Tony Rapu

Author: Charles Iruobe

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The Courageous Fast

The Courageous Fast

WALK THROUGH!                                                          


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4(NKJV)


David wrote the most cherished Psalm 23. He was once a shepherd boy and saw his relationship with God through the eyes of a shepherd. The shepherd had to provide food and water for the flock. He provided rest and protected the flock from wild animals, from wolves, bears, lions and even other humans. There were always dangers lurking, but the abiding presence of the shepherd brought comfort to the sheep.


At the time David wrote Psalm 23, he was probably going through a valley of death experience. Maybe he was feeling death was near or was experiencing the gloom and doom of life in the valley. David went through hardship, difficulty, pain and suffering. He spoke often about these experiences.


At some point, we all walk through the valley of the shadow of death as well. The valley represents times of economic hardship, worry and anxiety about a loved one, enemies from within and without, or betrayal, which can be a very dark valley.


Maybe you’re in the valley right now. A negative report from your doctors, a separation from a spouse, a broken relationship, a teenage pregnancy or a child on drugs. Maybe your dark valley is a problem on your job, some financial loss or even your reputation. You may find yourself in the valley of the shadow of discouragement or the valley of the shadow of debt, or the valley of the shadow of depression. It could be the valley of the shadow of conflict.


The most frustrating thing about the valley of the shadow of death is the uncertainty. You have no way of knowing how long the walk will be, what is lurking unseen and who else is waiting in ambush. But the point about the valley of these shadows is that shadows should not hurt. As someone has said, the shadow of a dog cannot bite nor can the shadow of a truck knock you down. The shadow of a sword cannot pierce through you nor can a shadow stop your advancement.


Whenever there’s a shadow, it’s only because there’s light somewhere. You cannot have a shadow where there’s no light. The secret of valley times is to locate the light. Jesus said “I am the Light of the world’. This is the Light that walks with us through the darkest of valleys. We never walk alone. The Lord Himself, the Great Shepherd is with us. Just to have His Presence and trust Him to lead us through the valley is our greatest need.


The greatest school of faith is located in the depths of the valley of shadows, not on the mountain top. It’s in the walk through the valley that life’s best lessons are learnt and to walk speaks of moving in a certain direction; calm and confident. Notice that David said he was walking through the valley and not walking in the valley. Maybe it’s time to turn your back on the fearful shadows and look to Him who is the Light of the world.



The God of the mountain is still God in the valley. Walk Through!



♬I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe




Psalm 121

Psalm 46:1-3

The Courageous Fast

QUENCH THAT FIERY DART!                                                              

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”  Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. I Kings 19:1-3(NIV)


Elijah was one of the most powerful prophets in Old Testament times. He stood and confronted Ahab, the king of Israel and his evil wife, Jezebel. Elijah pronounced a famine over the land and it did not rain for 3 years. He single-handedly confronted 850 false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Then he called on God to answer him by fire. Miraculously, fire fell from heaven. Elijah arrested all the false prophets and personally supervised their execution. All of Israel rejoiced. There was revival in the land. One man had turned the whole nation back to God overnight.


When Jezebel, the witch, heard of all the things Elijah had done, she was furious and sent him a message; “You have killed my prophets, wait and see what I will do to you within the next 24 hours. May my own gods destroy me if I don’t personally bury you“. Her message was like a ballistic missile aimed at Elijah. He had a 24-hour death sentence from the queen witch.


Elijah’s response to Jezebel however was strangely out of character. The man who had called down fire, held back the rain and brought it down again, the man who had boldly confronted the wicked king Ahab, and had single-handedly eliminated all the false prophets, now reacted in fear. Though Elijah’s words were backed with power from God, he panicked. Jezebel’s message was like a flaming arrow from hell. It struck a mortal blow. Elijah became afraid for his life. God’s warrior fled in terror from Jezebel, sat under a tree, depressed and suicidal. And that was where God met him.



  1. No one is immune from the attacks of the enemy. Elijah was under an attack. The demonic arrow penetrated a chink in his armour. Elijah had dealt a major blow to the kingdom of darkness and they retaliated. Past success does not mean the future is guaranteed. We always have to be on guard from the arrows of the enemy.


  1. In his weariness, Elijah allowed fear to break through to him. Fear is one of the greatest weapons of the enemy. For Elijah, it was fear of death. For others, it may be the fear of the future, of war, of violence or of poverty. Some are afraid they won’t ever marry. Elijah allowed his fear and discouragement to get the better of him. Exhausted and frustrated, he slipped into disillusionment.




