can then practice the technique while performing your daily activities.
Father, I thank you, that you hear me when I pray and you know me from the inside, and out. Lord, I’m praying that you would renew my mind and change my mind set to be what you have for me. Remove any doubt or confusion, anything that would attempt to stand in the way of what you desire to do in my life in this season. I give it all over to you, today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 7 – Equipping the Saints and Edifying the Body
It’s Day 7 and You have made it to the end of week one. We have been building our faith, seeing exactly what has been said about you! Your faith should be building, your prayer time with God has been an integral part of this time of fasting and our prayer is that you are beginning to understand the why behind your being here. In Ephesians 4 the Apostle Paul implores the saints of His day to walk worthy of the divine call, an invitation of God that drew them to salvation in the first place. He goes on to outline what the worthy walk that was described in verse one looks like. Then describes how we all as Christ’s followers share the same future; one body, one Spirit, one hope, One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. We share unity in the Spirit and a common goal. Then we find ourselves in today’s verses.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [a]first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [b]edifying of the body of Christ,
God has given every one of us grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. While we are unified in the verses above there is a diversity in the things that we were sent to do and at varying levels, although you and I may have the same gift God has uniquely given us enough variation that it isn’t presented in the same way. Some of these different gifts that He is given are identified in verses 11 and 12. Then the purpose for possessing these gifts is the responsibility that accompanies them
- The perfecting or equipping of the Saints, that is teaching, training, developing, and maturing for the work of the ministry.
- For the edifying of the body of Christ Spiritual maturity
What an awesome reminder to remember that this is/was God’s intent and purpose for us. To bring others into the knowledge of Christ and walk through this life. Now, what that means specifically for you? It may look different for the college student than it does for the professional or even for a retiree in their assisted living community but if you’re alive, breathing, and able to read or listen to this devotional today God still has a purpose inside of you.
Activity: What are three things that today you can do this week to equip and edify those around you?
Day 6 – Predestined
Hello family, it’s Day 6! How’s your rocket? Are you beginning to get some of the unnecessary clutter out of your ship? Are you starting to fuel up the engine with what God has said about you? Are you cleaning off the panel so you can get ready to input the proper coordinates? Just checking in with you. As we are rounding the final corner on the purpose portion of our fast which truthfully is just the beginning for all God desires to do this year. Today we discover that we were predestined.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He [a]made us accepted in the Belov7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Our text begins with the Apostle Paul attributing praise to God. Worthy of praise be God and Father of our Lord Jesus who has conferred on us spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ. Wow! We could stop right there and thank God for that alone. To know what He has promised and revealed or given to us as we grow in Him. Then to see that we were chosen and have been predestined or “marked” out in advance. When we understand that God has chosen us, then we realize we have been purposed to do good works, to bear fruit and become more like Jesus. The reason we were predestined is even exemplified in the verses that follow. According to his good pleasure, to the praise of the glory of His grace.
How does it feel to add to all that God has said about you thus far? He has marked you beforehand knowing that you would desire to do His will according to His good pleasure.
Activity: Review the information that you posted yesterday. Now write a prayer asking the Lord to begin to download to you the plan to implement the steps.
Day 5 – A Future and A Hope
Welcome to Day 5! This week is all about understanding how God sees us, why He created us and shifting our mindset to think about ourselves the way He does. Furthermore, He is opening our eyes to understanding surrounding your specific purpose and what that looks like as a child of God and an active participant in His plan for your life. God’s plan goes beyond your wildest imagination. He knows you personally, your hopes, dreams, wishes, fears, and anxieties alike. Maybe you think because you are a teenager, or you are well beyond your years in life but perhaps you are new in your Faith walk you think that God can’t possibly have a plan for me. Maybe you think that you have done too much bad in your life or you do not know or understand the Bible like a pastor, and you think that God cannot have a plan for you either. But guess what, He does!
Today’s reading is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13 and speaks
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
He has plans for every one of our lives, we just have to choose to walk in them. His plans will bring you closer to Him and help mold you into the person that He desires for you to be when you seek Him with your whole heart and there is no one or anything that can stop what God has declared about you.
- What has God told you about your life? ___________________________________________
- What plans has He set for you? ___________________________________________________
- What do you need to begin to walk in? ____________________________________________
Father God, thank you for having a plan for my life. I thank you that I’m yours and today Your plans for my life are being fulfilled. I thank you that Your word says you will never leave me. I thank You that even now my life is aligning for my growth and development with your purpose, plan, and will for my life. May my thoughts about me, be your thoughts about me, and may my words align with what Your word says about me. I thank you and it is so in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 4 – Dominion and Stewardship
Hello and welcome to Day 4 of the Relentless 2023 Fast! This year our theme is Lift and Launch and that is hard to do when you are weighed down with worry and uncertainty. For the past three days, we have begun the process of seeking God around the very purpose that He created each of us. Today, we gain a little more clarity as we see how and why.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [a]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [a]moves on the earth.”
