Photograph by Diabe Sale
About a month or so ago I stumbled across a video on Facebook. Looks like I was the last person to see this video because it appears to have made it's rounds on the book of faces.
What was the video about? A man who was a satanist that became a Christian (watch video here). Honestly, I have a very weak spirit for things like that. I want to say I blame my parents, but as an adult I now know why God says we need to listen to our parents. They are His representatives on earth. They are our very first teachers. And let's get real, a lot of us don't find God for ourselves until a bit later in life. But if we listen to our parents (hopefully they are God-led) we are indirectly listening to God, because HE is directing them, which in turn directs US.
Why am giving you this background story? Well, as a child my parents did not allow us to watch scary movies, or movies with high drug/sex/alcohol content. Up until this day, I still can't. If you know my personal life very well, then you know I watch 1 of 3 channels only and absolutely NO NEWS. Sorry not sorry, but that ish is way too sad. Before, I just thought I had a weak stomach for things like that and couldn't stand to see people sad or suffer. Today, I now know that this "weakness" is basically the Holy Spirit saying, "no ma'am. This is not for you." He is sensitive to things like that, thus so am I.
Anywhooooo, I stumble across said video and already I'm thinking, "this is not going to be good." But I force myself to watch it. The whole time I'm saying to myself, "Jesus. Jesus. JESUS." because I didn't want the content of this video to seep into my spirit. I didn't for one second want to be curious. I just wanted to take the information at face value. Little did I know - there was a reason behind my watching the video.
In my effort to try and erase the images from my mind (trust me I am still trying), I saw the message that God wanted me to see and hear. And I would be amiss if I didn't share it. For I believe it was not meant for me to see it and not share. If you're still reading, great!
What I've come to realize is that other religions spend more time in their faith and getting to know their deity than Christians. In watching this video I see the man cutting himself to get the blood he needed for his rituals or sacrificing animals. He tells us how much time he spends in these rituals connecting with the devil, etc. And just how much power he gets from all that time he spends "connecting" with him.
And it's not just the satanists. Think about gangs and other religious groups. Some of them pray for hours at a time, others fast for weeks and months. Some have rituals that require month long devotions.
Then it hit me. What if we as believers and Christians spent as much time with God as John Ramirez did with the devil? What if we devoted hours each day to praying, or reading the word of God, instead of the drive-by hello we give Him. Funny part is half the stuff they go through to connect with their deity we don't even have to do! John had to cut himself for sacrificial blood - Jesus gave ALL the blood we could ever need. I mean think about it. And then on top of that He sent us a helper so we didn't have to do the hard stuff by ourselves. Are you kidding me?!
Now, I am the furthest person away from being an ideal Christian I'll admit. I am such a huge work in progress! If you're in church for more than a month you'll hear the words "spend time with God more," "read your Bible more." "pray more." To me I kept thinking that meant grab my Bible, a dictionary and a study guide and spend 2 hours at Starbucks or something. Who else is with me?! No lie. Sounds exhausting right? But in processing John's video and the message download from the Holy Spirit, I decided I've got to do better! Like seriously. Then I recalled a conversation I had with my friend Morgan where I basically said the same thing. She told me, "no where in the Bible does it say to grab your Bible and do all that." God just wants to spend time with you, and He wants your best/first. She then proceeds to tell me that her brain is always moving so she keeps the Bible app going while she's getting ready in the morning. I mean, there's even a Bible app guys! God has made connecting with Him SO easy! Why aren't more of us connecting with Him?! Others have to work twice as hard to connect with their deity, and here we are ... nada. Maybe it's because we have it so easy? I don't know. But we've got to do better guys. Can you imagine if we all spent time listening to Daddy (God) and getting those personal downloads from Him everyday? Maybe you could help save someones life, maybe you would know for sure if you should invest in that business idea or back out, maybe you could just save your marriage. Just think about it for a second. If satan granted John access to such things just for his devotion, what more of God? He wants to bless us so much! But we just need to spend time with Him and learn to listen.
So while I'm on my way to for real studying the Bible, for now I have my alarm set every morning to wake me up. And instead of hitting the snooze button, I turn on my Bible app and lay it next to my head and just let it wake me up. Within 30mins I've gone through over 5 chapters. At which point I turn it off and turn on my praise/worship music and let that get my day going. Nothing "magical" has happened, yet. But I'm definitely in a much better mood daily. I find myself asking God each morning, "What can I do for the Kingdom today? Who's life can I touch?" I constantly invite the Holy Spirit to invade my space, take control and lead me through out my day. What this does for me is provide me confidence that as I go through my day, He will show up and guide me when I need it, and sometimes even before I do. I know this is still not enough, but it's a start. I don't know about you, but the more I see what's happening around the world, the more I want to be that next level Christian. Whatever that looks like to you, I challenge you to pray harder and make it an effort to connect with God daily. It's as easy as rolling over in the morning and saying, "Thank You for waking me up today Lord. How can I serve You?" If you already do that, spend an extra 3mins in prayer. Just do something more! Take it to YOUR next level. This world is getting out of hand and we desperately need more people out there doing just a little bit more. The devil is busy. Very busy. So we've got to get busy too. Busy praying, busy reading. And guess what, you don't even have to memorize the Bible scriptures! Whaaaaaa??! Like for real, the Holy Spirit even pops up with scripture when you need it! Come on now! Everything is done for us! We just gotta put in the time, listen, and be obedient.
If you're a young'n reading this, let me put it into perspective for you. So you meet this guy, or girl right? You guys like each other and what not. Well, don't you want to spend ALL your time with them? Well duh Geena! Lol. Yeah I know. Same thing. God is SO excited about YOU. And really, that's ALL He desires is to spend time with you. So YOU can get to know Him. Because let's be real, He already knows all about you. :-) Which is a really good thing!
Oh when you spend time with that guy or girl and get to to know them, you start doing the things they like even before they ask right? They in turn give you pretty much whatever you want... Am I right or am I correct? Lol. Same difference!
On that note, who wants to be a #nextlevelChristian with me!?! It's time we (Christians) got busy! We've got to do our part to make this world a better place for us all.
Love you guys!!
PS: the more I work at being closer to Him, the more I desire to grab my Bible and study about His word. Can't wait!