Like many who grew up in the church, I have always prayed the model prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13. I would mainly use it when I was not quite sure what to say or even what to ask of God. So when it came time to go through a recent season of pruning and purifying, I quickly realized how ill-prepared I was to fight against the spiritual attacks that started coming my way. So I asked God to reveal to me a prayer strategy, or if He could teach me something, I could use to block or defend myself from the adversary. I mean I felt like a boxer who was just taking blow after blow to the body, head, and chest.
The day God freed me from the chains of drinking and smoking is also the day He warned me if I chose to return to doing those things the consequences would be much worse. The Bible echoes these exact words in 2 Peter 2:20 KJV "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." This kind of frightened me because I had just come from a place of utter darkness. One where I could not turn down a drink if I saw someone I knew drinking or if I smelled something I liked to smoke it would then spark in me the desire to partake. Not only that but participating in all these things started to open up the door for spirits to come into my heart. Therefore, creating strongholds in my mind that seemed to grow each time I willingly walked toward one of my temptations. See my life had become one of pure torment that death seemed like the only logical answer to combat the mental, spiritual and physical agony I was going through during that season. So after receiving my warning, all I could think about doing was whatever I needed to stay far away from all my triggers as best as I possibly could.
For the past three months, I kept hearing the Lord mention to me the word "first fruits" over and over again. Also around this time, I heard the Holy Spirit ask me to trust God with $50 each week we received our paycheck. I know you may be thinking that this is not a lot of money but with my household budget already about to burst at the seams, I was ready to suggest to God a few different places where that money could have gone. So, I continued ignoring his promptings for awhile and realized just how hard it became to keep up with all the payments and bills during that time. Soon the money seemed to disappear faster than I could even blink. Quickly, I realized that I might need to lay down my thoughts about money and just trust in what He was asking of me. I mean what did I have to lose and how could the outcome be any worse than what it was already. Right?