Archive for the ‘Spiritual Disciplines’ Category

November 25th, 2014

Feeding on God’s Word

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

Is God’s Word at home in your heart? Are you reading and feeding on God’s Word? Your daily intake of God’s Word will help you grow spiritually and develop relationally. God’s Word will help you know the nature and character of God and His plan.

Henry Blackaby shared in a message at the Gideon Convention the following insight: “God is the center of His own activity and He invites us to join Him in His activity.” As you read God’s Word, you come to learn how to detect the activity of God. Constant intake of God’s Word increases your awareness of His activity and heightens your sensitivity to His redemptive activity.

  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ps. 119:105 (ESV)
  • “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (ESV)

Do you have room for God’s Word? You must place a high value on spending time in God’s Word. Don’t rush your daily reading. Slow down and meditate on God’s Word. Be discipline to journal what God is saying to you through His Word. Seek to write down specific application steps that you will incorporate in your day. Align your life with God’s Word and embrace His agenda. Make room for God’s Word to take root and to bear fruit through your life and your lips.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Bible, God's Word, Spiritual Disciplines.
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October 13th, 2014

Fasting God’s Way

“‘But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.’” Matthew 6:17-18 (ESV)

Giving and praying are commanded in God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to fast in preparation for the Day of Atonement. Nowhere else in the Bible is fasting commanded. Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to provide the removal of our sin and the restoration of our relationship with God. Fasting is voluntary.

Jesus made it clear that fasting should be a normal spiritual discipline in the life of a believer. Just as giving and praying flow out of our love relationship with Christ, so fasting is to be a normal practice in the life of every child of God. We are not to fast in order to be praised by others, but rather to concentrate on our relationship with the Lord.

The hypocrites in Jesus’ day would fast to be seen of men. They fed their approval addiction by fasting publicly on Monday and Thursdays when the market was overflowing with the masses. They received their reward, namely, the praise of men, but bypassed the reward of God. They got what they were looking for!

There is no need to put your spiritual discipline of fasting on display for others to see. John Piper has identified that there is a difference between fasting to be seen and being seen fasting. Fasting is to be done in secret to allow you to pursue God and to deepen your love relationship with Him. God will reward what is done in secret.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines.
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May 23rd, 2014

Making Room for God’s Word

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

Is God’s Word at home in your heart?

Your intake of God’s Word will determine your level of living on mission with God. The primary tool of revelation that God uses for His children is the Bible. God reveals Himself through His Word. You can read the Bible. You can listen to the Bible. You can sit under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

Your worship includes the intentional intake of God’s Word. God has appointed and anointed pastors and teachers to communicate His Word in a creative and compelling way. Are you currently sitting under that kind of preaching and teaching? God speaks through human instrumentality. Do you consistently receive a Word from God through the preaching and teaching that you are exposing yourself to?

There are many options out there. Make certain that you are connected to a Bible centered and Christ honoring local fellowship of believers led by a God fearing pastor. Don’t compromise on this one. Be sure to find anointed Bible teachers to help you grow in your understanding and application of God’s Word. Make room in your heart for God’s Word!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Bible, On Mission, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 13th, 2013

Partial Fast

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 12th, 2013

Absolute Fast

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” Esther 4:15-16 (NIV)

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Whenever you are facing a major decision or going through a season of uncertainty, consider inviting a few godly people to fast for you and to seek God on your behalf. Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Will, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 11th, 2013

Normal Fast

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2 (NIV)

God has blessed us with an appetite for food. Food fuels our body so that we cannot only survive, but thrive in this life God has for us. We crave food because our bodies need the nutrients food provides. We hunger for food and thirst for water. Our appetite drives us to eat and drink.

Jesus had an appetite for food. He ate and drank to provide His body with the nutrients necessary to sustain life. Yet, Jesus was led by the Spirit to go on a forty day fast in the wilderness. During this time, Jesus did not eat anything. This type of fasting is considered the normal type of fasting in the Bible. Fasting for forty days is not normal, but abstaining from food for a season is normal for the follower of Jesus Christ.

Have you ever gone on a fast? What was your experience like? What was the purpose behind the fast? God will call you to a fast so that you can draw near to Him. You choose to forego your desire for food in order to spend that time concentrating on praying, reading the Bible, and consecrating your life before the Lord. Instead of hungering for food, you re-direct your appetite to feasting on God. As you fast, you deliberately pursue God’s presence and yield to His prompting.

If you sense God calling you to a normal fast, be sure to drink lots of water and consider a consistent intake of pure juices. Abstaining from food will challenge your self-control and test your faith. Rely on God’s strength to enable you to fast and to seek His face.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Way, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 10th, 2013

Fasting God’s Way

“‘But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’” Matthew 6:17-18 (NIV)

Giving and praying are commanded in God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to fast in preparation for the Day of Atonement. Nowhere else in the Bible is fasting commanded. Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to provide the removal of our sin and the restoration of our relationship with God. Fasting is voluntary.

Jesus made it clear that fasting should be a normal spiritual discipline in the life of a believer. Just as giving and praying flow out of our love relationship with Christ, so fasting is to be a normal practice in the life of every child of God. We are not to fast in order to be praised by others, but rather to concentrate on our relationship with the Lord.

The hypocrites in Jesus’ day would fast to be seen of men. They fed their approval addiction by fasting publicly on Monday and Thursdays when the market was overflowing with the masses. They received their reward, namely, the praise of men, but bypassed the reward of God. They got what they were looking for!

There is no need to put your spiritual discipline of fasting on display for others to see. John Piper has identified that there is a difference between fasting to be seen and being seen fasting. Fasting is to be done in secret to allow you to pursue God and to deepen your love relationship with Him. When you fast, it is proper to let your family members know so they will understand your reason behind not participating with them during mealtime. Also, they can pray for you specifically during your fast. God will reward what is done in secret.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Way, Spiritual Disciplines.
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June 20th, 2013

Vital Link

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)

Why is prayer so important in the life of a fully devoted follower of Christ? Praying is like flying, when you stop, you drop. Kneeling in prayer keeps you standing. Prayer is the avenue through which we nurture our love relationship with Christ. Prayer is to the believer what water is to a fish, what helium is to a balloon, and what fuel is to a jet engine. Without prayer, there is no power. Without prayer there is no sacred communication with the Creator of the Universe.

Prayer is the currency through which you participate in the economy of God’s kingdom activity. Prayer sensitizes you to the heartbeat of God. Through prayer you come to know the heart of God and you learn to discern the voice of God. Without prayer, you cannot live the life God has for you.

Before you can conduct yourself in a Christian manner, you must become a Christian. Once you become a Christian, your Christian conduct is informed by God’s Word and empowered by God’s Spirit through the vital connection called prayer.

What does your prayer life look like? If the prayers you offered up in the past seven days were transcribed, what would the content be? Would your transcribed prayers be redundant? Would they be filled with passion and compassion?

Prayer is a spiritual discipline that builds your spiritual muscles. Now commit to talk to God about people and talk to people about God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Devotion, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 13th, 2011

Partial Fast

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Dan 10:2-3 (NIV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Spiritual Disciplines.
Interact No Comments
December 12th, 2011

Absolute Fast

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” Esth 4:15-16 (NIV)

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Whenever you are facing a major decision or going through a season of uncertainty, consider inviting a few godly people to fast for you and to seek God on your behalf. Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Will, Spiritual Disciplines.
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