Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom

Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307459534
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/14/2010
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 387,818
Product dimensions: 5.96(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Stovall Weems is the founder and lead pastor of the multi-site Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, one of the fastest growing and largest churches in America. As pastor, teacher, and conference speaker, Stovall’s ministry focuses on building the local church, reaching people with the gospel, and developing passionate followers of Christ.
Stovall is also the leader of Awakening, a 21-day spiritual campaign of prayer and fasting that takes place each January.  Awakening serves to equip thousands of pastors, churches, and ministry leaders around the world, inspiring a culture of prayer and fasting in their church or ministry.
Through local, national, and international television, Stovall Weems Ministries broadcasts weekly in over 200 countries and can be seen in over 90 million homes across the United States. Stovall and his wife, Kerri, have three children, Kaylan, Stovie, and Annabelle. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Awakening

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
—Romans 12:11, NIV

   How close do you feel to God?
   Most of us sense that there’s more to a relationship with God than what we currently are experiencing. But how do we develop a more intimate bond with Him?
   As a devoted follower of Jesus, I have learned some secrets to staying consistently fresh in my relationship with God. This deepening friendship begins with what I call an awakening.
   After an awakening, life is never the same.
   A relationship with God is the most fulfilling thing a person can experience. Yet, I have observed that while the vast majority of believers start out with a lot of passion and zeal in their relationship with God, over time that enthusiasm subsides.
   On a day-to-day basis, their relationship with God eventually becomes passive. There are occasional bursts of excitement, but even that excitement is short-lived. Their walk with God seems to have a few highs, some lows…and a whole lot of mundane in-betweens.
   Why is that?
   Does it strike you, as it has me, that there is something terribly wrong with that picture? Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” ( John 10:10). Aren’t we vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God…the God of the universe…can end up with the flavor of stale bread? The Bible is clear that our passion and “spiritual fervor” should be constant (Romans 12:11). So why have so many Christians accepted a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for them?
   I believe we have an innate sense that serving and worshipping an infinitely powerful God should be anything but mundane. However, many people appear to think that dynamic interactions with God occur only at random times or, for some unknown reason, just are not happening now. And they certainly don’t expect such encounters on a consistent basis. These believers find themselves at a loss as to how to recover the freshness and excitement they once felt. and end up walking through life unaware that a passionate, thriving relationship with God should be the norm, not the exception for every follower of Christ.
   Does any of this sound familiar to you? Maybe at one time you were excited about God, and were full of His life. Maybe you once felt free and were enjoying your relationship with God. But now, if you’re honest, you know other things have grabbed your attention, and your heart has hardened to the joy and freshness you once felt. Or maybe you are far from God and struggling with addictive behavior or other issues? (And, by the way, is there really anyone who doesn’t have issues?)
   How is it that we can become content with a mediocre spiritual life? It’s as if our soul itself grows dull and numb and needs to be shocked back to an awakened state. The good news is that the potential for a lasting, thriving relationship with God really is there. It just has to be awakened!
   When I surrendered my life to Christ, one of the most powerful components of that experience was an awakening to the very presence of God. I still remember the feelings. All of a sudden, my soul woke up! Deep inside, in an area I didn’t even know existed, I felt new emotions and was so alive and full of joy, excitement, and freedom—all at the same time. This feeling was so good, so real, so authentic that I never wanted to lose it.
   Since my awakening more than twenty years ago, I have been in a constant fight to keep that state of newness and freedom in my soul. And to this day nothing is as important to me as keeping my relationship with God fresh and new.
   You may think that is an unrealistic, perhaps even undesirable, goal. After all, aren’t new believers full of emotion and zeal? Eventually we have to calm down and get serious about following God, right? You may have even heard something like this a few times: “You can’t always live on a mountaintop!” or, “You will be an emotional roller coaster if you base your walk with God on feelings.”
   On the contrary, this pursuit of first love or freshness has kept my spiritual walk consistent and thriving all these years. In how I relate to God and how I obey and trust Him, my heart has stayed in a posture of “want to” instead of “have to.” Guarding the fire of devotion in my heart is the most foundational spiritual discipline of my Christian life. When that fire burns brightly, I love worshiping, praying, and obeying God. I hear His voice clearly, and my daily life is an overflow of power and grace. But when that fire dims and smolders, I find that even basic commitments become burdensome, as I try to maintain them in my own strength.
   We can have now, on a daily basis, the same vital connection in Christ that we had on the day He saved us. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6). We are all called to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14), and we’re going to have to fight to “never be lacking in zeal” and always “keep [our] spiritual fervor” (Romans 12:11, NIV).
   Maintaining this newness and freshness with God is something we must literally fight to protect. Make no mistake about it—we have a very real enemy who wants nothing more than for our soul to be lulled to sleep, all while we think everything’s okay.

