My 40 Day Journey
On October 17th 2018, I began a 3 day water fast with several others in the church for an event that weekend. On October 18th, I felt the Lord leading me to do it for 40 days. Without hesitation I said yes. For the first time in my life I kept a journal of the journey each day. This is that journal.
Day 1: I am nervous because I have failed to keep my commitment on many fasts and that is why I made it public to the church, so that my commitment to be what I said as well as my commitment to God will drive me when I want to quit. Today was the hardest first day of any fast. Normally the first 3 days are no problem but I feeling as if I had been fasting for days already. In one day I can feel my heart coming back to life, my hunger for God awakening. I’m sending this to the church: Church, I believe the Lord has prompted me to fast for 40 days as of this morning for our church. I have never accomplished more than 7 days on water before, which is the reason for this post. Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted 40 days before the next step. What will happen as a result I do not yet know. Please set a calendar reminder to pray for me and for an outpouring of His presence and power in our church, even if only for a minute each day. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.
Day 2: Rough night’s sleep, thinking about the journey ahead. I have begun listening to Smith Wigglesworth messages and he said something that I thought about all night. Anyone who wants to be a healer needs to learn the power of long-suffering. He gave an account of many times praying for someone for several hours. Long-suffering is not my strength but it is a fruit of the Spirit. Is that what God wants to produce in me though this? In my study today of Eph 3, 16-19, I am awakened to the fact that I am missing an experiential understanding of God’s love because it says “you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power” if I had. This needs to change. Will this fast be a catalyst to this in our church, but first in me. Today I found out the deacons put together a plan to divide up the 40 days among them and their wives to fast with me so that I was no alone. That made me cry.
Day 3: I tossed and turned all night over the condition of my heart. Praying ask God to fill me with His love. It is amazing how fasting gives you a clear look at where your spirituality is really. Thinking about Eph 3 and “how do I experience God’s love” in that way. After the 3 days of fasting I can already feel a shift in my consciences of God of my heart’s cry for more of Him. I don’t usually keep a journal but I feel like these next 37 days are going to be significant to look back on. There is already a shift happening in the church and it’s beautiful. Sometimes all God needs is one person to be the sacrifice and He will use that to stir many others. I am starting to read through Smith Wigglesworth sermons, I need to know and experience God like this. I am too normal and unempowered. Sandbox needs a much better pastor. Today I am praying for God to make me the pastor that He desires.
Day 4: Woke up at 3:30am ready to roll. Im not even sure Im sleeping at all, I’m thinking constantly about the state of our church and how to move our people into the most genuine encounter that brings about true and real life change. I am limiting the church because I am not everything I need to be. Preached today, Im not sure if it was good or just rambling, but I put it out there. Today has been a struggle but then Chet sent me a verse: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalms 34:8 NLT. I A certain that I cannot make this fast without the Lord’s divine intervention. I cried again thinking about people in the church fasting with me to support me, who does that? Such beautiful people.
Day 5: I had my first “supernatural” encounter on this fast so far. Last night, I was struggling in my body with pain and feeling the size of the mountain, feeling like I cannot do this. I continued to pray throughout the night, and at 5 this morning I read "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Phil 4:13. There again, strength being promised, I began to pray that and fell into a beautiful sleep. I then dreamed that someone gave me a turkey drumstick, that big one from the rodeo and I feasted on it until I was full, when I woke up, my pain was gone and my spirit was filled, ready to do this. I felt the aLord saying, that is how real and powerful His word is to our physical bodies and our spirit. This carried me until the night where I needed to fill up on His word again for strength. So many are fasting and praying, how can God not move. I fell asleep listening to Smith Wigglesworth sermons.
Day 6: I slept well last night. I dreamt about food again but it was just a dream but I did receive a scripture in my sleep, “Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.” Psa 34:10. I repented today for my lack of faith, where did I lose my absolute confidence in the Word to God to absolutely never fail. Never fail. Never fail. I will emerge out of this fast a new man in the Spirit. Today I prayed for an Acts 10 manifestation to happen at Sandbox. Jesus said if you abide in me and my Word abides in you, you will ask whatever you want and I will do it. This verse is true and real and ask I abide in Him by letting go of this world and being filled with the Spirit, we will see the manifestation of it.
Day 7: Woke up feeling great. I gave to been grouchy or short tempered at all. This is the longest I have previous fasted so today I get to break both a physical and mental barrier but it has been easier than any fast. I am not at all enticed or longing for food. I am longing for God. There is nothing anyone could offer me to get me to quit because it would not compare to what I am chasing. The devil is trying to attack our church through relationships but I am praying for wisdom on how to smash this before it even has a chance to get started. If he can cause disunity, it becomes a house of cards.
Day 8: I had an early meeting about worship and did not wake up even earlier to spend time with the Lord through His Word and prayer for the time needed. It was a little but not enough. I regretted it all day. I could feel the physical and spiritual difference. Was it like this every time I did not do this before but I numbed myself with other things that I was unaware? The day was filled with one problem phone call after another and dealing with issue after issue. I just wanted to be with the Lord. The Lord has convicted me with this passage: Acts 14:8-19. The Lord uses Paul to heal a cripple man and the people start celebrating Paul and Barnabas and Paul is deeply upset by this pointing back to Jesus. I think I have got way too comfortable thinking when someone is healed or some great sermon that this had something to do with me. Of course I have put in the labor and sacrifice but it is God alone that takes a hand and turns it into a hospital and speech into something that changes a life. I am sorry my Lord.
Day 9: I woke up at 3am today to make sure that didn’t happen again. God's Word has truly become a meal. I've lost more than 20 lbs but physically, I am feeling really good, and I know it is only because of the prayers of the church. As I go, I am more and more convinced that we don't "need more of God" in our current place but we receive more when we give Him more of us. Our experience is limited by our level of surrender. Where we draw the line in what we will let go, is where we draw the line in what we can receive from God. Whether in giving, forgiving, the way we live. We can justify "our things" even by pointing to other christians but it doesn't get us any closer to the cry of our hearts. I read this, this morning: 1 John 2:5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Day 10: I had a dream last night where I ate and after I ate I realized that I had forgotten that I was fasting. I was deeply remorseful that I had done that. I was so relieved to wake up and realize I had not broken my commitment and word. The passage I woke up with on my heart today is: Isaiah 58:6-11 NLT 6 “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. 7 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. 8 “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. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. ~. I am committed to not letting this fast turn into mere self-will striving. I think it’s possible to do a 40 day water fast without God but gain what by the end? What I want is what his passage is talking about, my heart to be deeply compassionate and moved by the things that move God’s heart. It’s not about not eating but it is about aligning myself with God to be an instrument because He is worthy of my life. I don’t just want to have the Holy Spirit, I want the Holy Spirit to have me, all of me.
This afternoon God restored broken relationships in our church and shut down the devils plans. Sermon prep with Chet was great and then I re-watched the judgement scene from the movie the Shack, that scene is absolutely profound. I cried. God is good. He is so good.