Never allow fear, doubt or unbelief to dictate your responses.  If you do, you will lose your confidence, and like Elijah find yourself retreating and running from Jezebel and her witchcraft, instead of sustaining your victories in Christ.



Give me strength to hold up my shield of faith and stop every attack of the enemy. Let Your presence become an impenetrable wall of defense around me. Empower me to stand against every assault of the enemy and quench every flaming arrow shot in my direction.



♬Victor’s Crown by Darlene Zschech





Eph. 6:16

The Courageous Fast
The courageous Fast

The courageous Fast

PREPARING THE ATMOSPHERE                                                      


‘He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James’. Mark 5: 37 (NIV)


Jesus had just healed the woman with the ‘issue of blood’ and was now heading to Jairus’ home to pray for his daughter who was ill. While taking His time to address the woman’s situation, news came that Jairus’ daughter had died. The last message Jairus heard was, “Why bother the Teacher? Your daughter is dead.” Jesus overhead what they said and told Jairus to keep believing and continued heading for his home. The crowd followed as well, to see a miracle.


Jairus led the way, although those words must have been ringing in his head; “Why bother the Teacher?” It was an attempt by the enemy to stop Jesus from coming to Jairus’ house. There was actually a battle going on in Jairus’ home and Jesus was preparing for it. There was a war raging between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God. Demonic powers had struck a fatal blow and a young girl was dead. Jesus’ plan was to release the power of the kingdom of God over the little girl and raise her back to life. This was not the time to be surrounded by fearful, doubting and unbelieving people. So what did Jesus do?


He only permitted those He knew were strong in faith to come along with Him. He stopped the crowd. And notice that out of the twelve disciples nine of them did not make it either. Only the girl’s parents along with Jesus’ core group; Peter, James and John, were allowed in. We have to carefully screen the people we surround ourselves with and listen to in the days ahead. Life is a battle that has to be fought constantly with the weapon of faith. Fear, doubt and unbelief are contagious and quickly spread.


Jairus’ house was full of pretenders and people mourning and crying loudly. Jesus sent them all out before He raised the girl back to life. It might have seemed insensitive to stop the crowd. It might have seemed a little embarrassing to stop the disciples, and certainly, it was not politically correct to throw out those who had come to mourn with the bereaved. But Jesus was on a mission. And so are we!


We cannot walk by faith and walk by feelings at the same time. Jesus’ determined plan was to do everything required to surround Jairus with people of faith and courage.



  1. Surround yourself with people of faith and courage.
  2. Do your best to avoid people who only see problems and never the solutions.
  3. Make every effort to create an environment of faith for the miraculous.
  4. Refuse to allow negative influences from social media, television or any other source, to deter your faith.
  5. Speak words of faith.



Lord, send the right people into my life, men and women of courage who will strengthen my faith and provoke an atmosphere for the miraculous.



♬I Stand Amazed by Sinach



Mark 5:35-43

James 1:5-8

Habakkuk 2:4



The Courageous Fast

WALK ON WATER!                                                                   

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:26-27(NIV)

Shortly after feeding the multitude who had gathered, Jesus dismissed the crowd, then told His disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of him to the other side of the lake. Then He went up to the mountain to pray. Half way across the sea, the disciples encounter a problem; a terrible storm arises. They battle the raging storm without any respite until about 3am. It was at this time, Jesus planned to join the disciples, and since He did not have a boat, He just walked on water to get to them.

Jesus did not only come to show us the way to salvation, He also lived His life to show us what is possible in our walk with God. We often think that Jesus did the things He did simply because He was the Son of God. But as children of God, we are also called to walk in the realm of the supernatural, to see the miraculous as a way of life and to believe God for extraordinary breakthroughs. The disciples, exhausted from battling the storm are now in a panic and at a loss for what to do. This is when they see Jesus walking on water towards them. Terror struck their hearts. They thought it was a ghost!

As Christians we will, in our walk with God, encounter the storms of life from time to time. Like the disciples, it could be while doing what He has asked us to do. Jesus is not a security from encountering the storms of life; He is our security inside the storms of life.  We can ride through the storms, standing on the promises of God. Jesus then called out to them “Take courage, it is I”. This was when Peter decided to do something radical. He asked Jesus to tell him to come on the water. Jesus said “Come”. Just one word, no long sermon, no enticing words, no fancy message, just one word; “Come”.