Live on a Mountaintop?

   So how do we continually experience newness in a world where everything ages? How do we experience freshness where everything quickly becomes stale? We have to wake up!
   Awakening to the presence and power of God is both a one-time event and a recurring newness we experience throughout our lives. Some would say that this state of newness is a mountaintop experience, one that is nice to have every once in a while, but unsustainable in real life. But if you will stick with me, I will show you that not only is it possible to live a life fully awakened to God at all times, but it is the desire and will of God that you do so.
   If we are not living that way, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If you don’t believe me, then go ahead and put this book down and live how you want to live. But if you want an ongoing mountaintop experience, and if you’re ready for your relationship with God to go to the next level, then keep reading and get ready for an incredible journey to your own personal awakening!
   Your entire life really can be one big breakthrough. You can consistently feel God in your emotions and experience joy, even in the most difficult seasons of your life. That’s what this book is about—I promise you that your immediate future can become the best time of your life! And this experience with God can be sustained year after year.
   Don’t allow the pain of this world to push you down into just biding your time here on earth and hoping for a better day in heaven. Yes, let’s hope for a better day when we are all in heaven with Jesus, but until that time, let’s live life as God intended it to be lived—fully awake, fully alive, and walking in a continual state of freshness and newness before God!
   Regardless of where you find yourself today, you can live a life of passion for God. Remember, passionate Christianity is supposed to be normal, not unusual for every believer. The principles of awakening to God and living a sustainable awakened lifestyle are the same principles that can get you free from addictions, bad habits, or anything else that is holding you back from God’s best for your life.
   Okay, I am not saying that every day will be like heaven on earth. I am not saying that you won’t have days and seasons that feel drier than others—I have had my share of those. In my two-plus decades of walking with God I know what it is to suffer, be disappointed, and feel discouraged. Neither am I saying that we should only live according to our feelings or base our relationship with God on experience alone.
   I am saying I believe the Bible is clear about this: experiencing God and feelings are part of the package. The Holy Spirit inside of us brings a whole new set of incredible emotions. God wants us consistently passionate for Him, and passion involves feelings!
   Over the next chapters and in the Awakening 21-Day Plan, I will show you how I keep things fresh and alive in my relationship with God. You, too, can apply these principles of spiritual renewal to your own life, and experience God’s very best.
   In this book I will tell you some of my story and walk you through a process of having your own personal awakening or re-awakening with God and how to keep that awakening experience vital, day after day and year after year. This book is about totally revolutionizing your walk with God so you can have the lasting, exciting relationship with Him you have dreamed about.
   Awakening is an experience, but it must be based on a foundation of biblical truth and principles. There is no formula to this, but I believe there are progressive steps of understanding and decisions that if followed will lead almost everyone to a much deeper spiritual awareness and relationship with God. In the chapters that follow I will share what I call the steps of awakening. They are—
   • experiencing surrender
   • experiencing passion for God
   • experiencing God’s goodness
   • creating space for God to fill
   In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images, sounds, and counterfeit experiences that demand our attention and threaten to distract us, we can lose our spiritual focus and settle for cheap substitutes. We must discover how to remain awakened to God so that we can feel Him, hear Him, and have clear vision for our lives.
   If you have lost your love, your passion, your want-to attitude in your relationship with God, let’s get those back. It is time to restore your fight, hit the reset button, and experience God in an incredibly fresh, new way.
   Hold on and get ready for an awakening!

