What My 7 Day Fast Taught Me

What My 7 Day Fast Taught Me

          In the month of January, I participated in a 21 day fast. I gave up fried foods. The fast was challenging and good, but I don’t think I benefited because of my lack of knowledge for fasting. On February 5th I started a 4-day challenge called Breaking the Cycles. One of the days, a big group of us fasted for one day. That one day made a huge difference. it created a hunger in me for more of God. I was able to control my flesh. It wasn’t until before the fast that someone in the group broke down the real reason of fasting. After that, I made a commitment to actually take all my fasts more serious. For example, if you fast from all foods for a day, the goal isn’t to just stop thinking about eating. The goal is to draw near to God in your times of weakness. Last Sunday, February 11th, a very good friend of mine asked me to do a 7 day fast with him. He said he was challenging God to show himself to him. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted God to show himself to me too, but I was a little iffy about it because I didn’t know if I could do 7 days. I prayed about it, asked God, and I agreed to do a 7 day fast. He decided he would fast from Facebook. I first decided to fast from Facebook and Snapchat and eventually decided on all social media. I am going to give a few points from each day of my fast.

***Note: I wake up every day to pray at 7:20 am or 9:00 am***

Day 1

  • I realized that I use social media too much to express my thoughts and feelings. I had to learn to express my thoughts and deal with them in other ways. This resulted to me talking to God a lot more frequently than normal.

Day 2

  • I started to deal with my emotions in an effective way. (More prayer, meditation, and writing)
  • I was very observant this day to others around me. I was more engaged with others around me.

*Today and day 1 were very challenging. I experienced some irritation and moodiness.

Day 3

  • I started praying routinely twice a day and added in meditation every night. My normal morning prayer and every night before bed
  • I learned you have to create your happiness. Don’t depend on others to make you happy
  • You should always pray first thing in the morning. This helps you to set the tone for your day
  • Fasting is not just refraining from something or finding something to replace what you are fasting. You should be drawing to God every moment and chance you get.

Day 4

  • You have to choose to love people. Love is a verb and a choice, not a feeling. You show love. Even if you don’t like your coworkers, family members, etc. you must love one another like Christ loved us.

Day 5

  • This day I was very appreciative. I spent a lot of time thanking God and observing.
  • By this point, my phone was not my main focus.

Day 6

  • I was fasting to receive answers from God. This day God answered my prayers.
  • I sought after God like never before and spent the most time with him on this day

Day 7

  • I realized this is the end of my fast, but the beginning of a new me.

On day 6 God finally answered my prayers. He woke me up at 4:15 in the morning. I went into prayer and God spoke to me. That was the best day of the fast. Not because God finally answered me, but because that day everything had settled in my brain. I just wanted God. Social media was not my main focus anymore. I was reading scriptures every day, but on day 6 I was meditating on them more. I was a praying woman before, but the fast showed me how to really pray! I learned so many things about myself I didn’t even know. My love for God has grown so much more.

Overall the fast was very benefiting. I learned so much more than what I put, but I didn’t want to make this post too long. I went in with a mindset of God is going to do something amazing and I am going to get even closer to God. I now have a hunger for God like never before. I challenge all of you to fast for maybe 1, 3, or 7 days. Give God all of your attention and draw closer to him.

It’s Not the Snakebite

It’s Not the Snakebite

Imagine you are outside doing yard work and suddenly, a snake appears next to you and bites your ankle. The snake bites you and slithers away to enjoy the rest of its life. Now you are left hurt. Whether or not you decide to get treated, it’s not the snake that could possibly kill you, it’s the venom that the snake injected into your body. Hurt is the exact same way. If someone betrays you or hurts you, they do their damage and go on to live their lives. It’s up to you to get the venom out of your system. To get the venom out we must forgive. Although the person is the one who caused the hurt, they aren’t the ones who are making us bitter and mean. What’s making us bitter and mean is the fact that the hurt is still in us and we haven’t forgiven them. To get over hurt we must acknowledge the hurt, forgive the person for their actions, give it to God, and move on. Like the scripture below says, we must forgive one another as the Lord forgave us.  Even if someone hurt you and didn’t apologize, forgive them anyway. Don’t die on the inside and become bitter and mean because you’re too stubborn to forgive someone. This week I challenge everyone to take the time out to inventory your life. If there is someone you need to forgive, then do it. Don’t keep the venom in your body.

