Testimony: Earth is Merely a Matrix & Life’s Just a Test

My Testimony

 

Are you allowing satan or his tares to clothe you in disgrace, dishonor, make you feel unworthy, lowly; or leave you lacking confidence and too afraid to ask questions? Have you ever failed to ask a question that you later regretting failing to ask? What was the hindering force that prevented you from verbalizing your question? Was it a personal affliction derived from the spirit of pride, or was it a product of the spirit of fear? Why were you fearful? We’re you afraid you might appear naive to someone, so you refrained from asking your question?

I believe confidence allows us to be accepting of the fact that there’s too much knowledge out there to know it all and by being in a state of acceptance, maintaining confidence and remaining humble and teachable you can be comfortable with what you don’t know and improve and grow. I believe there’s not an individual on this planet that is incapable of teaching anyone something that they don’t know. I found that by taking an independent initiative to research potential solutions to issues from unbiased sources, has helped lift Satan’s veil by seeking beyond the surface for knowledge of things I don’t know.

The Lord gives me strength and confidence and belief in myself and I believe when I really started growing in my faith, I’m too full to permit others to make me feel small. I heard a couple sermons when I’ve heard a Pastor state, “remember if the Holy Ghost dwells in you and you enter a room, Jesus Christ shows up.”

I state that in my introduction to encourage people to ask questions, whether your questions are regarding the word of God and how it’s being projected or if your questions regard things like your health and maintaining your holy temple.

Satan is a deceiver of the world. Just because you visit a Christian website and you’re reading a blog, the blog doesn’t guarantee it’s accurately summarizing the word of God. If you ever feel spiritually afflicted, take the time to read the supporting verses the document is referencing to support their views to make sure what they’re stating is being accurately portrayed with King James scripture.

Alternatively, If you visit a medical professional, you don’t need to accept and take every suggested medication they offer because someone with a college degree is suggesting it. You have the power and should ask questions regarding your health and decide if it’s truly necessary, weigh the risks and side-effects, do your research and see if it’s a minor enough issue you could research or and see if a natural alternative with less or no side effects exists that would suffice. The word of God states (Corinthians 6:19 KJV) “What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own?”

There are integrous individuals in all professions and there are also people who lack integrity and you should always be alert and take ownership of your health. Some professionals receive paid incentives for prescribing newly marketed medications. If you Google any medication, there’s lawsuits and no amount of money can give you back your health, so if it’s important to do your homework and look for unbiased sources of information steering clear of positive research trial materials funded by the same individuals who are profiting from the product.

1 Peter 5:8 KJV “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

In my early twenties, I lacked confidence and I was overly trusting of the system. So much so that if someone suggested a medication and held a job title backed with more degrees than a thermometer, I wholeheartedly trusted their judgment and believed they held both my own and son’s best health interests. As in all professions, there’re reasonable car sales professionals and there are often greedy car sales professionals who lack integrity. There’s no way around it, it exists in all professions, but as the word of God states in 1 Peter 5:8 KJV “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” We always need to be alert and protect ourselves.

Understandably, one medication has potentially twenty or more potential side effects and if you multiply those potential side-effects to how ever many you’re taking and research all potential negatives of all prescriptions, you might feel compelled to alleviate unnecessary side effects by replacing medications that are creating a platform for more medications to be prescribed in an attempt to off-set the current side effects or research and seek natural alternatives with little to no effects.

One medication you’re taking could be producing a negative side effect that could be a contributor to an additional diagnosis. Referencing scripture, I don’t recall Jesus handing out pills and man-made concoctions to heal people, and yet we have medications being advertised on billboards, radio, television, almost everywhere you look. I do however, remember Jesus warning us to be on alert and on guard.

My experiences may not align with everyone else’s; but I do know that when I didn’t have Jesus and was suffering in crisis, distress and tried, I clung to the worldly carnal healing methods for depression and trauma and trusted titles and degrees to make health related decisions for me and accepted the professionals suggested course of action to resolve.  Both my son and my own experiences with the carnal method provided major side effects and down a road, I’d never care to be back on.

