CLJ Eng 150524

from Syria people from Africa people

from an island there was a rich guy a

sort of a guy from the upper crust and

there were other people this was a

diverse group of people remind you of

anybody right anyway I I know I talk

about that every week but it says I

think it's beautiful when different

people who are from different

backgrounds different ethnicities

different social situations come

together to worship the same God and as

they do power is unleashed because look

at what happens they gathered together

to pray and when I look at what they're

doing in verse 2 while they were

worshiping the Lord and fasting I want

to stop right there they were the

literal Greek is it uses the word for

ministering to the Lord that the same

word that was used to priests in the

temple in the Old Testament so in other

words they came together to minister to

the Lord and too fast they're not asking

for anything yet they're simply coming

without an agenda just to be near god

and to to minister to god can we have

the ability to minister to God I

understand ministering up to a person

but to minister to God do you realize

that we have that awesome sacred

privilege to touch God's heart you might

feel like what are you talking about me

with all I've been through God wants and

invites us to touch him and minister to

him and to make him smile now I

experienced this every day with my kid

my kids have the ability they have the

ability to make me cry or make me smile

but they can say things to me that

touched my heart we come together on

Sundays especially as a community on the

altar more than any other reason to

minister to God and to touch his heart

not to ask for anything not give me

gimme but

want to touch you and as we touch God as

we minister to him as we worship Him it

unleashes a flow of blessing back in our

direction amen haven't you experienced

that you know there's going to be some

days when you're not going to want to

come to church there gonna be some days

when everything else goes wrong and you

feel how can I go to church I'll be such

a hypocrite they say no those are the

days you most need to come and you say I

don't feel like singing I don't want to

fake it no just just do it just push

through just sing that song raise those

hands and as you do the ice starts to

melt right all that darkness starts to

just wash away as we minister to the

Lord and that's what they were doing

they were ministering to the Lord these

people were and they were fasting

there's a beautiful verse that says

where God says draw near to me and I

will draw near to you when we make an

effort to say God I am going to seek to

draw near to you God promises I will

draw near to you in return now that

doesn't always happen overnight but it

happens God is faithful to his word now

if you look at this part of the process

is fasting it says in verse in verse two

it was while they were worshiping the

Lord and fasting what is fasting fasting

doesn't mean going really quickly it

means abstaining from usually food for a

season of time in order to pray in a

special way abstaining from food or some

other activity in order to focus on God

in a special way that was that just for

monks often monasteries and nuns but

that's just for people that that anyone

here enjoy abstaining from food this is

not a pleasant experience usually right

right fasting abstaining from food so

that you can pray in a special way you

would ask the question why why would God

on us to do something so unpleasant for

some reason fasting helps us focus our

spirit on God in a special way it helps

us draw near to God in a special way now

I don't know exactly why that is I'll

tell you why I believe it isn't I don't

think God blesses us when we're fasting

because we're hurting ourselves it's

like oh that's good she's miserable I'll

bless her right I don't think that's the

way our God operates right nor do I

think we're sort of twisting God's arm

sort of like going on a hunger strike to

demand you know well it's not like that

either for some reason though when we

fast we draw near to God now I did I say

those other things so I think it's

important that we have a right attitude

as we approach fasting I remember a

friend of mine sometimes when all fast

and and I have have a friend here in the

church who remain nameless who has a

very fast metabolism and he simply can't

abstain a hundred percent from food so

he would fast partially he would eat

just light meals or maybe he would just

fast until midday or fast until dinner

and but maybe I'm going cold turkey for

the day or for a couple days or

something and he would need to eat lunch

and I'd be like no no that's good eat

right in front of me makes my fast count

more you're like look like now I'm not

going to be part of your twisted little

it doesn't work that way and also

there's no one way too fast sometimes

here in this case their fasting is a

group right so it's not secret Jesus

talked about personal secret fasting he

says when you fast don't show off about

it to other people so people know how

spiritual you are because apparently

that some of the religious leaders would

disfigure their face and they would look

all miserable and they would stand in

public so that everyone could see how

spiritual they were and Jesus said no

when you're fasting hide it you know

take a shower put on makeup put on that

bright you know thi that bright dress

don't let anybody know

and God your heavenly father who sees

what's done in secret will reward you in

public so keep it secret so there's a

time for private secret fasting where

nobody knows just between you and God

but then there's times when you fast as

a group where you say okay let's as a

group I'll set aside a day or two and

we're just going too fast and worship

the Lord and draw near to Him and that's

where it's more public but sometimes

when we do that as a church people will

approach me and ask questions like okay

what are the rules what am I supposed to

do what am I supposed to start what am I

allowed to eat what is okay is is juice

okay how about coffee is coffee okay you

know and they ask me these these

questions and and they're usually

disappointed by my answer because I

usually say you know what we're not

going to tell you exactly how you you're

supposed to do it each person is going

to have their own way of fasting before

the Lord for some people it might need

no food you're just going to drink

fluids for a day two days three days who

knows whatever God guides you to do for

other people it may be partial in the

Bible the prophet Daniel had a fast

where he would eat vegetables and drink

water but he abstained from meats and

from other types of foods and for him

that was at the fast he was doing and it

was powerful at the end of it and angel

visited him so partial fast don't count

less than cold turkey hardcore long term

fat what matters is the heart right a

person get fast for the right reasons

and and fast for the wrong reason so we

want to be sure that our heart is right

that we want to draw near to God and if

that's our heart then whatever we're

doing if it sincerely offered will be

received by the Lord amen and that's

what we want to look at there are

seasons in my life when I'm able to fast

more extended and more kind of and then

there's other seasons where I just can't

do it it's got to be more partial and

for whatever reasons there are some

people who may have health issues and

maybe if specially if you're diabetic or

something you really should not abstain

from food and then we have to visit you

in the hospital you should you know you

should eat

healthy but maybe abstain from something

else some other type of activity or food

try abstaining from the internet for a

while right char abstaining from music

in the car type staining from your

favorite TV show or whatever but usually

its food but it can be other things too

right so what depends it's between you

and the Lord and again it's not that

you're offering the sacrifice it's that

you're drawing away from the normal

routine of this world so that you're

drawing near to God you're not offering

a sacrifice and somehow earning God's

favor that's not okay but we are

separating and drawing close to the Lord

and it works it works I don't know why

it works but it works and it doesn't

always work right away I have found

sometimes when I'm fasting I feel God's

presence right there at the time but

usually when I'm fasting I mainly just

feel hungry that's all I feel I just

feel it hungry I'm just looking forward

to you know when's this gonna be over

you know but what I have experienced so

many times I would almost say every time

