PRAYER AND FASTING: DR MENSA OTABIL – SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE, 26TH JUNE, 2022.

SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE BY DR. MENSA OTABIL (GENERAL OVERSEER INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH (ICGC) CHRIST TEMPLE, ACCRA GHANA)

TOPIC: PRAYER AND FASTING.

DATE: 26TH JUNE, 2022

TEXT: LEVITICUS 20:25-26

Let’s rise up together as we take our DECLARATION OF INCREASE in this Year of Increase:

Are you ready? Say with me:

I confess today that Jesus Christ is my LORD and Saviour. In Him I have life, His Abundant Life.

The Lord is my Light and Strength. As He is, so has He made me. By His Spirit I Increase in Word and in Wisdom. In Faith and in Favour.

The Lord has said: “In Blessing, I will bless you. In multiplying I will Multiply your Seed.”

So, I can boldly say: My God shall Increase me more and more. What I Place in God’s Hands grows into Overflow.

Though I begin small, my end shall Greatly Increase.

In this Year of Increase, I grow in Grace and in Strength. To be all that God wants me to be.

In Jesus’ Name – AMEN!

I am teaching briefly today on Prayer and Fasting.

Leviticus 20:25-26:

25 You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

26 And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

… You see the word ‘separated’ occuring a few times in this Passage.

God wanted His People Israel, to live a ‘Separated Life”. And the reason why He gave them the Laws, the Rules and all those things that He told them to do was so that they can live a “Separated Life”.

And when we say that God wants us to live a “Separated Life”, God wants us to be Separated from something; but that is not all. He also wants us to be Separated unto something.

So He separates us from; and separates us to.

And you find in the Old Testament that God asked the People to separate everything that is blemished – That is not Whole; everything that is not Perfect.

In the Old Testament you find a lot of Laws. And sometimes you wonder, why all these Laws? What’s the Purpose of it?

It is because the Laws basically, is to remind Israel that they are different from other Nations. That they are separated and they are Whole, they are Perfect unto the Lord. Or they are supposed to be Perfect unto the Lord.

In Israel the Lord would say: An animal that has any Imperfection could not be sacrificed to God. And so, if any Part of the body was missing, you can’t give it to God. An animal that had spot could not be given to God.

So, if its colour was White, it must be White throughout. If there is one spot, and spoils the White; it can’t be offered to God.

If it is brown, it must be brown throughout. If there is one spot of white, it is blemished.

If it is black, it must be black throughout. If there is one spot, it is blemished.

And the reason is, God wanted to remind them, “I want you to be Holy.” I don’t want mixtures. I don’t want imperfections, I don’t want spots.

And so anytime they make a sacrifice, they are reminding themselves, “God wants us to be Holy.”

Anytime they gave an animal to the Lord, they are telling themselves, “God wants us to be Holy.”

And that is true of God – He wants us to be Holy. He doesn’t want us to come before Him with blemishes.

But you know, it’s very difficult to come before God without a blemish. It’s very difficult!

Because all of us know, each one of us is blemished. Each one of us has an Imperfection; each one of us has a spot.

And here God wants us to be Holy, He wants us to be without blemish. And we look at ourselves, we say, “Oh boy! I am blemished big time!”

So what do we do when we find that we don’t match up; we don’t meet God’s Standards – We are not there. Even when we try our best, we are not there. What do we do?

How does God still use us when we look at ourselves and we see that we are not Perfect, we have spots, we have wrinkles?

Will God use us? Can God use us? Can God bless us? Does He want us to be so Perfect before He blesses us?

Now, we are going to read another Passage of Scripture. And what we are going to read characterises the way most People who were called by God in the Bible – That when God called People to do something, the People would give excuses to God: “God, I am not Perfect, I am not Good enough.”

I. Moses said, “Lord, I can’t even speak.”

II. Gideon said, “Lord, I am the least of my father’s house. I am just a “Fearful Timid Guy”.”

Almost all the People God called to use were aware of their imperfections. Rarely will you find anybody.

Infact, there was Nobody in the Bible that God called that said, “Hurray! I’m qualified.”

Nobody felt that way!

Everybody felt Imperfect, everybody felt there was something wrong with them.

