Fast and Pray often
STRONGER in Humility & FIRMER in Faith,
Filled with Joy & Consolation,
purifying & sanctifying,
as my HEART yields to God.
Fasting is exercising my ability to put off the natural man. As I practice control over my bodily appetite, I practice control over natural desires. I then can realize if I have the strength to fight physical hunger then I have the strength to fight off other natural desires that don't align with God's will.
Fasting also humbles me as I think about the Lord's sacrifices for me. I also ponder about the need in the world for me to serve others as I contribute to fast offerings. Prayer during a fast is vitally important. Without it, I am just starving myself. The hardest time to pray is of course when being faced with temptation because it's a choice between submitting my will to the Lord or fulfilling that carnal desire. When temptation gets heavy, I must fight off the carnal desire just enough to pray and I know just in praying...just in that small effort, He would lift my burden. But the more I pray and follow the Lord's will, the more I will be strengthened in Christ to continue. I am humbled because of my weakness without Him. I am strengthened through my faith in him, and as I submit and show that faith, I become stronger.
I need to trust in God to help me not only in the mistakes I am making that I am aware of, but in the mistakes that I am unaware of. I need to trust that God will give me the awareness I need to fix the mistakes I am making. I feel like my eyes are opened more and more every day I am working the steps. Because I am noticing and remembering the mistakes I have made in the past, even the ones I didn't realize were mistakes because I did them in ignorance. I am making progress, though. That is what really matters.
I must become more humble.
More gentle and easily entreated. More patient.
More long-suffering. Temporate. Diligent. Thankful.
These are choices.
Step 3 is a decision step. It's where I choose to be better. It's where I choose to let God help me. Because it is in acknowledging the help outside of myself that I am both humbled and strengthened.
I should not only show gratitude to the Lord, but to my husband. Because he really does help me every day.
If I were to choose just one to focus on right now, though, I think it would be to be more gentle. I need to be more soft-spoken. I think in turn this would also effect patience and help me to be more easily entreated. I need to keep my temper in check and stay calm and positive. Perhaps if I pause and keep tabs on any negativity going on I could curb myself from being harsh and stay in a more gentle state. Being more spiritually minded will definitely help a lot with this. So that's what I am going to do now.
I am going to be more spiritually minded and gentle.