it might not be that day it might be the

next day that God does draw near to me

in a special way I feel his presence in

my life his power in my life in a

special way it just needs to be part of

our normal routine of seeking the lord

as individuals and as a community it's a

powerful thing worshiping the Lord and

fasting I heard that verse draw near to

me and I will draw near to you I heard I

heard it paraphrased draw near to me and

I will sneak up on you when you least

expect it yeah we draw near to God and

then it's up to God when he wants to

draw near to us and how you know I can't

control my feelings or my experience

with God it's up to me to do my part and

then God will do his part and it's good

it's good we need to be if we want to be

a community where the holy spirit is

free to speak and move and set people

free then we need to be a community that

worships the Lord and fasts before him

amen just discuss the price you pay

that's what we want if we want the real

thing among us now part of this

err I get the feeling that these people

were taking extended time to pray now I

want to encourage you there's a great

phrase that old-school Pentecostals use

called tarrying in prayer to Terry in

prayer it's an Old World Church word it

means to linger in prayer it means you

pray for an extended long time now I'm

not trying to make anyone feel guilty

something like okay Greg I feel guilty

i'm sorry i haven't done it that's not

the idea this is to motivate us that we

can do this and it works and i encourage

you to try it take an extended time now

let's say you're going to take several

hours let's say going to take 2-3 hours

all night maybe going to take that time

to pray and just be alone you've got a

good place where you can be alone where

you can seek the lord there's not going

to be interruptions you know you're it's

just you and God now some people think

after five minutes I'm going to run out

of things to say what do I keep saying

to God for three hours four hours five

hours but we don't have to just be

talking at God all the time when we're

praying right we can pray and talk to

God and then we can get up and I like to

do a lot of pacing around right you can

get up and you can walk around pace

around you can you can sing songs you

can read out of the Psalms you can speak

in tongues if you've got that gift that

we don't even have to think about it

you're just used to just turn it on in

the bottom let the spirit pray right

that's very helpful maybe you're going

to take time where you'll you'll be more

focused two times and then you'll be

quiet and you'll just silently reflect

and when we do that you can spend hours

in prayer you can do this you might

think well it's not all going to be

really intense it's not supposed to be

if you're going to take several hours

well there's going to be rhythms and

ebbs and flow and and that's all right

but that extended time is important

before the Lord think about this in a

family what is the logic behind the

family vacation going away as a couple

or as a family is a logic just to do an

activity together we

it really you could do almost anything

is the families together for an extended

amount of time you know I hear they've

done studies that family is the camp

together are often stay together right

the camping and it's not because and i'm

not a big camper so maybe gotta work on

that one right but they say that the

reason is because when they go camping

they're spending extended time together

and usually things go wrong and in the

midst of the things that go wrong and

the inconveniences the family coheres

pulls together a little bit so the whole

idea is in what you do it's the fact

that you're together for a long time you

have time finally out of the normal

running around of daily life to be

together and to talk together and to get

angry at each other or share whatever

you're thinking and and you communicate

what's like that with God when we spend

extended time with him it just simply

opens up the air and God speaks and

that's what happened here look at what

happens they were worshiping the Lord

and fasting and the Holy Spirit said I

want to stop right there the Holy Spirit

said I want to make a big point here

that I want us to remember the Holy

Spirit is not an electrical force okay

an electrical force doesn't speak the

Holy Spirit I don't understand it

because he doesn't have a body right

he's spirit but he is a person he's not

in it the Holy Spirit is a he the Holy

Spirit is Jesus among us Jesus sends his

spirit in his place to be with us and to

be in us the holy spirit guides us into

all truth takes that witches of Jesus

and makes it known to us he is our

comforter he is the person of God among

us the Holy Spirit speaks the Holy

Spirit is directing the Ministry of the

church and telling them what to do do we

really believe that that the Holy Spirit

can direct us as a community and tell us

what to do we believe that if

we'll take time to listen now there's a

listening here there's praying and

there's worshiping and then there's this

open heaven the Holy Spirit speaks and I

believe what happened here because it

says that they were gathered prophets

and teachers I believe that what

happened was the gift of prophecy I

believe that one of these people most

likely one of these prophetic Lee gifted

people received a message from God and

delivered it I believe that can still

happen today I believe that God's Word

once for all is given in holy scripture

that none of us has the right to add to

the Bible right but I believe that the

holy spirit goes on speaking to his

people and communicating to us in

different ways to direct our lives in

the Ministry of the church I believe God

can speak messages to us and if we will

open up the space for God to do that now

often there's an etiquette to it where

they're worshiping and I don't know if

you've observed this some of you may not

have observed this we have many new

people among us during a worship time

the holy spirit's moving the ice is

melting we've lingered in God's presence

suddenly it's time for him to speak to

us sometimes God will move the

congregation into what I have is just

talking to someone about this last week

into what I've heard referred to as a

holy hush where suddenly there's that

moment of wow we all kind of sense that

maybe God's got something to say and

maybe who knows in that open space God

puts a message on someone's heart to

shit to share and they deliver a message

to the community now there's an

etiquette to that because the the pastor

or the person who's presiding is the one

who kind of supervises that time so

there might be a moment for it and there

might not be a moment for it and that

can get a little bit clunky sometimes

because maybe someone feel they have a

message but maybe the pastor directing

feels like it's not the time for it and

maybe there can even be a little tension

going on because people who receive

messages from God who are prophetically

gifted really wanted to

that message because they want to be

faithful to God right they don't want to

hold back and fail the Lord so what

pastor director does in the wisdom God's

given him is he will talk to prophetic

Lee gifted people our profits and he'll

say if you have a message and I feel

like it's not the time and you don't get

to deliver it it's on me not on you

he'll say it's my decision you have

discharged your responsibility and it's

okay God's pleased with you if a mistake

has been made he's like it's my mistake

God will give me the spanking and teach

me to do it differently next time but

that way the person who has the word has

that piece of knowing that they haven't

failed the Lord in that moment so the

person who is supervising needs to

direct it but sometimes it might get a

little messy because people it's not a

perfect science God doesn't he's not

going to send you a text message with

literal wording where you're just going

to read what's there he did that in the

Old Testament with the Old Testament

prophets but usually God speaks through

an inner impression a burden on the

heart and then there's a message that

flows but it's not perfect it needs to

be tested by the the leaders and by the

community because our own thoughts and

feelings are going to mix in with the

message God's giving that's inevitable

we're human and that's why prophecy in

the New Covenant needs to be tested in

the Old Testament it didn't need to be

tested because if you were wrong you're

gone there was no ambiguity the Prophet

was hearing a message dictated from God

and they simply said what they heard or

they were describing a vision they had

where an Angels talking to them but in

