Pride always ends in a fall

Pride. There’s a feeling that comes with being able to say “Look at what I’VE accomplished” or “I did this all on MY own”, and it feels good. Being able to receive praise from those around you, or even in moments of praising yourself, because of your individual accomplishments gives a certain satisfaction that can become addicting. While taking pride in where you come from, the quality of your service, or how you carry yourself are not bad things at all, pride guided by the wrong agendas (Boasting, bragging, putting others down, viewing yourself as God, etc.) can lead you to a mountain top….and then straight over the edge for a pretty hard fall.

 

“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 16:18

 

King Nebuchadnezzar had a beautiful kingdom. Built and established over the years, it was truly a huge testament as a king or ruler to have a beautifully built kingdom and loyal army. Naturally, King Neb gazed upon his kingdom and began exclaiming “Look what I’ve done with my own hands!”, letting his pride lead him to a place of self praise and self admiration. Ultimately, an old prophesy instantly came into play at that moment and the kings pride literally turned him into an animal, forcing him to eat grass and live outside in the wild for 7 years…

 

Pride also believes in itself so much that it will convince you that you don’t need help, even if you are moments from self destructing. It takes humility to bring yourself to a place of asking for help. It may seem embarrassing or maybe make you feel like a bother, but the refusal to go to people for help is usually a sign that pride is taking over. Living in a mindset of never reaching out for help is not only foolish but impossible if your goal is to limit your stress. There’s no need in praying for better days, praying for a blessing or way out, when you’re just going to deny it if that blessing comes in the form of help from another person. Pride will tell you constantly that you are the only source for your help, your peace, your strength, and your joy, but if that’s really the case you’ll never experience any of these things. Pride comes before the fall because we put so much faith in ourselves even though we know as people we have limits we simply can’t surpass.   A hand full of pride and grab any type of blessing, you gotta let that pride go. WE CAN’T SAVE OURSELVES

PRIDE IS A DANGEROUS THING:

  1. It changes you and how you interact with those around you
  2. It discourages you from reaching out for help, when you KNOW you need it
  3. It sets you up not for a fall, but a hard fall, usually with no one around willing to help you up.

 

We all need a little help sometimes. We all succeed and fail sometimes. Living a life where accomplishments or other self seeking attributes are your source of happiness and peace will be a life lived in stress. A life unfulfilled. And ultimately a life that’ll at some point take a hard fall. Let’s not allow pride to be the reason you fell off a cliff, because the way life goes…either our own efforts of letting go of pride will humble us, or the fall will.

 

 

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Sunday Service?

“…I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that’s the way I need Jesus…”

 

Over the past few weeks we’ve been seeing Kanye West doing these “Sunday services” and I have to admit, I like em! I mean, they sound amazing, the lyrics are dope, and the vibe feels very encouraging. Kanye has even gone as far as to grab the mic and openly express his feelings about Jesus through his sermon at his Atlanta Sunday service. It’s certainly a twist from how we are used to seeing Mr. West and while some are really inspired through his recent actions, others are highly skeptical. Can’t say I totally blame them, Kanye has a track record of doing things for self glorification, so who knows what is REALLY the intention behind these things? Before we rush to either accept or reject him, allow me try and  put things in some kind or perspective first….

From a biblical standpoint, being highly skeptical of people isn’t new. At times it was warranted, at times it wasn’t, and other times maybe it should been more of a thing. To start off let’s look at Paul (formerly known as Saul).

Before encountering Christ, Paul was a persecutor and killer of christians (A proud one at that). He was instrumental in the imprisonment and deaths of believers, the most known being Stephen who we see in the book of Acts. (Paul had the man stoned to death). This SAME guy, Paul, after meeting Jesus, approaches the faith community basically saying “im on your side now”. Now, we know they were all skeptical of this, I mean he just had one their own killed but now he’s trying to preach and worship with them? Huh? They were all still very afraid of him and Im sure most wanted no parts of him because of his past, even though he was genuinely changed.