Peter had walked with Jesus long enough to know that if Jesus said something, it would happen. Peter also knew that if Jesus said something, the person He spoke it to, had to have faith to respond. Peter believed the word enough to put his feet in the water and walked on it. No one had ever walked on water in the history of humanity. Jesus became the first person to do it, then followed by Peter.

Do not allow fear to keep you from getting out of your boat. Remember there were 12 fearful disciples and only one walked on water.

1. Never face your challenges in fear.

  1. Fear will keep you from believing for the best from God.
  2. God’s response to us every time when we’re afraid is: “Do not be afraid”.
  3. Believe God for the miraculous.
  4. Step out in faith and confidence based on the truth of God’s word.



Lord, thank You for helping me expand my capacity to believe You for more.


♬Oceans by Hillsong


Isaiah 50:7

Mark 6:17-18

Acts 4:13



The Courageous Fast
The Courageous Fast

The Courageous Fast

IT’S TIME TO BLESS THE LORD!                                             

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears
. Psalm 34:1-4 (NKJV)



It’s not every time one actually feels like praising God. But David was such a remarkable man. He said “I will”. It was a choice he made. That means whether we bless the Lord or not is a decision that we have to make. You either chose to bless the Lord or choose not to. But your choice in this very simple matter can affect your future. The reason is because when you do take time to bless the Lord in spite of your feelings, you have made a powerful choice to operate in the realm of faith. Faith pleases God and opens you up to the miraculous. What a privilege!



David was determined that he would boast in the Lord.  He was constantly speaking about the great things God had done for him. The victories he had won; the breakthroughs he had experienced and the testimonies of his deliverance from the enemy. He was determined to speak consistently and lavishly about the things God had done, such that those who heard him were themselves encouraged and strengthened.



David was a man who encountered many issues in life. He constantly went from one problem to another. But notice here that David was not magnifying his challenges and problems, but was magnifying the name of the Lord. It’s easy to focus on the difficulties of life and miss God’s strategies for our breakthroughs. When we magnify God above the situations and problems of life, they dwindle in comparison. Our hearts are then strengthened and we’re better equipped to face our problems.  Constantly magnifying the problems of life, only opens the door to fear and unbelief.



David faced real issues in a real way. The way he dealt with all of his fears was to constantly seek the Lord. That was the secret to his many successes. It was the source of his courage. His courage was derived from the times he spent seeking God. And the consequence was that God delivered David from all his fears. The lions and bears held no power over him. Goliath had no power over him, neither did Saul nor the Philistines have any power over David. This was the secret to David’s breakthroughs. It was his relationship with God from constantly waiting on God that got him all his victories.



  1. Choose to bless the Lord.
  2. Regularly put songs of praise in my mouth
  3. Make a boast of the goodness of God today
  4. Make it a habit to ask others to praise God with me
  5. Avoid people with negative vibes.
  6. Refuse to throw a pity party.
  7. Maintain an attitude of thanksgiving every day.


♬10000 Reasons By Matt Redman



Ps 119:164

Lk 17:11-19

Jonah 2:7-10

Ps 149:5-9


The Courageous Fast

DON’T JUST RUSH OUT!                                                   


But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel. Joshua 7: 1(NIV)


Israel had just won a resounding victory at Jericho. The walls of the city had come crumbling down. Everyone was excited and Joshua was being celebrated as a great leader. The previous chapter had ended with Joshua’s fame spreading across the country. Now the Israelites were ready to conquer the next city, Ai. It was a much smaller city than Jericho and its defeat would open up more territory in the Promised Land.


It was going to be a walk over, they assumed. If Jericho could fall, Ai would be no match for Israel. But the Israelites were soundly defeated by the soldiers of Ai in the ensuing battle. Joshua had sent out some men to do a reconnaissance. Upon their return, instead of making a simple report, they took it upon themselves to recommend the policy they thought best for defeating Ai. Yet, unknown to Joshua and everyone else, God was already angry with Israel because of the sin of Achan. Though the crime was committed by one person, the whole nation was considered guilty.


Oblivious of Achan’s sin, Joshua was eager to move forward and take more territory. Being a little too self-confident, resting too much on the victory at Jericho, Joshua failed to take time to get alone with God to inquire of Him about the strategy for Ai. He simply resorted to doing what his men asked him to. If Joshua had spent time with God, he would have realized something was wrong and could have dealt with it first.