the New Covenant it's different the Holy

Spirit is saying now poured out on all

flesh your sons and your daughters will

prophesy your young men will dream see

visions your old men will dream dreams

even on my maidservants I'll pour out my

servants in those days and they will

prophesy so it's a generalized gift that

is more of an art than a science and we

need to learn to discern what's of God

and what's human just the fact that some

of a person's own thoughts and feelings

are mixed in does

negate the fact that God was really

speaking you know I'm going to share a

little Testament I wasn't planning on

this but I'm going to I was 16 years old

I've shared this before some of you

might have heard it I was 16 years old

we have any teenagers in the house

teenagers in the house yeah got some

teenagers raise your hand I see you so I

was 16 years old I was in the church

that was a Pentecostal church I was

raised Catholic but I was visiting this

church and I was just starting to

discover the Christianity as a personal

relationship with Jesus Christ so I'm in

this church and they were singing and

they really got into their singing and

one day at the end of a sermon there was

a powerful feeling in the air and I felt

something different and I'll never

forget sitting forward and looking at

the floor thinking something strange is

going on in this place I feel something

unusual and then there was silence and

then a woman stood up and started

speaking in a language that I didn't

understand I thought it was Spanish this

was an awfully long time ago obviously

she and she happened to be latina how

about that huh how about God's poetry in

this and she gives a message in a

language I didn't understand but as she

was speaking I just felt like this wow I

just felt something touching my heart I

was it what's going on here then there

was silence again and they were waiting

and praying for what they called the

interpretation of what had been said and

then I think it was the same lady I'm

not sure she spoke a message in English

there was a message that built upon what

the pastor had been saying and it was

just a powerful message that made me

feel like I wanted to cry and I didn't

understand why and afterwards I asked my

cousin what happened and he said well

you just heard the gift of tongues and

interpretation you heard a prophecy you

heard a message from God given to the

church and I'm like what my first of all

if God was as a silly why didn't he just

say it in English right away why the

whole rigmarole right I don't know my

cousin didn't know he said I don't know

it's just in the Bible it's the way it

is sometimes it comes first like that

and then there's an interpretation I was

like wow it blew my mind because I was

like God is much closer than I thought

he was and that was a big

part of my own journey of accepting

Jesus as my Lord and Savior it's a great

example of how prophecy works so in this

case God spoke and he said set apart for

me Paul and Barnabas for the work to

which I have called them now it's

interesting God identifies two of these

men for a mission that they're supposed

to go on now if you look at the the

original language of this it makes it

very clear he's telling them set apart

for me pollen Barnas to the work for

which I have already called them in

other words these men were already

called to this work God had already

called them they had already gone on

mission trips together but now the

spirit was speaking and confirming what

God was already doing in their lives now

that was important because they needed

to send them out but I want to stop here

that I don't believe God's going to tell

you what I'm supposed to do with my life

without telling me to also does that

make sense because sometimes people will

try to do that right they come to you

say I feel the Lord saying you're

supposed to be a missionary in Djibouti

right and you're supposed to go now and

people like wow okay and you know they

and then we fall into this thing where

the perfect person who's the Prophet

becomes almost like the fortune teller

like telling you you know giving you a

reading almost right now we believe that

each one of us has a relations God God's

going to speak to you but he is going to

use prophetic message to confirm what

he's calling me to do and I tell you

that comes in handy sometimes there are

some times when I feel God leading me a

certain way I'm not so sure but I'm

trying to do the right thing and then

God brings someone with a message saying

Greg you're supposed to do this and I'm

like yes I knew it in fact you're on the

right track or maybe beforehand God will

tell you what's coming for instance with

Mary when Mary and Joseph had little

baby Jesus an elderly man came and

prophesied to them Simeon and he said

this baby will cause the rising and

falling of many in Israel the Bible says

that Mary treasured these words in her

heart do you think she could have even

begun to imagine

that her son would die on a cross no

that's not that wouldn't have been that

the way she would have planned things

but I I have to believe that that

prophetic message about her son and the

things that the Shepherd said when the

angels appeared that she treasured those

in her heart and they encouraged her

during the time she might have been

tempted to doubt that God really is in

this and he has a purpose so I the

profit then confirms what God is already

calling you to do and that's a beautiful

thing we treasure it in her heart we

don't we don't try to control or direct

the lives of other people now look at

this the message is that they are to

send out Barnabas and Paul now the

church in Antioch was a young church it

was a small church at that time and they

had to send out two of their very best

people I want to pause here for a minute

it is important for us from the get go

to be a sending community okay as a

church be willing to send people out

when they need to go and serve God

someplace else now here's why I say that

there are some communities that you

can't leave without feeling like a bad

guy know you've been part of a team or a

group or community like that we all know

the Boston Red Sox right if you go to

the Yankees you're the devil incarnate

right look the guys just playing for

another team now there's some good

reasons for that but yeah remember what

they did to Johnny Damon the foot guys

look he's he's just playing baseball for

another team this is not a big deal but

people make it like like oh he's a

traitor Terry Francona I'm sorry I don't

know if this is on see if I'm gonna get

in trouble with like some organization

or so Terry Francona the manager who

leads the team to two world series at

the time you know they keep a fire and

basically and then on the way out they

make up all these terrible things about

on and baby look just cuz they're

leaving doesn't mean you have to hate

them

right sometimes people now people can

leave church for the wrong reasons right

sometimes people stop coming to church

because they're drifting from their

relationship with God and those are

times where we need to pursue people and

find them they're that cheap that's

wandering away and I would encourage you

and all of us to be aware of the people

around us and if you haven't seen

someone in a few weeks as hey you know

what about so-and-so is he I love it

when people do that with me they'll say

hey I haven't seen so-and-so in a few

weeks and she all right and usually I'm

like oh yeah you know they she's just

traveling or it's no big deal but maybe

that person's going through a hard time

maybe they're drifting from the Lord

maybe they need someone to call them not

to say i've noticed you haven't been in

church we've been taking attendance and

you know who you haven't been there you

know I I don't want to make people feel

guilty okay that's not the idea but if

somebody needs a friend no we need to do

that but more often than not God will

find ways to send people out now in the

early church one of the main ways he

used to spread people out was

persecution when Stephen got killed and

people were being persecuted they ran

away from Jerusalem they scattered

around the region and what did they do

is they scattered they preached God used

problems to send people out and i found

that god does that with us sometimes

sometimes when he really wants to change

you out of a situation he will make the

womb hostile no so you will be expelled

you need to go to a new situation well

sometimes even though there's drama

that's not of God summoned God uses that

to move you into a new situation and

that can be okay but it's so much better

when it's planned when God speaks and

says send them out as missionaries now

