Day 17 – Celebrate!

2020 VISION | Day 17 | Celebrate!

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: 

come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is He that hath made us, 

and not we ourselves; we are his people, 

and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts 

with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations”(Psalm 100, KJV).

In verse three, the Psalmist describes the people of God as “the sheep of his pasture.” A shepherd himself, David knew the unique relationship between a shepherd and his sheep – how the shepherd would lead the sheep to just the right pasture where they could eat and drink. The shepherd cared for his sheep so much that he would do anything – even putting his own life at risk – to save and protect his sheep. How fitting that we would be called “the sheep of his pasture.” But this is no ordinary pasture. And this is certainly no ordinary shepherd. Our shepherd is the LORD – Jehovah – “the existing one.” All that exists in life finds its beginning and its sustenance in him. Our Great Shepherd provides so much more than physical food and water. He provides all that we need for life, vitality, fulfillment, and joy. God provides for both our physical and spiritual needs. By laying down his very life for us, He becomes our pasture whereby we may feed on him and receive eternal life. He is our bread of life (John 6:35) and our living water that never runs dry (John 4:14).When we consider all that God provides for us, our only response is to come before him with thanksgiving and praise, celebrating him for his unfailing love and unending faithfulness.

Prayer: Father, I thank you, and I praise you for all that you have freely given me. Today I celebrate you and your great love, your unwavering faithfulness, and the eternal life that I now have in you. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 16 – Prepared!

2020 VISION | Day 16 | Prepared!

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: 

‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens 

and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 

I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations 

will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ 

says the Lord Almighty”

(Haggai 2:6-7, NIV).

In 1994, Los Angeles experienced a 6.7 magnitude earthquake resulting in 57 deaths and over 8,700 injuries. It did nearly 40 billion dollars in damage and was the worst earthquake in California’s history. It not only changed the lives of countless people, it forever changed the physical landscape of California, and that’s true of any earthquake. God wants to shake our nation for a great revival. He says in verse 7 that “I will shake all nations … and I will  ll this house with glory.” He is telling the Israelites through Haggai that a revival is coming, but for that to happen, there will be some shaking up and it may be uncomfortable. And just like an earthquake, there will be destruction, but He will rebuild stronger. There will be loss, but we will lose those things that hold us back. There will be pain, but pain leads to healing. And, He’s going to do it all just to make room for His glory in us. If you’re like me, you tend to focus on the downside of earthquakes. But if we take a minute to focus on what God wants to do through the shaking – to make room in our lives for His glory – I think we, much like the Israelites, would be more motivated to prepare for the shaking.

Prayer: Father, shake out of me what you don’t want so that I have more room for your presence in my life. When it hurts, comfort me. Help me remember the difference between a temporary hurt and real harm. In You, I will never know harm. When I don’t like it, help me persevere. Help me see that it’s for more of your glory in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Day 15 – Love!

2020 VISION | Day 15 | Love!

“My command is this: 

Love each other as I have loved you.

 Greater love has no one than this: 

to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

You are my friends if you do what I command”

(John 15:12-14).

The lyrics of a famous song tell us, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” In John 15, Jesus commands us to love others even if it means laying down our lives for them. This sounds so honorable, but why do we often struggle at following through with what Jesus told us to do? I think it’s because it’s not as easy as we assume. Sure, it’s natural to love those who look like us, talk like us, vote like us, and believe like us, but what about the people who don’t? Would we lay our lives down for them? Would we stop everything to make sure they know they are loved, or do we often label them as inconveniences? Jesus told us that the greatest love is to lay down our lives for others and then he commanded us to love our enemies. He told us to love everyone, even those that don’t agree with us, those that we quietly label our “enemies.” But what if we changed? What would our community look like today if we all made the conscious decision to love everyone? What if we agreed to stop looking at people as inconveniences and instead searched for moments where we could put our lives to the side and share God’s love with others?

Prayer: Father, help me to never again fail to love another soul any differently than You do. Let my life reflect Your love. Let my purpose be to always remind every person I meet that You love them deeply enough to have given Your only Son. Let me never do less than honor this commitment of love by offering my best for Your glory. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 14 – Sustained!

