"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
"HE WILL REVIVE US!" HOSEA 6:2
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6
The fast is really about curbing the need to consume. It is about destroying the yoke of the enemy. It doesn't matter whether you're a good steward or a spendthrift; all of us consume more than we need. It doesn't matter if you're a shopaholic or shop with a bargain purpose chances are you spend more than you save.
This fast is for you because God is calling his people into financial freedom. This fast is for you if the stress of money is causing pain for you and pain in your relationship with your spouse, friends or family. It's for you if you're worried about your retirement or saving enough to send your children to college. It's for you if you're not sure whether you'll have enough money to carry you through a long, prosperous retirement. If you have more month than money, this fast is designed just for you. The path to prosperity begins by breaking the yoke to buy and buy and then buy some more.
Here's a truth you need to take to heart: YOU NEVER SAVE WHEN YOU SPEND.
During this fast, you will not shop or use your credit cards. For three weeks you must refrain from buying anything that is not a necessity. And by necessity, I mean the bare essentials, such as food and medicine.
"Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes." Daniel 9:3
Although scripture calls for a fast from food, the principal of this financial fast is the same -- to deny your flesh so that you can become closer to God.
"Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? "Isaiah 58:6
WHAT IS A FANANCIAL FAST?
This Financial Fast would require that you not do any unnecessary shopping or credit card usage for 21 days.
As a church body we will conduct the Fast from January 4, 2015 thru January 25, 2015. Needless to say there must be a continued commitment to tithe and give offerings.
Tithing is 10% of your income.
An offering is a monetary gift of any amount you are led by the Lord to give.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" Malachi 3:8-10
HERE' S WHAT YOU CAN BUY DURING THE FAST:
Essential items such as food, gas and medication.
Essential personal items such as feminine products and toothpaste.
Items that would be required for your job, such as pantyhose. However you should not buy clothing because you think you need a new outfit for work. Please consider forgoing getting your hair done during this time.
Essential items for your family. Again, medications, required school supplies etc.
Essential items for your home, such as cleaning products. Sheets, pillows, lamps, curtains etc. are not essential unless they are absolutely necessary (in other words every lamp in your house is busted or you have guest coming and all your sheets are stained or have holes).
If you have already planned a vacation trip, prepare a budget and spend only what you plan for. While on your trip think about every penny you spend and whether you can do something else during the trip that doesn't cost any money. Visit free museums for example. Take the kids to the park and skip an extra day in the amusement park.
Use cash to by necessities.
HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T DO:
No restaurant meals -- fast food or otherwise. This includes buying breakfast or lunch at work. You can't stop for coffee. Make it at home instead.
You should not go to the mall.
Don't window shop. The point of this fast is to get you to stop using shopping as a form of entertainment. Just don't go there. Don't let your children go either. Don't let them "hang out" at the mall. Encourage your spouse to participate in the fast.
You cannot shop online.
You should not look at retail flyers (they are oh so tempting).In fact, are the flyers some of the first things you look at when the Sunday paper comes? Think about that. We shop in our minds even when we aren't shopping for real.
Don't browse through retail catalogues. Put them away so they won't tempt you.
Don't go to the movies or to see a play or spend any money on entertainment. You can go out and have fun, but you can't spend any money while you're doing it.
Don't allow yourself to buy things you know you shouldn't. Be accountable to yourself. If overspending on your beautification (hair, manicures, pedicures, makeup purchases, etc.) is the yoke you know you have to break, then the answer is no, you can't get your hair (or nails, or feet or whatever) done during the fast.
If someone's birthday or anniversary or wedding is during the fast, try to find another way to give rather than buy a gift.
You should refrain from using your credit card. Use cash whenever possible. I understand there will be an occasion where it's necessary to use your credit card but this fast is about getting connected to your cash. Know this: Even if you pay off your credit card bill every month, studies show you still spend 30 percent to 40 percent more when you use plastic. This includes debit cards.
(Note: If you are married please consult with your husband, especially if there are family things ortraditions you do regularly. If for example you have a weekly movie night, you can continue this during the fast but only if it's something that is already part of your regular family activities.)
SCRIPTURAL READINGS DURING THE FAST:
If the spirit moves you, write down how the fast affected your life during the 21 days. You may also want to keep a daily journal. And read the following scriptures each day during the fast:
Day 1 Proverbs 3:9-10
Day 2 Proverbs 22:7
Day 3 I Timothy 6:17-18
Day 4 Proverbs 30: 8-9
Day 5 Acts 20:33-35
Day 6 Psalms 37:21
Day 7 James 1:17
Day 8 2 Kings 4:7
Day 9 Proverbs 21:20
Day 10 Luke 12:13-21
Day 11 Philippians 4:12
Day 12 Luke 21:1-4
Day 13 Matthew 23:19
Day 14 Proverbs 3:27-28
Day 15 Psalm 127:1
Day 16 Luke 14:28
Day 17 Proverbs 24:3-4
Day 18 1 Timothy 6:7
Day 19 Matthew 25:23
Day 20 2 Corinthians 9: 7-9
Day 21 Hebrews 13:5
Day 22 3 John 2
Day 23 Proverbs 8:21
Day 24 Matthew 6:33
Day 25 Psalm 84:11
Day 26 Psalm 34:9
Day 27 Psalm 37:25
Day 28 Psalm 1:1-3
Day 29 Romans 12:11
Day 30 Colossians 3:23,24
Day 31 Malachi 3:10,11
Day 32 Luke 6:38
Day 33 2 Corinthians 9:6
Day 34 Mark 11:24
Day 35 Hebrews 11:1-3
Day 36 Deuteronomy 28
Day 37 I Corinthians 9:27
Day 38 Galatians 5:16
Day 39 Job 22:18
Day 40 Philippians 4:13
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SPENDING
THE PERILS OF PLASTIC
Curtailing your consumption is just one part of the fast. The second part is eliminating the use of plastic, both credit and debit. There's a real danger in relying on credit even if you pay off your bill every month. Paying with plastic just makes buying too easy. Swipe, and within seconds you can be mired in debt. Let's consider the example of purchasing a flat-screentelevision. If you had to stand at a cash register and count out bill after bill after bill after bill to pay the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for a television, you certainly wouldcontemplate whether the purchase made financial sense. You might even do some mental accounting to calculate what debts you could pay down or pay off instead. Plastic doesn't allow for that deliberation.