How often are we like Joshua! Maybe because we’re workaholics and so action-oriented, usually activity driven or too eager to be successful; we sometimes fail to take time to draw near to the Lord. We often fail to draw on His resources and put on the full armour of God. We rush off on our own, overestimating ourselves, yet defenseless against the enemy. We end up operating in our own strength and wisdom to our detriment.



Never overestimate yourself.

Never underestimate the enemy.

Never rush into a battle without the full facts.

Never presume you know it all.

Nothing escapes the eyes of the Lord.

Times of success are times we need to be on guard.

Times of victory are times for renewed caution.




Lord, help me realize that waiting on You is not just a passive activity but the source of my strength; that You are the strength of my life; my Wisdom and my Help in time of trouble; my Guide through all the seasons of life.



♬We Wait by Juanita Bynum




Numbers 27:18-21


Luke 14:31



The Courageous Fast
The Courageous Fast

The Courageous Fast

PREPARE FOR WAR!                                                


When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.” Deut.20:1-3(NIV)


God had asked the Israelites to enter their Land of Promise and dispossess the current inhabitants. But these were going to be nations stronger than them, more equipped and larger in number than the Israelites. Knowing that this would appear a rather tall order and constitute a problem as they marched out to engage these fierce Canaanite armies, God gave them regulations concerning their warfare.


No matter the odds and no matter how insurmountable things looked, the first thing God told them was “DO NOT BE AFRAID.” Once you allow fear to grip your heart you’ve already lost the battle. God told them why they didn’t need to be afraid. It was simply that He was going to be with them. The promise of God’s presence was the key. It is the same with us today. We must carry the presence of God with us into the battles of life. His presence gives us the assurance that we can take on any giant.


Life in a real world means that people will constantly rise up against us. There will be all sorts of attacks. There will be constant opposition and the enemy will always attempt to distract and derail us from the purposes of God. But no matter what people may plot against you, their assaults cannot stop God’s plan. Their poison will not stop God’s purpose. God told Israel not to be terrified, not to panic, that He would be there to give them victory. God is bigger than any attack, God is stronger than any weapon formed against us and God is infinitely wiser than any adversary we may face. If God’s Presence is with you, then your victory is certain!



The key to each battle was that the priest was there to hear from God and come forward to address the people. It was the priest who received revelation from God concerning every situation.


Today, as a child of God, you are a priest. It means God has given you access directly into His presence and you can receive revelation for every situation. It means you can find assurance and comfort in knowing that God is with you.


God has promised never to leave you or forsake you and the promise of His Presence carries with it the promise of His protection and preservation. This is the season to cultivate the Presence of God.




♬Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here by Kim Walker Smith





Numbers 14:41-45


1 Peter 2: 9


The Courageous Fast

RECEIVE COURAGE                                                      



I hear the Spirt of the Lord say He is taking us deeper in prayer, that we may birth the things God has in store for us. There is an increasing agitation in the spirit realm. The water is about to break. Delivery is around the corner. Yet the dragon rages and attempts to stifle that which is yet to come. But I hear the Spirit of God say Be strong. Be focused. Be courageous. There are yet dreams and visions that are to come forth. New and uncharted territories await you. There are yet doors we must enter in to. The harvest awaits. It is not the time to be weary and give up. Rise above the warfare. Rise beyond the distractions. It is a time to push so you can see the fulfillment of all I have in store for you.



“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”. 1Sam 30:6


David and his men were living in the Philistine town of Ziklag at this time. He had been on an expedition with his men for a couple of days, away from home. They arrived back home in Ziklag, only to find that a band of Amalekite raiders had come to Ziklag and found the town with only women and children.  They easily attacked Ziklag, burned it to the ground and took the women and children captive. David and his men arrived to find their town burned to ruins and their families gone.


David had killed lions and bears. He had killed Goliath with a sling and a stone. He had escaped attempts from Saul to kill him, but this was possibly his greatest challenge. His family, and the families of all his men, were gone. They imagined what could be happening to their wives and daughters and their anger boiled. Their lives fell apart overnight and the men blamed David. They wanted to stone David.


David himself was heartbroken and physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. This would have been too much for the average man to handle. But David was not average; neither is any of us in Christ supposed to be. Remember the greater the assignment, the greater the attack from the enemy. The enemy was doing all he could to stop David from becoming king of Israel.


David had a great assignment from God and no matter what happened he was determined to get there. He had nowhere to look except up and that was what he did. There, inside the ruins of Ziklag and in the midst of his woes, David found the courage to strengthen himself in God. That was the beginning of his breakthrough and restoration.




