Well, here we are at day 20, the halfway point. At the beginning of the fast, it may have seemed impossible to fast The 40, but here we are halfway to completing our commitment. If you have been here from day 1, congratulations. If you jumped in some time along the way, good job. If you fell and messed up, no problem. Let’s get up and continue on together in God’s great grace and mercy. We have the eternal reward of seeing Jesus in a special way today. Let’s run this race to receive the prize!
Today, is a special day that we remember and mark as a memorial. We see it as an encouragement to continue, but it is an important spiritual marker as well. God looks on and remembers all the special times we give to seek Him in a special way. If God is truly “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”, then special times of seeking Him will receive a special reward. I am sure we would all like to see some scripture backing up this encouragement. For this, let us look at Acts 10.
This chapter is pivotal for Acts and especially for us as Gentiles. Until this point, we have seen the apostles going out and ministering to God’s children in Israel only. At this moment, God changes the mind of the apostles to include all people everywhere in the preaching of the good news. God was opening the door for them to go out and preach the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. To do this, God needed someone that was seeking Him. Someone who was doing something special in The Kingdom. He needed Cornelius.
Acts 10:1-2 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
Cornelius was a well-respected Roman leader who was known for fearing God, giving and praying always. Here was a Gentile seeking God. He had built a reputation as one who would seek God in a special way, so apparently, he had been doing this for years. We find out later in the chapter, that not only was he seeking God, giving generously, and praying continually, he was also fasting.
Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
Cornelius, a non-Jewish person, had built a lifestyle of seeking God in a special way. Here was a man that God could use to bring about the most radical change in The Kingdom since Holy Spirit fell in Acts 2.
Acts 10:3-4 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
What does this verse say? Cornelius’ fasting, prayer, and giving went up as a memorial before The Lord. The eyes of The Lord were looking for someone who was seeking Him to change the very course of history for the rest of eternity. Unknowingly, Cornelius had built a huge neon sign in the spiritual realm that said, “Here I am, use me!” God did not have to look far or hard to see the great memorial that had been built up for years by this man that had no real guarantee of receiving anything for any of these things he did. His desire and intention was to seek God and bless His people. God sees the memorial and says, “Here is a man I can use.”
Cornelius obeys the instructions above and beyond what the angel speaks, it seems even better than Peter. A reluctant Peter comes and cannot even finish a proper sermon before the hunger and expectation in the people that Cornelius had gathered together was rewarded with the outpouring of The Spirit.
How long did Cornelius cry out, “Here I am use me”?
How many years of continuous prayer, fasting, and giving were being built up before the time was right for God to move in a mighty way?
How much time did he spend in the secret place not seeming to receive anything?
Was Cornelius fasting and praying somewhere while the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the upper room?
How big was the memorial that was built up before God?
On that day, when Holy Spirit fell on him and all the people he had gathered together in obedience to the word, it was all worth it. He would not have traded one shekel, one meal, one hour that went into the building of this memorial in The Kingdom. At this point, his spirit was crying out more than ever, “Here I am use me!”
This is my encouragement for you. No matter how you may have struggled during the first 20 days, Jesus is worth it. The memorial being built in your life is greater than you could imagine. How many have been willing to go The 40 that God might look on the earth and see these memorials all over the earth saying, “Here I am use me!”? This is who I want to be. I want to be used for The Kingdom. I want to be a laborer in the harvest. I want to be the most useful instrument in The Kingdom. If there is no one else willing to do the dirty work, may my sign continue to say, “Here I am, use me!!!” I know this is your heart as well.
What can God do with a community of people who say “Here I am use me” with their lips and their lifestyle?
Jesus, give me the strength of spirit and resolve to continue throughout the rest of The 40 and beyond in a memorial building lifestyle. I desire to be the one whose lips and lifestyle loudly proclaim, “Here I am use me!”
- Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you to continue in your daily commitment
- Continue to pray “Here I am use me” with your lips
- Become increasingly obedient in your day to day life in all Holy Spirit reveals
Be blessed to receive revelation of the memorial you have created by recognizing the answered prayers and receiving the promises of God in an increasing measure. May you be used mightily for The Kingdom as your heart and character line up with The King’s!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!