2020 VISION | Day 14 | Sustained!

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 

to be tempted by the devil. 

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 

The tempter came to him and said, 

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: 

‘Man shall not live on bread alone, 

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’”

(Matthew 4:1-4, NIV).

Just days after Jesus had been affirmed by His Father at baptism, the devil came to Him to tempt Him. He was alone and hungry during a time of fasting for forty days, and the devil tempted him: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” But Jesus responded with the word of God from Deuteronomy 8:3: “Human beings do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Through the years, even from my childhood, I have seen the promise of God to sustain us played out in my life. In my adult life I have walked through divorce, loss of loved ones, and cancer, to name the big ones. Each event was unique and required varying degrees of trust and casting the care on God, but I experienced the miracle of His sustaining grace in every situation. As we enter a time of fasting, the anticipation is enough to get us through the initial moments of hunger, but as the days roll by, the excitement begins to fade into the dull ache of lack and de-sire. Much like our everyday difficulties, it’s easy for our attention to narrow in on our uncomfortable circumstances. In the passage Jesus quotes, however, Moses explains to the Israelites the meaning behind their hunger: everything we think sustains us is in fact only a sign pointing us to the sustaining presence of God that carries us through all of life’s wanderings.

Prayer: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God”(Psalm 42:1-2)?

Day 13- Hungering!

2020 VISION | Day 13 | Hungering!

“For the word of God is alive and active. 

Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates 

even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; 

it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”

(Hebrews 4:12, NIV).

On one of my first visits to another country, our team spent every morning of our stay at a school compound interacting with kids. The school would make an oatmeal-like breakfast for all of the kids, cooked in a large black kettle over an open flame. It looked nasty but was a staple in their culture and something inexpensive to make. The kids seemed to love it and would wait in a long line to get it. To some, it was their only meal of the day.  The Old Testament prophet Amos prophesied about a time of hunger for hearing the words of the Lord. He described people searching desperately for direction but unable to nd it. Some people would even faint as a result.  

“The days are coming when I will send hunger 

through the  land. But people will not be hungry 

for food. They will not be thirsty for water.  

 Instead, they will be hungry to hear a message from me”

(Amos 8:11).

Most of us are hungry to hear God speak when we need an answer or have a problem, but what if we sought a message from God just to hear what He has to say. I know a few people in my life who wake up eager to hear God speak to them, not about personal needs necessarily, but just craving the message of God to leap off the pages of their Bible and bring them clarity, wisdom, and understanding.  

Prayer: Father, we ask for ears to hear Your word when You speak and a passion (hunger) to pursue You. May the words on each page we read change us. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 12 – Longing!

2020 VISION | Day 12 | Longing!

“O God, my God! How I search for you! 

How I thirst for you in this parched and weary land 

where there is no water. How I long to find you! 

How I wish I could go into your sanctuary 

to see your strength and glory, for your love and kindness 

are better to me than life itself. How I praise you! 

I will bless you as long as I live, lifting up my hands 

to you in prayer.  At last I shall be fully satisfied;

 I will praise you with great joy”

(Psalm 63:1-5, LB).

Have you ever been desperate for God to come through? I have. There have been multiple times in my life that I have needed him to intervene on my behalf! More often than not, my cries to God tend to be for what he can do for me, more than for his presence with me. “God! Help! Rescue me!” In Psalm 63 we see one example of the difficulties David faced in his life. David had been running for his life. He was being hunted by Saul. But instead of calling out for rescue, or the comforts of home, he calls out for God’s presence! His soul is thirsty for God himself! Wait, what? Saul is chasing him (again) and trying to kill him (again) and instead of asking for an army of angels to come to his rescue, he cries out to God for his presence and his love? It’s as though David knows something that we don’t. God’s presence; an encounter with the love of God, is better than life? And rescue? And freedom from difficulty?? Being desperate for God to “come through” for us is much different than being desperate for God himself. If we follow David’s example and seek the Father’s presence with us, rather than what he can do for us, we will have what we need no matter the circumstances. 