Day 11: Woke up at 1:30 am in such discomfort. Not hunger pains but feeling so empty and weak in my body. I rolled out onto my knees and prayed to God to fill me, after about 30 minutes, it left, like a blanket, I felt back to “normal”. Matt 6:11 give us today our daily bread. I wonder how many times I compensate with physical food because I didn’t allow God to fill me. We had a big day at church with ordination and trying out not having set list for worship. Everything was beautiful. I honestly think our church has changed since everyone began fasting and praying. Our prayer time started an hour before and just flowed into the service. There was a hunger for more of God for sure and there was so much love between the body today. Today we prayed for Bryan’s mom for healing in her leg and although we have not seen it yet, I was so encouraged to see the body willing to spend an hour seeking and praying for it to happen. God is building the fruit of endurance in our body. Marriage counseling tonight went so well with a new couple to our church that only Jesus can help and He is, and along side was Auston counseling, how amazing, not long ago it was his marriage in complete disarray. I am excited for this next week, I know God has something in every day.
Day 12: This might be the most excited I’ve been for a day since I started. I think seeing the change in the church yesterday already has stirred my faith even more so that this is indeed working. The verse on my heart today is: Psalm 118:24 N (NLT) 24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. What stirred in my heart was how we get “gladness” from so many things besides the awe that God is in my day. David is saying, with nothing else, just that fact was enough to rejoice in it because if God made it, it is brimming with purpose, opportunities and encounters with Him. How could I not rejoice at the thought of a new day with that waiting. Today I cannot stop singing and worshipping, my heart is overflowing with gratefulness and love for the Lord. He is doing a work in me and I am so grateful. Today I was able to put on pants I haven’t worn in years and it made me smile because isn’t God just like that? I could have cared less about losing weight when I began this, and He just throws in a side blessing. At about 5pm today I think I experienced a glimpse of what I should be feeling like and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I was getting out of the car and all I could do was lie on my car for a while and just pray in tongues. 99% of the time I feel amazing considering, I truly am running on the power of the gospel and prayer.
Day 13: Wow. When I read back from day 1, so much has changed in just 13 days and this was available the entire time. I am sorry Lord, you are wonderful. Last night I was listening to brother Yun talk on repentance and it confirmed the 3 things we are missing as church body in general. True repentance, reverence and faith. Too many have “come to faith” without true repentance, not just confessing our sins but a changing of life to follow Christ. I do think this will be the first thing that happens in our church is a deep repentance before the Lord and something I am praying for first in my own life. Lord if there is anything in my life or heart that stands in the way of more of You, please show it and help me deal with it. Okay, time to have breakfast and by breakfast I mean a glass of water. haha. I’ve been reading through the Johns and it’s amazing how many times it talks about not sinning. I think we have so missed that. Not a witch hunt for sin and behavior modification but that we can be so filled with Jesus that it is not even a temptation anymore. I believe this to be our next series after Ephesians. Work was great today. Since the fast I love the people in our office more and it seems the reverse is true too. I felt as good as any day when I was eating. I didn’t even desire food.
Satan came after my son today to attach his mind and emotions. My wife called me in tears and I rushed home to deal with it. He is going to be fine and I’m now even more encouraged that we are on the right track. Jordi wrote me a song and put music to it. I have definitely seen an increase of wisdom in my speech and thought, an answer to prayer. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
Day 14: 2 weeks today. The Lord has broken all limitations in my mind when it comes to my body. Self control and discipline have been a struggle when it comes to food but I have never felt stronger in my resolve. I know this is the work of the Holy Spirit. The enemy came after my son again. The devil is a scared coward and I’d like to punch him the face. From 11:30pm till 4:30 my wife was up and down with him while he was throwing up constantly. I only realized at about 3:30am what was going on and lay in bed praying in tongues listening to all this going on. At 4:30, Daniela was back in bed and he was calling for her again. This time I got up and went to pray for this to be broken. I told him to “Ask Jesus to help you”, Through tears, he cried out “Jesus.. please.. help.. me..” and immediately proceeded to throw up 4 times back to back. He then looked up at me, with no panic, or worry (or anything else which usually proceeds when that happens to someone) and said the most genuine “Thank you” I have ever heard from him. All pain was gone and this thing was broken. He climbed in the bed next to Daniela and went right to sleep. He is now on his way to school. Another great day at work. Took Joshi to chipotle to celebrate what the Lord had done in himl. He seems so much more loving and receptive, something has changed. Built Jordi an Ark of the Covenant with the 3D printer for a project. It looks so cool and it made me reflect on how special it was, to house God’s presence and how lightly we take the Holy Spirit in us doing the same.
My body isn’t feeling great right now so Im about to dive deep into the Word and then hit the sack. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT 9 Each time he said, “My birthday grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strongo .
Day 15: It was a rough night. Through out the night I could feel pain knocking at the door. Like a very very faint pain in my kidneys and stomach which I had not had this entire time and I felt like it was trying to come upon me. I fought it all night praying in tongues, in and out of sleep. My dreams were crazy and non-sensical, like I had been watching hours and hours of nonsense on tv. In the night I asked God to fill my stomach. When I woke up, any hints of pain were gone and my stomach felt full. I have been confidently losing around 1lbs a day and I just knew this morning I was going to weigh more than the day before, and sure as can be, I was up 1lbs. God fed me once again. Im ready to rock and roll, im prayed up and excited for this day. The verse on my heart today is: Lamentations 3:22-23 is
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. And that is exactly what He does for me every day, new mercies for each day. I am so dependent on them. I have noticed a massive change in internal peace and gentleness. I love it. Another great day at work, trusting the Lord in every meeting and He gives wisdom.
Finished Jordi’s Ark of the covenant today and then had a great time with a new couple in our church. I arrived at their house pretty wiped out but after a couple hours of us all talking about the Lord I left recharged and refreshed. Tomorrow is men’s retreat and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do, I also can’t wait for Sunday. I miss the church, like, I actually miss them, when we are all together on a Sunday, I don’t want it to end. God is so wonderful. Time to hit the sack, early morning prayer with the deacons.
Day 16: Still having dumb dreams but I’m going to go after this now in prayer. Aint nobody got time for that. Prayer time was wonderful this morning, the Lord is stirring our leaders on the same path of repentance, it is beautiful to see. The Lord healed Weston today from pain in his head, face, neck and body from congestion and stuff, as we were saying the name of Jesus. What a wonderful name it is. I know we are going to see God set people free this weekend at men’s retreat and Sunday. I feel fantastic, like fantastic. I arrived at work with a pep in my step, blasting “Gotta Live” and just so in love with the Lord. I have not had a lustful thought or temptation since I started this fast. It is absolutely true “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Gal 5:16. So much of our struggle is that we keep a remnant of sin in our lives but it is actually an anchor that keeps us from moving forward. We treat it like an acceptable small sin, instead of realizing it stops us from progressing. I am going to preach this on Sunday but I cannot without the Holy Spirit giving me power to do so. I do not want to preach another powerless message again in my life. Later today I got hit with what we had prayed off of weston. That sucker came after me, just prayed in tongues at my desk and it left as quickly as it came. Took Joshi to team lunch at work and for the first time I was hungry, like really hungry and once again, prayed in tongues and the hunger left. What would I do without this gift?
