Walk like Who?

I like asking people their favorite parts of the Bible. I feel like it helps me know them a bit better. Most of the responses come from stories I know well. Occasionally, I’ll get a story I don’t know well at all. Those are fun. People tend to get creative with their answers when I’m unfamiliar with the story. Personally, my favorite part of the Bible isn’t a story. It’s a little detail in the grand scheme of greatness that the Word is–a raindrop in the ocean.

Genesis 5:21-24 says, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

I love this. How, I ask, how did Enoch live? Even Abraham could not escape the jaws of death, yet Enoch did! This paragraph has generated countless opinions and historical perspectives of who Enoch was and why God took him. Every time I read these verses, I have a plethora of questions. Why isn’t there more about what he did? Who was Enoch? Why at 65 did he begin to walk faithfully? Is God still taking people away pre-rapture? When I tell people my favorite part, they give me an, “Oh yeah, him,” or a confused, “Who? In Genesis?”

Truthfully, I get excited every time I read this. I get lost in the possibilities of everything I imagine Enoch to be. I’ve dabbled a bit into the history of Enoch, but I read everything with a discerning eye. I have yet to find an answer that satisfies my mind. I long for Enoch’s story to be laid out in front of me. I want to be able to revisit his life. I want more than a paragraph, so my true questions can be answered: What did God see in Enoch? And could He see it in me too?

A Poem for Papa

I’m no poet, and I know it, but when I started to know God, I would read Him my favorite poems. I was convinced that every love poem and love song was about Him. One of my favorites is ee cummings, “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart).” The last time I recited it back to Him was when I was leaving Bethlehem, Ga. Something clicked that night. There was a truth that I discovered then. It was that He is in all good things, in all honorable and true things. Between Bethlehem and now, I stopped reading. I stopped reciting. Maybe because I’ve been running.

I’ve been running fast from every giant in my life. It’s like the Jason movies. No matter how far or fast I run, there they are lurking in a dark corner. In the moments where I find a shelter of quiet, I sleep. I’m exhausted, yet my feet keep running.

I’ve heard somewhere that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I always run to the same places, looking for the same people, and asking for the same kind of help. Insanity.

I’m reading this book by Louie Giglio titled Goliath Must Fall. I encourage you to read it. It is so good! Giglio discusses strongholds that people have on their lives and how to be free from them. As I’m reading, I’m making a list of all the things that I’m running from, and there’s so many. Things I dare not say out loud, things I suffer with every single day, a few that are common like pride, approval, control, and abandonment. There’s so many, but I believe they all come from one giant.

Today, I find myself tired of temporary sleeping spots. I want rest. I’m tired of temporary refuge. I want peace. I’m tired of running, and with that there God is. There He is to love me, protect me, and honor me. There He is because He wants me. He wants me more than words can express. So, today, I have a poem for my forever expanding, infinite God who gives me permanent rest.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Fun Fact

Did you know that at birth, there are approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 eggs remain? And that of these, only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman’s reproductive lifetime? I didn’t know that, but a question about the probability of there being an Aisha came across my mind today. There are endless possibilities of pairings that could’ve been, but here I am. There’s a me—only one in Creation. There’s millions of other people walking about with their own experiences and trials and triumphs, and that is amazing. Today, I recognized just how deep God’s love is for His Creation and just how important we are to Him. Today, I not only recognized but I felt just how significant each person is in God’s plan. Out of the hundreds of thousands of outcomes that could’ve been created, there’s a you and there’s a me. And God has always had planned it that way. Long before you even existed He paired generations together just to get a you. That’s amazing.

I’m sure you’ve seen this Scripture many times, but today I didn’t just claim it for myself but said it for everyone I passed.

“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.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

The Daniel Fast

Last year I participated in The Daniel Fast. It was the first time I ever desired to push my spiritual boundaries. The fast lasted for 21 days, and it was one of the most powerful experiences I have had. I received so many revelations about my current walk with God. Mental and spiritual blocks were removed. God was clear, and His love made my cup overflow with goodness.

