DAY 5: LORD, HELP ME BE OBEDIENT – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS

PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,” – Matthew 1:24 ESV

DEVOTION

What made Joseph–Jesus’ earthly adopted dad–a great man of faith? The two words that come to mind are: “He did.” On several different occasions when Joseph is mentioned in the Bible his name is proceeded by an act of obedience.

“He did.” (Matt. 1:24)
“He took.” (Matt. 2:21)
“He rose.” (Matt. 2:24)

 Joseph was a man of obedience. Perhaps, that’s why Jesus selected him to have the tremendous honor of raising Him. Obedience is key. In fact, Jesus calls out the individuals who call Him Lord by name, but don’t have the obedience to match. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46 ESV)

Today is a great day to be obedient to whatever He is calling you to do. Remember, He promises to be with you along this journey (Matthew 28:20) and with Him, what can’t you do? Paul emphatically declares: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) If you’re struggling to obey today, you can ask the Holy Spirit to help for He promises to helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26)

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,” – John 14:15–16 ESV

PRAYER

Lord, I need Your help today. Help me to hear Your voice clearly. And empower me to follow Your voice exactly. Help me not to swerve to the right or the left. Keep my foot away from evil. Lead me not into temptation. And protect me through it. I want to be obedient, even when it’s costly. And in the times when I don’t have that desire, do a work in me. Change my heart and renew my mind. Help to walk in obedience today! In Jesus name, amen

FITNESS

DAY 4: LORD, HELP ME TO KNOW YOU’RE NEAR – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS

PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” – Matthew 1:23 ESV

DEVOTION

One of the greatest nicknames Jesus carries is the name “Immanuel”, meaning, “God with us.” Think about that for a second. God is not just in heaven. Not just in the past. Not just in the future. But, presently with us RIGHT NOW. God is closer than you may realize. And not only is He close, but He’s with us. (Romans 8:28) How marvelous is it, that the God of all creation and the Savior of the world, would know our names and desire a relationship with us? Let that good news encourage your soul today.

This reminder was given to Moses in Exodus 3, as the Lord spoke to him out of a burning bush, declaring: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:15) Notice God doesn’t go by “I was”, but rather “I AM.” He’s present. He’s here and now. He’s near.

The great confidence we need to face the challenges of today is found in the reality that God is with us. As Charles Spurgeon so eloquently preached: “God with us… is the laborers strength, is the sufferer’s comfort, is the balm of his woe, the alleviation of his misery, is the sleep that God gives to His beloved, is the rest after exertion and toil.” It must’ve greatly encouraged Mary and Joseph to know that even in the chaos of their assignment, God was with them through it all. Be encouraged as He is with you today, too!

18 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18 ESV

PRAYER

Lord, thank You today for being with me. You don’t have to be, yet, You choose to be. I acknowledge Your presence and nearness in my life. I need it and I want it. I need You, Father. Please help me to walk step by step today aware of Your closeness. Help me when I drift, to draw back to the reality that You haven’t moved. That You’re still here. And You’re still the same.

 Thank You, Lord, for Your presence. Let’s walk this out together. In Jesus name, amen!

FITNESS

DAY 3: LORD, HELP ME WITH MY SIN PROBLEM – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS

PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21 ESV

DEVOTION

One thing every human being has in common is that we all share a similar problem–the sin problem.

Sin, by definition, is missing God’s mark for our lives.[1] The Apostle Paul brings clarity to what this mark looks like in Romans 3:23, writing: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23 ESV) The gloomy reality is that at one point or another we have all failed to give God the glory He is due, as a result we have sinned against our holy and righteous Creator. We take up after our ancestors Adam and Eve who ushered sin into the world at the beginning of creation. (Romans 5:12-14)

Paul goes onto remind us of further bad news. Our sin comes with a debt payment. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23 ESV) God owes each of us a justified wage for our sins and that wage is death.

BUT GOD.

The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that instead of God giving us what we deserve – eternal death apart from His presence – He gives us His Son. This baby born in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem would be the One who would go up on a cross to save us from our sin problem and pay our ransom. Jesus would not only die for our sins, but He would rise from the grave confirming His triumph over sin and death. When we put our faith in Him, His victory becomes ours and His righteousness is transferred to our account. (Romans 5:21) Praise God for the Son of God who saves us from our sin!

4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…” – Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV

PRAYER

Lord, today I acknowledge that I have a sin problem. My sin separates me from You and it’s costly. If I let it, it will rob me of my joy, tamper with my purpose, and strip away my peace. I don’t want that. I want to walk in You. I want to walk in victory over sin. I need Your help to do that and I ask You to empower me by your Spirit and grace to say no sin and yes to righteousness.

Spirit lead me when I feel tempted to sin. Remind me that You’re better. In Jesus name, amen!

FITNESS

DAY 2: LORD, HELP ME WITH MY FEAR – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS

PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

“But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 1:20 ESV

DEVOTION

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes?” I want to give you a friendly challenge today to put yourself in Joseph’s sandals for a moment.

His fiancé, Mary, had just told him that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit and that she was carrying the Son of God in her womb. Joseph, in his utter state of panic and fear, resolved to divorce her quietly. His mind was made up until an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and spoke these words: “Joseph, son of David, do not fear…” (Matt. 1:20a ESV)

These 3 words: “do not fear”, can change a person’s life. They surely did for Joseph. And, not only did he need this reminder, but Mary did too! In Luke 1:30, we read: “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary…” (Luke 1:30a ESV) Shortly before this, an angel appeared to Mary’s relatives Zechariah and Elizabeth again proclaiming: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard…” (Luke 1:13 ESV) And I could give you several more accounts where God reminds His children “do not fear”, however I want you to have your own moment today!

Whatever you’re facing right now, whether big or small, hear the Lord whisper to your spirit: “Do not fear.” I once heard it put, “Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is.” You have nothing to fear!

7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

PRAYER

Lord, today I pray for Your help dealing with fear. I know you have not given me a spirit of fear, rather a Spirit of power. I know fear can be a liar and turn deceptive. Father, help me to be wise, encouraged, and fearless. May the only person, place, or thing we fear be You, O, Lord. For we know that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10a ESV) Today, we ask for Your help, guidance, and continual provision. There is nothing I need to be afraid of. I walk with the KING of kings. Help to remember that today. In Jesus name, amen!

FITNESS