Tonight was an amazing start to the weekend. I think the majority of the men from the church showed up at the retreat. We worship and prayed, learned and grew and already seen God drill deep in our hearts and set several free. We danced before the Lord, everyone. I was already feeling weak tonight but I danced with everything I had and fatigue, dizziness and weakness disappeared. The Lord is answering the prayers of the church for the church. Lots of prayer and breakthrough
Day 17: This was a wonderful and tough day but most importantly, the Kingdom advanced big time today. Last night we only got to bed just before 1am and a couple hours later it seemed if an injured walrus had escaped from the zoo and was performing a mating call from the corner of our room. I could not sleep at all but what made it comical was laughing with Jason, who was sleeping opposite me. I was exhausted when It was time to get up but we went straight to a place in the forrest and worshiped and prayed for guys. Lots more breakthrough and Auston baptized a new guy that he had brought to church. It was beautiful. The day progressed with lots of ministry and breakthrough. Like some seriously big things of the heart and soul. Anytime someone needed prayer, the guys gathered around in seconds. It is so so beautiful to see the love and care. I poured out everything I had today until my soul felt it was absolutely empty. Auston called Scott to pray over me while all the guys joined in and God filled my soul back up within minutes. Spoke to my wife today and I’ve never heard such passion come from her for the church. God is moving in so many different areas. I miss my wife. I don’t like being apart from her not even for a day. This mountain of 40 days seems bigger to me today than what it was on Day 1.
By the time I arrived home just after midnight, I felt like I had a flu, nauseous and just flat rubbish. I got in bed and held my wife and prayed. Within 10 minutes it all left. Wow, this is all spiritual warfare but as I hold to God I am winning day by day. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT) 13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
Day 18: I had a beautiful sleep, so restorative. Crazy dreams have stopped. Woke up to finish sermon prep feeling excited and full of life. What an amazing church service today and Ben’s back was completely healed at some point, we not even sure when. It was a very difficult message to preach to the church but it was so easy with the heart and attitude of the body. They received it with gladness. There was so much unity and love in the place. We danced before the Lord as a whole church, there was so much freedom. I had full strength and energy from Lord while I was preaching. No longer doing it in my own strength. I would not swap our "small" church for a stadium of people. I love them so much. I’m at the airport now, heading to a medical conference and excited to be with Clint and Jason. Night times have become a sheer fight in the spirit to trust in the Lord over my feelings. I need healing every night and I get it. The LORD is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Pst 27:1
Day 19: Our flight got cancelled last night and Momo booked us another flight earlier today but we were sleeping and didn't get the message. I know how I normally feel about this type of stuff and it's frustration and other not so good feelings but I am at total peace. We have asked God to take care and He will. In chatting to Jason today I said, "I have no guilt". This may sound strange but I think I have lived with constant guilt over different things, it's not that I am blatantly sinning but even down to eating a bag of chips knowing that's a bad choice, guilt. Being fat has caused much guilt knowing this is not God's best for me. The Lord has removed all guilt and Jason quoted today: "The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions." Prov 28:1. So many times I think we are robbed of being bold because Satan pokes at our guilt and shuts our mouths/kills our boldness. It has been quite a day. We did not get on the 8:30am, but got on the 10:30am which took us to Austin, where we then got on a delay flight, sat on the runway for nearly 2 hours and were told to go find a new plane. At that point, Jason and I just turned to each other and began to laugh. We truly are learning that you can have peace and joy in every situation. What would getting upset and frustrated have accomplished anyway? Please Lord that I can hold onto this understanding for the rest of my life.
We finally arrived in San Diego and it’s lovely. It was so good to see my brother. I haven’t seen him in so long, I wanted to just hug him and cry. Nausea hit me hard tonight. Went for a walk with Clint while he prayed and it left. I hope all this nausea is because God is growing something incredible in me. Im very excited for bed after some more 3 John.
Day 20: Half way. Amazing. This has not been easy by any means but it also hasn't been what only having water for 20 days should be. I have undoubtedly felt God heal and strengthen me every single day. Jason and I had a great start to the day with the Word and prayer in the room and I'm ready for this day. I want to hear God clearer today than ever before. Psalm 119:37: Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. This conference has the most amazing food, all the time. We also stay on the 4th floor with one elevator. I did not want to sacrifice time with Jason and Clint, so I went to all the meals and even stood in the food line with them. I also walked a combined 30 flights of stairs today. At some point in the day pain hit me so hard that I was doublied over and could not stand straight. I texted Auston a "911" and that brother jumped right into prayer and not only that, got some of the church praying for me for 24 hours. Who does that? I seriously cannot believe the love. The pain didn't last long after that and haven't had any pain since. Chet texts me verses 3 times a day at meal times. I've had the most loving amazing texts from our some of the body at different time. Jared sent me a picture of Achilles, told me that's my spirit man right now. Made me smile and laugh. If I was stuck inside of a room with the most amazing foods, if no one would know if I ate or not, I would not break this fast. My "why" is so much bigger than my own comfort or body. To see God already moving inside of Sandbox is all the comfort I need. Peoples lives are changing. There is more love and passion inside of our church than I've seen.
I told the Lord again tonight, if it will cost me my life for all these beautiful people to breakthrough, I will gladly give it. It sounds dramatic but it is the truth. I am struggling to drink water, it's a chore. In bed and ready to close off another wonderful day. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering. I love you Jesus.
Day 21: Rough night, fire alarm went off in the hotel but Jason and I stayed in bed. Not sure what ended up happening but the hotel and us are still here. Im down over 30lbs now. In my 40th year, I will complete my first 40 day fast. I'm fighting off something that is trying to close up my throat, throughout the night I just kept thanking Jesus for His healing after Jason prayed for me. "For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor 12:10 I am re-learning the power of this. I am so dependent on God coming through. There is no medication or vitamin to take, no syrup or juice to drink, it's water and prayer or nothing. I am going to take this day by faith because my feelings aren't there yet but "the just shall live by faith" not by how they feel. This is going to be a fantastic day and not just for me, for every single person in our church, Clint and Jason. ~ Lord, thank you for the breakthrough that you are bringing to marriages, relationships, bondage and hard hearts. Thank you that you take Clint and Jason before kings and that you use these men to lead these companies in Your name and glory to have a global impact. Let them walk in the favor and blessing of Abraham. For us all, exceeding, abundantly above what we can ask and imagine in every area of our lives as we give you full domain, holding nothing back. ~ Flying home today, it has been wonderful here, loved every moment but excited to see my family. Clint and Jason have been so kind to me.