here in the English service I want to

take a little time to talk about the

English service of Lion of Judah this is

a very unusual little thing going on

here not so little it's a beautiful

thing people this is an English service

in a Spanish church there's a lot of

people who are going to come

through and that's okay because it's not

for everybody okay and so sometimes God

will take people out of this community

and he'll move them into another

situation sometimes because they get a

job somewhere else and they need to move

but sometimes it's because they just

they're going to fit better somewhere

else where they can serve God in a

different way and when God reassigns

someone to a different Church I'm not

gonna say oh you're bad for leaving the

true church right are we going to be

like that no I want to hold people

lovingly but also loosely so that if God

does need to put someone else we bless

them as they go so that they know that

it's all right you know it's I don't

view it as even leaving because if

someone's still serving the Lord they're

still part of the same kingdom there you

just reassigned to a different

department of that Kingdom amen and then

there's they haven't left they're still

part of the family they're part of our

what I call our beloved diaspora which

we have a very loud of people who God is

reassigned in other places and that's

okay and then we bless them and we send

them out and we pray for them now I

believe that this blessing is important

if you notice they lay hands on them not

to come from but to bless them to pray

for them to send them out and that sense

of blessing helps people move on to the

next chapter of their life with a clean

slate they know oh you know line did you

too loves me that's okay I'm just we

need to be somewhere else for a certain

reason but they go with a blessing and

then sometimes God will bring people

back also for good reasons and it's not

there's nothing to be ashamed of because

it's all in the family it's all in the

kingdom of God amen now don't get me

wrong the local congregation is

important right but it's not more

important than the kingdom of God we are

one small part of a larger kingdom and

that's what we want to be here right and

that's a big part of the DNA of clj is

part of who we are as a church so they

bless them they lay hands on them they

pray for them and they send them out let

people who love God who are spiritually

mature lay hands on you and pray for you

sometimes when we open up the altar and

we have you come up to get prayed for

and

and when we late hanza I believe that

there is actually a spiritual

transference when that happens the Bible

says with Moses that God took the spirit

that was on him and put that on the

seventy elders the Apostle Paul says to

Timothy I urge you to fan into flame the

gift of God that is in you through the

laying on of my hands that's not that

the Apostle Paul is mr. magic man with

the magic hands or no it's the spiritual

anointing that flows through the people

of god I love it when people will put

their head you know who love God or not

trying to do anything weird but people

pray for me and the Spirit of God

touches me we bless people in that way

that's what they did for the Apostle

Paul and Barnabas and here's what I want

to close with and we'll pick this up

again next week but they were going to

need all the blessing they could get

they needed to be sent on their way not

by a human plan but by the Holy Spirit

the Word of God says because they were

about to go into a spiritual battle

ground and I hope we appreciate that

when we serve God we're not just doing

some nice volunteer work okay volunteer

work is fine and that's great to do

volunteer work but when you serve God in

the name of Jesus we are advancing the

kingdom of God in hostile enemy

territory we are pushing against the

powers and principalities that rule in

the spirit of the air the Bible says

listen to this it says as for you you

used to be dead in your transgressions

and sins in which you used to live when

you follow the ways of this world and

the ruler of the kingdom of the air

which is the spirit who is now at work

in those who are disobedient when you're

going to preach the gospel there is

going to be spiritual resistance we do

believe in a devil we do believe in

demons I'm reading through the Gospel of

Mark with my son right now and on almost

every page there's Jesus casting a demon

out of somebody it's it's almost every

paragraph casting out demons because the

kingdom of God is taking people away

from the property of Satan

and that is a spiritual fight and that's

why we don't have the luxury of doing

this without spiritual power behind us

and that spiritual power will only

happen if we pray be strong in the Lord

put on the full armor of God so that we

can take our stand against the devil's

schemes our struggle is not against

flesh and blood but against the rulers

against the authorities against the

powers of this dark world and against

spiritual forces of evil in heavenly

realms we are preaching and were

snatching people away from the devil and

that is a fight and we have to pray to

do it next week we'll talk about the

sorcerer that they encounter they

encounter a man who had mixed Judaism

with basically Satanism and they were

resisting them and the Apostle Paul was

filled with the spirit to encounter that

we'll talk about spiritual warfare more

next week but we also should not take

lightly what we're called to do we need

to be prayed up prayed over and praying

together because prayer is what's going

to make the difference that means we

pray on our own we have people in

authority who pray over us so that we're

not a soldier that's just out being like

like a lone ranger like no we're under

authority right and then we're also

praying together a soldier on his or her

own isn't going to last very long we

need to be praying together and that's

what they did here they prayed together

they worshiped they fasted the Holy

Spirit spoke they set aside Paul and

Barnabas they laid their hands on them

they prayed and fasted again and then

they went into battle and then when

someone came in the name of Satan tried

to resist them you saw what happened and

we'll talk about that next week so we

need to be a power community a community

that believes in the power of God and

knows how to cultivate that are we up

for that are we up for paying the price

together to do that because if we will

God promises to draw near to us so i

invite you to stand with me let's let's

close in prayer and we don't want to

just talk about praying without praying

amen

father we come before you right now and

lord I pray that you would forgive us

for the times that we try to serve you

in our own strength forgive us for the

times Lord Jesus that we try to serve

Jesus without Jesus at work among us

Lord we want the real thing Lord God we

want an authentic demonstration of your

power among us Lord God I pray father

that we would be men and women who know

what it is to pray together who know

what it is too fast and to seek you and

to cultivate that power flowing from

your throne lord I pray God that you

would be speaking to each one of us and

God that in the days before us that you

would guide us in how we are to draw

away from this world and draw closer to

you in a new way I pray that you would

speak to each one that's going to look

different for each one of us but I

prayed speak to each one and as we take

little baby steps maybe just taking

taking 20 minutes to seek you and we've

never done that before or maybe fasting

from one meal or just taking a baby step

that you would bless us as we draw near

to you I pray God that you would teach

us to cultivate the energy of the holy

spirit among us Lord God and I pray God

that as a people that we would know what

it is to worship You Lord God in this

English expression of line of Judah that

the captives would be set free father

that on this altar that men and women

who are bondage for in bondage to

addictions and into problems and into

psychosis would be set free by the power

of the Living God lord I pray that

marriages would be restored on this

altar Lord God I pray Jesus that people

who are who are in bondage to depression

and anxiety would be set free on this

altar I pray that literally demons would

flee from people who who come in contact

with you for this community Lord Jesus

we pray for your power to be unleashed

among us Lord God Holy Spirit speak Holy

Spirit take

control of what we are doing we are

babies we're babies in this but we're

willing to learn from you Lord Jesus

we're willing to be taken by the hand

and guided in your path