Fear will tell you to give up.

Fear will tell you that you can’t make it.

Fear will make you want to blame God for your negative circumstances.

Fear will tell you that there is nothing you can do.



Like David, let’s receive courage to seek God; courage to hear from God and courage to act upon what He tells you to do.



Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco



Psalm 20:7-8

Deut. 31:6

Isaiah 41:10-13



The Courageous Fast
The Courageous Fast

The Courageous Fast

BE A BELIEVER, NOT A DOUBTER                                       


We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Numbers 13: 33 (NLT)


When you pray for a job and God gives you an assurance about a particular position you’ve believed for, what would your next steps be? Do you sit at home without actually applying for the job or updating your résumé? Do you assume that since you have peace about the job, the employers will supernaturally locate your home and phone number and drive there to offer you the position on a platter of gold? God has a part to play and you have a part to play as well.


The Israelites had a part to play in taking possession of the Promised Land. After God’s declaration that the land was theirs, they needed to go into the land and take it. God’s plan was to provide supernatural help as they took action. God desires many things for us as well but the possession of His desire for our lives will require action from us. When the 12 spies went to spy out the land, God’s intention was to give them an insight into how good the land was. This was their land and His best for them. But 10 spies came back and said ‘No’ when God already said ‘Yes’. They were afraid. Fear caused them to miss the very best God had for them. It happened to them and it can happen to us.  If we ever come to a place where we know what God wants for us but we’re called to take action, then we must protect ourselves from doubt. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb believed God and their faith in God sustained them for 40 years in the wilderness, while they waited for the right timing to step out again.


What God did for Joshua and Caleb, He can do for you. This is the time to flood your mind with thoughts of victory and success, expansion and greatness. Remember David and Goliath and Gideon’s 300[1], remember the 3 Hebrew boys and King Nebuchadnezzar[2] and let your faith in God cancel out the doubts that lead to fear. If God could feed 5,000 with a small boy’s lunch, He can as well provide for you. If he healed the woman who was bleeding for 12 years, He can deal with your medical issues. If He could use 12 ordinary men to turn the world upside down and change the course of history, He can use you to do great things!



Fear has no power over me. I set my face towards my Promised Land and declare that the giants are bread for me. The Lord is with me and I step out in faith today.




Ps. 18:29

Heb. 11:8-12

Isaiah 8:13



♬My Trust is in You


The Courageous Fast  

Expect Some Amazing Things                                                  

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5 (NIV)


We’ve been asking God to do some really amazing things in our lives in 2019. We’ve been asking for the move of His presence and His power. But we sometimes miss the amazing things God does. Joshua was finally getting ready to lead the people into the future they had being waiting for, for a long time. That was when God commanded Joshua to tell everyone to consecrate themselves. In effect God was saying “Why don’t you prepare yourselves because I am going to do some incredible things in your midst and I don’t want you to miss it”.


Consecration was an essential part of the preparation process to enter the Promised Land. To be “consecrated” is to be set apart, to be dedicated for a special purpose. To the Israelites, this involved having a wash and changing their clothes. This act represented an awareness of their uncleanness before a holy God, and washing symbolized a fresh beginning in relating with God.  This was significant because Jehovah, the Holy One, was among them. What distinguished Israel from other nations was the presence of God. As His people, they were to reflect His nature and live by His laws to show others the benefits of having Him as King.


Consecrating oneself was an external act that displayed readiness for the plan and will of God. Today, our consecration is an internal work of separation and commitment to God through the act of seeking Him in prayer and meditation; to bring our hearts into a place where we are prepared to receive the Lord in faith and reverence, expecting Him to do the amazing things He has promised.


Notice how confident Joshua was in his proclamation that God was certain to do wonderful things. There was no doubt in his mind that God would perform a miracle on their behalf. In the same way, let’s get ready for some really amazing things this year. Maybe it’s time to stop browsing some sites on the internet or perhaps to review some toxic relationships we are in. Or maybe God is asking you to set yourself apart one way or the other from the world.


I want to challenge you to ask God what you need to do today to consecrate yourself for the amazing things He has planned for the days ahead.



Lord, I declare that you are everything to me. I consecrate myself to you. Deliver me from sin and the works of the flesh. I cannot live without your presence.



♬Change my heart oh God



Ps 24: 3- 5

2 Cor. 7:1




The Courageous Fast