I will only suggest that if one is going to take a carnal approach to emotional suffering he/she might run blood work to check for other potential medical ailments that could be the cause, have a nutritional screening and meet with a nutritionist to ensure you’re eating right because what you eat effects your mental health. Furthermore, you might want to seek a naturopathic approach to see if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue which is occurs when your body is trying to cope with crisis and distress and your body can mimic psychiatric symptoms. Again, it’s something to consider and I encourage you to conduct your own personal research and develop your own opinion about it. The medical community doesn’t recognize the adrenal fatigue concept because it can’t be proven in a blood test, but they recognize and treat depression with highly expensive drugs based off symptoms alone. If adrenal fatigue is cheaper to treat with nutrition and doesn’t create a huge platform for side-effects, it most certainly doesn’t hurt to try to treat the adrenal fatigue first? Again, do your own research and be an advocate for your children, because there’s greed in this world and be aware of some (not all) bad car salesmen/women.

While I could exhaust my energy in great detail in discussion about the system, my focus in now Christ centered and my intent to promote relationship with Jesus Christ. A rough past year has taught me, resentment, un-forgiveness will get you nowhere. I’ve learned that the best way to fight back is to spread the gospel and promoting Jesus. As Jesus is the healer and the antidote and the more people who follow the lead of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, the less human’s satan can deceive, manipulate, kill, steal from and destroy. The enemy works diligently to hide Jesus, because Jesus is the way, the truth, the light and the door.  Solutions don’t come from pills, you want a real solution, let me introduce you to my Lord and Savior Jesus.

I battled most my life with depression, anxiety, PTSD and in later years in my twenties substance abuse after being led through personal distress and trauma straight to carnal healing methods, aka psychiatry, to assist with my personal suffering. Honestly, I never found any pill to be the solution for my pain, in fact, I tried over 22 medications to help with my personal sadness and suffering and met more side-effects that led to more problems. Sadly, my son was also on medications from age 5-14 after having been exposed to a traumatic event, again, naïve and young, I trusted the professionals and administered to my son all suggested medications. I lacked knowledge, I didn’t conduct my own research, I trusted and held the professionals had integrity and would make the best decisions regarding the health and well-being of my son. Again, we embarked on a painful road of side-effects and I will only state that neither of us found relief from taking happiness in a pill (man-made) medications which I stopped in December 2015 (2 years) and my son over 1.5 years ago (June 2016). The pills didn’t work for us, however; I can and will state that we have found relief with a relationship with Jesus Christ.

In August 2015 my life changed after my mother’s sudden death. My mother died at age 51 in her sleep next to my 10 year old brother of sudden cardiac death. It was an intense shock; she left behind a husband and seven children. At this time, I was taking 5 different psychiatric medications for depression, anxiety, sleep medications and an appetite suppressant because I suffered an eating disorder. I was a single struggling mother, fearful of being homeless with my son, grieving the death of my recently deceased mother and struggling and in crisis.

Losing my mother was a motivating force because I possessed deep regret and resentment that my issues robbed me of time with my mother. I listened and responded to a plea from my sister two days after my mother’s death for me to stop and get help as she feared she’d lose me and entered into the recovery process 2 days after my mom’s death and have remained there.

The amount of emotional pain I endured during this period was unfathomable. The pain was emotional but hurt so much it made me physically sick. The pain and anguish of recalling my mom calling me a few days prior to her death and asking me to come over for dinner and I hesitated and lied to avoid her in an attempt to hide my problems was an ordeal that burned and haunted me emotionally for a long time.

Despite that anguish, something resonated within me through her death and I possessed a profound understanding that I could either use my mother’s death as an excuse to run myself into a grave and die, or I could cling to a belief that I could redeem myself, re-direct my life and hopefully my mother could stare down proudly upon me from heaven. This understanding, this choice I needed to make also was ignited by a dream I had a week after I lost my mom.