The banks know, and studies have shown, that even those of us who think we are using credit wisely are being duped. That's because when you use credit, you often spend more than you would have if you had used cash. In one study aimed at marketers, Greg Davies at Britain's Warwick University found that customers using credit cards spend more than those paying with cash or checks in situations that are otherwise identical in every other respect. Davies concludes that credit cards boost spending because of the psychophysics of how our brainswork. He found that credit cards reduce the pain of payment because we don't do the same mental accounting as we do when we pay with cash.
WHY LIMIT DEBIT CARD USE?
I've found that even debit card users, especially those without credit card debt -- still whip out the plastic far too easily and spend more than they would if they were limited to using only cash. Many debit card users who have participated in the fast argue that they can't spend more than what's in their checking account and that therefore it's the same as cash. But that's not true. If it were true, the banks wouldn't have introduced overdraft protection, a common debit card feature that allows banks to rake in billions (yes, that's with a b) in fees.
A debit card is a cousin to the credit card, and it poses a similar problem -- it allows people to buy stuff with cash they really don't have. People are quick to swipe their debit card, only to learn later after getting an overdraft notice that they didn't have the cash in their bank account to back the purchase in the first place.
So on to the hard work. Yes, you have to do a budget. If you have a budget already, that's wonderful, but is it written down either on paper or on your computer? You need to realize that budgeting isn't about you. It's about good stewardship and managing resources well. Budget well and you can save for a home, a car, a college education and retirement. Budget well and you bring order to your financial life.
I know you won't follow through and set up a budget unless you see the benefit. So let me ask you this: How's not having a budget working for you?
One important part of budgeting is understanding how your spending compares with your net income (the amount you take home). What percentage of your net income are you spending on housing? Do you know what percentage you should be spending on a place to live?
In general, you should not spend more than 36 percent of your take-home pay on housing. That, of course, is an ideal situation. I know that in high-cost-of-living areas, people may spend 40 to 50 percent of their net pay on housing. But when you begin to reach those percentage levels it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to save and invest. If half of your pay is going to this one expense category, then you have to do something to bring that percentage down -- get a roommate (or roommates), earn extra income or move. I know, I know. That's easier said than done. But unless you do something to keep your spending in various areas in line with certain percentage ranges, you will always be broke.
Debt is dangerous. When you are in debt, you are beholden to someone else.
With this strategy you ignore interest rates. You list your debts starting with the lowest balance. Then you take the extra money you make from cutting your expenses, a second job or both and apply it to that debt, while making the minimum payments on the other debts. When you've paid off the first debt, apply the full payment amount from the first debt to the one with the next-lowest balance until that one is paid. Continue with the third, and so on.
By attacking the lowest-balance debt first, you'll be able to pay off smaller bills in a matter of months. That, in tum, can motivate you to aggressively cut back your expenses and find more cash to throw at your debts.
HERE'S HOW YOU GET STARTED:
Forgive yourself. Things happen. You've made mistakes, and now you're trying to make up for them. If you've been beating yourself up, stop!
Gather up all your bills, credit card statements and so on. You can't tum things around if you continue to ignore what you owe.
List all your debts, starting with the one carrying the lowest balance.
Identify any extra cash you can make by cutting your expenses, getting another job or both. Put it all toward paying down the debt with the lowest balance. Be sure you inform the lender that the extra payments are to be put toward the principal and not counted as an extra payment.
Most important, make a commitment to keep your debts to a minimum.
THE GOOD STEWARDS
Prosperity gives us the power to bless others. This fast was designed in part to help those who have mismanaged money to become good stewards, and to strengthen the financial skills of those who are managing well what they have. If you're already a good steward, think of the fast as a checkup, much like getting required maintenance on your car.
No matter where you were financially, participating in the fast should help you with everything from addressing serious problems to making the small adjustments that keep your finances running well. You might even consider doing the fast over and over again, perhaps once a year.
Information obtained from;
A Financial Fast to Break Your Shopping Bonds
By Michelle Singletary McIntyre, Director Prosperity Partners
REVIVAL FIRE MINISTRIES INT'L
FINANCIAL FAST 2018
Revival Fire International Ministries, Inc.