Unlike all the other creatures that God had created the past five days of creation with phrases like “Let the waters bring forth” and “Let the earth bring forth” when he got to day six and prepared to create man, He consulted with Himself; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness”. That sits a little differently. The word “Image” is described as a representation of a person or thing.
The word “likeness” means a gauge of comparison or analogy. That means that we were created in resemblance and comparison to God. We were created unlike the animals we were made for fellowship, we have self-consciousness, we were made to worship, and we have a soul and a spirit. We were given
- Dominion over the sea, fowl, cattle, all the earth, and every creeping thing told to
- Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the Earth and
- Subdue and have dominion over it
God created man and gave him his purpose.
Activity: Define the following words.
How does having a better understanding of the definitions of these terms help to shape your thoughts about purpose?
Day 3: Crowned with Glory and Honor
Welcome to Day 3! As we continue to be in pursuit of our purpose this year, knowing we were created on purpose with purpose we thank God today, for how He sees us. Have you ever sat back and taken a moment to reflect on a creation all around you and thought, God, is truly amazing? Every creature, every organism, every single atom was formed with such specificity to perform a particular job or duty and all work in harmony to keep this planet spinning. Then expand your thoughts to the Heavens. We have not been there yet, but we know that it has been described for us in the Word and its’ opulence and beauty there to behold and the angels, Heavenly majestic beings were created and given purpose they cry out Holy, Holy, Holy art thou Lord God almighty and have the distinct honor of staying in His presence constantly.
Today’s reading says that He made us just a little lower than the angels and I would like to emphasize “little”. Then it says that we have been crowned, like the royalty we are with glory and honor by our father the King. If that does not straighten your back and dispel frustration, negativity, or naysayers from your mind and space then I am not sure what will. This scripture goes on to outline man’s dominion over the Universe. In Verse 6 the word dominion means sovereignty or control, rule over. Think about that. How does knowing that God has crowned you and given you authority change your perspective about yourself?
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit[c] him 5 For You have made him a little lower than [d]the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,7 All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea, That pass through the paths of the seas.
Activity: Go outside your doors and sit for 10 minutes in nature and observe with your senses God’s beauty.
- What did you see?
- What did you hear?
- What could you smell?
- What did you feel?
- Did you taste anything?
Day 2: Purpose + Identity
Welcome back to Day 2! What we believe about who we are impacts how we live in our purpose. God affirms who we are in Him throughout scripture. Your gifts, passion, strengths, and anointing are all connected to your calling, and to be effective in the area God has called you to function. If God has not spoken to you directly about your calling, don’t passively wait for him, your gifts, personalities, talents, strengths, and passion are always indicators of what He has called you to do. We belong to God, our lives are to be spent according to His purpose for us, and our identity is found in Him. When we understand this, it ends the quest to satisfy our desire for identity by connecting with someone or something beyond ourselves. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks from King David’s recount of God’s great work known as man and His knowledge of man’s intricacies and God’s nearness to us.
For You formed my inward parts; You [a]covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for [b]I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.15 My [c]frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book, they all were written,
The days fashioned for me When as yet there were none of them.
Again, His words about us matter. Fearfully, wonderfully, marvelous, and skillfully are insights into just how the God of the Universe sees each one of us, His masterpieces. It is essential to first gain an understanding of how the Creator sees His creation to successfully walk out our purpose from His perspective as a part of the larger plan. Put away your small thinking, the thoughts that attempt to hold you captive in your mind expand your thoughts about yourself your abilities, and your capabilities. In the end, nothing of this earth is able to fully meet our instinct for identity, not our friends, our family, our status, our resume but God. He is the creator of our lives, and He has made us skillfully and with great purpose!
Activity: Today I am grateful that…(you fill in the blank)
Lord, I thank You for this day and another opportunity to serve You. Today, I am asking that You would unlock the keys of understanding and my mind and will to be in alignment with Yours. May I see myself the way that You see me and have no doubt about what You have said about me. Give me a clear revelation of what Your desire is for me. Help me to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks on mind, my emotions as I push towards who You desire for me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 1: Why Am I Here?
Welcome to Day 1 of the Relentless 2023 Fast. Have you ever had the feeling that you were created for more, but you were not sure what that more was? Why am I here? We would like to think that most, if not all human beings for sure but more than likely living, thinking, breathing beings have posed this question at some stage in their lives. For many, it is probably the very thing that frustrates them when they wake up in the morning and has more likely than not plagued them for years.