I am home now. It was a day for trusting in the Lord. Sweet Momo and Jordi were there to take me home. What a blessing. My throat did not open all day. Flu like symptoms in the rest of my body. It did not break all day. I've had less than a bottle of water all day. I came home and made a bubble bath (my happy place) and just worshipped with hands raised for an hour: Here's my heart, Lord. Speak what is true. I am found, I am Yours. I am loved, I'm made pure. I have life, I can breathe. I am healed, I am free. Here's my heart, Lord. Speak what is true. The pain in my throat is gone. I can swallow. My body feels better and my spirit is lifted. There is now more days behind me than ahead. How far the Lord has brought me already. “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
Day 22: But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NLT). This means even more for me this morning. This is the scripture that brought healing to my lungs when I was younger and now it is doing it for my whole body. I waited on the Lord yesterday. Would I have if I had other options? And this morning, I was restored. Ready to go, excited to pray, excited for work and ready to press deeper once again. The Lord's faithfulness is astounding if we will wait. I wish I could chart how much everyone’s prayers have made a difference, in order for people to understand the power of prayer. Jared showed up at lunch today just to read scripture to me and pray over me. I had to keep it together but it was so beautiful. wow. A great day today at work. I signed up to study a new nano-degree on machine learning. I believe this is going to be a game changer for 2nd.MD and a God-idea. Going to take me about 8 months. I’m feeling so well and so grateful for all the prayers. Im back to my fighting faith. We had a lovely time tonight with Allyson, we took turns crying and then I spent the rest of the night preparing to lead all the EITs and deacons tomorrow through not missing the leading of the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow is going to be a very important lesson in the life of our church.
I lost my voice tonight in the middle of conversation, which is just comical, not today Satan, you stupid clown, give up already, cause I won’t. Jumping in bed with my wifey to dream and talk about the future and all the amazing things the Lord has done. Feeling so blessed and fulfilled by the Lord. What a difference one day can make. I think we often forget how quickly God can turn around our circumstances. Good night you beautiful world. 22 done.
Day 23: Met with our leaders today at church @ 5:30am. What beautiful people we have in our church. I think it went really well. We worshiped and had great conversation around the Word of God. Such hunger to seek God more. Brought Joshi to work with me, love having my son here. Sorting through a bunch of tickets and wrapping up a bunch of development loose ends to get ready to hit a new phase on Monday. Heading up to Austin tonight to go see the cousins. Going to let the Tesla drive us, let’s see how it does. Tymon finishes a 21 day water fast today. I am so proud. Already excited for Sunday, even though I have no idea how it is going to look, God’s presence is all we need. I never want to go back to where I was. Spiritually or physically. As pathetic as my body looks now, it is more honoring to God than me being a fat pork sausage. We just stopped at a super charging station to grab lunch. I have been feeling like garbage and struggling with energy. So blessed my car has been driving so that I didn’t have to but I feel it lifting and energy returning. I have no voice and I’ve had to discipline the kids and it’s so funny. They don’t know whether to laugh or take it seriously. Haha. I’m really tired of water. We are at a Mexican restaurant, I’m going to fill up on a plate of prayer and side of tongues. We just found out that my aunt passed away. My mom lost 2 sisters in 1 year. I went out in the parking lot and just cried for my mom. Life is precious and we truly do live from this place as a family.
Arrived safe and sound in Austin. Kids will play now and I’m going into prayer for our church. Silently because I have no voice. During prayer I cried out Jesus and said it perfectly. Perfectly!!!! It’s the only word I can say right now. Clint and jade called and I just cried on the phone. I’m feeling so tired but I know, I know, I know when I rise tomorrow, I will be ready to fight again. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. Psa 3:5. Goodnight.
Day 24: It is a new day! I woke up saying "For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies." Psa 54:7. Oh mighty, gracious God. Last night was so bad, I got into bed and my lungs seized up and I could hardly breathe. I went up stairs and my mom just sung worship songs over me like when I was a small boy until all I felt was peace. I went to the couch and starting reading Mark 11:22-25 and praying. I had a wonderful sleep sitting upright on the couch and woke up so grateful. I think we are going back to the cross on Sunday. I can't wait. We had a lovely day today. We lay in bed watching cooking shows for part of it. It was such a sweet time. It wasn't hard or temping but I did have a light bulb moment. Here is something the whole family was engaged in, a low hanging fruit that we do nothing with. Meals are quick prepared and eaten. We are going to change that. I ordered a bunch of appliances and cooking stuff today and we are going to be that family that turns meal prep into a fun family hangout. I am so excited to see what comes from this and how many people we can bless with it. I believe this was a God idea because cooking was never even a consideration for me. I have had an abundance of kindness poured out on me from everyone. It has been so sweet. My wife has not left my side. I feel so spoiled.
The Tesla did a great job driving home in the dark, even in roadwork lanes where you are right up on the concrete blocks and trucks on the other side. My brother, Jason and Karina check on me every day. Another blessing. I've been feeling nauseous for about a week, not bad, but it’s been there and tonight it hit hard and I threw up 3x back to back. Burnt the heck out of my throat but I feel so much better now. I guess it was stomach acid because it sure wasn't that burrito from the Mexican restaurant that we stopped at. My voice came back about 50% after that incident, Yes! I no longer worship food but I have an appreciation like I have never had before for what a blessing it is to be able to have a bowl of rice or beans. Lord please forgive me for how much I have taken for granted and just expected. You are so kind and gracious. Oh I love you Lord. I love you.
Day 25: Woke up early to finish sermon prep. Feeling good in my body. I don't know what it is about early morning but I always hear the Lord best early in the morning. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; Psa 63:1 KJV. What is stirring so strong in my heart this morning is our lack of understanding what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus was never dishonest about the cost or price but as a christian culture, we changed the meaning completely. We took "come as you are" and made it "stay as you are". We made sin acceptable and grace our hall pass and justified the lack of presence and power as something that was for a time before. Oh Lord Jesus. Someone described me as intense this week, but as David said, "I will become even more undignified than this". 100% Jesus or nothing because everything else is just fake fruit. I threw up some crazy yellow stuff right before church and I felt so weak I had ask my wife to open my water bottle but there was no question that I was going to preach even though I was still lacking a voice. The Word was too wonderful. Arrived at church and the joined prayer. The prayer team come around me and prayed so beautifully over me. Everyone was convinced we would see a miracle today and we did! And God showed up so wonderfully. Throughout this fast I've been asking God to make 1 Cor 2:1-5 a reality and I actually lived this today! He answered my prayer. In my weakness, I watched the power of God work in our church in such a beautiful way. What an amazing day! I won't be with our church again until day 39. What will the Lord do on that day? Sandbox has changed. Oh their faces, I can see it. I can feel it. Thank you Jesus. I've gone from a 38 waist to a 32. And I'm down 40lbs with 15 days to go. Either God is going to do a miraculous work to sustain me or I'm toast but I know this... no matter what the outcome, God heard my cry for my people.
