Back to the Altar – Fasting Information and tips


A  week ofSeeking the Lord with fasting

  • For personal renewal and revival
  • For Compelled Church ministries to reap spiritual and Kingdom fruit.
  • For our communities.
  • For people to be saved
  • For your life and family.
  • For our pastors and their families.
  • For the church to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  • Missions and our Missionaries
  • The Holland Campus
  • All the prayer cards that were filled

Commit to prayer, and seeking, and participating with your church.

Fasting is also encouraged.  Read Below for helps

 

Come early in the morning to seek God, read the Word, and soak in his presence. Come at noon to pray a psalm.  Come and pray with our church family because “Without Him we can do nothing.” John 15.

I am praying we will have more people involved than ever. I encourage you to be part.  Break out of the mold and thought that you are not a person of prayer. God is calling us all to prayer and we will reap the benefits if we take the challenge.  If you can’t make it to the church, fast, and pray at home more than ever.

Pastor Nate

 

 Physical and Spiritual  Benefits Of Fasting

The benefits of fasting are innumerable. Here is just a partial list of the many benefits of this most powerful of spiritual disciplines.

* The Word of God comes alive

* Addictions and strongholds are broken

* We become more sensitive to God’s presence

* The physical body is purged of toxins

* It becomes easier to trust and obey God

* The sanctifying process is accelerated

* Faith increases

* Doubts and fear vanish

* God reveals to us our sinful attitudes

* Decrease of self-indulgence

* Decrease of self-righteousness

* Emotional scars are healed

Practical Tips for Fasting

 

* The early church gave themselves to fasting and prayer for a time. If they needed it then, we need it now! Every time you pray and fast for a certain amount of time, you are investing in a powerful kingdom – the kingdom of God.

* Set a definite time for your fast so you know in advance how long you will be fasting. Keep in mind fasting changes your heart. A one-day or one-meal fast can be very powerful when submitted to God as a sacrifice of yourself.

* Since you are denying your flesh and seeking the Lord, you may find yourself in the midst of spiritual warfare and thus becoming irritable or unwilling to pray. Some of these feelings may be physically induced just because of a physical reaction. Plan beforehand to “pray through” the spiritual battle.

* On longer fasts (2 or more days) the body is cleansing itself from physical impurities. Possible side effects from toxins include bad breath, headache, nausea, hunger, weakness, and leg cramps. To help prevent these problems, abstain from caffeine, sugar, and junk food five days prior to your fast. Drink pure water (distilled if possible) throughout your fast, it helps with elimination of toxins. The cleaner your system, the less discomfort. The less waste that is stored in the body when you begin your fast, the fewer toxins will be released.

* Try to rest if you feel weak and get some fresh air every day.

* Spend time in prayer, worship, repentance, and read your Bible. Use the time you would normally spend eating or preparing food for “spiritual exercise”. Many people have noticed that the Bible simply comes alive while they are fasting.

* Have specific spiritual goals that you desire to obtain while praying and fasting. Without prayer and a set purpose, fasting is only a glorified diet.

* Break your fast with grape juice, fresh fruits, and steamed vegetables, adding other foods in a day or two. Avoid meat, bread, and fats for several meals or days depending on the length of the fast. Keep in mind your stomach has been inactive and it takes a while to restore essential digestive enzymes and acids. Fasting is a very healing process for your body so do not undo your efforts with unhealthy foods.

* Some medical conditions are prohibitive to fasting. Get the advice of your physician if you have a medical condition. These conditions include diabetes, hypoglycemia, and heart disease. Pregnant and nursing mothers also should not fast because toxins will be passed on to the baby. Also, some medications need to be taken with food so use discretion. In these cases where you are unable to do a complete fast (water only) consider abstaining from television and dedicating yourself to prayer during this time.

    * Other types of fasts include:

o Water, Honey and Lemon – This is considered a cleansing fast. Squeeze 1/2 lemon in a cup of hot water and add honey to taste. Drink water throughout the day. This can be used for an extended fast.

o Juice Fast – This is self-explanatory. No food, coffee, soft drinks, etc. Juice only–fresh carrot juice is excellent.

o Daniel Fast – Fruits, vegetables and water. This is a good fast for those who have physically demanding jobs.

Questions and Answers Regarding Fasting

* Is fasting for everyone?

Fasting is beneficial for anyone who desires to draw closer to Christ. Every Christian should do some sort of fast at least once a month. The Apostle Paul fasted often.

* What if I don’t feel called to fasting?

Fasting is a spiritual discipline, just like prayer and reading the Bible. It is not something we are called to do, rather we choose to obey Christ and sacrifice some of the pleasures of this life in order to please God. Fasting trains us in self-control and produces fruits of peace and righteousness.

* Why is fasting so important?