My mother visited me in a dream and I was sitting with her outside in the backyard of her home. My mother didn’t say anything to me, I just looked and stared at her. Interestingly, she didn’t resemble the way she looked in real life prior to her death. In the dream, she looked like she did in her early 30’s, she was beautiful, healthy, glowing and full of life. Her expression was not ecstatic, or elated with happiness. It didn’t appear that she was overjoyed; I think she appeared to be extremely content and had an overwhelming sense of peace. I hugged her in the dream and awoke sobbing upon the realization it was in fact, merely a dream and she was no longer alive. Although I can’t confirm the source of the dream or whether or not it was from God, I can only state the dream moved me emotionally and peaked my interest in developing a relationship with Jesus Christ.

My mind kept remembering my mother’s facial expression in the dream and I was fixated on the level of peace that she embodied. I grew up with Jesus being discussed, and as a small child was introduced to prayer by my mother, attended Sunday school and learned of Jesus, yet I could hardly state that I ever had a real profound, intimate relationship with him. I’d pray on occasion, attend church mostly on holidays and really prayed only when in deep crisis, need, or when in trouble. It was with great gratitude that I received my mother’s visit within my dream as it truly opened a door and was a motivating force for me to want to seek out and truly experience God.

After about a month post my mother’s death, I was still suffering intense emotional anguish and was suffering from depression spells that were so crippling I was often bed ridden and couldn’t shower or leave bed for days. If I was able to shower, that was a huge triumph for me.

I was in deep anguish over my life and the extreme crisis I was facing and I fell to my knees and I started crying out to God and my deceased mom lacking the biblical knowledge at the time that we shouldn’t talk out to dead.  I unknowingly apologized to my mother for being a disappointment and for giving her unnecessary grief in her life. I then started repenting verbally, aloud, every sin I had ever committed and was apologizing to both my mother and to God. This repentance and discussion lasted about two hours and at one point I was laying on my living room floor sobbing and I asked God to “kill me and take me home or change me because I couldn’t stand the suffering anymore.”

Jesus was apparently listening as he took the reins of my life and the next day my journey and transformation begun and has impacted me on such a profound level that Jesus is the center of my life. He has transformed my thinking from a negative, pessimistic, deeply dark way of thinking and processing to a faithful, positive, strong, loving, enduring, optimistic state of mind. Jesus has led me away from negative things and redirected me to positive things. I would turn on utube, type a subject and hear a sermon from a pastor that was so clear it was as if the message was sent from the Lord. I stopped listening to the radio; I haven’t watched television since my late teens, but I noticed patterns with previous relapses being triggered through music while the radio was on. If I started listening to songs or music I associated within the past, it would trigger me and ignite me on a mental level that would romanticize sin and slowly draw me back towards it. I would then find myself listening to more similar songs and then about a week later, I would fall.

Jesus made me feel afflicted or aware of the song lyrics and I decided one day to shut the radio off in my car and I’ve not turned it back on since. I personally like to maintain control over what I expose my mind to, because if you’re trying to stop drinking alcohol to save your family and you’re watching television and some Jim Beam commercial comes on romancing booze it might trigger you to start romancing what you’re fighting so hard to overcome.

Jesus led me to wean off all my psychiatric medications after my mother died with the help of my doctor. By December 2015, I was weaned off all five medications and Jesus led me to sermons, nutritional research materials, I started learning about the adrenal fatigue concept that distress and crisis can make you feel depressed, nutrition and exercise role in how you feel, alternatives and then Jesus led me to biblical concepts that assisted me in dealing with unresolved trauma and changed how I viewed my life trial and my personal suffering. My eyes were opened by Jesus in a way that I felt as if a satan’s blindfold had been removed from my eyes and I was led from a state of darkness into God’s miraculous light.

There were many other things the Lord brought to my attention and pulled me from. I’m still newly on this journey that started when my mom died August 2015 and on April 23rd 2016, I was publicly baptized and made a vow to give my life to serve Jesus Christ and accept his purpose and will for my life which entails carrying my cross for him and spreading his message over social media and being transparent about my testimony to share how miraculous Jesus is and there’s hope through him.