from Syria people from Africa people

from an island there was a rich guy a

sort of a guy from the upper crust and

there were other people this was a

diverse group of people remind you of

anybody right anyway I I know I talk

about that every week but it says I

think it's beautiful when different

people who are from different

backgrounds different ethnicities

different social situations come

together to worship the same God and as

they do power is unleashed because look

at what happens they gathered together

to pray and when I look at what they're

doing in verse 2 while they were

worshiping the Lord and fasting I want

to stop right there they were the

literal Greek is it uses the word for

ministering to the Lord that the same

word that was used to priests in the

temple in the Old Testament so in other

words they came together to minister to

the Lord and too fast they're not asking

for anything yet they're simply coming

without an agenda just to be near god

and to to minister to god can we have

the ability to minister to God I

understand ministering up to a person

but to minister to God do you realize

that we have that awesome sacred

privilege to touch God's heart you might

feel like what are you talking about me

with all I've been through God wants and

invites us to touch him and minister to

him and to make him smile now I

experienced this every day with my kid

my kids have the ability they have the

ability to make me cry or make me smile

but they can say things to me that

touched my heart we come together on

Sundays especially as a community on the

altar more than any other reason to

minister to God and to touch his heart

not to ask for anything not give me

gimme but

want to touch you and as we touch God as

we minister to him as we worship Him it

unleashes a flow of blessing back in our

direction amen haven't you experienced

that you know there's going to be some

days when you're not going to want to

come to church there gonna be some days

when everything else goes wrong and you

feel how can I go to church I'll be such

a hypocrite they say no those are the

days you most need to come and you say I

don't feel like singing I don't want to

fake it no just just do it just push

through just sing that song raise those

hands and as you do the ice starts to

melt right all that darkness starts to

just wash away as we minister to the

Lord and that's what they were doing

they were ministering to the Lord these

people were and they were fasting

there's a beautiful verse that says

where God says draw near to me and I

will draw near to you when we make an

effort to say God I am going to seek to

draw near to you God promises I will

draw near to you in return now that

doesn't always happen overnight but it

happens God is faithful to his word now

if you look at this part of the process

is fasting it says in verse in verse two

it was while they were worshiping the

Lord and fasting what is fasting fasting

doesn't mean going really quickly it

means abstaining from usually food for a

season of time in order to pray in a

special way abstaining from food or some

other activity in order to focus on God

in a special way that was that just for

monks often monasteries and nuns but

that's just for people that that anyone

here enjoy abstaining from food this is

not a pleasant experience usually right

right fasting abstaining from food so

that you can pray in a special way you

would ask the question why why would God

on us to do something so unpleasant for

some reason fasting helps us focus our

spirit on God in a special way it helps

us draw near to God in a special way now

I don't know exactly why that is I'll

tell you why I believe it isn't I don't

think God blesses us when we're fasting

because we're hurting ourselves it's

like oh that's good she's miserable I'll

bless her right I don't think that's the

way our God operates right nor do I

think we're sort of twisting God's arm

sort of like going on a hunger strike to

demand you know well it's not like that

either for some reason though when we

fast we draw near to God now I did I say

those other things so I think it's

important that we have a right attitude

as we approach fasting I remember a

friend of mine sometimes when all fast

and and I have have a friend here in the

church who remain nameless who has a

very fast metabolism and he simply can't

abstain a hundred percent from food so

he would fast partially he would eat

just light meals or maybe he would just

fast until midday or fast until dinner

and but maybe I'm going cold turkey for

the day or for a couple days or

something and he would need to eat lunch

and I'd be like no no that's good eat

right in front of me makes my fast count

more you're like look like now I'm not

going to be part of your twisted little

it doesn't work that way and also

there's no one way too fast sometimes

here in this case their fasting is a

group right so it's not secret Jesus

talked about personal secret fasting he

says when you fast don't show off about

it to other people so people know how

spiritual you are because apparently

that some of the religious leaders would

disfigure their face and they would look

all miserable and they would stand in

public so that everyone could see how

spiritual they were and Jesus said no

when you're fasting hide it you know

take a shower put on makeup put on that

bright you know thi that bright dress

don't let anybody know

and God your heavenly father who sees

what's done in secret will reward you in

public so keep it secret so there's a

time for private secret fasting where

nobody knows just between you and God

but then there's times when you fast as

a group where you say okay let's as a

group I'll set aside a day or two and

we're just going too fast and worship

the Lord and draw near to Him and that's

where it's more public but sometimes

when we do that as a church people will

approach me and ask questions like okay

what are the rules what am I supposed to

do what am I supposed to start what am I

allowed to eat what is okay is is juice

okay how about coffee is coffee okay you

know and they ask me these these

questions and and they're usually

disappointed by my answer because I

usually say you know what we're not

going to tell you exactly how you you're

supposed to do it each person is going

to have their own way of fasting before

the Lord for some people it might need

no food you're just going to drink

fluids for a day two days three days who

knows whatever God guides you to do for

other people it may be partial in the

Bible the prophet Daniel had a fast

where he would eat vegetables and drink

water but he abstained from meats and

from other types of foods and for him

that was at the fast he was doing and it

was powerful at the end of it and angel

visited him so partial fast don't count

less than cold turkey hardcore long term

fat what matters is the heart right a

person get fast for the right reasons

and and fast for the wrong reason so we

want to be sure that our heart is right

that we want to draw near to God and if

that's our heart then whatever we're

doing if it sincerely offered will be

received by the Lord amen and that's

what we want to look at there are

seasons in my life when I'm able to fast

more extended and more kind of and then

there's other seasons where I just can't

do it it's got to be more partial and

for whatever reasons there are some

people who may have health issues and

maybe if specially if you're diabetic or

something you really should not abstain

from food and then we have to visit you

in the hospital you should you know you

should eat

healthy but maybe abstain from something

else some other type of activity or food

try abstaining from the internet for a

while right char abstaining from music

in the car type staining from your

favorite TV show or whatever but usually

its food but it can be other things too

right so what depends it's between you

and the Lord and again it's not that

you're offering the sacrifice it's that

you're drawing away from the normal

routine of this world so that you're

drawing near to God you're not offering

a sacrifice and somehow earning God's

favor that's not okay but we are

separating and drawing close to the Lord

and it works it works I don't know why

it works but it works and it doesn't

always work right away I have found

sometimes when I'm fasting I feel God's

presence right there at the time but

usually when I'm fasting I mainly just

feel hungry that's all I feel I just

feel it hungry I'm just looking forward

to you know when's this gonna be over

you know but what I have experienced so

many times I would almost say every time

it might not be that day it might be the