Prayer: Father, help me to long for You in every part of my life. Remind me that even when I am confused, afraid, or broken, that I am never desperate. Instead I am a favored child of the only God. Help my soul to long only for my God. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 11- Listening!

2020 VISION | Day 11 | Listening!

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. 

No one can snatch them away from Me”

(John 10:27-28, NLT).

“Everyone who listens to me and obeys my instructions 

will be given wisdom and good sense. 

Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, 

and are searching for them as you would for lost money 

or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you 

and knowledge of God himself; you will soon 

learn the importance of reverence for the Lord 

and of trusting Him.”

(Proverbs 2:1-5, LB).

Think back to the time when as a child you first heard about buried, secret treasure or someone striking it rich in the gold rush. There’s something about a treasure hunt that ignites everyone’s imagination — the thought of “it could be me.” What if you could  find the X on the treasure map? Proverbs 2 tells us that we should go after wisdom and the instruction of the Lord with the same enthusiasm as one looking for silver or hidden treasure. When someone is convinced that there is a treasure to be found, it consumes them; they will not stop until it is located. This searching for what God has to say to us is active. It’s accepting His words, storing them up, listening for wisdom, guarding it, and crying out to know what He means.  It’s all active. God wants us to have the feeling of “it could be me” that identifies the treasure of His Word and can recognize His voice. God isn’t trying to hide like lost, buried treasure. He wants us to know His voice and to find Him.

Prayer: “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long”(Psalm 24:4-5).

Day 10 – Satisfied!

2020 VISION | Day 10 | Satisfied!

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. 

He who comes to Me shall never hunger, 

and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”

(John 6:35, NKJV).

At the beginning of his Confessions, Augustine famously declares, “Nevertheless, to praise you is the desire of humanity, a little piece of your creation. You stir humanity to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you” (I.i.). His words resonate with our experience as followers of Christ, and yet, I wonder if there are few things more dangerous to finding our rest— finding “satisfaction”—in Christ than our growing familiarity of Him. We know so much of Him that we neglect to know Him at all. In the course of our lives with Him, Jesus wears many different hats: Christ the career counselor, Christ the problem-solver, Christ the eternal insurance policy, Christ the Sunday morning ritual, Christ the moral guide. These roles are wonderful and speak to Christ’s all-encompassing presence in our lives, but few of them necessitate intimacy. They are the gifts of Christ, accidental to Him, that demand little satisfaction in Him. Fasting, however, deprives us of the shallow soil of meaningless pleasures that we might root ourselves in the ground of divine joy beneath us. We fast that we might feast on the bread of life (John 6:35). God rescues us from the “lovely things” and re-ignites our joy in him. As Augustine testifies, “You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness … I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on  fire to attain the peace which is yours” (X.xxvii).

Prayer: Father, make Your mercy new to me every morning. Let my will die and Your desire for me be the only source I draw from. Use any gift I have for Your purposes alone. Let me discover everything about You that You would have me know and apply that knowledge to my work of building Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Day 9 – Seeking!

2020 VISION | Day 9 | Seeking!

“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”(Luke 19:10, NKJV).

Humans are wired to share what they like. We tell our friends about the clothing stores, music, funny memes, movies, and even restaurants we enjoy. Sometimes we share way too much on social media. We’re like, “Look at my food, accomplishments, cute family, and the fun I’m having! Look at my outfit from this angle, now this angle, now this one, and now be jealous!”  If we like it, we share it. So, why aren’t we sharing Jesus more often? If we believe that God exists, sent his son to die for our sins, rose from the dead to save us from eternal punishment, has made our lives better, and is seeking to save everyone, then it’s time we start talking about Him. Luke 19:10 follows a story in which Jesus made a bee-line to a notorious sinner in the community and invited him to lunch. Jesus showed us what it looks like to seek and to save the lost. Jesus has now left us with a great commission and equipped us with the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses. Ask, and God will show you who he is seeking to save. You don’t have to prove the entire validity of scripture to them from step one. You can start by gently pointing them to the biblical eye-witnesses who saw Jesus die and rise from the dead like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and James. Or, you could respectfully tell them your own eyewitness experience with God. Either way, it’s sharing Jesus! 