We know what it is like to be in the same spot. Imagine packing your bags and loading your car with them along with your family and “buddy” your beautiful Yorkie for a family vacation and you start driving with no destination in mind and no directions. You go on for hours if not days not knowing where you were supposed to end up. We search for meaning in our jobs, communities, groups, relationships, activities, and more. But we long to discover what that “more” actually is.
In Jeremiah 1:5
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified[a] you; I [b]ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Be comforted in knowing that God designed each one of us with a unique purpose as a part of His bigger plan even before the foundations of the World were framed. So, the bigger question is how to unlock and unveil what that purpose looks like and how we can practically attain and achieve it. Here in Jeremiah, we see words like I (The Lord) knew (had intimate knowledge of) before he was born sanctified (set apart) and ordained (conferred for the gospel) all before Jeremiah’s birth and we have the same comfort in knowing that God likewise gave each of us an assignment and purpose. Over the next 21 days, we will identify God’s PURPOSE/Calling for our lives. The PROCESS (es) involved in getting to purpose. The POSITION God has given us (role and placement). Measuring our PROGRESS in purpose along the way.
Pray this prayer with us.
Activity: Take at least 5 minutes moments to sit with your journal in the quiet and listen for what the Lord has to say to you and jot it down.
Lord, we thank you for this day and who you have been in our lives. You are a good, good Father and will not withhold any good thing from us. God, we ask that You give us a complete understanding of what You want to do in our life. Open our Spiritual ears to hear what You are saying to us in our mind/heart to understand the call you have for our life. Reveal the part of Your plan that we are ready to receive in this season and help us to steward it well, In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Relentless 2023 Fast
LIFT & LAUNCH
What is fasting…
Remember fasting is not about the food you do or do not consume, but the condition of your heart. Fasting is our participation point. We are giving up the things that we LIKE we will sacrifice so that we can become sensitive. We will suppress our physical appetite so that our spiritual appetite can take lead. Understanding that while you are not eating, God is actually seasoning you with His likeness. If you have been following along with us for the past several months we have been focusing on how we can have the character of God through our studies of the Fruit of the Spirit and The Beatitudes in our Discipleship courses to our Sunday sermons discovering that WE truly are the church and understanding what that means, to realizing that we have lift off and are being launched to fulfill the purpose that God has established us for both individually as well as collectively.
It is our desire as a church body to ensure that we all are being equipped to “go therefore and do” what the Lord has commanded fulfilling our purpose through His call on our life. We have intentionally set aside the next three weeks to seek God and His plan for 2023. We want to be like Jesus and be about the will of our Father this year and beyond.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Fasting releases, the Holy Spirit, the favor, and the gifts of God into the lives of Believers. Fasting brings us into a deeper more intimate relationship with God. Everyone’s fast will look different—some may fast for a set time (6 AM to 6 PM), from certain types of food (sweets, bread, etc.), programming, social media, or activities. No matter what or how you chose to fast, fasting is more than just abstinence. It is about spending time pursuing God in the place of the things you choose to refrain from.
The Daniel fast is a partial fast. According to Daniel 10:3. This means that you can consume food but not all types. The focus of a fast is always for there to be a level of sacrifice for the things that we enjoy, to seek God, and block out all distractions.
(For complete details on the Daniel fast please see the Fasting guide)
What does this look like?
- Every day spend purposeful time in prayer. “Major key alert”
- Every day spend time reading the Bible and reflecting on how it may apply to your life.
What is Prayer?
In its simplest form prayer is simply, talking to God. Many get hung up on what that talking sounds like, they use big words and vein repetition to no avail. There are formulas and prescriptions for different styles of prayer and specific prayers for particular times but what is most important is that you make the time to talk to God a part of your daily routine. Would you go without speaking to your spouse/significant other or your small children? The answer is NO, and it is the same for you and God. In this situation, we are His children, and He longs to communicate with us, regularly and continuously.
Begin in prayer with ADORATION (worship, deep love, and respect) for God, calling out His many names and praising Him for who He has been in your life.
Second, CONFESS any sins (actions, thoughts, or attitudes that may be creating internal distance from God). Confession is about acknowledging your mistakes and it’s one of the most freeing experiences we get to participate in this side of heaven.
Third, come before his presence with THANKSGIVING. This is a moment to practice ‘intentional gratitude”—finding something in your life to thank God for!
Fourth is SUPPLICATION. It’s asking God to meet your needs (and the needs of others). Finally, spend time in worship to God, listen, and enjoy His presence.
Fasting is about removing distractions from your life so you can clear your mind and allow your spirit and soul to connect with God in prayer. We want to continuously be in prayer, whether in your car, on your job, or in the grocery store it doesn’t have to be loud or long, but we must stay plugged into the source of power by prayer throughout this time of fasting.
Come journey with us. Welcome to the Relentless 2023 Fast: Lift and Launch