There was a Roman captain who had a servant who was dying. He sent elders to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant. Jesus and the crowd following him made their way to the Roman Caption’s house only to stopped before almost getting there. They then reported that the Captain stated if Jesus just spoke the word from where he was his servant would be healed instantly without Jesus having to come in the house. Now, Romans oppressed the Jews during this time, and the soldiers were the face (and force) of that oppression. Jesus turned to the Jewish crowd and praised the Captain for having that kind of faith saying “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith”. Im sure almost every Jew there raised a high eyebrow at the fact that a Roman Captain had a genuine faith in Christ because of his reputation. Again, a legit reason to be skeptical, but also again misguided.

But I mean come on, there are times where being hesitant isn’t a bad thing. Although Jesus knew it was going to happen from the beginning, during that three year ministry run I’m sure none of the disciples even suspected Judas was going to betray Jesus. Someone known for walking with Jesus, there for all the miracles, heard all the teachings, Jesus even saved his life along with the other 11, no way HE was going to be one to do Jesus dirty like that? Wrong, despite his stacked resume of ministry experience, he was a snake. Yet again, reputation proving to be wrong.

So Fred what are you saying? Im saying when it comes to Kanye, we are judging off of reputation and past actions. Although as humans, that’s almost the best we can do, you can’t use that as a measuring stick for the CURRENT state of someones heart. Simply put, we don’t know. No matter how theologically deep you want to get, you just. Don’t. Know. And honestly, that should be OK to admit. Here’s what we do know however…

God can change any heart (He literally transformed a heart set on murdering Christians into a heart that deeply wanted people to follow Christ).

Whatever man (or satan) means for evil, God can use it for good (Let’s say this is all a flex or stunt for more attention. Through this “stunt” some people are still being pushed to sincerely follow Christ, God still gets the Win the regardless!)

We can only try the spirit by The Spirit (only through discernment can one really know the true or twisted intentions of someones spirit. We try, but we can’t tell and we can’t use someone’s past to determine their current state. No matter how “logical” we try to paint it, man can only see the outer. God sees the heart)

Listen, give the man some grace. Time will ultimately tell whether this is something we can truly get behind or not. But in the meantime, let’s drop the stones. We don’t really have the “holy standard” to stone anyone anyway. Relax, enjoy the melodies (or not, but they are pretty dope), and pray for the man. Let’s not accuse him away from the church, he’s right where he needs to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well Doing In Weariness

Text: Exodus 17:8-13

Moses has successfully led his people out of Egypt. Going through the desert, their water supplies have dropped and they’re thirsty, so they stopped at a place called Rephidim and God Provides them water to drink. While They’re recuperating, Amalek and his army surprises them and attacks them. Abraham tells Joshua to get a squad together to go and fight Amalek, Im going to go to the top of the Hill and hold up the rod of God. Moses, Aaron, and Hur, go up to the hill and Moses holds up the rod. While the rod is lifted, Israel is winning the war, but when his hands dropped they would begin losing the war. Aaron and Hur seen his weariness begin to get the better of him and decides to not only give him a stone to rest on, but also lifts up his hands for him when he could no longer hold them up himself. Because of this, they end up winning this battle.

Weariness? Defined as:

– exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness

– having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted —used with of

 

In Ephesians 6, Paul is encouraging us to put on God’s armor. Paul knew that we as believers, are constantly at war spiritually. Satan is always seeking a way to attack, trying to find any possible angle to come in wreak havoc. Much like Amalek and his army, Satan will usually attack us when we are least expecting it, taking us completely by surprise.

Even in those surprise moments, we can usually fight him off initially. We got our scriptures we can throw out, we’ll pray a lil bit, worship a lil bit, we don’t just roll over. James tells us that if we resist the devil he’ll flee…but James never said he wasn’t gonna come back again, and again, and again, and again. We have these strategies for when things are fighting against us how to overcome, but its not often we hear about how to fight multiple battles at once, or how to successfully stand against consecutive rounds of struggle. Honestly, its not the one thing that’ll overwhelm a person, but it’s usually the one thing that turns into 3, that turns into 5, that turns into Lord what do I do now, where are you?