Prayer: Father, let my judgement of others die and my will to share the message of Your grace and mercy be the cornerstone of all my interactions. Show me who I can reach with the message of the cross. Give me boldness to reach them and the words to tell them about your love and the free pardon of sin. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 8 – Others!

2020 VISION | Day 8 | Others!

“Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you take away the yoke from your midst,

The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

If you extend your soul to the hungry

And satisfy the afflicted soul,

Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,

And your darkness shall be as the noonday.

The Lord will guide you continually,

And satisfy your soul in drought, 

and strengthen your bones;

You shall be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Those from among you shall build the old waste places;

You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,

The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In”(Isaiah 58:9-12, NKJV).

I usually fast selfishly. Fasting for me typically boils down to a need to see improvement in my life, to feel closer to God, or to get an answer from God on some pressing matter. But this is a self-centered approach. What if I could change to an outward perspective? What if my fasting could benefit others? Isaiah writes of this very thing in our key text. Instead of self-improvement through fasting, Isaiah describes a fast that is about “others-improvement.” Feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, clothing the naked – these are the activities fasting should initiate in us. These are the activities that will change us into agents of light in a dark world. This type of fast will bring self-improvement, but not just for our benefit. Fasting in this way transforms us into conduits of God’s love and mercy to a hurting world. Will you join me in an“others-improvement” fast?

Prayer: Lord, transform me through fasting into an agent of light in this dark world. May fasting initiate in me acts of generosity. May your light in me shine like the noonday sun. In Christ’s Name, Amen!

Day 7 – Balance!

2020 VISION | Day 7 | Balance!

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—

but not everything is good for you. 

And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” 

I must not become a slave to anything”

(I Corinthians 6:12, NLT).

Imagine you’re on a childhood seesaw. To experience the fun purpose of the seesaw you need a partner that shares your near equivalent weight. In other words, you need balance. If your partner is a Falcons lineman, then you’ll likely be suspended in the air and paralyzed. If your partner is a small child, you’ll be left grounded and bored. With balance you can experience the intended pleasure of the seesaw ride. Life and food are like a seesaw. To experience their God intended purpose, you need balance. Food is a wonderful thing! And because Jesus established the law of grace, all food is permissible for us to eat. No longer do we have to follow the dietary restrictions established in the Old Testament. You can eat whatever and whenever you want. However, that does not mean that you should. If you overindulge, you’ll end up out of balance, unhealthy, insecure, and you will have missed God’s good plans for food. The purpose of food and every good thing in this life is to equip us to love and serve God to the best of our ability. The spiritual practice of fasting reminds us that we need balance. Not only in our physical lives with food but in every part of our lives from big stuff like work and money to little areas like giving gifts to our children and social media use. 

Prayer: Father, please allow this fast to balance me out and get me back in line with Your holy purposes and eternal plans. Show me where I’ve overindulged and where I have starved myself. Help me get every area of my life balanced according to Your scale. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 6 – Led!

2020 VISION | Day 6 | Led!

“Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. 

The Devil was ready to give it. 

Jesus prepared for the Test 

by fasting forty days and forty nights”

(Matthew 4:1-2, MB).

In 1995, Oldsmobile introduced the first GPS navigation system in a U.S. produced car. In 2004, Map Quest publicly released its digital directions resource. In 2013, Google purchased Waze, added their social data inputting systems, and drivers gained access to real-time directions. When I think about how receiving directions have changed, I am amazed. I remember asking my parents, stopping at a local gas station, or trying to interpret the ancient Road Atlas. Methods have changed. What hasn’t changed is our dependence on a reliable source. In Matthew 4, Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.” This Holy Spirit leading brought about a painful, but purposeful experience for Jesus. MacArthur Study Bible comments that “God Himself is never the agent of temptation (James 1:13), but here God uses even Satanic tempting to serve His Sovereign purpose.” In Matthew 6, Jesus instructs how to pray and fast. He says things like: “go into your room” (a private place), “close the door” (limit distractions), “pray to your Father” (talk to God), and “do not keep babbling like pagans” (avoid meaningless words).  As it relates to fasting, Jesus encouraged them not to “look somber” or “show others” you were fasting. Instead, we should have a pleasant demeanor and approach it as an authentic time with our Heavenly Father. In the coming days, you may face the temptation to give up on your fast. I encourage you to seek the most reliable source for direction. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak. Trust Him to guide you along this journey.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, please guide me in and through this fast. Help me to put off distractions, authentically connect with you, and trust you along this spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Day 5 – Unleashed!

