I recognize I am a spiritual force in a natural, fleshly body. I was created from the Earth. My environment shaped my mind as a child. I experienced things in adulthood that continued framing my way of thinking. So, the truth is if I do not maintain a prayer life, apply God’s word, and practice fasting, I revert to an old way of being. As Eve hid herself in the garden, I too begin to hide from my Father.
The truth is anxiety, depression, fear, guilt, and insecurities war with my mind when I do not push away the food and fast. The truth is I get overwhelmed and frustrated easily when I have not guarded my mind with God’s word. Truth is I find myself worrying about things I cannot change when I don’t make God my center focus.
I can give you a million excuses why I didn’t have time to do what I should have done, but none of them are sufficient. The truth is no matter what my excuse is for not spending time with God, the results are always detrimental to my spirit and negatively influence my mind. I mentally & spiritually deteriorate one day at a time.
Serving God is like plugging a lamp into an outlet. When I am connected, his glory shines through me and I feel the electricity (connection) in my spirit. I understand my purpose and I move with confidence knowing I am never alone. Reading his word, fasting, and praying gives me spiritual vision to see the good in ‘not so good situations’. I have a hope that goes beyond what I view and feel. My understanding grows and my knowledge of God flourishes. The power received from being in his presence causes me to have peace, boldness, and physical energy.
In his presence, I get the strength to show up for myself, fight negative thoughts, and the desire to encourage others. Waking up in the morning becomes a testimony, breathing becomes motivation, and I understand God’s love for me. I crave his intimacy, and without hesitation, rush to get alone time with him.
I have learned that there is no way to function at you best self without a real, intimate relationship with God. As a medical provider, I understand what mental illness looks like. Before God, I experienced anxiety but refused to take medicine. Now in salvation, I know what I needed all along. My armor.
When we seek the kingdom of God and make him a priority, our spirits are still. No longer restless. No longer trying to fill that ‘unfillable’ void. No more worrying. Even in salvation, we must make a conscious decision to put on our armor and show up to the battlefield full of power. How else would we conquer mindsets, characters, and patterns that diminish our relationship with God?
Slothfulness, stubbornness, excuses, distractions, cause you to neglect time with him and fill it with things that you enjoy naturally. We must recognize the price we pay when we exchange intimate time with the Creator for things that profit us nothing.
I am coming to you as a sister. As a friend. Increase your prayer life. Study your Bible. Ephesians 6:13-20 gives clear instructions on how to overcome on the battlefield.
You must first understand that the only person that you are fighting is you. Your desires that contradict God. Your wants that you are not prepared for, yet not having them cause you to be angry with the Creator.
You are your biggest enemy. Nobody else can destroy you. You know your weaknesses. You can choose to cover them and no one else will ever know. You know your deepest hurts and can refuse to be healed. You know your biggest worries and can allow them consume you, instead of bringing them to the one who promises to carry the load for you. These are things I had to tell myself, but I pray you see where you are in it.
We must stay before God; in his word. We must practice fasting to weaken our flesh, see things spiritually, and kill our own way. Why? Because we are all spiritual beings in earthly vessels warring on the battlefield of our minds, and striving to overcome so one day we can go home.
Photos by my good friend Kayla Jones while visiting Puerto Rico. I can not wait to go back because it is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.
Scipture: Ephesians 6: 10-20