Day Twenty-One

Daily Directive

We have arrived at the last day of this 21-day journey. Let me first review where you have been and what Jesus has been accomplishing in your life.

Humbling your heart to:

1. Set aside time to really engage in a spiritual fast by developing a journaling habit.
2. Become more concerned about your water consumption than food consumption.
3. Exclude junk food and sugar from your diet to increase your ability to concentrate.
4. Quit complaining and develop a fresh habit of giving thanks.
5. Learn how to write and pray a life-changing decree, a "Thy Kingdom come" kind of prayer.
6. Abstain from food for a meal a day or a meal on some days to spend more time with Jesus.
7. Practice a "Daniel Fast" of eating only fruits and vegetables to be more alert to Christ.
8. Listen more carefully to Jesus’ speaking to you from His Word by completing the phrase “Jesus, You love me so much that You …”  
9. Confess sins and repent.
10. Engage in a media fast to more fully grasp the voice of Jesus.
11. Learn to forgive others.
12. Personally serve others.
13. Learn how you should personally keep the Sabbath.
14. Daily pray prophetic "Thy Kingdom come" prayers.
15. Grieve over any separation that may exist in your relationship with God, caused by sin, and seek intimacy with Him.
16. Do an inventory of what might be ultimate over God in your life.

It is my prayer that these activities you’ve participated in will build some habits in your life, as you establish a RESET of living and thriving more than ever in the presence of Christ.

Two tensions in my life fight for attention. One is the Holy Spirit, Who is spontaneous, alive, passionate, and moving toward hurt and need at break-neck speed. He is absolutely committed to the Word of God. He breathed into the writers of the Scripture, but at the same time, the way He loves us and comforts us makes Him seem so reckless.

The other tension is Jesus, the very Word of God. The Father determined to reveal Himself through His Word, and Jesus is the perfect expression of His Word. So the tension between my absolute devotion to God's unchanging Word and the absolute devotion to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit's grace is real. The Word never changes, and at the same time, the Holy Spirit is constantly pouring out mercy and grace. The Word calls me to live by faith as the Holy Spirit lavishes grace and mercy upon me.

This is what I have discovered: the Word of God and the Spirit of God meet in worship.

Daily Scripture

Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16 CSB

And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ... Ephesians 5:18-20 CSB

Daily Commentary

I want to capture two simple thoughts from these two verses. First, God's Word fills our hearts as we fill our mouths with worship. Worship actually admonishes and teaches us not to walk by sight but by faith. Worship magnifies Christ and beautifies His Word in majestic ways. Song moves our hearts closer to the reality of being in a greater dimension of awe. Worship magnifies the majesty of God above the mundane of now-life. Worship is the greatest gift we have been given by God, empowering us to sense in our beings someone transcendent.

Just as humans have perverted sex, so we have songs. Just because we have perverted sex does not mean it is not an amazing gift from God when engaged in according to His will. Same way with song—just because it has been used in the worship of other things or persons does not mean, in its proper use, it cannot be a gift to help us enjoy transcendent moments with Christ. In worship, God allows us to transcend this world and encounter a life-changing experience with His Word.

Second, as we worship, using His Word as our songbook, our lyric chart, our worship resource, we fill with the Holy Spirit. So in worship two tensions come together and resolve. In worship we richly fill with God's Word. In worship we richly fill with the Holy Spirit. In worship Jesus captures us and conveys us to the eternal space of His Holy Spirit and the now-voicing of His Word. His Spirit and His Word meet perfectly in full-hearted and full-throated worship. We are transformed as our mouth—all out, all in—sings God's Word under the unction of Holy Spirit passion.

"I AM doing this in you," meets with, "I AM empowering you to do it," as we worship.

Daily Decision

Go for it. No holding back—all in. No looking back. Hands in the air, tears on the cheek, heart beating wildly, tongue in full motion, lungs emptied in exaltation, and joy brimming over the soul—worship.  

Sing, man, sing; or if you're a lady, sing, lady, sing. Today I crack open the jar. I let it go. I get lost in the spell of Jesus' words and Jesus' Spirit. I don't attend some sing-a-long. I don't sit in the stands and spectate worship as a sporting event. I am not video-clicking some concert, not tapping my foot as my earbuds give me pure digital perfection.

I engage, all in. Feelings will not be my compass—only His Word and the present power of His Holy Spirit, Who fills my life as I sing.  

Not even death will shut my mouth, for I will break into glory with foot-stomping, body-whirling, hand-clapping, can’t-keep-my-heart-and-my-tongue-from-shouting, “Praise Jesus the King!”  

Come on, let go. Give in. Say "Yes!" to Jesus. Give Him praise!

Daily Journal Thoughts

On your "Prayer and Fasting Commitments” page, write down the date.

Next, write your commitment, which might look something like this: "By Your grace, Jesus, I'm in, all in. I am set to worship You.”

Then, go to your "Daily Journal," and write the date at the top of the page. The final day—way to go.

You're all in now. You have made the decision: "I will worship. It will not be based on my feelings, but it will be focused on Christ, His Word, and His Holy Spirit." You will worship Him as He deserves, not with mere feelings and with what you think you see and know.

For a few moments you might want to write down some thoughts and especially Scriptures on why it is Jesus you treasure above all treasures. Fill a page with reasons Jesus is so worthy of your worship. These very words will become to you a "new song."

Finished

You are finishing your fast. You have fasted not to twist God's arm but to draw close. If you are reading this last paragraph, I am weeping with joy. It is not that this book is such a great book—I have no illusions—but Jesus is an awesome King. If you have finished, you have done so because the Holy Spirit has been empowering you to get closer to Jesus. I am overjoyed. My life is so full. I am more excited than you will ever know. You are a person who is serious about following Christ and enjoying an amazing life and journey.

If you have some time, I would love to receive just one paragraph from you, letting me know the difference Jesus has made in your life from the last twenty-one days of your journey. Email me at jess@thisishope.com.

Blessings.