• Amanda Schroeder

Loving Jesus Wholeheartedly Requires This

Jesus expects His followers to fast. In Matthew 6, Jesus made it clear that His followers are to give to the needy, pray, and fast. And it must be done with pure motives. God is always working on our heart. None of us are perfect. We are human. Don’t feel bad if you have never fasted. Learn more about it and try it. Loving Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (God’s definition of success) means that we embrace the ways of God’s kingdom: Give to the needy, pray, and fast. The 1st reason why I am calling us to pray and fast together for 21 days is to return to loving Jesus Christ with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

The prophet Joel called the people of his day to repent and return to God in the midst of their immorality, passivity, and lethargy. He encouraged them to turn back to God wholeheartedly with fasting, weeping, and mourning (Joel 2:12). He gave them hope by reminding them that God was gracious, merciful, abounding in love, and slow to anger. God would relent if they would repent. He warned them of God’s discipline if they continued in their immorality. The choice was theirs.

The Dream that Shaped My Destiny

I tried a faith experiment in 2010 and decided to see what God would do with my heart if I decided to fast food one day a week. I did it because I wanted to know and love Jesus with my whole heart and knew I had a long way to go. The Holy Spirit, in His kindness, gave me a dream the first night I asked for one. I believe that God’s timing of giving me this dream is related to my decision to fast.

In the dream, I saw a CHS student running after 3 evil spirits, following them. The student was dressed in the same black clothes as the spirits. As the demons jumped over a balcony into the depths of hell, the boy was going to follow. I stopped him and passionately said, “You are either for the kingdom of God or against it.” He thought about it and was still going to jump into the abyss. I got down eye-level with him and said, “Jesus loves you so much.” At that point I sensed an evil attack from behind me so I stood up to face it. I put the student behind me, and fire came from my hands and surrounded the student and me. The powerful presence of God protected us. That fire of the Holy Spirit roared around the balcony and revealed that we were in a stadium full of cheering believers.” I woke up at 2:12am.

When I told my friend the dream the next day, the verse that came to his mind was Joel 2:12. It’s the trumpet call - the alarm - to return to God wholeheartedly with fasting, weeping, and mourning. The dream strengthened my faith and my choice to fast. It also affirmed my destiny to release the love and power of Jesus Christ to the next generation.

God also reminded me that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan wants to see our kids deceived and mindlessly slumbering into the depths of despair. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that aligns our hearts with our Heavenly Father’s. He will win the battle for us as we choose to walk in His ways. The cross and grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient. In Christ, we have the fullness of the Spirit and life. I believe that you desire to love Jesus Christ with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Prayer Focuses:

Days 1-7: Praying for Families

Days 8-14: Praying for schools and the education system

Days 15-21: Praying for churches and the city

Let’s humble ourselves and hunger for more of God in our lives and the lives of our children. Return to your first love!

Let’s awaken to action and shift history!

Bryan Schroeder

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