The thing about weariness, it’s heavy. It’s literally like trying to run just as fast in the water as you do on land. It can also look like a person thrown in a pool and cant swim…fighting to get out the water until fatigue steps in and the drowning begins. This is what Moses began to feel during the battle with Amalek. At first, he’s fresh, he’s good, his arms are high and israel is winning. But holding your arms up becomes hard, you get tired, muscles begin to strain and your arms become like weights and they eventually begin to drop. Don’t you notice a difference in your warfare when weariness is making you feel too heavy, too tired, too worn to hold up your praise? To hold up your prayers? When reading just begins to be a strain? When your worship begin to drop? The enemy gains the upper hand when we give in  to weariness and fatigue. You can deal with multiple things or maybe one thing for a long time and eventually weariness will set in at some point, No matter how strong a person claims to be there’s only but so much we as people can bear. so what do we do?

Solution:

So, In reading this the natural question that I had was God what do we do in times of weariness? What’s the answer? I hear God tell me “do what Moses did”…and I reread it and im like well what did he do? and all I heard after was “nothing”…..What? What do you mean nothing, and then it hit me. NOTHING (Not literally nothing but hear me out). Remember the pool reference we used earlier? How a person that can’t swim gets thrown in?  I’ve never seen anybody thrown in a body of water just stay completely still and drown, there’s usually a series of arms and leg swinging because the natural instinct we have is to survive. But if can’t swim swim, although you initially were swinging your arms and legs with power, that energy will fade, that vigor will fade, the water will become harder to get through and that’s when drowning happens. Now, the only way a person that can’t swim survive that situation, is if someone else jumps in and saves them, a lifeguard, whose job it is to save people from drowning. But you know that “I might drown” moment is a moment of panic, and even without meaning to, that panicking moment will cause people to fight the lifeguard that’s only trying to save them, making the saving process harder than intended. But if the person just relaxed, and allowed the lifeguard to do that they are there for, the process is quick and easy. Because even though you’re still in the water you can’t swim in, you’re 100 times safer in the water with a lifeguard than not.

We have a tendency, to panic, in those “Im gonna drown situations”. when the Anxiety hits, when the stress hits, when loneliness, or inadequacy creeps up, when the work is piling up, we’ll fight back. We’ll work a lil harder, move a lil faster, we’ll pray a lil bit but then that heaviness sets in when we do that and we’re still drowning, the answer is you don’t need to somehow fight harder, we should look and see what happened with Moses because as he was about to give up, Aaron and Hur stepped right in to supply the strength where Moses was weak. Jesus gifted us the Holy Spirit before going back up into Heaven as a helper. He’s ;literally here because Jesus know there were things we can’t do, he knew that humanity had its limits, but the Holy Spirit is limitless. So while we’re in this pool of life, not knowing how to swim, those drowning instances of weariness doesn’t have to claim us as another casualty, because the Holy Spirit is the lifeguard appointed to save us because we can’t save ourselves. But we can’t fight against him, we can’t be so busy trying to swim ourself, we neglect the help of the Holy Spirit. because as long as we are just fighting ourself, weariness will win, anxiety will win, stress will win, addiction will win, depression, anger, all of these things fighting against us will win against us, but none of those things can overtake the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:31-38 (Read and believe this, even when hopelessness is al you feel)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Well doing in your weariness depends on your willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to lift you up. You’re not going to lose in this season,

Position Matters

Leadership calls for awareness

– Where you should be, Awareness of position is critical.

Position matters 

Point guards aren’t usually standing in the paint, because as a facilitator they aren’t supposed to be standing where the bigs usually are (knowing your position). If you switch the QB and the center of the OL, you’re gonna have a dysfunctional offense, position matters.

  • Leaders have to stand in places that others cant be in. (Being they I have 0 experience with pulling sources for leadership, I went to the Bible).
  • David, a king, had the responsibility of leading his troops into war, because that’s what kings did
  •   Kings lead the army, not from behind the troops, but at the front line of battle. This is where his position called him to be. But that wasn’t where he was, was it?
  • David was out of place
  •     The results of David being on the roof, instead of in the war, was him becoming a murderer and rapist instead of celebrating victory with his troops. He went from being a leader of an army, to being a victim of his own selfish desire. David was out of position.