2020 VISION | Day 5 | Unleashed!

Jesus’ disciples were saying to him, 

“Teacher, please eat something.”

But Jesus told them, “I have food 

that you don’t know anything about.”

His disciples started asking each other, 

“Has someone brought him something to eat?”

Jesus said: “My food is to do what God wants! 

He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work 

that he gave me to do. You may say 

that there are still four months until harvest time. 

But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe 

and ready to harvest”(John 4:31-35, CEV).

On a cold January day in 1981, Ronald Reagan reminded us as a nation that we could overcome our crisis of confidence. He said, “If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much and prospered as no other nation on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. The price of our freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.” Can you imagine during this fast if each of us reached out to God and asked Him to unleash our individual potential in order to serve His kingdom? Reagan talked about energy and its release. As we fast let’s remember that food isn’t the only source of energy for the child of God. Through prayer and by making our relationship with God the priority of our lives we will be fed the gifts of the Spirit directly from the hand of God. The price of our freedom was high as well. As we fast, let’s honor Christ’s willingness to pay that price.

Prayer: Father, I want to be fed from Your hand, sustained from the storehouse of Your blessing, used for Your glory alone in any place You would have me go. Help me seek, always, Your presence as the source of any strength I can ever hope to have. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 4 – Humbled

2020 VISION | Day 4 | Humbled!

“Since you died, as it were, with Christ and this has set you free from following the world’s ideas of how to be saved—

by doing good and obeying various rules—

why do you keep right on following them anyway, 

still bound by such rules as not eating, tasting, 

or even touching certain foods? Such rules are mere 

human teachings, for food was made to be eaten and used up. These rules may seem good, for rules of this kind require 

strong devotion and are humiliating and hard on the body, 

but they have no effect when it comes to conquering 

a person’s evil thoughts and desires”

(Colossians 2:20-23, LB).

Humbleness is something that is often overlooked when it comes to fasting. During a season of fasting, we as Christians are often tempted with the thought of, “If I’m going to fast, I want people to know it.” While talking to his disciples in Matthew 6, Jesus warns us about seeking attention while fasting. Jesus urges us not to make fasting obvious, for that is an action done by hypocrites with ulterior motives. Instead, we should keep our best appearance in front of others. This act of humbleness is pleasing to our God because he sees our heart, and if that heart is focused on him in secret, he will reward us openly. Jesus also warns us about using fasting as a way to be more spiritual than others. It can be tempting to treat fasting as a spiritual competition of sorts, but Jesus urges us not to imitate others in our prayer and fasting. When Jesus fasted, he had the will of the father in his heart. We must not fast to check off a religious box like the Pharisees; instead, we must fast so we can better understand the will of the Lord for our lives. 

Prayer: Lord, I pray that as I seek your will, I will also seek your servant’s heart and humble attitude. I pray that in my weakness and hunger, I can rely on your spirit to sustain me through this season in public and in my secret place. Let your name be praised and let my name draw attention to you alone, my Jesus. Amen!

Day 3 – Purpose

2020 VISION | Day 3 | Purpose!

“Teacher, which is the most important 

commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God 

with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment. 

A second is equally important: 

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

The entire law and all the demands of the prophets 

are based on these two commandments”

(Matthew 22:36-40, NLT).