It reduces our appetite for carnal pleasures and creates a hunger for God’s treasures. We are commanded to walk in the Spirit so we won’t fulfill the desires of the flesh. Fasting helps us to resist the flesh and walk uprightly before the Lord – to live a life which is pleasing to Him.

* How do I get started?

Begin with a one meal fast and go from there. Some of the most powerful fasts can be one or two meals if you enter into it with pure motives and a desire to spend time with the Lord Jesus.

* What should I do while fasting?

Spend as much time with Jesus as possible. This is how we become more and more like Him. Read your Bible, worship with song and thanksgiving, be silent and listen. Silent reverence with repentance is powerful!

* Should I fast if I have dietary restrictions or am on medication?

You should seek the Lord and consult your physician if you have any concerns. Medical science has known for some time that our bodies purge toxins while we fast. Chapter 58 of Isaiah mentions healing as one of the many benefits of fasting. However, use discretion when doing a food fast and consider an alternate fast if you are medically restricted in any way.

* I really enjoy eating; do I have to do a food fast or are there other types of fasts?

The most beneficial fast for your body and spirit is water only. However, God will honor any type of fast if you have a sincere desire for personal revival and holiness. Here are some alternatives to a food fast.

o Daniel Fast-  fruit, vegetables and water

o Juice Fast-  fruit and vegetable juices only. If you are hypoglycemic, you might want to use a 50% water mix with the juice, especially if using bottled or canned juices. Fresh juices, however, are best. They may be purchased from a health food store or use a juicer.

o TV/Entertainment Fast/Facebook/computer games/

God will bless you mightily if you’ll shut your TV and computer off for a time to seek Him. You should also set aside newspapers, talk radio, video games and movie theaters. Instead, spend time with your family and the Lord. The purpose is to focus on God and avoid distractions.

* Why do I get headaches when I try to fast?

Your body is purging toxins which have accumulated from years of a poor diet, prescription drugs and bad habits. Headaches are one of the results of this cleansing process (usually the second day). Prepare your system prior to a fast by eating healthier. Avoid red meat, sugar, caffeine and bread. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables three or four days before going on a fast of more than one day.

* How will I benefit from fasting?

The benefits of fasting are many for those who continue faithfully in this discipline. Here are just a few (Is. 58).

o A significant increase of understanding and revelation from the Word of God

o Addictions and strongholds are broken–permanent changes take place

o Recognition of sinful attitudes or conditions of your heart that you haven’t noticed before

o Decrease of self-indulgence and self-righteousness

o An increase of faith; Fear and doubt diminish because of confidence in God rather than your flesh

o Supernatural release from bitterness and an ability to forgive others

o A much greater sensitivity to God’s presence

o The ability to hear God is greatly enhanced

o You increasingly become more like Jesus with a notable increase of love, humility and wisdom.

* Will all of my prayers be answered if I fast and pray the right way?

No, probably not. Fasting does not force God to do something He otherwise wouldn’t do. Your circumstances may actually worsen at first. If you’re fasting for God to change a particular person, it may not happen. However, there is no wasted time or energy when seeking God through fasting, prayer and worship. He will change YOU! He will soften your heart and give you a healthy perspective of your circumstances and relationships

 

 

What The Bible Says about Prayer and Fasting

Fasting Scriptures

* Moses (Exodus 34:27,28)

* Samuel (1 Samuel 8:5,6)

* Christians (Acts 13:1-3; 14:23)

* Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-3)

* John’s disciples (Mark 2:18)

* Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4; 9:1-3)

* Paul (2 Corinthians 11:27)

* Ninevites (Jonah 3:5-10)

* Apostles (2 Corinthians 6:4,5)

* Israelites (Judges 20:26)

* David (2 Samuel 12:16)

* Darius (Daniel 6:9,18)

* Anna (Luke 2:36, 37)

* Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23)

* Esther (Esther 4)

* Jesus (Matthew 4:1,2)

* Elijah (1 Kings 19:8)

* Daniel (Daniel 9:3)

Bible Characters Who Fasted

* Moses fasted twice for 40 days-Following his first fast, Moses received the Law. The second was to turn God’s wrath away from God’s sinful people. Deuteronomy 9:9,18,19

* Hannah, for a child. She was barren and deeply distraught. God gave her release from inner turmoil. Then He gave her a baby boy, Samuel, who grew into a mighty man of God. I Samuel 1:7,8

* Elijah fasted for 40 days while fleeing in fear from wicked Jezebel, who threatened to have him killed. God gave him comfort, boldness and instructions to go back the way he came and anoint new prophets. 1 Kings 19

* King David for seven days that God might heal his dying, infant child, conceived illegitimately with Bathsheba. The baby died, yet David experienced God’s wonderful peace through this incredible trauma. 2 Samuel 12:16-23