Leaders are expected to stand in certain positions, be in certain places, and rooted in certain soil. These positions or places are often called:

-humbleness

-boldness

-obedience

-honesty

-wisdom

-love

-boldness

Sometimes are own desires, or insecurities, or fears, or anger, or anxieties, can drive us to trade these areas, for places or positions that seem to look more appealing than standing in leadership.

After all, you’re a lot safer at the rear of the troop than the frontlines of battle. Your insecurities hidden. Your flaws covered. Your efforts minimal. Your sacrifices small. Seems a lot better than the hard work of an effort filled position.

But at the end of the day instead of covering, these places just expose the things we try to hide. Insecurity can exist within the leader and the one refusing to lead but the difference is refusing to lead is gifting insecurity the victory, where leading despite what’s inside destroys insecurity’s authority.

Example: I’ll use myself

  • There are 2 things that usually call me inwardly to come and take position, Teaching/Proclaiming the gospels according to my gifts…and Social Anxiety.
  • The teaching and preaching are gifts given that demand some sort of leadership responsibility. It calls to at times stand up in front and give what thus says the Lord, or to make oneself available to the spiritual needs of others….listening, talking, praying, etc.
  • Social Anxiety, far from being a gift, is just a weakness of the flesh. A byproduct of fear. It calls for a position that’s unseen, unheard, and unbothered. protected from effort, failure, and sacrifice. It keeps you away from the pain of growth.

 

The truth is we all reap the fruits of whatever position we choose to stand in.

The position that’s easier to take is usually the one that’ll leave you comfortably stagnant and unfulfilled. 

leadership positions are designed to keep you working leadership type duties, that’ll keep you away from rooftops and instead conquering in the positions that need you.

It may get challenging, it may get hard. Stay in position, continue to grow, continue to lead.

A Special Kind of Love

John 11:39-40 

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

 

Life is full of ups and downs, the old cliche that daily proves to be one of the more concrete truths out here. But, there’s being down, and then there’s really being in a bad place. Whether it’s feeling hopelessly consumed by depression or anxiety, shame from doing things you know you had no business doing, or being at the end of a chain of bad decisions made, that feeling of “can things get any worse” is like quicksand…pulling us deeper and deeper the longer we stay in it! Hopelessness is a bad look.

But it’s more than just being in these situations, more times than not we hide these things from people because society has a general standard of “acceptance” that things like anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, resentment, addiction, poverty, etc. doesn’t meet. To keep ourselves at the right standard in the eyes of people, we either completely hide these things and put on our best front, or we avoid people altogether. The less they know about how we REALLY look and feel inside, the better.

Martha, the sister of Lazarus in John 11 proves that we not only feel this way towards people but towards Jesus as well. Jesus came to bring her brother back to life, but when he asked for them to remove the stone covering the tomb Martha immediately said “Lord by this time he stinks, it’s already been four days!”. The stench of death is repulsive to say the least, but it’s certainly a smell no one wants to be around. Martha puts that standard on Jesus as well, warning him that her brother is no longer pleasant to be around because he is no where near that standard of acceptance.

Honestly, Lazarus was dead for four days but there have been things I’ve dealt with that had me feeling dead for years. Im sure the stench of depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and anger was way past what anyone wanted to willingly be around. It’s for that reason that I put those same limitations on Jesus as well…there’s no way he’d want to even get close to me, nobody does! But as we see in the next verse, that is a LIE. The truth is, the things people may find repulsive about you, doesn’t effect Jesus in the slightest. His Love FAR exceeds the limits to the love people have. There isn’t a depressive episode too deep, there isn’t a sexual act too extreme, there isn’t a bottle, or blunt, or needle thats too much, there isn’t a single thing that “smells too bad” for Jesus’ love to deem you unacceptable to reach. 

The enemy places these barriers in our mind to keep us from believing, because he knows if we refuse to believe then we will also refuse to trust and receive the very thing Jesus is trying to give us. He uses shame and guilt like his left and right hands to hold us back, but shame and guilt only has the power you allow it to have. Had they listened to Martha and not Jesus, Lazarus would have remained in his dead situation (Literally dead!).