I have been throwing up like crazy, to that point that I am throwing up blood now. I wept bitterly before the Lord on what I needed to do. My mom showed up with vegetable broth and told me the Lord said I must have some, I refused at first and wept some more saying that I will not fail what the Lord has asked me to do. Then the Lord showed me a picture of Simon of Cyrene and that he helped Jesus carry the cross and do what Jesus was called to do and this was a moment of relief from Him for my suffering. It was so hard but I accepted and drank a little. Immediately the vomiting stopped and I have not vomited since. Even in this Lord, I humbly accept your grace and mercy. I resume your call.
Day 26: I fell asleep last night with my wife praying over me. There has been so many beautiful moments in this fast. It is so worth a little suffering here and there. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. What incredible promises and comfort we have in God. We carry so much more than we should and instead of it being an opportunity to come closer to God, our stresses, anxieties and worries come between us and God. Such peace covered me in my prayer times this morning. I wrestled with the Lord about the vegetable broth, "Why didn't you rather give me supernatural healing? Why the broth?" The Lord is so kind, He answered me. He reminded me of Peter needing money for taxes and Jesus sending him fishing. A very natural thing, but inside the fish was 2 gold coins... not so natural. Then I went and looked at the vegetable broth, what the only ingredient was... Earlier in the week Mallory called me and said she was reading 2 Kings 2:19-21 19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please note, our lord, that the city’s location is good, but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful.” 20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he replied, “and put some salt in it.” So they brought it to him, 21 and Elisha went out to the spring, cast the salt into it, and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will it cause death or unfruitfulness.’” She called and said I think the Lord wants you to take some salt water and I was like... I don't know. I have been so focused on being "pure" in water only that it was hard for me to receive that word. And low and behold the only ingredient in this vegetable broth was salt. When I saw it, I could not stop smiling but I also repented because God had used Mallory earlier in the week and I could have avoided all the vomiting but I was too focused on the method and not the Maker. Oh Lord, precious Savior, how many times have I endured hardship in your name when you had provided an offramp and I blew right past it. I was going to stay home and work from bed but I'm getting up. The righteous shall live by faith.
I went to work and God has restored me. I am back! My body is back! He is so faithful. Tonight, Jared and Vanessa come over and we played cards and had a great time. The TV has been unplugged since the fast began and no one misses it. I set out praying for the church and God transformed me in midst. I love who I have becoming, because it is more like the one I love the most. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Cor 3:18
Day 27: I am through to the other side. Even though I have 13 days to go, I know that "unbreakable" iron wall I was up against has been broken. I feel it. I am going to make it! The most beautiful part is, I set out doing this for our church but it was the church on Sunday who rallied around to carry me. They pushed that wall down, not me. How beautiful is that!? I have always loved the people of the church but something has changed. I think I am in love with the people of our church. Is this a touch of how Jesus feels about His church? Oh it is wonderful. As I look out when I am preaching, I look in the faces, they look different. Have my eyes changed? With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. Rom 9:1-4. I have asked God to give me a heart like this for my people. He is answering my prayer. Thank you Lord. Thank you. I think I had an epiphany last night in preparing the life group questions. How many verses and promises are we giving to people that do not apply to them because they are not actually believers. Eg. Rom 8:1 There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The amount of times we have thrown this to people because we or they assumed they were Christians. That is not what the verse says. It says "those in Christ Jesus", in like John 15 in, that kind of in. I think we have attributed the work of the Holy Spirit convicting someone as the devil and told people to forget instead of to repent for the Luke-warm double-sided life they are living. This is a sermon just waiting to come out right here. Repent is a word that is going to become a lot more common at Sandbox Church, starting in my life. My body has been fully restored. My fish with the golden coins. A miracle. I have experienced a miracle! Off to work!
Oh what a beautiful night we had. This might be the closet I have ever been to my kiddos. They have become my little shadows. We shopped together, cooked together, played together and laughed together. We all hangout out in our little kitchen and love it. Oh precious Lord thank you for this. According to them, we cooked the best steak they had ever tasted in their lives. Seeing the joy in their faces was all the meal I needed. Life looks so different these days and I really think all that changed is my heart. Please Lord, don't ever let me go back to the man I was before, life is so wonderful when you are the captain and not me.
Day 28: As I look back through my diary, I can see the change just in the length of the entries. The first days I was just hoping to survive and by this stage, there is just so much to enjoy. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psa 16:11. So many of our problems, hangups, selfishnesses, whatever it might be are purely a symptom of not being in the presence of the Lord. I have not struggled to forgive, love, give, honor, whatever it might be... I haven't battled sin, I don't even know how to describe this, everything became easy when He became my complete focus. When Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery "Neither do I condemn you, go sin no more" this wasn't some proverbial statement, this is a reality in the Kingdom of God through His power. I'm not saying there hasn't been a fight to choose but the internal battle I've fought for so long is gone. To cook a steak for everyone else knowing I would not eat it and not be tempted but joyful, I have truly been set free in ways that I don't even fully understand yet. It is like I am looking at a whole new world but it's just inches away, I see it but I'm not there yet but it's so close. Is this life in the Spirit? So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Rom 6:11
Another wonderful day. We made droewors, my favorite food in the world and I was at home alone with it and it wasn't even a consideration to eat it. People at work are starting to take notice that I am different, and that difference is only Jesus. In someways, what a wonderful compliment in other ways, gosh... how was I before? Just normal that's what. I feel amazing in my body, like amazing. I don't even know how except the Lord. We had a great life-group tonight. They are such quality people. I am praying for such a boldness for them to step out of this christian culture and to be true Christ-followers. Every couple in this group has the potential to make a massive difference around them. I cooked chicken tonight and everyone seemed to love it. I feel so blessed to get to serve others food during this time and every time I cook, my appreciation for my wife and mom goes up even more. They have been doing this for years without complaint. I just expected it. Lord forgive me for missing the sacrifice of others because of my lack of gratefulness. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me Psa 50:23
Day 29: Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Phil 1:27 (NLT). Wow... this is so amazing. These words are so rich. What a meal this morning! This is exactly what I wrote in my diary last night about my co-workers. How many days have I not lived worthy of the good news, ouch. What does it mean to live worthy of the Good News? It's everything scripture calls upon us to do! Death to self and live for Christ. Lord I am so grateful that You would speak to me through your Word today. That you love me this much to correct me. Thank you my Father. I'm off to work to live as a citizen of heaven, I am going to be such a blessing to everyone I meet today. No one will out smile, out hug, out work, out love or out encourage me at the office today. Lord let me shine like Moses today for you!