This year I wanted to have a game plan, so I could be focused on God as much as possible. Below are a few tips I have to keep myself focused on God and not on temptation.

1. Pray beforehand. Ask God what type of food sacrifice you’ll be taking. I’ve known I was fasting since December. As the days progressed, I got more passionate about the fast and began asking God for His guidance. He revealed to me what my sacrifice would be. Ultimately, your sacrifice is between you and The Lord. You’ll know it’s a sacrifice by how The Holy Spirit impresses you. This means you don’t need to justify it to anyone or worry about it. If God told you to make this sacrifice, then He will provide you with the strength to succeed.

2. Prepare your meals as far in advance as possible. The last thing you need to be focused on is what is going into your mouth. Prepare it. Pray over it. Store it. Move on.

3. Get an objective. Why are you fasting? What do you need clarity in? What would you like to be stronger in? You have 21 days to dig into a facet of your life that needs clarity, healing, or attention. This requires some self-awareness as well as some prayer time. Once you know what to focus on, you’ll know the kinds of seeds you’ll be sowing for your situation during this time.

4. Plan out prayer times. Make time for God. Have a set time or times that are solely dedicated to prayer. Don’t focus on fleshly, soulish matters. Dig in deep. This isn’t just a time for you to know God, but this is a time for God to know you. Open up to Him. Cast your life upon Him. Allow Him to flood every part of who you are during these times. Last year, this happened for me in the middle of my fast, maybe around day 12 or 13. Once I allowed Him to fill me up, I found myself praying without ceasing. When I truly began seeking God, I couldn’t go a moment without thinking about Him, praising Him, or seeking His heart.

5. Know His Word. It’s nice to have words of encouragement to meditate on while fasting. I have index cards with a verse or two around my room. These cards are what I read before I go into my prayer closet or when I leave my room. I even have a board on the refrigerator. Welcome His Word in all your spaces. Some people plan out Scripture to read for all 21 days. I even think the Bible app has a devotional for The Daniel Fast. I think that’s wonderful. If planning out your Scripture works for you, then go with that, but be flexible enough to be led by the Spirit. Dig into the Scripture as much as you can. This is the time to seek knowledge and wisdom from God.

6. Keep a heart of gratitude. Jesus Christ laid down His life to reconcile us with God. He is the ultimate sacrifice. This is a sacrifice for us to be dependent on God and to seek His will over our lives. This 21 days will be powerful and intimate. It’s life-changing and having a heart that is grateful, regardless of your hangry stomach, will allow you to push into the promises of God. Seek God’s Word for your life and believe that whatever He says will come to pass. His Word never returns void.

As my Pastor taught me, this world parallels the spiritual one. Remember that during this time you will be sensitive to spiritual shifts. You could be more vulnerable as well, especially if this is your first fast. So make sure the only voice you’re seeking and hearing is God’s. Read His Word. Speak to Him. Praise Him. Worship Him. Be discerning of others speaking on His behalf. This time is for you to know your King for yourself.

Father God,

I lift up my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to you Lord who are about to embark on a journey to know You more. Father, may they find peace, joy, and strength that come directly from Your heart. Lord, may you impress upon them the power that they have in Christ. Father, during this time please remind them that You are always with them. You are around them. You are for them, and no weapon formed against them will prevail. Lord you are working through them to build up Your Kingdom, and You have an extraordinary plan for their lives. Father, may they put down themselves and exalt who You are. I thank You Lord God that we are in a moment of sacrifice for our King. All glory and honor belong to You and You alone forever and always.

In Jesus name I pray, amen.

**Always consult your doctor before you undergo any dietary changes.**

A Gentle Reminder

God wants all of you all the time. He wants to see you flourish. He wants to hear about your day. He wants to know the desires of your heart. He loves you more than you could ever imagine or understand. He doesn’t want to be restricted in your life. He doesn’t want a part of your life. He wants to be your life. Spend more time with Him. Love Him. Invite Him to your day, to work, or on your car ride. Seek His Presence over ever waking moment of your life, and ask for His peace while you sleep. He is waiting for you to open up to Him.

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:14-19‬ ‭MSG‬‬