Doesn’t matter how bad you think you “smell”, don’t the stone between you and Jesus stand in your way. Let’s not allow how we view ourselves, or the opinions of others determine how we believe Jesus views us. Remove the barrier and rise again!

 

Selah.

Challenge accepted (Growing Season)

Went to the gym early this morning for another round of pulling, pushing, lifting, curling, etc. Halfway through my workout my arms became extremely sore and I asked myself “why do I do this to myself daily, man this hurts?!”. I could’ve been sleeping still, enjoying my bed until work yet I chose to come here again just to feel pain. Why? Then I remembered that nobody goes to the gym to hurt their body or put their body through stress, yet we all go to the gym with an end result in mind. A better version of ourselves stamped in our minds, this is why we make ourselves go to the gym and put in work. No, it doesn’t always FEEL good, sure sometimes it hurts, sometimes we’d rather be doing something different…but that version of ourselves that we want to produce won’t come by dodging the process of the workout.

There’s a better version of yourself buried beneath the process you continue to ignore. The road to your purpose is hardly ever easy, feels good, or is short lived but it 100% produces what you were created to do. We can’t let fear and doubt keep us away from the process that’s meant to prepare us for greater things! You have purpose, it’s time to get up, get to the “gym” and embrace the process of getting there.

Set Apart (Growing season)

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:”

For most people, sexual activity is one of the hardest battles to overcome while trying to walk with Jesus, including myself. I gotta be honest, sex feels pretty good…but in reality, outside of the realm of what it was intended for (marriage) it’s a few moments of physical pleasure that leads to long lasting spiritual (and sometimes physical) strain. While all sins are looked upon by God as the same, Paul explains to the church in Corinth that sexual sin hits us a little differently than the others (1 Corinthians 6:16-18) :

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

However, here in Thessalonians, Paul has told us three times for us to be “set apart“. He used sanctification twice and abstain once in those verses. Sanctification is process of one becoming sanctified, which is defined as being set apart in active dedication to God to become holy. It’s in God purpose for our lives that we constantly strive to be sanctified, or holy. We as people cannot become sanctified without first being set apart from the things around us. We take showers to clean ourselves, but how long after a shower would you stay clean if you immediately went out in a field full of mud? Not that long I imagine. Well, fornication is equivalent to being clean and then throwing your body into the mud. It defiles your body and corrupts your spirit, which is why Paul then used the word abstain. While sanctification is the process of setting yourself apart to become holy, abstaining is plainly staying away from a certain thing or person. Creating distance between you and whatever that something is, in this case fornication. Abstaining and sanctification are linked here because we as believers can’t become sanctified without abstaining, and making the choice to be sanctified in simultaneously making the decision to abstain from certain things.

Being driven by lust will just lead down a dead end road. The lie that sex with that one person will make you whole, yet after that high comes down, just like a drug to an addict you’ll be crawling right back to it for another fix. Sexual sin turns us into slaves, making us jump and run to it whenever it calls our name. Persuades us to run back to people we don’t even like, and can even cause unwanted, life changing effects to our lives as a whole. Listen, just as in Daniel when King Neb made a decree that whenever the music played in the kingdom everyone had to bow down and worship his statue, being a slave to sex causes us to worship it whenever it demands. Don’t make fornication an idol, Paul urged us to abstain for our own good. In this season of growth, sanctification is a major key for those next level revelations from Jesus. Freedom over enslavement.

#GrowingSeason

First things first (Growing season)

1 Thessalonians 2:12-13

12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Verse 12 here is actually the finished product of  verse 13. How we receive things determines its effect on us internally and externally. If you gave a basketball to two different kids, one may be super excited about the gift while the other may not show any interest at all. The gift is the same in both situations, but because one received it with joy while the other received with disinterest, one situation leaves the child joyful and the other not so much. Believing is shown as two part here in these verses ….it’s shown in receiving and application.

Receiving the word of God as just another speech or meaningless message cancels it’s gratifying effects on our spirits. (Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“). Believing enough to receive the word as truth however, initiates the first part of a heart change…allowing it in your heart in the first place. Hearing with faith is different than just hearing. In the example with the gift of the basketball to the different children, the giver wasn’t giving out joy, joy was produced because of how the first child received the gift.