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)

Good Idea vs. God Idea

Good Idea Vs God Idea

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Me and a friend were having a conversation last night and he mentioned that somethings can be a good idea, but not a God idea. I told him that I was going to borrow that saying. I got home, and I really studied and meditated on the saying. I thought about my personal life and my own personal decisions; as I took an inventory of my life, I noticed I made some good decisions based off good ideas, but they weren’t God’s ideas. I’m sure that if I consulted God before I made certain decisions that some things would’ve had better endings. Now us as the humans we are can sometimes get hardheaded and want to do things our way and not God’s way. In doing this, we can end up hurt, confused, and stressed. But imagine how much better our lives would be if we made God like decisions. Just like the scripture above, we must lean to not our own understanding, but God’s understanding. The Lord will make our paths straight, all we have to do is submit to him and listen. We must be one with God and know if things are just a good idea or a God ordained idea. If something doesn’t match up with the word of God, then it is not a God idea…just simply a good idea. This week I challenge you all to make better God ordained decisions and make sure it aligns with God’s word. It’s better to go with God’s idea than a good idea that will leave you and others hurt in the end.

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention

Have you ever been at the right place at the right time? I’m sure we all have. Maybe something good happens to us and we say wow if I wasn’t here at this time then I would’ve missed it. Or maybe you were running late for work one day and you found out if you would’ve left home earlier that you could’ve been in an accident. It’s little things like that where God was in the mist. I like to call these little things divined intervention. I went through a full week where the phrase divine intervention was mentioned to me multiple times. I also believe that that was an act of divine intervention. I looked up the word divine and the definition I received was, “of, from, or like God or a god.” Also, “proceeding directly from God.” So, what I concluded was anything that is divine is from God. I then looked up divine intervention and the definition I found was, “A miracle or act of god (or gods) that causes something good to happen or stops something bad from happening.” Some people may call these acts coincidences, but I like to call them divine interventions. It is because of God and His plan that things work out the way they do. Now that doesn’t mean that if something bad happens that it wasn’t from God. Everything happens for a reason. We must pray and ask God what was our lesson from the situation. Sometimes there isn’t a lesson; God chooses us to have a testimony to share with others. The remainder of this week I challenge you all to see God’s divine intervention in your life and I promise that you will start thanking him more and having a heart of gratitude because if it wasn’t for the Lord, where would we be?

 

Sources: Dictionary.com

What Is Your Aim?

What Is Your Aim?

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 New International Version (NIV)

One thing that many people struggle with is purpose. Finding your true purpose can be challenging, but it’s nothing to beat yourself up about if you don’t know your purpose just yet. God has put a special gift inside each and every one of us, just be patient and your gift and purpose will work together. Like the scripture above says, we must use whatever gift that God has given us.  Once you find your purpose you must find your aim and what you are aiming for. We must be faithful stewards of God. Our aim in life must be connected to our assignment and fulfilling our purpose while using our God given gifts. Us as Christians have to make sure we stay on target for God’s work, but because we are human we may mess up every now and then, and that’s okay. When you mess up you pray and ask God to forgive you and try to not make the same mistakes over and over. Our God is a loving and forgiving God, but we can’t keep making the same mistakes and asking for forgiveness over and over if we are truly aiming at the right goal. This week I challenge everyone to know what your aim will be. Whether it is living a better life for God, aiming to help others more, bless others, or just to overall be a better person, make sure you know your aim and you have a plan together. With God all things are possible if you trust and believe.