next day that God does draw near to me

in a special way I feel his presence in

my life his power in my life in a

special way it just needs to be part of

our normal routine of seeking the lord

as individuals and as a community it's a

powerful thing worshiping the Lord and

fasting I heard that verse draw near to

me and I will draw near to you I heard I

heard it paraphrased draw near to me and

I will sneak up on you when you least

expect it yeah we draw near to God and

then it's up to God when he wants to

draw near to us and how you know I can't

control my feelings or my experience

with God it's up to me to do my part and

then God will do his part and it's good

it's good we need to be if we want to be

a community where the holy spirit is

free to speak and move and set people

free then we need to be a community that

worships the Lord and fasts before him

amen just discuss the price you pay

that's what we want if we want the real

thing among us now part of this

err I get the feeling that these people

were taking extended time to pray now I

want to encourage you there's a great

phrase that old-school Pentecostals use

called tarrying in prayer to Terry in

prayer it's an Old World Church word it

means to linger in prayer it means you

pray for an extended long time now I'm

not trying to make anyone feel guilty

something like okay Greg I feel guilty

i'm sorry i haven't done it that's not

the idea this is to motivate us that we

can do this and it works and i encourage

you to try it take an extended time now

let's say you're going to take several

hours let's say going to take 2-3 hours

all night maybe going to take that time

to pray and just be alone you've got a

good place where you can be alone where

you can seek the lord there's not going

to be interruptions you know you're it's

just you and God now some people think

after five minutes I'm going to run out

of things to say what do I keep saying

to God for three hours four hours five

hours but we don't have to just be

talking at God all the time when we're

praying right we can pray and talk to

God and then we can get up and I like to

do a lot of pacing around right you can

get up and you can walk around pace

around you can you can sing songs you

can read out of the Psalms you can speak

in tongues if you've got that gift that

we don't even have to think about it

you're just used to just turn it on in

the bottom let the spirit pray right

that's very helpful maybe you're going

to take time where you'll you'll be more

focused two times and then you'll be

quiet and you'll just silently reflect

and when we do that you can spend hours

in prayer you can do this you might

think well it's not all going to be

really intense it's not supposed to be

if you're going to take several hours

well there's going to be rhythms and

ebbs and flow and and that's all right

but that extended time is important

before the Lord think about this in a

family what is the logic behind the

family vacation going away as a couple

or as a family is a logic just to do an

activity together we

it really you could do almost anything

is the families together for an extended

amount of time you know I hear they've

done studies that family is the camp

together are often stay together right

the camping and it's not because and i'm

not a big camper so maybe gotta work on

that one right but they say that the

reason is because when they go camping

they're spending extended time together

and usually things go wrong and in the

midst of the things that go wrong and

the inconveniences the family coheres

pulls together a little bit so the whole

idea is in what you do it's the fact

that you're together for a long time you

have time finally out of the normal

running around of daily life to be

together and to talk together and to get

angry at each other or share whatever

you're thinking and and you communicate

what's like that with God when we spend

extended time with him it just simply

opens up the air and God speaks and

that's what happened here look at what

happens they were worshiping the Lord

and fasting and the Holy Spirit said I

want to stop right there the Holy Spirit

said I want to make a big point here

that I want us to remember the Holy

Spirit is not an electrical force okay

an electrical force doesn't speak the

Holy Spirit I don't understand it

because he doesn't have a body right

he's spirit but he is a person he's not

in it the Holy Spirit is a he the Holy

Spirit is Jesus among us Jesus sends his

spirit in his place to be with us and to

be in us the holy spirit guides us into

all truth takes that witches of Jesus

and makes it known to us he is our

comforter he is the person of God among

us the Holy Spirit speaks the Holy

Spirit is directing the Ministry of the

church and telling them what to do do we

really believe that that the Holy Spirit

can direct us as a community and tell us

what to do we believe that if

we'll take time to listen now there's a

listening here there's praying and

there's worshiping and then there's this

open heaven the Holy Spirit speaks and I

believe what happened here because it

says that they were gathered prophets

and teachers I believe that what

happened was the gift of prophecy I

believe that one of these people most

likely one of these prophetic Lee gifted

people received a message from God and

delivered it I believe that can still

happen today I believe that God's Word

once for all is given in holy scripture

that none of us has the right to add to

the Bible right but I believe that the

holy spirit goes on speaking to his

people and communicating to us in

different ways to direct our lives in

the Ministry of the church I believe God

can speak messages to us and if we will

open up the space for God to do that now

often there's an etiquette to it where

they're worshiping and I don't know if

you've observed this some of you may not

have observed this we have many new

people among us during a worship time

the holy spirit's moving the ice is

melting we've lingered in God's presence

suddenly it's time for him to speak to

us sometimes God will move the

congregation into what I have is just

talking to someone about this last week

into what I've heard referred to as a

holy hush where suddenly there's that

moment of wow we all kind of sense that

maybe God's got something to say and

maybe who knows in that open space God

puts a message on someone's heart to

shit to share and they deliver a message

to the community now there's an

etiquette to that because the the pastor

or the person who's presiding is the one

who kind of supervises that time so

there might be a moment for it and there

might not be a moment for it and that

can get a little bit clunky sometimes

because maybe someone feel they have a

message but maybe the pastor directing

feels like it's not the time for it and

maybe there can even be a little tension

going on because people who receive

messages from God who are prophetically

gifted really wanted to

that message because they want to be

faithful to God right they don't want to

hold back and fail the Lord so what

pastor director does in the wisdom God's

given him is he will talk to prophetic

Lee gifted people our profits and he'll

say if you have a message and I feel

like it's not the time and you don't get

to deliver it it's on me not on you

he'll say it's my decision you have

discharged your responsibility and it's

okay God's pleased with you if a mistake

has been made he's like it's my mistake

God will give me the spanking and teach

me to do it differently next time but

that way the person who has the word has

that piece of knowing that they haven't

failed the Lord in that moment so the

person who is supervising needs to

direct it but sometimes it might get a

little messy because people it's not a

perfect science God doesn't he's not

going to send you a text message with

literal wording where you're just going

to read what's there he did that in the

Old Testament with the Old Testament

prophets but usually God speaks through

an inner impression a burden on the

heart and then there's a message that

flows but it's not perfect it needs to

be tested by the the leaders and by the

community because our own thoughts and

feelings are going to mix in with the

message God's giving that's inevitable

we're human and that's why prophecy in

the New Covenant needs to be tested in

the Old Testament it didn't need to be

tested because if you were wrong you're

gone there was no ambiguity the Prophet

was hearing a message dictated from God

and they simply said what they heard or

they were describing a vision they had

where an Angels talking to them but in

