Friday, April 3, 2015

3 Great Benefits of Fasting

At the end of last year, I had a lot of things going on in my life. My mind, heart, and life were completely cluttered. There was a lot of confusion in just about every area of my life and I didn't know if I should go left or right. I was simply a confused soul. Thankfully God placed it on my heart to go into the new year participating in a partial fast. My fast lasted for three weeks and only consisted of fruits, vegetables, and water. My time during this fast was dedicated to praise & worship, praying, and reading the word of God. The only exception to this schedule was when I had to go to work at my job. Obeying God's word to participate in this fast resulted in 3 great benefits in my life:
  1. It helped me learn self control - Galatians 5:22-23 teaches us that to have self control is to have the fruit of the spirit. The word fruit has several different meanings according to Webster's Dictionary: *It's usually a sweet food, *It's part of a plant that has seeds in it to grow, or *It's the result or reward that comes from some action or activity. The common denominator in all three definitions is that the word fruit is linked to goodness. It is good to be able to control your flesh, your evil desires, and your temptation to sin. When you fast you learn to say no to eating foods that bring you great pleasure and  doing things that please your flesh. It doesn't matter how much a person flaunts that nice, savory, warm apple pie in front of your face, you have to say no due to the fact that it is not part of the food items that can be partaken of during the fast. It doesn't matter how many times your friend pressure you to join her for a full day of shopping, you have to say no because this does not fall in the category of praying, praise & worship, and reading the word of God. When you first learn to have self control in the small things, you can later learn to have self control in the large things. For example: First learning to abstain from certain foods can later teach you how to abstain from participating in fornication or adultery. Lack of self control can lead to sin.
  2. It delivered me from bring spiritually blind and deaf - Everything in my life was so cluttered and confusing because my eyes were shut and my ears were closed. Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 13:15. He continues saying in Matthew 13:16 "but blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear." During fasting and praying God was able to help me look past what I saw in the natural, which were deceptions from Satan, to be able to see what was in the spirit realm. The things that God revealed to me in the spirit realm were true and would be released from heaven down to the natural realm in God's perfect timing. God also restored my ears so that it could function in the way he designed them to. He designed our ears to not only hear the things that are going on around us, but also to be able to hear his voice. Most people base their truth on whatever it is that they hear, but if they are only hearing Satan's lies, then his lies become their truth. It is important to be able to hear from God so that we can determine which words that are told to us are actually lies and which words are actually true. Romans 3:4 says "let God be true and every man a liar." How can you know God's word to be true if you cannot hear what it is that he's speaking to you? Fasting resulted in God speaking clearly to me the things that were hidden previously and providing clarity were there was confusion.
  3. It taught me how to produce a lifestyle that continuously leads me closer to God - When you block out everyone and everything, you have an opportunity to sit before God in silence and commune with him. Setting aside this time for him allows you to form a special bond with him. After all, he's your father and you're his child. When children want to form a stronger bond with their earthly father, what do they do? They set aside time for just them and their father. No one else is invited and all interruptions are not welcomed. We have to learn to do the same thing for our heavenly father. When you fast for extended periods of times, the routines during your fast is integrated into a "new normal" for you. It becomes a newly adopted lifestyle that allows you to go further than just being closer to God, but it allows you to continuously grow closer to God. This journey that we embarked on to be closer to God is not limited to an extended period of time, instead it lasts for a lifetime.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Table for Two Please

    When you hear "table for two please," what do you visualize? Most people automatically visualize a table or booth that seats 2 people and at this request it becomes occupied by 2 people. In most occasions the dinner becomes special when the presence of both people come together to fellowship with one another. Fellowship cannot take place if one of the two people refuse to show up to dinner to occupy the seat that awaits him or her. The absence of one of the two people changes the dynamic of dining and it is not as special as it would be if both seats were occupied. I'm sure there are many restaurant owners that would affirm that there are many occasions when reservations are made for two people, but only one person show up. Just as it is in restaurant dining, the same as it is in faith/works dining. People either sit down in the chair of "I have faith in my heart," but leave the chair of "take a step of obedience in faith" unoccupied or vice versa. In actuality, both work together to help bring God's promise to past in our lives. James 2:17 says "faith without works is dead." In order to fellowship at dinner both seats have to be occupied. It is when both seats are occupied that you can go from feeling like the only fellow in the ship to fellow-shipping with one another. When Jesus instructed Peter to step out of the boat and walk towards him, it took more than just him being obedient to the words of Jesus to walk on water, but he also had to believe in his heart that he could do what appeared to be impossible. In Matthew 14:28-33, Peter didn't start sinking until he allowed doubt to form in his heart by focusing on his surrounding circumstances in the natural. For example: You can take a step of obedience to God by opening your own business, but if you don't believe in your heart that your business will prosper, just like Peter, your business will start sinking. Contrary, if you believe that you will have a prosperous business, but allow fear to hinder you from taking the first step to open that business, you will never see what you believe in your heart. Faith and works go hand in hand. So let's make a declaration today that we are going to ensure that both seats are occupied at the dining table so that we can indulge in a special dinner full of awesome fellowship.  

After 5 LONG years.........I'm Back

It's been a long 5 years and I'm finally back! So much has happened in my life that I don't even know where to start.........I suppose I can start by saying that God is absolutely amazing. Throughout these past 5 years I've experienced many ups and downs, but through it all he's kept me. He has even revealed to me that my purpose in life is directly correlated with writing. Writing is the gift that he's blessed me with and even though I may have gotten away from it for it awhile, he's led me right back to the passion of writing that lives within me. Excitement is an understatement in describing how I feel about what God is currently doing in my life and all the great things that he will do in my future. I honestly don't know exactly how to get from point A to B to C and so forth to get to exactly where God has destined me to be, BUT I believe God wants me to take the initiative to crank the ignition and leave the rest up to him. Metaphorically speaking, this is my way of cranking the ignition. If I start writing, I trust and believe that he will order my steps the remainder of the way. FYI: I will definitely be changing the direction of my blog. No longer will this blog be centered around giving my "real opinion" on what's going on in the entertainment world. My life has evolved so much in the past 5 years and I want the content of my blog to reflect this. As of this very moment, I'm not sure exactly which direction I want to take this blog, but I do know that I want it to inspire/encourage others. I may even change the title of my blog. Right now I hope that you will jump on board in supporting me in this new path that I believe God is taking me on. Thanks in advance for your continued support and may God continue to bless you all.