One of my favorite authors once wrote, “Figure out what you’d give your life for, and you’ll know what to give your time to.” Throughout my life, God has often used someone else’s words, pictures, and even nature to speak to me. One day, He used one sentence from a newly purchased book to start a conversation and to shake something inside of me. God is shaking within me a greater capacity to love other people. I always thought that I did a good job of that, but this whole time I was missing the higher purpose behind it – to lift up the name of Jesus more and more. We all have something within us that longs to be awakened. But that is only the first step. Like with anything in life, if it’s not used to love Jesus more, it will ultimately feel unsatisfying. If you’ve ever taken Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course, you know that every dollar of your budget has a purpose. I think the same is true with our actions and words. How much better would life be if we redirected each area of our life to the glory of God? There is no easier place to start than our own house. Are we serving to our fullest capacity? Are we loving others with the higher purpose in mind?

Prayer: Father, let everything I do bring you glory. Help me to love, serve, and give with greater potential. Help me to become more like Jesus in everything I do. Let me not lose sight of our higher purpose of bringing you glory. In Christ’s name, Amen!

Day 2 – Breakthrough!

2020 VISION | Day 2 | Breakthrough!

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,

And every tongue which rises against you in judgment

You shall condemn.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

And their righteousness is from Me,

Says the Lord”(Isaiah 54:17, NKJV).

A breakthrough is a beautiful thing. God specializes in them. He stands by with everything we need to become the person He created us to be. Change is good; breakthroughs are beyond description. When you encounter your God – in His wisdom, His mercy, His love, and His delight in you – you will know the difference between a course correction and a breakthrough. In 1917, a young man named Martin Treptow left his job in a small-town barbershop to go to France and fight for our freedom. Treptow was killed while carrying a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. On his body there was a diary. On the flyleaf, under the heading “My Pledge” he had written these words: America must win this war. Therefore, I will fight, I will sacrifice, I will endure until the bitter end, as if the outcome of the whole struggle depends only on me.” We can breakthrough any barrier when we write our commitment to God on our hearts with the same urgency and sense of mission that Treptow showed. God will lead us across any rough waters and we will rest in His will, His mercy, and His power.

Prayer: Lord, I want a breakthrough in my life, my family, my church, my community, and my world. I believe You will show me the way to a river of mercy that I can swim in from this moment until the moment I reach heaven. I give you my past, my present, and my future. Fill me with the Holy Spirit’s gifts and show me the battlefield where you want me to use them to draw every soul to a relationship with you, through your son Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen!

Day 1 – Finished!

2020 VISION | Day 1 | Finished!

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, 

for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. 

There we will receive his mercy, 

and we will find grace to help us when we need it most”

(Hebrew 4:15-16, NLT).

It may seem strange that we are starting this fast with “It is Finished.” That is exactly what we need to do. The scripture you’ve just read is precisely the affirmation we all need in order to achieve a breakthrough moment with our merciful God. As we fast and pray let’s let go of anything that keeps us from the intimacy that God offers us. Let us come boldly before our God who knows absolutely everything about us and give Him anything that has kept us from constant communion with Him. I remember a Wednesday night service as we were singing the song, “Let the Veil Down, let the Praise Go Up” I was led by the Holy Spirit to have those in the altar say out loud, “IT IS FINISHED!” Two days later a young man in our church came to my office and said, “I want you to know what happened to me Wednesday night. When I spoke the words, ‘It is finished’ I felt the chains of bondage and hatred fly from me.” This young man was able to overcome an addiction and give forgiveness to someone who had hurt him deeply. He did not overcome these serious problems with his own power; he marched boldly into the throne room of God and found God’s help when he needed it the most. You can too! Say out loud, “IT IS FINISHED” and let’s get started on this journey.