My wife was pretty sick in the night and I heard her say this morning "The just will live by faith" and got out of bed, even though she wasn't healed yet, got dressed and punched Satan in the face with her faith in God. It was a great day! Physically I feel like I'm cheating because I'm not even conscious of it anymore yet what has changed is I no longer need my body to remind me that I need to pray and be in the Word. I have a craving for both even when I feel great. I truly love the time in the Word and prayer, there is no chore or duty within a million miles. It truly has become a "natural" part of living. This is what post fast can look like! I blessed as many people as I could today with encouragement, hugs, smiles and food. I even came home from work to make the kids lunch because my wifey wasn't feeling well and blessed our apartment keeper too, best steak sandwich she has ever had in her life. Then I took one back to the office for someone who was hungry. Life is so exciting and fulfilling (not problem free) when we are on a mission to truly love and bless others each day. Jason and I took our boys to Dave & Busters and had a blast. I can now tell you what water tastes like at establishments all over Houston. Haha. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35
Day 30: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matt 6:33. No one in the church would ever have accused me of not seeking "Kingdom of God above all else" before this fast. Neither would I have thought so myself but there were some aspects of my life that were unyielded and I did not know it. This is going to sound crazy but even with the church... I don't even know how that is possible but it is true. Trying to do things in my own strength is the same as not yielding. Lord, you above all else, You above all else, You above all else. Insecurity, worry, anxiety, fear are all the product of the same issue, an unsurrendered something to God. What I could not accomplish with all the preaching and discipling, the Holy Spirit is doing in our church. He is strengthening and restoring relationships, He is igniting hearts and He is opening eyes. I am in awe of You! Thank you for rescuing me and our precious people. I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. Psa 9:1.
I prayed over my wife most of the night for this sickness to break and in the morning it still had not and she was in really bad shape. So I read Matthew over her until she fell back asleep. It broke and a speedy recover is underway. You don’t mess with God’s Word. He’s boss. I’m on the plane to Aspen. My heart feels like it is going to explode after reading Colossians. It is phenomenal. It’s like I’m reading a different bible. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Revival is here. It truly is. Lord, I need nothing more. I want nothing more but You. I’ve found you. I hear your voice. I see the path. It’s so clear. It’s not this hokey pokey weirdness that so many over spiritual people have made it. oh You are beautiful! Your Word is perfect and so wonderful. I feel like Charlie in the chocolate factory, I always dreamt of that but this is better. Lord I will preach your Word the way it deserves and I will love your church in the way that Your name is praised. Lord Jesus you have saved me. You have saved me! I want to go home to Sandbox. I want to put my arms around them and give them everything you have given me but first Crossroads. Lord I have preached here so many times and it’s always such an honor but Lord I don’t want it to be like it’s been before. Lord, I would rather sit in silence than that. You or nothing Lord and I will wait on You.
Day 31: I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have arrived here based on the prayers of those around me. It's amazing. I wonder in life how much we have struggled through things that God didn't intend if we simply followed His word to earnestly pray for one another: Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; Col 4:2 Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Eph 6:18. Got up early today and made a fire before getting into the Word and praying for our church. Kids are outside sledding. Got to sit at the kitchen table with my wife and just chill. It was wonderful. Nowhere to rush too, nothing to do, just sitting together. I'm going to let the kids make their own mozzarella cheese today, I can already see the mess, the smiles and the laughter. I am at such peace. I am content. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:12-13 (NLT)
It was such a lovely day. The Lord showed me the answer to a question I've had for so long. Where's the balance between Mary and Martha? Paul said he worked hard than anyone, yet John lay on Jesus' chest. They should flow interchangeably as the Lord speaks. When He needs me quiet, He need only ask. Today I flowed in and out of prayer and cooking, studying and driving kids around. It was so lovely. My wife asking me to read the Bible to her again and Joshi asking if he can sit and listen to me praying for the church was my highlights of the day. I cooked all the meals today, and I must say, they looked amazing, I might even go as far as to say, I'm anointed... haha. Tonight while in the bath my body started to shut down. I know this feeling all too well. It has happened tot me twice before when I have had food poisoning, one of them resulted in me being taken away by 911 when I was young. First thing to go was my lungs. I had just enough air to call Jesus and my wife, my hands started to go next and my stomach felt like it was being rolled up like a carpet inside of me. I couldn't open my eyes but I could hear everything and what I heard was so beautiful. Everyone starting to pray and rushing towards me. Lots of prayer, a few tears and I was fine. My wife offered me the vegetable broth and I said I would rather die, it's disgusting, I literally choose death instead. She laughed and made me water with some salt in it. It is amazing how much peace I had in that whole situation. Hearing my family praying, there was only one outcome and that is: forward we go. Hope Crossroads is ready for this skinny preacher. being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6
Day 32: Woke up early to sit with the Lord. It was a beautiful day. I preached 2 services without an issue. A few people gave their lives to Christ today which was amazing, one lady, had come to the church by "mistake", she was looking for a coffee shop. As usual, I held nothing back. Im sure a few people will be upset with the message today but what is more important are the ones that God touched deeply. Chilled with the family today and tonight we had our friends over for dinner and I got to serve the brisket I have been working on for 3 days! What patience the Lord has taught me during this. I am not someone who would bother with something that would take 3 days. At the beginning of this fast I asked God to produce long-suffering/endurance and He is and has done it. The cold and high altitude have been an extra challenge for sure but nothing the Lord can't handle. I missed my church so much today but was very grateful to get to sow back into Crossroads. Tomorrow is going to be freezing here. We are going through wood logs like potato chips. The Lord is so good to us all. Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psa 105:1-5
Day 33: I did not sleep well but I was laughing in the night. My wife is healed and whole, thank you Lord! but she's been snoring the last couple of nights like a warthog right in my ear. It actually makes me love her even more because I've been doing this to her for years and years. What an amazing wife I have. I did some work this morning and found a recipe to make Queso Blanco. No idea how this will turn out but we had a lot of fun making it together. It's in the fridge now for 24 hours. Read the whole of Philippians today with a highlighter for what stood out, ended up highlighting nearly the whole book. It's amazing. Reading scripture is like eating ribs, it's deliiiiiicciioous. I wish I could take the whole church away for a month and pour in everything the Lord has showed me, there's not enough Sundays... there’s not enough time. I understand Paul's longing to be back at the these churches more than ever before, his desperation to impart and his deep love for these them, this is truly the love of Jesus for His church. I feel it more and more. It's beautiful. My physical body wasting away but my heart is a raging fire! So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:7-8
I am not sure why some days I feel the full brunt of the fast and others are much easier. I know the same God that has sustained me is continuing to do so but on these days I am so much more aware of those who have truly suffered for the gospel. What I am doing is nothing in comparison to them. Today I felt like my body was dying. I would rank today as the 2nd hardest day of this entire fast and the most temptation thoughts to give up that I have had the entire fast. I will not quit but the enemy hit my mind hard today. That's good news, it means the next level of breakthrough is right around the corner. Despite all that, I still managed to love on my family with meals and tonight we all played the game of Risk. Even in this condition, I still dominated the world. haha. Lord, Father, I need you desperately. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health. Psalm 41:2-4