And there is this Young man that God called, he felt the same way. And in Jeremiah 1:4-8 God start Speaking to him:

4 Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying:

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I Ordained you a Prophet to the Nations.”

I mean, that’s Good News! Isn’t that Good News?, God comes to you and say: Hey, before you were born I knew you, I Ordained you, I called you as a Prophet. I mean, the Person should be able to say, hurray!

But Jeremiah didn’t say hurray! Because when God wants to do great things for you; you are still aware of your Imperfections.

So, listen to what Jeremiah said:

6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

… I am Imperfect, I am blemished.

Because in Israel, even for a sacrifice to be accepted by God, it has to be Full Age – Of a certain Age. For a Person to serve in the Priesthood, they have to be of a certain Age.

So, Jeremiah says: By Age, I don’t qualify. And by experience, I don’t even know how to speak.

Probably he is saying: I am timid, I am afraid of People.

… Because if you look at what God said to him later;

7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a Youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

So it means that Jeremiah is one of those People who sees People’s faces and tells them what they have to hear based on their face.

He is the kind of Person who sees somebody and says, “I’m going to tell him the truth.” When he sees the Person with a fixed gaze he says, “Oh, you are Wonderful!”

He says, God this is the kind of Person that I am. I am not correct; I am Young and I don’t fit in. I am blemished, I am not Perfect.

And many of us feel that we are not Perfect. We know what God wants us to do, but we feel that we are not Perfect.

… And some of you are like Jeremiah!

9 Then the Lord put forth His Hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

10 See, I have this day set you over the Nations and over the Kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

WHAT DID GOD DO FOR JEREMIAH?

He says, Lord, I am not worthy! Lord, I am a sinner, I am a bad boy. Because when you are a bad boy, you know you are a bad boy.

And some of you listening to me now or reading now on the Label of DMC, you all know you are bad boys. And some of you are very, very bad girls.

And that’s why some People are afraid of the Power of God because they know they are bad. They say, “if I get too close, God will mess me up!”

So Jeremiah is saying Lord, I don’t qualify!

And I like what the Bible says God did:

  1. God stretched out His Hand to him.

God says, I qualify you. By yourself you are nothing! But my hand will make the difference.

The Hand of the Lord is called the “Grace of God”.

We Stand before God through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him we have no merit to Stand before God. But with His Grace we can stand, covered by the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

… And not only did God stretch out His Hand towards Jeremiah;

  1. God touched his mouth – God touched his Imperfection.

And He says, now I have fixed the Problem. So, go out and do My work.

When we talk about Consecration and Sanctification, we are not talking about Personal Perfection. We are not talking about you being so Good that you qualify because of your Goodness.

When we say we are Sanctified, we are saying, God is so Good, that He has qualified me by His Goodness.

But you know what Jeremiah did before the Hand of the Lord was stretched out to him?

… He acknowledged his Imperfection – He didn’t hid it.

And these People who hid their Imperfections; they live a very Hypocritical Life. They come to Church, they are the Perfect People; everything is Cool with them. They sing and dance.

But they know that they are not Living for the Lord! And instead of them confessing, they say “Ah Lord God, I don’t qualified.” “Ah Lord God, I am a mess.”

“Instead of acknowledging they have sinned, they want to force their way through. Thinking that God is a Man, who can be deceived.

So this Morning, we want to Pray. And we want to be like Jeremiah – There is a Purpose of God for your Life; there is an Assignment of God for you; there is something God wants to do with you!

We are not here by accident; we are here by Assignment.

And many of us are Living way below where God wants us to be:

I. Have you ever felt that your Life is not where it ought to be?

You feel there is something bigger you should be doing than what you are doing now; something Greater that you should be doing and sometimes it may not be a sin (like Jeremiah).

It’s not a sin! It’s just an Inadequacy. You can’t speak, you are careful, you can’t Plan. There’s something you can’t do. There’s a Character flaw. And that is keeping you from your Assignment.

So, God says, I knew you before you were born, I Ordained you, I sanctified you even before you caught your first breath!

Yet you say Lord, I don’t qualify. And God says, if you acknowledge your Weakness, I will be your Strength.