Prayer: Father, there are things that have kept me from You. I want Your presence in every part of my life. Let me be finished with everything that keeps me far away from you. Through the blood of Christ let my past problems, regrets, sins, habits, hurts, and anger flee. Let them all be replaced with the beautiful gifts you plan for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

20/20 Vision


Our fast begins with the acknowledgment of who God is: He is our creator, sustainer, greatest love, and the most critical relationship in our life. There is no other who can come between God and us if we are to claim the fullness of our heritage as sons and daughters of God. Through the blood of His Son, and because of His free offer of salvation, we are directly connected to the source of the universe. As a soul, crafted by His hands, made in His image for His delight, and convicted to turn our hearts toward Him, God honors our time of fasting. He wants us to talk to Him – about everything – all the time. When we give God our undivided attention, He fills us with His Holy Spirit. Micah 3:8 says, “But as for me, I am filled with power, by the spirit of the Lord.” That power, from God, will sustain us as we fast. During this season of fasting, I want to challenge you to lay aside not just the foods; include the many other things that can distract us from spending real time talking to – and listening for – God. You’ll be filled with joy with what you discover. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, go somewhere you can sit alone, and open your heart to God. Look, He already knows it all, so why put off talking it through with Him? God will answer your prayers.   As we fast and pray, God will make provision for tough times, give you power over temptation, and bind up any wound you will give Him.

God also wants us to do what Christ told us as He was preparing to go to heaven: tell the whole world about the miracle of redemption and love everybody without ceasing. We are called to be witnesses of mercy, forgiveness, righteousness, joy, and abundance, because we trust God. Others must see in us love and the heart of a servant if they are to know what a relationship with Christ looks like. As we fast, commit to praying not just for ourselves, our church, and our family, but pray for God to use us as joyful ambassadors of Christ. Think of what Daniel was doing when he fasted. He was a man who used his influence on other cultures and became a towering figure of our faith because, while he treated those he encountered with mercy, Daniel trusted only in his God. That’s our God too. Let’s not focus on what we are giving up, but on the gain we can make for the Kingdom of God. Let’s start. God will provide, we will pray, and a new sense of purpose will be revealed within us.

Reason for Fasting

Fasting is a process for developing a deeper relationship with God by temporarily denying oneself something to better focus on Him(II Chronicles 20:3, Ezra 8:21, Matthew 6:16-18, Mathew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14). Jesus never said, “If you fast” – He said “When you fast…”(Matthew 6:17). I feel that everyone should be involved. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God that we are passionate about a closer relationship with Him. It is not intended to punish our flesh or to serve as a dieting method for losing weight. Fasting is a spiritual practice exercised for the sole purpose of deepening our walk with God and discovering the steps He wants us to take.

Types of Fasts

Abstaining from food for a time is the most recognized fast in the Bible. There are a variety of food fasts. For instance, the Complete Fast excludes all foods and includes only liquids such as water and juices; the Daniel Fast or Selective Fast excludes meat, sweets, and bread, but includes water, juices, fruits and vegetables (Daniel 10:2-3); the Partial Fast or Jewish Fast is abstaining from any type of food during a certain period of the day like 6 am to 3 pm, or from sunup to sundown. 

You may also feel the need to refocus certain areas of life that are out of balance. For instance, you may choose to stop using social media or watching television during the fasting period. Once the fast concludes, you may want to gradually reintroduce it back into your life in a healthier way. This is often called a Soul Fast and is highly effective in combination with fasting food. Ultimately, the type of fast you choose is between you and God.  

Prayer and Fasting 

Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Prayer is our most common way to spend time with God, and since fasting is primarily about drawing closer to Him, it only makes sense that we would pray during the fasting period. As we pray to know God better, we can believe Him for special needs to be met, questions to be answered, decisions to be made, and healings to occur.

At CCC, our 21-day fast is to believe God for…

  • Victory in all of our lives through every bondage being broken and every hindrance put behind us. 
  • Vision to be clarified in individual lives and in the church so we can accomplish all that God has for us.
  • Validation of our ministry through a greater number of salvations, healing, and members added to the church.
  • Visitation of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, our church, our worship services, our country, and in our witness to this community and the world.          
  • Vigilant attention to unity among every member of  the body of Christ. God says that where He finds unity He will command His blessings.              Psalm 133:1

We pray that this 21-day devotional will guide you in this endeavor. As we prepare to receive 2020 VISION this year, let’s go deeper in God, let’s believe God, let’s be led by God, and let’s watch God work in our lives and church.