I wanted and prayed for ears to hear what the voice of great wisdom beyond description would say. His very words to me were like dew drops on flowers in the morning time. His voice soothed me, and I found trust, comfort, and peace there. His voice was what I longed for, what I lived for, what I clung to ever since our intimate introduction years prior. This time the Great I Am gave me an ear full.
The Master Teacher threatened me to a dare over nineteen years ago. Yes, He threatened to leave me in my needy, broken state, or so I thought. This voice inside me that I knew to be the passionate whisper of the Ancient of Days called me and summoned me to go! My peace unraveled at the jostling of details. February 18, 1999 was the firm date, and there was no backing out. I knew He meant business. Let’s just say it was more of an instruction than an invitation.
That was how it had been with me and the Lord. I followed as I felt led, then I would later speculate and reason over the how and why. We were close, so intimate and inseparable. His presence was the very air I breathed. I ran home to it as a husband to his wife or a child being summoned to dinner. I ran home daily with expectation. It was so surprising. Our interaction took my breath away!
I laugh looking back now. I became immune to the religious disease by being vaccinated by the relationship serum. To think that I was once so dependent, an admittedly stubborn, recovering, and self-sufficient intellect. But no longer. Where was I going to go without it, His presence? What was I going to do without Him? To be so attached and fond of something (His presence) and someone (the Trinity) that the marriage of the two is like coffee and cream. Deeper still, encounters with the Master Teacher were like the first breaths taken by a patient disconnected from life support after being hooked up to the ventilator for thirty years. I couldn’t let that go, I had to obey it, follow it, and do it. How could I say no? What reason could I give to say I cannot go where He directed?
In God’s voice was infinity, eternity, and the now. I knew it was Him speaking to my very being to leave because the scripture shared such an encounter in Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV).
God spoke to Abraham about a similar experience:
Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family. And from your father’s house To a land that I will show you. I will make your name great: And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3, KJV
SHEEP OR GOAT
My sheep shall hear my voice; and I know them, and they follow me.
–John 10:27, KJV
I had been experiencing much discomfort and unease in my spirit for a while. It was a sunny Sunday, and I was traveling home from church. The service was excellent. It was spirit and word filled enough; yet I left feeling full and empty at the same time. I had feasted on the Word at church and Bible study, but like an uncontrollable hunger, my spirit man was constantly seeking and needing more. Perhaps Psalms 42:1 (KJV) best describes this place stating that, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
I remembered the conversation going something like, “Lord, I am giving everything that I have, doing all that I know to do, and yet I feel this pull on my spirit man like there is more you want from me. I am not sure what more I can give.”
The Spirit remarked, “I want all of you.”
Whatever that means, I thought to myself. However, I was sure the cryptic message would be revealed soon.
I decided early on in intimate relationship building with the Lord that I would never know more than Him. Praying in tongues existed as a tool to tap into the supernatural for answers. If I felt a cog in my wheel, I would pray. If I felt any resistance in my spiritual flow, dulling of my prayer life, or hearing a word from God being snuffed out by busyness, I would pray. Prayer had become my best friend. Frequent rendezvous in my prayer closet were the antidote.
His word and Spirit reigned supreme over my own miniscule reasoning. Job was aware that ‘…power belongs to God” (1 Peter 5:11, KJV). I, as the convert, returned little questioning when the Spirit spoke most times. I enjoyed acting on what I was instructed to do as opposed to reasoning out the what and the why of His instruction. James 1:23 (KJV) states it best: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.”
After a grueling day at work, I arrived home and immediately began preparing dinner. It was a frigid January evening, the type of day that when you cook, steam covers the windows on the inside. I was whipping up a gourmet meal of ravioli, homemade meat sauce, salad, and garlic bread. I was newly settled in my place, and I had adopted the motherly constitution that my son was not going to grow up on beanie weenies, chips, and cereal. He deserved better, and Betty Crocker quick meals were not going to be his only dining experience.
I knew the neighbor’s noses were being teased by the aroma of garlic, onion, Italian seasonings, parsley, oregano, and other spices floating through the apartment hallways. It was about to be an epic dinner. I was proud my son was inquiring about when it would be ready for consumption. Success at last! This appeared to be a meal that would not end in the trash from a lack of cooking prowess.
The steam billowing from the pasta pot churned while I was daydreaming and listening to how my son’s day had gone. In a mid-stream stir of the savory sauce, I heard the Spirit say, “Go on a fast.”
A fast? I repeated to myself, as if He–The Almighty–was void of knowing my thoughts. He wanted me to go on a fast? Boy, did He have bad timing. I was resolved this had to be a merciless joke. I was cooking the feast of the century about to throw down on the vittles before me. I would say grace over it–amen and everything.
The word fast was virgin to my religious repertoire. It was not a common practice or topical discussion in the religious circles I frequented. I had no frame of reference to draw from because I had never fasted. I knew I had heard clearly what to do; now I just needed to know how the Spirit wanted me to fast. The information I gathered about fasting ranged from purposes of to specific types of fasts. Prior to this divine instruction on my eating habits, fasting remained an unknown. The anxiousness I had been experiencing was most likely the backdrop for this fast, I thought. I was attending church regularly, but this gnawing, pulling at my soul and spirit was undeniable. Like a woman in her last trimester, sitting was uncomfortable, sleeping was uncomfortable, and once the fast started, eating would be uncomfortable. My only relief was to pray in the Holy Ghost and do as I was instructed in preparation for the fast. “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15, KJV).
I planned to pray fervently in the Holy Ghost until I got an answer about this fast. All the while, I was hoping for a welcomed release from this knot in my stomach Romans 8:26 (KJV) indicates, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth in our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Trusting in God while relying on the power of the Holy Spirit would be the best combination to come out of this fast successfully. The uneasiness in my spirit that I mentioned needed unpacking like a hoarder’s closet. The Spirit’s prompting me to fast could be the revelatory doorway I needed to shake this spiritual muddle. Yes, Lord, I heard a baa (a sheep call) in my spirit instead of a meh (a goat call).
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