You Can’t Touch This

You Can’t Touch This

“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Daniel 3:26-27New International Version (NIV)

In the above scripture Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fire. What Nebuchadnezzar meant for their harm, God turned it around. God protected them and made sure that they were not harmed. When the men came out of the fire they were not bodily harmed, their hair was not singed, nor did they smell like fire. God can do us the same way. We may go through some trials but God will protect us and clean us up like new. That is why so many people say I’m so glad I don’t look like what I been through. And that is because God has a way of protecting His children and making sure that no matter what we go through, no one can touch us. So the next time you are faced with trials and tribulations just remember to be still and God is in control, you are the child of the most high and nothing can touch you.

Can You Hold Water?

Can You Hold Water?

“But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:63
New International Version (NIV)

Growing up as a child, my mother would always use the expression “You can’t hold water.” What this truly means is that one cannot hold or keep a secret or information. I was always a talker and I loved giving out information or telling about new events coming up. When I grew up I learned to hold water, or in other words keep my mouth shut. Everyone doesn’t need to know everything and you can’t tell everything to everyone. Everyone will not always be happy for you or support you. In fact, some people will go out of their way to pray against you. That is why we must remain silent. In the scripture above, Jesus was being trialed for saying he was the son of God, but he remained silent. Sometimes we must do the same. In the generation now we say move in silence, you let your actions speak and let your fruit speak for you. There is more power in saying nothing than there is in saying anything. Our words mean everything and we speak things into existence, that is why we must watch our words. I challenge you all this week to watch your words and remain silent. See if you can hold water and see what blessings God flow out to you!

Me First

Me First

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:31(NIV)

I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas. This was my first time ever on a plane. During my flight, the flight attendants went through a presentation. During the presentation they stated, “place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need your assistance.” I was shocked that they said this and God started speaking to me. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves. We must look after ourselves first and make sure we are okay then we can proceed to help others. What good are we to anyone else if we aren’t in good condition? The scripture above says love your neighbor as yourself. The key is to love yourself first. If you love yourself you can love and teat others well. Self-love is the best love and it is vital to each of us. We must make sure we know how to love ourselves 100% before we can love others or treat others right. We should also take time out to have alone time. This week I challenge everyone to take time out to love yourself and take care of yourself. The first step to loving others is to love yourself.

 

Will You Wait?

Will You Wait

We as humans are often in a rush. Rushing to get to work, rushing to get to class, rushing to meet a deadline, rushing to get married or have children. What if I told you that if you waited, you would receive the best. That’s right, God has everything mapped out and he wants to give us the best but we have to be patient and do our part. A few days ago I was wanting to paint my nails. I was so busy with work and other things I was having a hard time finding the time to do them. One night I painted my base coat, then the next morning I painted one coat of color. I got so busy I didn’t get the chance to finish, but I was determined to paint my nails. On my break, I finally finished one hand but I didn’t get a chance to finish the other. My coworker gets to work and gives me a bag full of nail polish filled with a color I had been raving about. She said this was a token of her appreciation to me. Months ago, she was having some car trouble and I volunteered to give her a few rides. I didn’t ask for anything in return, she was a very nice lady and I would want someone to do the same to me if I was in that situation. This may seem little to you all, but this was big to me. Although I sewed a seed unknowingly months ago, I was able to reap something good from it. I was in such a rush to paint my nails and do what I wanted on my own time that if I would’ve been patient and waited, it would’ve saved me time and I would’ve gotten exactly what I wanted. I don’t have a scripture today but I want to leave you all with something to reflect on this week. We should all look at our lives like my story. Don’t rush to do things. Take your time because God always has something bigger in store for us. It doesn’t matter how things look, keep pressing on and be patient. If God let us do things our way, there’s no telling what would happen, so trust him, obey, and wait.

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