This coming year—2019—is going to be powerful. It's going to be the year of a thousand times more.
Wouldn't you like to have a thousand times more of God's presence in your life and in the lives of your children and grandchildren? How about a thousand times more of God's favor in your church, your business and your home?
I didn't pull that number out of thin air. We find the almighty God promising that very blessing in Deuteronomy 1:11: "May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times more numerous and bless you, just as He has promised you!"
That's what I'm believing for. And I'm believing it for your life. A thousand times more sounds pretty big, but our God is a big God.
At Free Chapel, we start out each new year with a 21-day fast. We do a "Daniel Fast," eating no meat, bread or sugar for 21 days. During this year's fast, we're going to be praying and seeking God's face for a thousand times more of Him than we've ever had in our lives.
Let me share a story with you. I was recently in Israel, and while I was there, I was blessed to see Mount Gilboa. It reminded me of a man in the Bible who started out humble but ended up prideful.
That man was Saul, who became the first king of Israel. He was actually born on Mount Mizpah. In Hebrew, Mizpah means, "to be bent low." Saul started out low. He started out humble, knowing that without God he could do nothing. He felt unworthy to be king and recognized his own insufficiency. Saul knew he needed God's help.
That's the kind of person God can use.
God raised Saul up. God favored Saul, anointed him as king, and gave him great success.
Sadly, the more God prospered Saul, the more Saul's pride grew. God said that when Saul was small in his own eyes, he became the head of the tribes of Israel (see 1 Sam. 15:17). But when he became filled with pride, God could no longer use him.
Saul died on Mount Gilboa. Amazingly, Gilboa is Hebrew for, "to be exalted."
Saul started on Mount Mizpah, being bent low, humble and totally dependent on God. He died on Mount Gilboa, the mountain of pride. They hanged him and his sons on that mountain. He was born on the mountain of humility, but he died on the mountain of pride.
Saul's pride cost him everything.
If we aren't careful, pride can cause us to pay a high price as well. That's why fasting is so important.
When we fast, we humble ourselves before God. We are saying, "God, I need you right now just as much as I ever did. You've given me so much, but I know it's all through your power and not my own."
We must never get to the place where we feel we can do it on our own. We must never feel our gifting, our talent, our education is enough. God uses us when we recognize our dependence on Him. When we become arrogant and prideful, we're setting ourselves up for a fall.
"For he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted," we're told in Matthew 23:12.
One of the greatest results of fasting is that we humble ourselves so God can exalt us.
When we ask for a thousand times more in 2019, we ask it humbly. We ask it in the brokenness and humility of a fast. We ask it while recognizing that everything we are, everything we have, and everything we will ever accomplish is a gift from the hand of God.
Will you join us in a 21-day fast this new year? Will you agree with us in humility and faith that 2019 will be the year of a thousand times more?
Pastor Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church. Each week his television program, "Kingdom Connection," is broadcast on major networks all over the world. A New York Times' best-selling author, Jentezen has written eight books, including his latest, Love Like You've Never Been Hurt.
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