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

1 Awakening 1

Part 1 The Awakening Experience

2 Are You Awake? 9

3 Passion and Authenticity 15

4 Rediscover Grace 23

5 God Is a Filler, Not a Forcer 37

Part 2 The Awakening Lifestyle

6 Unlocking the Secrets of Prayer 49

7 New School Fasting 63

8 Agreement, Alignment, Assignment 73

9 Power for Your Willpower 89

10 No Turning Back 101

11 Fasting for Your Health 109

12 The Awakening Story 117

The Awakening 21-Day Plan 125

Small Group Study Guide 199

Acknowledgments 205

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Awakening 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
R_Pounds More than 1 year ago
This is a NOW book for all Christians. Young, middle aged, ederly, new Christian, seasoned Saint, where ever you are in your Christian walk. It is a simple, obtainable approach on how to get back your spiritual fervor, zeal and passion and keepp it! It is simple, yet powerful! It gives you the tools to start right where you are whether it is your first fast or your fifieth fast and shows you how to find YOUR FASt ZONE! Are you bored with your walk with God? Do you need a refreshing? Do you need Revival? Do you long for more of God? This is the book that will show you how to get that and SO MUCH MORE!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
todelba More than 1 year ago
Very informative for fasting and drawing crosser to God. Highly recommended for every Christian to read and apply God's word to their lives.
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Kassie17 More than 1 year ago
Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom is written by Stovall Weems, and is a very inspiring book. Awakening is all about how to 'un-gunk' our spiritual life so that we can walk more closely with God every day. Weems writes about why we should strive for such a passionate with relationship with God, and he also includes a 21 day Plan to help you "activate the principles that ensure a lasting, vital relationship with God". Also included is a guide to fasting and a small group study guide. The contents of this book challenged me to re-evaluate what it means to be a Christian, and what a relationship with God should really be like. It also helped me to understand more about fasting, how we should/can do it, and why we do it. I would recommend this book to people who feel as if they have strained their relationship with God and want to come back to Him. It is an encouraging, challenging, and insightful read.
crichmanfreebies More than 1 year ago
just put down Awakening, written by Stovall Weems, and I must say I am rather pleased. It did, somewhat, seem as though it was more about the nutritional aspect of things rather than religious. I enjoyed the book anyway. It was an easy read, nothing confusing about it. The pages flowed nicely, filled with information to keep any readers attention. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kwaub More than 1 year ago
I've recently completed "Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom" by Stovall Weems. Pastor/teacher types are forever exhorting their congregations and classes to spend time alone with God praying and studying his word. However, one rarely hears these folks include a call to fast in their teaching. "Awakening" changes that. In the book the author shares why he does so and why he thinks it is important for all Christians to do so as well. Specifically, he calls for a 21 day fast to "revolutionize your relationship with God". This book really isn't that long. Weems uses scripture and personal experience to explain how and why Christians should spend time in personal study and worship, including fasting. The chapters are readable and most conclude before they get boring. Each one ends with a personal testimony from a member of Celebration church who tells something of how God used the 21 day fast in his/her life. These testimonies of God's activity are really neat. Another thing I enjoyed about the book is that Weems is really passionate in his love for Jesus and that comes through in the writing. Overall this book was like many I had read before which sort of disappointed me. Maybe it would be useful for someone though who hasn't read many books like this. Overall I am giving this book a 3 out of 5 star rating. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...]: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
MonicaD29 More than 1 year ago
I reviewed this book for my husband, who has been reading alot of Christian literature books for study, so he can understand more about the faith. Most of the books he's read so far were great, he couldn't put them down, this one, however, he couldn't keep in his hands. I don't recall what his comment was, but he read a couple chapters, like he does with all the books he reads before he knows whether he'll get into it, but this one he didn't care much for. I personally didn't read it yet, but I know that if he didn't like it, I won't. I don't like putting up a review like this, but sometimes you have to.