I’ve made a decision out of deep gratitude and appreciation for Jesus bringing me out of the darkness and showing me light and teaching me how to find joy in suffering, that I carry my cross for Jesus and I’m committed to it, so much so, even sharing my testimony as I am right now is a door to intense persecution and closed doors for opportunities and yet, I will affirm that Jehovah Jireh (Jesus) is my provider and a touch of his grace changes everything. Furthermore, the Bible tells us in Revelation 12:11 KJV “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.” My vessel belongs to Jesus Christ and I’m not here to be enslaved to fear of the enemy or the world and trust that God will provide, he can make it rain Manna from the sky. I’m not searching riches in this world, or success on a corporate ladder, I’m anticipating long suffering and a fiery trial and my aim is for everlasting life with Jesus Christ.

Jesus taught me how to love myself. In recovery from addictions and an eating disorder I learned there’s a link between self-hate and self-inflicted abuse. I know when I first started recovery process I could not stand my own reflection in the mirror. The extent of the self-hatred was quite overwhelming. I remember trying to write a couple positive attributes about myself to hang on the wall as positive affirmations and I cringed internally as I truly didn’t believe any of the forced positive statements about myself. I learned that I was purposely inflicting self-geared unkindness towards myself out of a mere sense of self hatred for the person I was and despised myself and wanted to conform into the fake social sense of what society depicts beauty is as you often see it branded on advertisements that are trying to sell consumers merchandise.

Thankfully, the Lord led me to a practice that helped me counter the self-hate. In 2016, I wrote a blog on a prescription for self-hate. I remember I had started utilizing positive affirmations that I didn’t remotely believe about myself and one day while I was running an errand, I stopped to hold the door for someone and a thought ran through my mind as a woman walked by, “random acts of kindness,” and I began doing random kind acts in secrecy. (Matthew 6:1 KJV)  “take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

I began actively reading the word of God and started trying to be obedient and it was intensely hard to do in the beginning. If you’re not used to doing kind things for people and then to try to force yourself to not tell anyone what you did and receive no form of recognition, it’s a hard practice when you first start. It was uncomfortable for me after I completed a kind random act, I emotionally felt as though I wanted someone to know and for another human being to recognize what a kind person and what a kind act I had done. Initially it’s difficult but when you really start believing that Lord Jesus Christ is watching and he sees what you’re doing even when nobody else does it’s extremely empowering. Not only does it help you get comfortable doing things without recognition you feel a secret sense of love for yourself for having not being recognized. It’s a personal secret between yourself and God and it builds a love and appreciation for yourself that requires no recognition.

I eventually began to enjoy doing kind things for others and transitioned from having to force myself to growing to enjoy without forcing myself. Eventually, I grew a deeper and deeper love and appreciation for who I was. I wholeheartedly love the woman I am now and I never thought I’d ever remotely be capable of stating that, but that’s the beauty and power of a relationship with Jesus Christ and I’m thankful for him, his guidance and love.

The bulk of my life I used to hold very negatively. I used to live in a state of victim and Jesus has taught me to take pride in overcoming and being a survivor. Transitioning from victim to survivor was life changing. I survived trauma, being on my own since age 15, went to college on a welfare program as a young mom, first in my immediate family to attend college and graduate, survivor of abuse and a lot of affliction and personal suffering.

I’m an over comer and a survivor by God’s grace (lest any man should boast) and I’ve learned the importance of not dwelling on the past and I’ve changed how I view suffering. Earth is merely a matrix and life is just a test. We can’t be tested, or build faith or even be brought into a relationship with Jesus without suffering. I once viewed suffering as this great pity party for myself, now it’s really a necessary component to God’s purpose and process.

Suffering?  I only visit that place in an attempt to utilize experiences to help someone. Jesus has taught me the power of our testimonies and I understand that I’ve been re-born and I’m a new creation in Jesus Christ. I see how my own personal suffering is a great gift to others, I see the purpose of my trial and see what God can use it for. In the Bible, Romans 8:28 KJV “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” I believe my life was no accident and I believe and can see purpose in even the most negative experiences of my life.

When we see suffering in a positive light and see that suffering helps human beings develop compassion and build faith and resiliency we can change how we react to it. How will anyone have compassion for people if they’ve never suffered? I believe suffering teaches humans to be compassionate for other people. Suffering is also necessary to build faith, hope, strength, and resiliency. Quite often, our own personal suffering is the best medication to others suffering similarly. While I may not be the best person to console a woman who just lost a child having never lost a child myself, a woman who has experienced such a tragedy is often a powerful force to console. While any console is appreciated, a person’s ability to relate on a shared experience is healing. I believe there’s no greater console then a person having overcome and suffered the same.