The Apostle Paul puts it this way – I rejoice in my infirmities;

And He said to me, “My Grace is Sufficient for you, for My Strength is made Perfect in Weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the Power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take Pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in Needs, in Persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am Strong – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God wants to do something with your Life, where you can say: This is not me. Because on my own, I could never have done this.

But this is the Hand of the Lord that had been stretched towards me. This is the finger of the Lord that has touched my Infirmity and Perfected me in Christ.

And this morning, as we sanctify ourselves, before the Lord, we want to Pray that:

I. Everything that is wrong in our lives will be nailed to the Cross.

II. That everything that is right from the Cross would be brought to us.

Let’s rise up, as we come before the Lord and seek His face and as we Pray.

If you have a blemish why don’t you talk to the Lord about it?

It may not even be a sin; it could be a sin, it could be habit, it could be something you are doing right now.

Something you do constantly that is going against you: It could be just a flaw. It could be an inherited Weakness. It could just be a Qisqualification.

Whatever it is, just lift your hands and say: Lord, I know I am this, I know I cannot do that, I know this Weakness Lord. And I Present it to you.

Just talk to the Lord!

It could be a Weakness you inherited from your father or your mother. It could be a habit in your family. It could be just a Limitation – Maybe you are timid, a Fearful Person, you are not Courageous; you are Indecisive; you can’t make Decisions, or you make Bad Decisions all the time.

But God still says, I have Purpose for you – All you have to do is to acknowledge it.

Talk to Him about it.

As Jeremiah talked to God about his Weaknesses, the Hand of the Lord was Stretched to him.

I believe this morning, God is Stretching His Hands to you. He is giving you Strength. His Grace is becoming your Sufficiency. He is becoming your Help.

Receive Help from the Lord; receive the Grace of God; receive Forgiveness of sin.

Receive Deliverance from your fears; Receive Deliverance from Timidity; Receive Deliverance for every Weakness of your Character that makes you go back, doing the same thing over and over again.

This morning we Proclaim Liberty from everything that holds us back.

Just ask the Lord and say: Lord, touch me with Your Hand, touch me with Your Grace, touch me with Your
Mercy, touch me with Your Love, touch me with Your Holy Spirit, touch me with Your Power.

Touch my Inner Man, my Inner Person. Touch my Mind, touch my eyes, touch my brain, my thoughts Lord – Touch my thoughts. Touch my words, my fears, my worries, my anxieties.

The Hand of the Lord touched Jeremiah.

The same Hand of the Lord is touching you this morning. The Lord is your Deliverer, the Lord is your Help, the Lord is our Help!

Of ourselves we can do Nothing. But with Him we can do all things. All things are Possible in Christ Jesus. Thank You Lord!

And after God touched Jeremiah, He said go, I have sent you.

This morning, I want you to receive God’s Commission over your Life – God’s Assignment.

You are God’s Commissioner. You are God’s Battle Axe. You are a Tool in His Hand.

Just say Lord, use me for Your Glory. Everything Lord, that You want me to be, use me to be it. I will not cut myself short, I will not settle for Nothing, I will not settle for the Lowest. I reach to the Highest of God.

CLOSING PRAYER.

In the Name of Jesus: Everything that has been a hindrance to you, everything that has held you back, everything that has made you doubt yourself – This morning, be free from it!

Habits: you inherit it and cultivate it. Habits that make you feel Unworthy and condemned, be free from it, in the Name of Jesus!

Everything that has imprisoned your Mind, and held your Mind under Bondage, so you cannot think as God wants you to think; be Free from it, in the Name of Jesus!

Every Power that has dominated you and Influenced your Actions, influenced your behaviour, be free from it, in the Name of Jesus!

Every Spiritual Dominion over your Life that is not of God, every Spiritual Power that influences your Action that is not of God, be Free from it, in the Name of Jesus!

And now, lift up your hands and begin to Thank God for your Freedom.

Oh yes, we are Free!

Whoever the Son sets Free, is Free indeed!

Begin to celebrate your Freedom in the Lord!

Thank you so much for staying all through to read.

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© DISCOVERY MEDIA CREW (DMC) 2022

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