* Proclaimed by King Jehoshaphat – When he and his army were surrounded by enemies and destruction seemed imminent. After proclaiming the fast, they rejoiced with praises and God destroyed their enemies. 2 Chronicles 20

* Proclaimed by Ezra – Prior to a very perilous journey to Jerusalem. Ezra 8

* Nehemiah – For restoration of the city he loved (Jerusalem). Nememiah 1:4

* Proclaimed by Queen Esther – For the entire nation to fast for three days without food or water. They were on the brink of annihilation. Esther 4

* Daniel’s partial fast of 21 days – He received a vision and revelation of end times. Daniel 9

* Proclaimed by the King of Ninevah- With national repentance to avert disaster through God’s wrath. Jonah 3

* Jesus for 40 days. If God in human flesh fasted, how much more ought we? Matthew 4:2

* John the Baptist – He and his disciples fasted often, as did the Pharisees. Matthew 9:14,15

* Anna – A widow who dedicated herself to prayer and fasting and is honored in the eternal Word of God. Luke 2:37

* Paul the Apostle- He fasted for three days after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus (while still known as Saul of Tarsus). Acts 9:9 He later wrote in 2 Corinthians 11 that he fasted often.

 

* Isaiah 58 is the fasting chapter. Read and study it to discover the many benefits of fasting when done God’s way

My Children’s Mom is Spectacular


I am so thankful for my kid’s mom. I must honor her on Mother’s Day.  She so deserves it. Her love for her family is fierce and deep.  He loyalty to her offspring, unprecedented. She has been an amazing mom, and continues to be.  Caring for the kids physical lives. Feeding them, rocking them, loving them, seeing them through teething, ear infections, dr’s appointments, vomiting all over,  and all of that.  I won’t even mention the broken teeth, bones, nose, and other ER visits, she had to endure.   She cared for them physically.

As a mom, she has not neglected their spiritual lives. Which reflects in their personalities and character.  One of my greatest memories is Wendy reading to the kids.  On the sofa they would clutter together like a pack of puppies for the precious time of mom reading to them. Books, the Bible, the Chronicles of Narnia,  etc.  I recall her kneeling beside their beds as they sleep, calling their names out Heaven, before any of us were up.  They would then talk about what they read. She lovingly and patiently with great wisdom and understanding of God and the Bible, answered the showers of questions. Their mom chose not to disconnect from their lives, but stayed involved, informed, and immersed in what they were doing and what they were involved in.

Her voice of encouragement and her faith was/is the foundation of their confidence and identity, setting it strong, so they can build upon it with their own faith.   She made sure our schedules were clear for every event, every school award, every concert, every graduation.  We never missed.  She loves sports (when her children are part). Thousands of hours at football, Lacrosse, Wrestling, Soccer, community ed baseball, basketball, and more.  She put them before herself in every way, sacrificing in ways that moms do, with excitement and zeal.

I love their mom, prays for them, worries about them, never falls fully asleep until they are all safe, and relishes, with great depth, every time we are all together.

My three amazing kids are a product of their amazing mom.  She continues to amaze me with her love and care for all of them.  She has made me look good as a dad. Wendy has helped me be a better father, and our children be amazing young adults.

To think years ago, leaving a Dr’s office, we grappled with the words spoken to us that it is highly unlikely we would ever have children.  For the sake of my best friend, I stormed Heaven with prayers I did not know I was capable of praying.  We praise Him for the blessing of our children and I praise Him, and honor Wendy for the blessing of being married to my children’s mom for the last 30 years. She continues to warm my heart with her amazing dedication and love for her family. Happy Mother’s Day Wendy. I am so glad I am married, and am  best friends, with my children’s mom. She is so awesome.

Personal Post, my life the last couple weeks.


Just a personal post.  Some have said they enjoy this, some will never read it, and has no interest. That is cool. I am good with either.

Took time this morning to thank God for his presence in my life and for my wife and family, Wendy and the kids. I have so much to be thankful to Christ for. For without him, it is all futile. He is the giver of all good gifts.  The Holy Spirit is reminding me in different ways lately to develop a deeper heart of gratitude.

Last week we moved my father from our home in Morenci to Temperance. He had been there for 49 years.  I grew up knowing no other home. It was a little nostalgic for myself and my sister as we packed him up. I know Pam will miss him, as will his grandsons, as they were close to Morenci.   I believe it was tough for him to say goodbye to the place, but he is now a mile from me and I have seen him daily.  I had lunch with him yesterday. Today we will take a ride around Toledo.  Wendy has him eating good, and he is getting settled.  One thing is for sure about life, is that it is ever-changing.

