Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God is very clear about the kind of experience God wants us to have while we’re on this Earth. The Lord doesn’t promise us a problem-free life, but a life blessed with God’s divine protection and everlasting hope rooted in Christ. Yet, so many of us don’t know how to walk in the victory that God has promised.
Fortunately for us, the recipe for victory is simple:
Prayer. Most people in the world know what prayer is and get the gist of how it works. The confusion and hesitation as it relates to prayer often comes from lack of faithful, continuous prayer. When we break down the word “faithful” in its most simplistic form, it is describing something that is full of faith. Being in conversation with God requires openness of the heart; we must be both honest and trusting. It’s been said that faith without works is dead. Surely, prayer without faith doesn’t lead to an abundant life.
A strong prayer life is one that rests in consistency, patience, trust, and humility. Consistency in meeting God in prayer. Patience in God’s timing to answer or even redirect your prayer to avoid destruction disguised as prosperity. We can trust God to fulfill the promises made to us in scripture. Humility to submit to God’s authority and majesty, with an understanding that God’s ways are above our ways. Prayer is one of the primary ways we communicate with God, and like any healthy relationship, good communication is a must!
Discipline. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “discipline” as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” The very essence of spiritual warfare is disciplining our flesh against desires that lead us to destruction and disarray. Since God gave us authority on this Earth, we have the power to make our own choices, and we can make choices that either build us up or tear us down. The practice of discipline requires us to live by a set of rules that will help us achieve our goals, build our faith, walk boldly in our calling, and rebuke everything that the enemy tries to disguise as good fruit. So when we make a commitment to do things like attend church regularly, go on a diet, and pray daily, we are embarking on a lifelong journey to exercise self-control and embrace patience in God’s timing instead of the world’s preference for instant gratification.
We have to understand that discipline is not only rewarding but required to experience any level of success. When we deny ourselves something we want now in exchange for what God has in store for us later, we are displaying our faith, and faith always gets God’s attention.
Fasting. Scripture doesn’t demand or require Christians to fast…but it’s an incredible way to release God’s power over your life. The goal of fasting is to grow closer to God and experience God’s presence fully and clearly. When we choose to make sacrifices to draw nearer to God, we are putting our faith on display for the Lord. We’re acting in our faith, acknowledging God’s ultimate necessity in our lives. Furthermore, it’s a practice of spiritual discipline that aids us in submitting to the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh. Through fasting, we gain clarity and spiritual strengthening that we wouldn’t receive otherwise. If you’re still unsure or hesitant about fasting, I encourage you to reach out to your Pastor or a Ministry Leader for guidance and clarification on the methods of fasting. There’s no shame in asking questions. This is how we grow in our faith!