Day 34: All night I wrestled with this stuff in my body and mind. I felt like someone was sticking a knife right through me. It was so heavy and painful, I felt like all the grace and strength I had from God was gone and I was completely doing this on my own and it was crushing me. At about 5:30am this morning I asked the Lord what has changed? I asked the Holy Spirit why He had withdrawn from me and immediately a conversation came to mind where I complained about leader in another church. I repented immediately and apologized to the Holy Spirit for grieving Him and as I did that I experienced a miracle. I felt the presence of God blow over me and as He did, everything I was wrestling with and fighting disappeared in an instant. I'm still in shock and awe as I am writing this. I don't even know if I can fully describe what just happened. I asked the Lord about it and what I felt Him saying to me was, at the level of intimacy that I am in there can be no compromise and reminded me of the story of Ananias and Sapphira, which I talk about a lot but the Lord just showed me just how deep this goes. Wow... there is so much here to comprehend but I am so grateful for His correction. It brings life. I feel completely restored in body and mind. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Psa 51:10-11; For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Prov 3:12
Day 35: If I were to equate this fast to when I ran the 1500 meter, I would say I just heard the bell for the last lap. I hear the panting of those who are trying to beat me right behind my shoulders, my body feels like I cannot take another step but yet there is not only enough to take another step but to finish my race and run my course. I feel the power of Christ within me, it is no longer up to the strength of my mortal body. He is now doing this through me. It's phenomenal. I think I have experienced more scripture as living reality in these past 40 days than what I have in my entire life. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Phil 2:13. Life is the Spirit is not one of walking around shooting people with the Holy Spirit gun with prophecy and healing etc, it is one of complete surrender to Christ and the Word of God. Everything else is a byproduct. What is swelling in my heart today is this: Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. James 3:11-13 This is massive... This is where revival begins. What is salt water? It is all the compromise and worldliness that we have allowed and therefore the pure, amazing, living water is not flowing. We have to rid ourselves of any salt water (through the power of the Holy Spirit), and the living water will flow out of us, then out our churches. Oh, it's so simple if we just listened to the word of Jesus: "must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me". Lord, I submit my life to your Word, I follow you wholly and completely, I don't want an ounce of salt water in my life.
Day 36: My emotions are raw. I cry for almost anything. We have been watching a hallmark movie at night as a family. They are so predictable and dumb but I still cry. I think I would cry in Rambo. Yesterday Maddie Kate (Jason and Tiffany’s daughter) wrote a song for me after my conversation with them about how things were going:
Through the pain,
Through the shadows of disgrace,
You brought me to the light,
And you showed me your delight,
You are with me
You’re never against me,
You are with me through the fight
And now I fight by your side
Cause you love me
You’ll never leave me
I know that you delight in me
Because you love me.
I don’t even have words for that. To have our children so alive to the Lord’s voice and the needs of others at such a young age. That is riches beyond what this world can offer. I expected that the texts and support would dry up but I have been blown away by the faithful remnant that has not let up. I receive messages and scriptures every day. Several in the church, my family and some friends have not let me go a day without support and love. It’s remarkable. But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matt 4:4. Just as I have felt His mercies are new every morning, yesterday’s manna is not enough for today. God knows what each day will hold and He wants to supply what is needed for that day. How many times have we tried to make it through the dayo on stale manna because we did not get it fresh and struggled because of it. It’s 1am and I am at God’s bakery. The nauseousness has not left since about 7pm last night. Nothing I’ve done has placated it, I feel like I am one wrong move away from a massive episode and total body shutdown but I’m first in line and I smell what the real Rock is cooking. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Rom 5:5. Father God. I have no hope outside of You and I know my hope in You will not disappoint. Thank you for carrying me this far and the amount of times you have healed me on this fast. I have no where else to go. You are it. I am at your feet once again. Please touch me Lord.
Somewhere around 2:30am I fell into the most beautiful sleep while praying for myself and others. I dreamt of God doing wonderful things among different churches. There was collaboration and unity. It was beautiful. When I woke up my body was at peace and the pain and nausea were gone. And immediately another question was answered. I had often wondered why so many of the psalms were the same. Like those hallmark movies. David crying out and then the Lord rescuing. I’ve lived it again and again these past 36 days. That is the surrendered life. It’s not a lack of faith or David forgetting all the previous times but new battles. New opportunities to trust in the Lord. It is not monotonous but wonderful because each one brings new revelation. I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered Psa 120:1. But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psa 18:6. In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. Psa 118:5. I have so much to be thankful for. I am missing out on nothing this thanksgiving by not eating for I have tasted of the Lord Himself and oh He is good.
Day 37: The kids went skiing for the first time so I spent most of the day by myself. Gave me lots of opportunity to be quiet and still. I know now what I will preach on Sunday and I also used the opportunity to complete the first week of my new online degree that I started in Machine Learning. So much for brain fog while fasting. God has sustained my mind this entire time. Bryan and Mallory arrived in Aspen and it was so good to see them. I am so grateful for every relationship the Lord has given me. They are truly a gift from Him. Nauseousness came back with all it's buddies last night and at about 1am I started throwing up 4 or 5 times. My throat was burnt and I felt so tired. When I got done, the Psalm that came to mind was: I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Psa 69:3. The Lord gently spoke to me, "Is this the story you want?" I said "No Lord, this is the one I want:" The men of Israel retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck the Philistines until his hand grew weary and stuck to his sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. Then the troops returned to him, but only to plunder the dead. 2 Sam 23:10. Then the Lord spoke to my heart, "Keep fighting, I'll give you the strength". I said: "Yes sir". There is so much there. Both are God's word but faith reaches to the top shelf of the blessing of the Lord. If I am promised "through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" then I will not settle, no matter how many times I need to get back up. I will fight until the end. I don't care how many times I throw up or how rubbish my body feels, I am not leaving this battle field until this is complete. I did not come here to party or feel good, I came here to do battle, I came to fight and they can pry the sword from my hand when it's all over.
Joshua Ello wrote a poem for me today:
My life is a river
You create the boundaries
Always Leading me to the sea
The rain must come as I wait
To strengthen my precious flow
I’ve been told the drought has benefits
And hopefully thankful because I know.
Look there in that crevice!
Gold I have never seen!
Over there! Wow - a treasure chest emerging, I’m so grateful to be cleaned!
My basin is fragile, hot and brittle, but I see the clouds ahead.
The lies that swirl around me, are simply screaming “you’re just dead”
I peacefully surrender and speak, “you’re right - it’s true”
And all In an instant
Christ’s shower’ fill my banks up again,
This time a perfect crystal blue.
