I have gotten to truly believe that Our Father God is a True Father indeed.
I have just completed seven nights of a Sleep Fast. If you’re not familiar with a sleep Fast it is the giving up of your sleep (sacrificing sleep as you would food or something else) for a greater godly cause. So you would pray and worship through the night hours from 12 am until mid-morning or morning. It is a very effective weapon. This fast wasn’t my first, but this surely was my hardest.
By the Sunday night, which was the last night, I was so weary I could barely keep my eyes open. I had had a very long day that Sunday. I ministered in the morning never got home until the evening, then I went to my home church for Lord’s Supper and never returned home until late. I was already weary and sleep depraved, so having that long day, never helped in any way.
When it got time to pray, even my husband was so knocked out from the long day that he never heard the alarm to get me up to pray. Let me pause to say on my previous sleep fasts I wouldn’t sleep at all for more than 2 hours per 24 hours for the entire seven nights because that is the time I would have left after prayer as I would have to get up and get started on my schedule for the day. However for this fast I actually took an hour or so of sleep in the nights just before the session, in addition to 3 hours I had after the prayer in the mornings.
So as I was saying, when time came for the prayer, I literally hauled my legs (that were buckling under me) to the living room. I couldn’t make it but I kept saying “I will make it, I will make it, I can do this”. Honestly, I wasn’t convinced. By 3am I was so tired, I couldn’t pace the floor in prayer anymore. I knew If I sat down, I would immediately fall asleep but I couldn’t help it. My feet hurt and all parts of my body ached. I was so weak, weary, tired, fatigued, exhausted, sleepy and enervated. I felt like I was literally gonna pass out! Finally I sat down – That was the end of that! You can imagine what happened next. After sitting, all I knew was half hour had passed since I last remembered what I was praying but yet I couldn’t move to get up and continue praying. Then another 15 minutes…then 10 minutes…. then another 15 minutes and so it went on for about and hour and a half combined. When I looked at the time it was a little after 5 am. I was so disappointed in myself. I always prayed until 6 or 7 am on the last night – ALWAYS! I felt so badly like I had let down God and He was saddened by my failure. I began to cry! “I’m sorry God, I am so sorry. I tried my best. I really did. I just couldn’t hold up. I am truly sorry”. I wailed to him feeling utter shame. My heart felt broken as I pondered how ashamed He must be of me. I nonetheless stayed and finished praying until after 6am then I went to bed feeling like I lost an important battle and I was now the biggest scandal on the planet.
When I woke up the Monday morning, the pain of my failure griped me instantly and I hang my head in embarrassment and disgrace. The thoughts in my head were “I failed. Its not well start but well done and I didn’t end well therefore I am a disappointment and God is not pleased with my efforts”. By about midday, the pain of my stench of being a let down was so overwhelming that I curled in a little corner of my bed and began to cry to God expressing again my apologies for failing Him.
To my utter and most needed surprise I heard the Lord say “Why do you keep repenting for that which I have not laid a charge to? Are you being convicted or condemned? Do I convict or condemn?” In that moment it felt like the Lord was smiling and standing right beside my bed where I curled up hollering in a pool of tears. Immediately all the chains that imprisoned my heart fell and I stood free. I wiped the tears from my eyes and began smiling. He then said “I have come that you may be free. Who the Son sets free is free indeed”.
The enemy had belied me, condemning me, causing me to feel like I was the worst person in the world because I fell asleep and could not pray until daylight. He made me feel like God was mad at me and was disappointed in my efforts but that was all a lie. Jesus was proud of me and was in no way ashamed of me. It gave me a level of freedom that words cannot express. It brings tears to my eyes even as I write this post and the moments are relived in my memory.
Jesus loves you and is proud of your strides and sacrifice for him my friend. Proud of your baby steps to change. Proud of your loving heart. Proud of your kindness to others. Proud of you – His masterpiece. The Holy Spirit convicts in love to steer you to freedom and a godly lifestyle. The Enemy condemns in guilt to steer you to bondage, imprisonment and shame. Knowing the difference is a key to a healthy heart and mind.
So, the next time you feel like a failure because of whatever reason, think carefully and ask yourself… Am I being convicted or condemned?