One day I was on a two day fast,and I got so hungry, and thirsty.
When I started praying, I started to get so sleepy,and I started thinking to myself, “oh maybe I don’t have to go through with this fast After all I have already done other fasts,what harm will it to me if I just eat then take a nap since am so sleepy.”
It seemed like such a good idea as I contemplated on it in my sleepy state.
It was supposed to be my off day from work but an emergency program had come up and I had had to work that morning, and I had just gotten back home,the time was now around 2 pm.
“Yeah,God will understand, after all,you had to work this morning. When you planned this fast,you didn’t know you would work,you thought you would just be home praying, so now you are tired,just go to the kitchen get some food,then take a nap.”
These were the lies satan was injecting into my mind……lies because even when am working a full day i have managed to fast,but he was prying on my moment of weakness.
As i muttered sleepy prayers,more thouvhts kept coming,”Just take a short nap and when you wakeup you can still spend time with God,you will even be stronger to pray and read the bible.”
When I opened my eyes,those thoughts seemed like a good idea,but very faintly I could hear the Holy Spirit telling me,”don’t do it,resist the devil.”
The voice telling me to break the fast seemed much louder,more demanding, “God is your Father,He won’t mind.”
I decided to get up and take a walk outside my house to get rid of the sleep.
I walked towards the door of my house, when I turned the door knob to open it,I heard the voice of the Lord clearly,He said to me,”Prayer is sacrifice. Prayer and fasting is sacrifice. You don’t base it on your feelings. You just make a decision to do it and you go for it,regardless of how you are feeling.It’s a battle and you must FIGHT in order for you to overcome. It requires self denial to pray and fast.Do not bow down to the flesh.”
Immediately, I knew I had to complete the fast I had planned,whether I felt hungry or not,whether I felt tired or not.
And as I meditated on the words the Lord had said to me,I immediately knew it was satan who was attacking me with tiredness and sleep and hunger, because he wanted to keep me away from Jesus.He wanted me to bow down and worship my flesh!
And I decided I would fight,and I would not obey my flesh. I went back to my prayer room and asked The Lord to help me pray,I destroyed the spirits of sleep and distraction in the name of Jesus, and I carried on with the fast as planned.
Whenever we decide to do anything that will get us closer to Jesus, satan will fight foot and nail just to stop you from fulfilling it.
But we must be aware of the enemy’s schemes and resist them.
Like one time I was praying with my sister.
We were praying outside the house and I saw a vision of demons carrying a mat pillows!
The spread the mat on the ground and then put pillows for us to sleep.
Immediately we started to get so sleepy and found it hard to pray till we cast out spirits of sleep in the name of Jesus and we were able to pray!
Satan wants to keep you as far away from Jesus as possible.
If you decide that you will pray at 4pm for example, he will do everything possible to stop that,whether it means attacking you with laziness,or making a friend come to your house shortly before that time,or giving you so many ideas of what else you need to do,anything!
That’s why God wants us to recognize that the spirit life is a battle and prayer is a battle field,we must approach it as such. It requires discipline to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life.
It requires subduing the flesh and making it subject to the will of God.
Anyone who wants to get close to Jesus needs to know that walking with Jesus requires self denial.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples,’If anyone desires to come after Me,let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
You cannot walk with Jesus and yet keep bowing to the desires of your flesh at every turn.
It requires discipline.
Many people think they cannot fast,simply because the last time they tried they got so hungry and gave in,you must fight!You just make a decision to do something and you do it,regardless of how you are feeling!
Some feel like they can’t spend much time with God because when they just pray for a few minutes they get distracted. Its a battle, you must fight.
Destroy those distractive thoughts in the name of Jesus and continue praying.
You must discipline your body to pray. You won’t just enjoy prayer all of a sudden.
You must force your body to pray.
It will give you all sorts of excuses, “oh but you need to go and do this and this,” say no to it and turn your face towards Jesus instead, ask Him to help you pray.
You cannot live a holy life without a prayer life.
It’s only when you are walking with Jesus that you can be holy because even when you do something wrong without knowing He will correct you.
It’s not a bunch of rules,it’s a relationship.
Once you fall in love with Jesus you will want your whole life to please Him.
Holiness won’t just be rules to you.
Because you and Jesus will be one,so if He’s happy, you too will be happy, so you will not want to do something that grieves Him.
Instead of staying away from sin being difficult for you,sinning is what will become difficult for you because when you know the Lord isn’t happy with what you did,neither will you be happy, till you make things right with Him.
Jesus wants us to come close to Him and to know Him,to be one with Him where His desires become ours,His passion becomes ours!
He is calling us to that great intimacy where we are so connected to His heart and truly experience His love.
There is so much God has for us,we don’t experience it because we do not seek Him.
It starts with crucifying the flesh.
Make a decision that whether you feel like it or not, you will pray. And of course the Lord will help you as you do it.Whether you feel like or nor you will read the bible, every single day.
Give Jesus time.
Time is the most important step in seeking God.
No matter how busy your day gets,decide that you will still spend time with Jesus.
The bible says when you draw near to Him,He doesn’t just stand waiting for you,He too draws near to you!(James 4:8)
But drawing near to God isn’t a once in a while thing.If you must find,you must keep seeking Him everyday.There comes a time when your love for God isn’t just words but becomes so real you don’t want to disobey Him.
There comes a time when His presence is literally where you long to be all day long!
There comes a time when you hear people talking about Jesus and He’s so real to you,you are just thinking to yourself “that’s my friend they are talking about.”
There comes a time when just hearing the name of Jesus will bring so many tears to your eyes and you feel so drawn even to His name because you love Him so much.
Its not just words or emotions,its real.
Jesus wants to be real to us because when He is real,His word will not just be mere theology,but it will breathe life into us,causing us to live for Jesus,not out of obligation but out of love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He wants to take over your whole life,if you will let Him.
Jesus is so wonderful, and many people say He’s wonderful but its just words,they don’t really know He’s wonderful because they haven’t experienced Him.
But as you get close to Jesus you will begin to realize so many things about Him that you did not know and when you are worshipping Him you will mean each and every word you say because you know Him.
Another really important thing to know about getting close to the Lord is that you cannot predict the Holy Spirit. He’s unpredictable.
You can’t predict Him,so you must just allow yourself to be carried and led by Him wherever He wants and whatever He wants you to do.
That’s why Jesus said those who are led by the Spirit are like the wind,you can’t tell where it comes from or where it goes! (John 3:8)
There have been times when I have planned to do my own things and all of a sudden the Lord tells me to pray!
And there have been times when I have really wanted to pray and when I get down on my knees to pray,the Lord says to me,”I want you to worship,and I just end up worshiping and singing instead!”
You can’t predict the Holy Spirit but you must follow His lead and obey Him.
The more you obey Him,the more you will be able to hear His voice.