Furthermore, without suffering, how are you going to ever know or understand your own personal level of inner strength if you never encountered a trial? How can you become an over-comer if you’ve never have an obstacle to overcome? I believe Satan tries to fool the world into believing life’s a bowl full of cherries and that’s hardly the case. Jesus never tells us in the Bible that we would all live behind a white-picket fence and we would all drive luxury cars and live this materialistic abundant blessed life. In fact, Jesus gave gifts of spiritual healing and teaches us to avoid sins like coveting, lust, lying, gossiping etc. so we can live at peace and provides us tools to teach us how to find joy in suffering.

Jesus’s Apostles didn’t live this materialistic abundant life. They ran from city to city for their lives on a mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the fruits of the spirit is “long suffering” as were to share in Christ’s sufferings in order that we might be glorified with him. (Romans 8) Just because a human is blessed materialistically doesn’t always signify the materialism came from God. If a human lied, cheated, stole, or sinned to obtain the money the blessing isn’t from God. It’s from the human serving mammon and not God and God indicates you can’t serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24) While someone’s personal misfortune might appear to be a curse, it could really be a depiction of the individual carrying a cross to serve Jesus Christ. You want to see misfortune, look at Paul’s affliction in Asia in Corinthians and the amount of distress and pain he suffered to push the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you think the rags he was wearing meant he wasn’t blessed? He might have been in rags but he was anointed, standing in God’s grace and healing people.

If Satan can make people believe that being blessed by God equates to materialistic abundance as opposed to spiritual, he can lead people into a series of depression and unnecessary suffering. If the apostles weren’t running through the Bible in royal attire, why do you think you should be running through this life with an abundance of materialism? Do you think Jesus as humble as he was in human form, do you think Jesus thinks you need a gold watch and a Mercedes? The son of God made his debut riding in on a Donkey (see John 12:14). Why not a tamed lion with a gold seat? Add some diamonds and “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” engraved on it? Jesus was humble and not materialistic, so imagining Jesus wants us to be overly blessed in materialistic abundance seems inaccurate.

I believe once people suffer enough and try every carnal solution and to no avail do they find any form of relief or success, they are often thrown to a last desperate leap to their knees with a plea out to God as their final and last attempt. I often wish I would have known better and flung to my knees seeking Jesus years ago and acknowledged him as my first “go-too and first resource” yet despite my woes, Jesus has revealed to my profound purpose in the suffering and the pain and I plan to confront the fear of transparency and ridicule or perhaps persecution to make myself vulnerable enough to share my testimony as the word of God states in Revelation 12:11 KJV “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.”

I feel it is a personal obligation to adhere to the word and put myself out there and share what I’ve learned from my trial. People can accept it, reject it, approve, disapprove, like, dislike, I’m going to continue to write and share my testimony, in hopes that something I’ve written helps someone. Even  if it does not, I do it for the Lord and Lord Jesus sees everything.  Acts 18:9-10 “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision. Do not be afraid; keep on speaking. Do not be silent.” There’s power, love and life in a relationship with Jesus Christ and I want to share that light with the world.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I understand that if I’m feeling anxious, I need to know to go straight to the word of God. I like to utilize Google and just type bible verses on feeling anxious, KJV and all the relevant verses to help you deal with feeling anxious will pop up. Understandably, there’s power in the tongue, I like to verbalize the bible verses aloud and continue reading until I don’t feel anxious anymore.

Great thing about this practice is you can apply the exact same method to when you have thought or feeling of fear, feel like you need encouragement, strength or are dealing with a sense of hopelessness. Practicing the same drill for whatever you’re going through helps you to become more acclimated with God’s word and you will start memorizing the verses and quote them off hand when you experience some negative draw-back.