e-erazo More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant when I first picked up Awakening by Stovall Weems. Not because it was about fasting (I had become accustommed to the idea of fasting by exploring the Eastern Orthodox faith, as well as being encouraged to do a Lenten fast by my family), but because the cover proclaimed "21 Days to Revolutionize you Relationship with God". I am immediately skeptical of claims to acclomplish specific spiritual tasks in a specific time. It seems to threaten to put God in a box, or a formula: "f you do a, b, and c, God will do x". Faith just doesn't work like that. However, once I started reading, I found the book pushing my spiritual boundaries. It doesn't read like a thick, theological treatise, but rather a friend giving you advice from his personal experience. It put me off because I am not an emotional person by nature, yet this book emphasizes the fact that we need to be emotional in our relationship with God. I was also surprised to find that this book illuminated God's grace in a way that struck me deeply. It contrasted God's grace with the legalistic view of attempting to garner God's approval by performance. I am so glad I didn't write this book off as too "touchy-feely". All in all, it was a good book, although very different in style from what I usually prefer. I cannot say whether the 21-day fasting devotional plan is affective, because I have not tried it (I will when I am no longer nursing). However, I heartily reccomend it to anyone who thinks fasting is too Old Testament or severe. I truly think it will help revitalize your relationship with God, even if you don't experience some of the miracles described in the testimonials.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThomasRFellerJr More than 1 year ago
Okay, somehow when I ordered this book I missed that it was on fasting. Ooops! The book is titled Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom is subtitled 21 Days to Revolutionize Your Relationship with God. The book is a short and quick read (about only 150 pages for the book itself, then it follows with 21 daily devotionals), but definitely worth the time. Weems puts a lot of time into developing what he terms the "awakening experience" and laying the groundwork for the need for a 21 day fast. He also does an excellent job - perhaps the best I've read yet (and I've read a lot) - on the difference between fasting under the Old Covenant in the OT and the New Covenant in the NT. His final conclusion is spot on: we fast not to get something from God but to draw closer to Him, and a reminder that God is a filler, not a forcer, but in order for God to fill something we need to first create a void which needs to be filled. One of the highlights of the book is that each chapter (there are only 12) ends with "An Awakening Story", or a personal testimony from someone who has undertaken the 21 day fast and grown as a result of it. Some of the stories were the predictable, miraculous ones one would expect, but others were more down-to-earth. But all were a reminder that God does work in peoples' lives in miraculous ways. The only point of contention I might have with Weems is the huge emphasis he places in the book on the importance of feelings in our walk with God. Too often feeling are deceiving, and I got the impression at several times that it would be easy to mis-interpret or mis-understand what Weems is saying about following our feelings to justify getting off-track. But this is a minor issue, and, when viewed through what he says in the rest of the book regarding following the Word of God and setting up boundaries, I believe it would be a gross misrepresentation to twist his emphasis on feelings to justify sin. One area I wish he would have spent more time in would be when he actually defines and describes beginning a fast. Weems does a fantastic job for the first 124 pages of establishing the need for prayer, fasting, and Bible study, but then devotes only 20 pages to actually describing the 21 day fast in any detail and only 7 pages actually going into detail about types of fasts and actually deciding how to fast. Over all, I'll give this book 4/5 stars. One disclaimer, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but am not required to post a complimentary review in exchange for it. Even if I had not received it for free it would have been worth paying twice what it cost.
pastor-jonathan More than 1 year ago
"Awakening; A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom" by Stovall Weems will do just what the cover says, "Revolutionize your Relationship with God". Has your relationship with God come to a stand-still? Have you hit a plateau? Are you going nowhere fast? Do you find yourself so busy tending to the cares of this world that you are neglecting to spend time with God? Then this book is for you. Read it, learn it, live it. Weems shows us a completely new way to look at fasting. Rather than suffering through a fast, he shows you how to enjoy fasting. That's right I said "enjoy!" fasting. After learning about "The Awakening Lifestyle" he takes you on a 21 day journey of fasting in various ways that will bring you closer to God. After 21 days you will have developed a pattern or habit that you can continue on with indefinitely . You will experience the "Awakening" that you have always yearned for, but didn't know how to obtain. I would love to put a copy of this book into the hands of every Christian who wants a deeper more meaningful relationship with their Saviour. FTC Disclaimer - "I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
deandeguara More than 1 year ago
After reading Awakening I can't wait to start planning my next fast. For many years I've practiced the discipline of fasting, but after reading Stovall Weem's insights on the subject, from now on I will celebrate the discipline of fasting! Weems brings a new school of thought regarding an old school discipline and brings the joy back into a practice that should be as enjoyable as worshipping, praying, meditating, reading your bible, serving and being a witness. With biblical principles and many practical tools, Awakening will guide you through a fast that will lead you into a personal spiritual awakening in your relationship with God. Connected to this book is Awaken 21, a worldwide fasting campaign that calls the church to create a culture of fasting and prayer. We discovered the Awakening late in the game in 2011, but were able to join the last 10 days. As a church, we were really impressed with all the resources that are made available to those participating. Awakening is much more than a book, it's a movement! Rank This Book*
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