I went a couple weeks ago to my first professional woodcarving lesson. It was about 6 hours. Wendy gave it to me for my birthday.  It was amazing.  I learned under an incredible young man and wood sculpturer from Rochester Hills.  His name is Alec Lacasse. He is crazy-talented and a great teacher and brother in Christ. He is only 21 years old and is carving such stunning works. Check out his stuff if you are interested.  Click here to go to Alec’s site.

I have been trying to carve more since the lesson so I don’t forget. I love woodcarving. I really sense the Lord’s presence as I carve and an undeniable peace.  The lesson helped so much. I plan on another one in December.  There are many genres in woodcarving. I am focusing in on realistic face carving.

God put a strong word of encouragement on my heart for the weekend message. If you missed it, and you are in need of a little strength from the Lord, please take a listen and let the Holy Spirit breath faith into your spirit.  Click here

Gabe and Levi won their football game on Friday. They are both on Bedford’s Varsity team and doing great. I love going to watch them. One more week and wrestling season is upon us!  Hooray!!!

Abby and Justin are busy in Grand Rapids, working, interning, full-time students and all.  We miss them and look forward to their visits. I am proud of them.

Looking forward to the rest of this day.  Praying about November Series and trying to tune into the will of the Lord for us.  I have a million thoughts sometimes so I have to really focus.

Walk with the Lord today.  Stand strong in the face of adversity.  Don’t compromise your calling to Jesus.  I leave you with some of my favorite verses.

12:1-3   Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Heb 12:1–3). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

20 Reasons Wendy and I Enjoy a Great Marraige, Happy Valentine’s Day


Many may wonder or ask why Wendy and I have a great marriage. We do, not a perfect one, as no one is perfect, but a great one.   I am a blessed man to be married to Wendy. I have known Wendy for 30 years and married for 26. We met in  a Christian Bookstore and the Lord orchestrated it all, so our relationship would glorify him and bless us.  Here are some quick reasons why our marriage is great, vibrant, growing, and full of love.

  1. We don’t just love each other!  We like each other.
  2. We have learned to live for the other, not for ourselves.  It is hard sometimes, but we strive for unselfishness.  We serve each other.
  3. We know that “love covers a multitude of sins”, and we don’t freak out at each other for every little thing.
  4. We don’t control each other.  So common and so unhealthy.
  5. We live out to each other “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you.”
  6. We protect our marriage from outside things that would want to tear our marriage apart. We practice relational, emotional, and sexual integrity and purity. We do not flirt or overly communicate with others of the opposite sex.
  7. We don’t share our marriage with others, or talk to others about things only Wendy and I should discuss.
  8. We are honest.
  9. I lead my family spiritually and don’t push it off on Wendy.  Guys, this is the key.
  10. I father my children and support her.
  11. We get away, and communicate.  Not as much as we would like but more often than most couples.  Make time for each other.
  12. We take on issues and circumstances as a united front and don’t attack each other.
  13. We laugh together and joke with each other.
  14. We don’t live separate lives with separate friends, and separate interests, with separate checkbooks, separate churches, or separate values.
  15. We pray for each other, encourage each other, and grow in love on purpose.
  16. We do not say the “D” word, ever (divorce).
  17. We value each other and respect each other, so we do not communicate with anger, name calling, disrespect, personal attacks or hate.
  18. We do not go to clubs or bars, we do not drink, or take part in the sensuality of society. WE do not flirt with the world’s idea of fun and leisure.
  19. We love Jesus with all of our heart, and our children.
  20. We never gave up, learned these skills, and moved forward with hope and faith.

I hope that encourages you. I pray your marriage will grow through all the seasons of life.

NOTE:  If you are a pastor or ministry leader reading this, we have done marriage seminars and would be glad to talk to you about scheduling one. Contact Wendy @ welarton@compelledchurch.tv

Levi’s Healing


Levi’s Healing,

Levi in Ironwood Michigan

I want to share what happened to us at Michigan Family  Camp.  The speaker for the week, Joe Phillips spoke on healing and called anyone up who needed a touch from God in their body.  Levi responded for healing for his lower jaw, as we are trying to correct an extreme underbite at the U of M.  The correction process we are in is trying to avoid a surgery on his jaw.  I stepped out of the service, came back in and Levi ran up to me, visible shaken, saying “I felt my jaw move back, God healed my jaw, I went up for healing in my jaw and God moved it!  I felt it move into place!”   I examined his teeth line up perfectly.  That was about 1/4 or 1/3  inch move. I can’t wait for our next appointment at U of M for the surgery to be forgotten about. I just want to share that with you!  God still is healing and he touched our son and we are grateful!!  Isn’t that awesome!  I am very blessed knowing that my Father cares about my son!!!!  Levi responded in faith to his need, and our Father in Heaven gave him a Heavenly touch.  “We have not because we ask not.”  I praise my God.