Jesus is a miraculous alternative to carnal methods of help. If you’re suffering and feeling helpless, Jesus Christ is always available. I have many times dropped to my knees, looked up towards the ceiling and asked the Lord for strength, grace, help, guidance, wisdom, knowledge, hinds feet as referenced in Habakkuk 3:19 KJV “The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like the hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”

People will spend thousands on help for substance abuse, weight loss, ways to overcome issues, I’ve learned there’s no comparison for falling to your knees and asking the Lord to give you the strength you need and to guide you and direct your feet and help. I’ve been overwhelmed with supernatural grace and strength I didn’t even know I had, after praying to the Lord. Additionally, I’ve also  developed an understanding and belief that if I’m feeling overly fearful or consumed with worry, I’m not adhering to the word of God and I need to get back to the word and be reminded of what I’m missing or forgetting. Understandably, I don’t believe “Life’s a bowl of cherries,” I believe that’s a serious misconception and that life’s a test for everyone. I see earth as a matrix and I’m actually seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ.

I believe I’m being tested, observed, and critiqued, not only for entrance but also to determine my position within the kingdom of God. I try to not get too focused on how others and what others are doing and keep my eyes on my test because only God truly knows why he leads some to Jesus and some not to Jesus. We could get into a really deep conversation about this and it could go on for days trying to figure out the Creator of the Universe, I don’t have that kind of energy to expel and I’ve received enough headaches to know, we as humans don’t possess the mental capacity to figure out God. I don’t want to even attempt to try anymore. My only thought is that Christ followers need to be tested and we can’t be tested without an atheist telling us God doesn’t exist. How can God test our faith and loyalty in Jesus Christ without presenting us with distractions and non-believers? How God judges the un-believer is completely up to God as he’s the only one that knows his own purpose for people. Again, I won’t go into the conversation, I only know that God led me to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that’s where my heart and focus belongs.

I believe that seeing my life as a test has made it easier to deal with. I don’t believe that life is supposed to be some joy ride. I believe Satan tries to convince humans everyone else is having a joyous time and that you are different and the only suffering one is you. I think if you’ve lived even 25-30 years (perhaps even less) of life you probably understand that life is not easy, it’s challenging and often painful. There’s of course positive experiences in between but I know youth often believe that rich people don’t know suffering and I believe that’s quite a misconception. I’ve never been rich yet I still can see suffering in being wealthy. Wealthy families probably have insanely high expectations. Poor youth don’t get disgraced for coming home with a B- or have to deal with pressures of image and social politics their parents might be involved with. I often laugh it’s more comfortable to cry in a big house with air conditioning, but even still you don’t know the pain or suffering that goes on behind closed doors and I’m a strong believer that money makes it easier to cover up suffering. If you immaculately dressed and put together, it’s a great shield to the world.

Jesus teaches us spiritual tools to help us find peace and joy through our suffering. John 10:10 KJV “The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” You will often see people take the “abundance” into a materialistic context. Perhaps we all view this differently, but in my opinion, I haven’t noticed any the Lord’s Apostles being described as living extravagantly or covered in jewelry living it up. You see the Apostles sharing in Christs suffering, facing intense persecution and often on the run for their lives. I believe the “abundance” is the spiritual tools and teachings of Jesus Christ that shows us how to find joy even in the storm. You can have every materialistic possession and still be miserable. Have you seen celebrities committing suicide or dying of drug overdoses? Do you think they’re not afflicted emotionally or deeply suffering inside? Using celebrities as an example do you think vanity, wealth or fame leads to joy and happiness? I’m sure it temporarily distracts people from pain, but at the end of the night, you will be confronted with it once again. Satan doesn’t want people to know the power of the teachings in the word of God. If people know the power and teachings they can’t be held in bondage by Satan and his tares. Jesus wants us to seek him and only covet his spiritual gifts: Wisdom and knowledge, Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Discernment, Divers kinds of Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues. I want to grow deeper in relationship with Jesus and work towards developing all the gifts I can. I believe Jesus stresses fasting and its importance to believers because if we regularly practice fasting we stay in practice of self-denial, it’s humbling, and it helps people grow more disciplined and in deeper relationship with the Lord. I believe there are deeper levels of relationship we can obtain and I believe in Hebrew text they have different levels of comprehension of the word of God. There are deeper levels of understanding that one can obtain as we grow closer in relationship with God.