They come for miles to drink from me
This water so refined
With labor pains and excavating trials
I serve for all mankind
Day 38: Captain's Log, Stardate 43125.8. We have entered a spectacular binary star system in the Kavis Alpha sector on a most critical mission of astrophysical research. This journey began as a cry to the Lord for the church. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt 7:7-8. He has answered, He has spoken and He has opened the door. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where we need to go as a people, what the future looks like, how to live in the Spirit and how to walk out our calling. It is so clear but it was always clear. I was the one blinded. I once once blind but now I see! God you are phenomenal. Thank you for opening my eyes and purifying my heart. Thank you for the treasure of your Word, it is amazing. Father, please tell Paul a massive thank you from me and everyone at Sandbox church for sacrificing himself to set the example for us to understand and live by and of course, our Lord and Savior, to whom, my life and very breath is at your command.
Yesterday was a day of love and fellowship. Clint and kids came over, Bryan and Mallory were with us and we cooked together, laughed, played games and spoke about the church and the Lord until midnight. It was so beautiful. God was honored in everything we did as we loved one another. There is no deeper bond in the world than those unified by the Holy Spirit and the love of the Father. I had such a rough night's sleep because each of my dreams were battles. Serious battles but I knew it, even in my sleep. This was warfare. When I opened my eyes this morning, I sent the probes out to take an account of my body and they came back with thumbs up! I feel so good this morning. Best I have felt in days. I am alive! Body, spirit and soul. We have had such a blessed time here in Aspen, I am so grateful to the Woodrows for this time. I also cannot wait to get home to my people. There is no church like Sandbox to me. Just like there is no other woman like my wife. We begin our travel home today. I cannot wait for Sunday for us to all be together in the Lord's presence on Day 39!
Day 39: It's 5 in the morning. Just finished reading the book of Philemon, which is more like a post-it note from Paul. This day is going to look very different from the way I imagined. Yesterday I cried when I found out that our flight was cancelled. We tried all day and every way to get back to be with the church. Someone cried because they could not go to church? Yes. That is the love I have for my people. I was so disappointed. In the grand-scheme it doesn't matter, this week, next week or a month from now but when I had been counting down the hours to see them, it did. This is still the day that our beautiful Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. If I could sum up all the revelation from this fast into one thing it is: Obedience to Jesus. It is simply that. There is no secret sauce, there is no deep mystical revelation. People almost want to be be part of some exclusive club of deep knowledge that no one else knows. I don't think we need theologians, they are like restaurant critics, they can't actually cook but make a living on talking a big game. We need followers of Christ, that live like He lived and are completely sold out to living the Word. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:5-8. And that is it. Jesus laid it out that simply. We know this but we wanted rather to seek some mental accent rather than simple obedience to His Word. All the conferences, all the books... as Jesus said to rich young ruler, you lack only one thing!!! Sell possessions and come follow me. No amount of learning will ever replace complete surrender and obedience to Jesus. That is why all the church services, worship albums, books and conferences have yielded very little to no fruit for most peoples lives. The early church weren't Holy Spirit chasers, prophecy pigs, or healing mongers. They were devoted to the Apostle's teaching (what we call the New Testament) and loving one another, even to the point of death. That is life in the Spirit and gifts followed. Obedience to Jesus.
Day 40: We got home and in our beds way after midnight but we were so happy to be home. We went through so much trying to get home, yet the joy in our hearts and our trust in the Lord kept us smiling through it all. It seems unreal that I am here. I have not just endured this fast but lived every moment of it through the power of the Spirit and the prayers of those around me. I have spent wonderful time with the Lord, my family and worked as unto the Lord. I accomplished more in the past 40 days than the 40 days before that. I know that this was a miracle because I can see the effects in my body. I weigh less now than I did in high school with losing in range of 40-50lbs. My muscles have vanished and yet I have not lacked the strength to love, preach, work and live. Not by might, not by power but by My Spirit says the Lord. Zech 4:6
I told Daniela that I am looking forward to not crying all the time. She said she loves it. I can’t even finish prayers or conversations about anything significant without welling up with tears. I will never read the Bible the same again. It is like I am sitting with Jesus Himself when I read it. It is such life. What I am about to write, I cannot do without tears running down my face. My boy has been healed of asthma!!! I realized this just a few days ago and it left me in a puddle at the time. It happened 2 weeks into the fast. The night Satan came after my son. The defeat on the devil that happened that night set my son free. How many years I had prayed for my son to be healed yet the answer was in exactly what Jesus said: this kind only comes out with prayer and fasting. Matt 17:21. When God asked me to fast for the church, I never considered that my son would be healed in the process. Not only the asthma, he is off all of his supplements and he is eating dairy. I’m going to give him some peanuts next. He was taking his inhaler consistently, almost nightly.
I have never felt so loved and supported on anything I have ever done as with this fast. I asked the church and friends to please help keep my hands up, in reference to Exodus 17 and they took it up with seriousness and joy. During these past 40 days, I have received so many phone calls, hundreds of verses and even more prayers. My wife has been so amazing. It has been phenomenal. Several people checked on me daily. My relationships have flourished and there has been such joy and peace. In all the fasts I've ever done, the effects were only seen in the weeks and months after. I've never seen such an effect during a fast. What will the Lord do post fast?!
I've come to realize that you don’t just decide to do a 40 day water fast, it's an invitation from the Lord. Jesus, Moses, Elijah, their 40 day fasts weren’t of their own ambition. I have felt Your hand Lord, heard Your voice, felt Your power and experienced Your love. I’m looking at the finish line but I know this is a starting line. For the rest of my life, I will run as one who will obtain the prize, I will finish my race and I will serve and obey You with everything I have. My Father, my life is yours. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.
Day 41: I feel like one of those movies that ends with a scene that for the character it is just the beginning, like I wrote yesterday, just the starting line. Even though the credits are rolling, you can't help but expect an epic sequel (not a 40 day fasting sequel... that is never happening again!). I never imagined this fast would have accomplished as much as it did or even the events that have unfolded. I do believe the Lord has finally put away any "old wineskins" in my life through this so that I can be a vessel of new wine for the church and those around me. People had asked if I was sad to be stopping the fast but on day 38 I had felt it was finished. Something had shifted and there was a completion in my heart. I had done all I needed and the next two days were just an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Through out the day yesterday I was in tears thinking about everything, how miraculous this whole process had been, not just in my life but in so many. We never realize the difference we can make until we place our lives fully in God's hands. He doesn't need an army, He's just looking for people fully committed to Him. 2 Chr 16:9. Last night I broke with Lobster bisque which is a big no-no but I figured so is water fasting 40 days. It was phenomenal and there was such a beautiful atmosphere in our friend’s home, Kip and Emily. I am going take it very slow and easy on my eating because I no longer need to live dependent on food, it's just a fuel. I am depending on every Word out of the mouth of my God, my Savior and the Holy Spirit.
I have seen the Lord ~ John 20:18