Sunday Preview

January 19, 2012

My sermon this Sunday is called “The Great War” from Daniel 10. The people of Israel were floundering and Daniel was mourning, so he started a unique fast. For twenty-one days he abstained from meat, wine and tasty food. Then one day Daniel had a spectacular vision of the Lord. The Lord gave Daniel insights into a great spiritual war going on in the heavenly realm between the Lord, his angels, and demonic princes. He was also given understanding about wars that would soon change the course of nations. This chapter helps us understand why our prayers seem to be hindered at times, and what is happening in the unseen heavenly realm that affects us all.

Our prayer teams have been interceding for the many requests that have been posted on the “Wailing Wall” in our sanctuary. We are all prone to overindulgence in things that diminish our spiritual sensitivity. Many people have given up sweets and alcohol for these twenty-five days. Some have let go of TV and other distractions. Others have gone on complete fasts for entire days or longer. Ultimately, the purpose of these fasts will not be found in what we let go of, but in what we embrace. We are being drawn to seek the Lord and embrace His grace. We will celebrate the breakthroughs that come after our fasting season ends next Wednesday. Some of us will have specific prayers answered in the days to come. All of us will be able to experience a deeper relationship with the Lord who loves us, and continues to reveal himself to us.

Sunday Preview

January 5, 2012

My sermon this Sunday is called “Interceding for a Breakthrough” from Daniel 9. Daniel was stuck in Babylon as a slave along with the people of Israel. He was studying the Scriptures one day when he realized Jeremiah had prophesied that the people of Israel were going to spend seventy years of captivity in Babylon as punishment for their sin. Daniel began to fast and pray, confessing the sins of Israel and interceding for the Lord to release Israel from captivity. In the midst of his prayer time the angel Gabriel came and gave him a dramatic revelation about the future.

When I study the scriptures I see a vision of the Kingdom of God. I see the churches in unity being led by apostles and prophets. I see people filled with the Holy Spirit using the gifts of God as they proclaim the good news of the gospel. I also must confess that we are stuck in captivity to a lifestyle which is far less than the glory of God’s kingdom. I hope you will read Daniel 9 this week and look at how Daniel identified with the people’s sin as he interceded for a breakthrough.

If we are going to have breakthroughs in our families, in our church and in our nation, it will not come as a result of us being more critical of the mistakes of others. Breakthroughs will come as we see in the Scriptures what God wants to do and unite our lives to fulfill His will. We are humbling ourselves the first twenty-five days of January with fasting, prayer and worship so that we will see God’s Kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.