I believe we live in a coveter’s society and everywhere you turn we have very talented advertising professionals blasting ads all over the place gauged to market and drive people to want more. That’s their job that’s what they’re hired for. That’s why I think it’s important to control what I expose my mind to as much as possible. (Luke 12:15 KJV) “And he said unto them take heed and beware of covetousness for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” I believe coveting leads to depression because if you are consistently longing for materialism you don’t have, you can grow depressed. Coveting is dangerous and can lead people to commit crimes, steal, rob, kill and it’s something that can be counteracted with the word of God. The Lord teaches us not to covet and I often like to recognize that there’s purpose within the current situation. Perhaps you’re struggling financially as a means of the Lord’s training to build faith, perseverance, strength or maybe patience to wait on the Lord.

A couple years ago, I was looking at pictures online for something and I stumbled on a picture of a starving woman, holding what appeared to be her starving young son. I was deeply moved emotionally by the picture as being a mother to a son myself; I couldn’t imagine relating to that kind of suffering. I couldn’t even comprehend the emotions associated with watching your child cry in hunger and being completely powerless to provide for them. I couldn’t imagine the extent of pain nor would I ever want to, of seeing your own child starve to death while you are as well. I was so impacted by the picture; I saved it in my phone. I utilize the picture as a tool when I’m feeling sorrow, discontent or in a pity party state of mind-set when I’m stuck imagining my situation is bad. I will pull out the picture of the starving woman holding her son and it immediately moves me, it takes me away from my negative mental state and drives my right into a state of gratitude and in prayer for others worse off than myself. I will start thinking of what I do have. Perhaps my son and I might be struggling, but were fed and have a roof and he’s healthy and not terminally ill dying of an illness. It can always be worse, acknowledging that and thinking of how it might be worse pulls you out of a destructive mental state of mind.

In (Matthew 6:31 KJV) “Therefore take no thought, saying what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed. (32) For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things.” It truly comes down to a trust in God. I’ve been a single parent for the most part of 15 years with very limited sources of help to fall back on when in trouble. I’ve been primarily on my own since I was 15 years old. I’ve suffered misfortune and been faced with fear of being homeless with my son and have many times in my life where I’ve been terrified and had no idea how my son and I would pull through or make it.

I’ve learned that all these fearful close encounters have helped me develop one of the most powerful spiritual tools which is faith in God. I often envision Jesus is hanging me off a cliff by one arm, I’m screaming with terror and he continues to dangle me over the edge and just when I think my hand’s about to slip from his and I’m going to fall, Jesus pulls me up. I find these terrifying life situations to be the “Lord’s Faith Building Training Exercises.” After you’ve had so many terrifying experiences that God pulled you through fright before you thought your world would come tumbling down, you develop a resilience as you become more and more trusting of the Lord.

Immediately referencing back to other periods of your life that you were terrified of and can recall how bad you thought the experience was is a useful tool. Reminiscing on such challenges, and affirming to yourself that you walked through it, you made it out, you survived, you will feel empowered that you’re fully capable with the help of God to repeat the process again. The trial, it’s just a test, no matter what you’re going through, you won’t die. Well at some point, you will die, but no worries; death is merely a graduation a step into another realm.

My most distressing moments I’ve been forced to overcome has helped me develop extreme faith in God. I’ve witnessed God pull opportunities, unexpected checks in the mail and all sorts of other last minute life savers that have really made me see miraculous power of God. Throughout any storm, I believe If we bring our focus back to gratitude, refrain from stressing on things that haven’t yet manifested, pray and make our requests known to the God and ask him to provide his strategy, wisdom and knowledge to the situation, he will respond. And we need to remember who’s in control, stay in prayer, stay focused and do the necessary foot work. Satan will consistently try to distract and persuade us there’s no hope, it’s the end of the world, and yet again, we need to remember he’s a liar a deceiver of the whole world. We need to remember that (Revelation 12:9) applies to all Christ follower and not one of us has received a “get out of Satan’s deception pass for free.” We need to be alert and truthful with ourselves and one another. Satan has sure fooled me multiple times, please share your experiences and tell me, how is that Devil deceived you? John 8:12 KJV “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”