the New Covenant it's different the Holy

Spirit is saying now poured out on all

flesh your sons and your daughters will

prophesy your young men will dream see

visions your old men will dream dreams

even on my maidservants I'll pour out my

servants in those days and they will

prophesy so it's a generalized gift that

is more of an art than a science and we

need to learn to discern what's of God

and what's human just the fact that some

of a person's own thoughts and feelings

are mixed in does

negate the fact that God was really

speaking you know I'm going to share a

little Testament I wasn't planning on

this but I'm going to I was 16 years old

I've shared this before some of you

might have heard it I was 16 years old

we have any teenagers in the house

teenagers in the house yeah got some

teenagers raise your hand I see you so I

was 16 years old I was in the church

that was a Pentecostal church I was

raised Catholic but I was visiting this

church and I was just starting to

discover the Christianity as a personal

relationship with Jesus Christ so I'm in

this church and they were singing and

they really got into their singing and

one day at the end of a sermon there was

a powerful feeling in the air and I felt

something different and I'll never

forget sitting forward and looking at

the floor thinking something strange is

going on in this place I feel something

unusual and then there was silence and

then a woman stood up and started

speaking in a language that I didn't

understand I thought it was Spanish this

was an awfully long time ago obviously

she and she happened to be latina how

about that huh how about God's poetry in

this and she gives a message in a

language I didn't understand but as she

was speaking I just felt like this wow I

just felt something touching my heart I

was it what's going on here then there

was silence again and they were waiting

and praying for what they called the

interpretation of what had been said and

then I think it was the same lady I'm

not sure she spoke a message in English

there was a message that built upon what

the pastor had been saying and it was

just a powerful message that made me

feel like I wanted to cry and I didn't

understand why and afterwards I asked my

cousin what happened and he said well

you just heard the gift of tongues and

interpretation you heard a prophecy you

heard a message from God given to the

church and I'm like what my first of all

if God was as a silly why didn't he just

say it in English right away why the

whole rigmarole right I don't know my

cousin didn't know he said I don't know

it's just in the Bible it's the way it

is sometimes it comes first like that

and then there's an interpretation I was

like wow it blew my mind because I was

like God is much closer than I thought

he was and that was a big

part of my own journey of accepting

Jesus as my Lord and Savior it's a great

example of how prophecy works so in this

case God spoke and he said set apart for

me Paul and Barnabas for the work to

which I have called them now it's

interesting God identifies two of these

men for a mission that they're supposed

to go on now if you look at the the

original language of this it makes it

very clear he's telling them set apart

for me pollen Barnas to the work for

which I have already called them in

other words these men were already

called to this work God had already

called them they had already gone on

mission trips together but now the

spirit was speaking and confirming what

God was already doing in their lives now

that was important because they needed

to send them out but I want to stop here

that I don't believe God's going to tell

you what I'm supposed to do with my life

without telling me to also does that

make sense because sometimes people will

try to do that right they come to you

say I feel the Lord saying you're

supposed to be a missionary in Djibouti

right and you're supposed to go now and

people like wow okay and you know they

and then we fall into this thing where

the perfect person who's the Prophet

becomes almost like the fortune teller

like telling you you know giving you a

reading almost right now we believe that

each one of us has a relations God God's

going to speak to you but he is going to

use prophetic message to confirm what

he's calling me to do and I tell you

that comes in handy sometimes there are

some times when I feel God leading me a

certain way I'm not so sure but I'm

trying to do the right thing and then

God brings someone with a message saying

Greg you're supposed to do this and I'm

like yes I knew it in fact you're on the

right track or maybe beforehand God will

tell you what's coming for instance with

Mary when Mary and Joseph had little

baby Jesus an elderly man came and

prophesied to them Simeon and he said

this baby will cause the rising and

falling of many in Israel the Bible says

that Mary treasured these words in her

heart do you think she could have even

begun to imagine

that her son would die on a cross no

that's not that wouldn't have been that

the way she would have planned things

but I I have to believe that that

prophetic message about her son and the

things that the Shepherd said when the

angels appeared that she treasured those

in her heart and they encouraged her

during the time she might have been

tempted to doubt that God really is in

this and he has a purpose so I the

profit then confirms what God is already

calling you to do and that's a beautiful

thing we treasure it in her heart we

don't we don't try to control or direct

the lives of other people now look at

this the message is that they are to

send out Barnabas and Paul now the

church in Antioch was a young church it

was a small church at that time and they

had to send out two of their very best

people I want to pause here for a minute

it is important for us from the get go

to be a sending community okay as a

church be willing to send people out

when they need to go and serve God

someplace else now here's why I say that

there are some communities that you

can't leave without feeling like a bad

guy know you've been part of a team or a

group or community like that we all know

the Boston Red Sox right if you go to

the Yankees you're the devil incarnate

right look the guys just playing for

another team now there's some good

reasons for that but yeah remember what

they did to Johnny Damon the foot guys

look he's he's just playing baseball for

another team this is not a big deal but

people make it like like oh he's a

traitor Terry Francona I'm sorry I don't

know if this is on see if I'm gonna get

in trouble with like some organization

or so Terry Francona the manager who

leads the team to two world series at

the time you know they keep a fire and

basically and then on the way out they

make up all these terrible things about

on and baby look just cuz they're

leaving doesn't mean you have to hate

them

right sometimes people now people can

leave church for the wrong reasons right

sometimes people stop coming to church

because they're drifting from their

relationship with God and those are

times where we need to pursue people and

find them they're that cheap that's

wandering away and I would encourage you

and all of us to be aware of the people

around us and if you haven't seen

someone in a few weeks as hey you know

what about so-and-so is he I love it

when people do that with me they'll say

hey I haven't seen so-and-so in a few

weeks and she all right and usually I'm

like oh yeah you know they she's just

traveling or it's no big deal but maybe

that person's going through a hard time

maybe they're drifting from the Lord

maybe they need someone to call them not

to say i've noticed you haven't been in

church we've been taking attendance and

you know who you haven't been there you

know I I don't want to make people feel

guilty okay that's not the idea but if

somebody needs a friend no we need to do

that but more often than not God will

find ways to send people out now in the

early church one of the main ways he

used to spread people out was

persecution when Stephen got killed and

people were being persecuted they ran

away from Jerusalem they scattered

around the region and what did they do

is they scattered they preached God used

problems to send people out and i found

that god does that with us sometimes

sometimes when he really wants to change

you out of a situation he will make the

womb hostile no so you will be expelled

you need to go to a new situation well

sometimes even though there's drama

that's not of God summoned God uses that

to move you into a new situation and

that can be okay but it's so much better

when it's planned when God speaks and

says send them out as missionaries now