Verse 13 explains that once the word is received properly, the word begins to work or show proof in us. The second part of true believing, the application, is seen in verse 12. The physical proof of the internal working of the word in us is shown by walking worthy of God. Carrying ourselves in a Godly manner is something that we couldn’t do without first the word working in us to help us do it. We can’t operate in a Godly manner throughout our everyday lives without first receiving the word to change our hearts. Loving, forgiving, helping, witnessing, etc. cannot be done without our hearts being transformed by the word of God. Which is ultimately Jesus himself.

Believe (greek translation pisteuō)

  • To put one’s faith in, with an implication that actions based on that trust will follow. 

Growing season

Recently I went on my very first absolute fast, where I went six days without any food…just water and about 16 oz of juice a day. I love food! So, initially I didn’t think there was anyway possible I was gonna do that. The first two days and the fourth were the hardest to push through, but it honestly wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. The pastor at the church I attend stated that “there are some things that only come by prayer and fasting”. He was highlighting the importance of fasting using the example of Jesus and the disciples in Matthew 17:18-21…

“18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

The disciples couldn’t remove the evil spirit from the young boy because they lacked the adequate faith to do so, but they lacked the kind of faith required because they had yet to take the time to build their faith up. Simply put, there are some things we encounter in life that’s going to require a certain level of faith that is only attainable through prayer and fasting.

Fasting isn’t about starving yourself, and just going without social media for a week or two, fasting is all about “tunnel vision”. Denying desires of the body to use that time you would spend eating, scrolling on social media, watching tv, etc., in prayer and isolated focus on God. It’s a faith building process that puts your body under control and positions one to hear from God.

Listen, faith isn’t something that just grows when you want it to. No matter what it is, growth always has a process that precedes the result. Our faith only grows through trial, how can we claim to have a solid faith in Jesus without ever having to believe in tough situations? Through fasting, you let your body know that it’s not natural food that ultimately sustains you, but it’s Jesus that keeps us through faith. Believing that, despite your body demanding that you eat, or your mind telling you to check your TL or turn on Netflix, and instead filling that time with prayer, meditation, reading the Word, and worshipping, grows your faith tremendously! It’s not an extreme “religious act”, fasting is our spiritual gym…running, lifting, curling our faith to bulk up our spirit and weed out the weakness of the flesh.

Fasting not only grows our faith, but it forces us to drown out distractions from our everyday life so that we can hear God clearly. Jesus often separated himself from the crowds, as well as the disciples, so that he could be alone in his prayer time with his father. We do so many things throughout the day that we can fill our minds and spirit with a huge load of information that drowns out the voice of God. Most of the time us not hearing God is not because he isn’t talking, we’re just too distracted to hear him! In John chapter 10 Jesus tells his disciples My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” 

Just as Jesus was explaining to the disciples, there are certain types of bondage, obstacles, situations, chains, generational curses, and everything in between that can only be broken and removed by a strong level of faith. There are certain places God has prepared for you to use you for great things that you can’t access yet because your faith isn’t where it needs to be as of yet. Could Noah have saved his family and humanity without first believing God to build an ark despite YEARS of no flood? Could David have become king without first believing God enough to face Goliath when David was just a teen? Could Jesus have been prepared to do three years of healing, miracles, teaching, giving up his life then rising again, without first enduring the temptations of the wilderness? No, everyone in the bible accomplished great things AFTER the trying and proving of their faith.

**2018 is growing season, new opportunities, new places. and new successes has an entry requirement that’s call new faith. Don’t let fear keep you from fasting, put yourself in a position to grow.

Morning prayer 💪

Lord thank you for this new day,

I pray that strongholds and bondages begin to break today,

The pains and stresses of yesterday will be replaced with peace and restoration,

Jesus I don’t understand my current season, but help me through my doubts to trust you despite my struggles,

The walls will fall, the sea will part, and the giant will fall, in Jesus’s name

Your grace and mercy is unmatched and undeserved, I’m more than grateful for your constant love

Forgive me for my sins, help me forgive those who have sinned against me as well

Peace, love, joy, and power will reign supreme today

In your name I pray, amen.