here in the English service I want to

take a little time to talk about the

English service of Lion of Judah this is

a very unusual little thing going on

here not so little it's a beautiful

thing people this is an English service

in a Spanish church there's a lot of

people who are going to come

through and that's okay because it's not

for everybody okay and so sometimes God

will take people out of this community

and he'll move them into another

situation sometimes because they get a

job somewhere else and they need to move

but sometimes it's because they just

they're going to fit better somewhere

else where they can serve God in a

different way and when God reassigns

someone to a different Church I'm not

gonna say oh you're bad for leaving the

true church right are we going to be

like that no I want to hold people

lovingly but also loosely so that if God

does need to put someone else we bless

them as they go so that they know that

it's all right you know it's I don't

view it as even leaving because if

someone's still serving the Lord they're

still part of the same kingdom there you

just reassigned to a different

department of that Kingdom amen and then

there's they haven't left they're still

part of the family they're part of our

what I call our beloved diaspora which

we have a very loud of people who God is

reassigned in other places and that's

okay and then we bless them and we send

them out and we pray for them now I

believe that this blessing is important

if you notice they lay hands on them not

to come from but to bless them to pray

for them to send them out and that sense

of blessing helps people move on to the

next chapter of their life with a clean

slate they know oh you know line did you

too loves me that's okay I'm just we

need to be somewhere else for a certain

reason but they go with a blessing and

then sometimes God will bring people

back also for good reasons and it's not

there's nothing to be ashamed of because

it's all in the family it's all in the

kingdom of God amen now don't get me

wrong the local congregation is

important right but it's not more

important than the kingdom of God we are

one small part of a larger kingdom and

that's what we want to be here right and

that's a big part of the DNA of clj is

part of who we are as a church so they

bless them they lay hands on them they

pray for them and they send them out let

people who love God who are spiritually

mature lay hands on you and pray for you

sometimes when we open up the altar and

we have you come up to get prayed for

and

and when we late hanza I believe that

there is actually a spiritual

transference when that happens the Bible

says with Moses that God took the spirit

that was on him and put that on the

seventy elders the Apostle Paul says to

Timothy I urge you to fan into flame the

gift of God that is in you through the

laying on of my hands that's not that

the Apostle Paul is mr. magic man with

the magic hands or no it's the spiritual

anointing that flows through the people

of god I love it when people will put

their head you know who love God or not

trying to do anything weird but people

pray for me and the Spirit of God

touches me we bless people in that way

that's what they did for the Apostle

Paul and Barnabas and here's what I want

to close with and we'll pick this up

again next week but they were going to

need all the blessing they could get

they needed to be sent on their way not

by a human plan but by the Holy Spirit

the Word of God says because they were

about to go into a spiritual battle

ground and I hope we appreciate that

when we serve God we're not just doing

some nice volunteer work okay volunteer

work is fine and that's great to do

volunteer work but when you serve God in

the name of Jesus we are advancing the

kingdom of God in hostile enemy

territory we are pushing against the

powers and principalities that rule in

the spirit of the air the Bible says

listen to this it says as for you you

used to be dead in your transgressions

and sins in which you used to live when

you follow the ways of this world and

the ruler of the kingdom of the air

which is the spirit who is now at work

in those who are disobedient when you're

going to preach the gospel there is

going to be spiritual resistance we do

believe in a devil we do believe in

demons I'm reading through the Gospel of

Mark with my son right now and on almost

every page there's Jesus casting a demon

out of somebody it's it's almost every

paragraph casting out demons because the

kingdom of God is taking people away

from the property of Satan

and that is a spiritual fight and that's

why we don't have the luxury of doing

this without spiritual power behind us

and that spiritual power will only

happen if we pray be strong in the Lord

put on the full armor of God so that we

can take our stand against the devil's

schemes our struggle is not against

flesh and blood but against the rulers

against the authorities against the

powers of this dark world and against

spiritual forces of evil in heavenly

realms we are preaching and were

snatching people away from the devil and

that is a fight and we have to pray to

do it next week we'll talk about the

sorcerer that they encounter they

encounter a man who had mixed Judaism

with basically Satanism and they were

resisting them and the Apostle Paul was

filled with the spirit to encounter that

we'll talk about spiritual warfare more

next week but we also should not take

lightly what we're called to do we need

to be prayed up prayed over and praying

together because prayer is what's going

to make the difference that means we

pray on our own we have people in

authority who pray over us so that we're

not a soldier that's just out being like

like a lone ranger like no we're under

authority right and then we're also

praying together a soldier on his or her

own isn't going to last very long we

need to be praying together and that's

what they did here they prayed together

they worshiped they fasted the Holy

Spirit spoke they set aside Paul and

Barnabas they laid their hands on them

they prayed and fasted again and then

they went into battle and then when

someone came in the name of Satan tried

to resist them you saw what happened and

we'll talk about that next week so we

need to be a power community a community

that believes in the power of God and

knows how to cultivate that are we up

for that are we up for paying the price

together to do that because if we will

God promises to draw near to us so i

invite you to stand with me let's let's

close in prayer and we don't want to

just talk about praying without praying

amen

father we come before you right now and

lord I pray that you would forgive us

for the times that we try to serve you

in our own strength forgive us for the

times Lord Jesus that we try to serve

Jesus without Jesus at work among us

Lord we want the real thing Lord God we

want an authentic demonstration of your

power among us Lord God I pray father

that we would be men and women who know

what it is to pray together who know

what it is too fast and to seek you and

to cultivate that power flowing from

your throne lord I pray God that you

would be speaking to each one of us and

God that in the days before us that you

would guide us in how we are to draw

away from this world and draw closer to

you in a new way I pray that you would

speak to each one that's going to look

different for each one of us but I

prayed speak to each one and as we take

little baby steps maybe just taking

taking 20 minutes to seek you and we've

never done that before or maybe fasting

from one meal or just taking a baby step

that you would bless us as we draw near

to you I pray God that you would teach

us to cultivate the energy of the holy

spirit among us Lord God and I pray God

that as a people that we would know what

it is to worship You Lord God in this

English expression of line of Judah that

the captives would be set free father

that on this altar that men and women

who are bondage for in bondage to

addictions and into problems and into

psychosis would be set free by the power

of the Living God lord I pray that

marriages would be restored on this

altar Lord God I pray Jesus that people

who are who are in bondage to depression

and anxiety would be set free on this

altar I pray that literally demons would

flee from people who who come in contact

with you for this community Lord Jesus

we pray for your power to be unleashed

among us Lord God Holy Spirit speak Holy

Spirit take

control of what we are doing we are

babies we're babies in this but we're

willing to learn from you Lord Jesus

we're willing to be taken by the hand

and guided in your path