Being Christian is the most unnatural thing you will ever do. For our human nature is in direct opposition to our spiritual yearnings and as such, you will find that the very greatest battle you will ever fight in this spiritual warfare is the battle with yourself. Be prepared to fight against your wants, your desires, the very things that have led your life upto this point. For in worshipping the desires of life (that is to give in to every urge we have) is a path to ruin. For you have become a slave to desire and are not in control of yourself. And yet, we fool ourselves thinking that we are masters of ourselves. This is not true at all. What we hope accomplish here is to slowly show you a way to regain control over yourself, to take back your life from this ever-dying world and point yourself upward, Godward, Heavenward.
But first you must know, your battle is neither unique nor unconquerable. Thousands upon ten thousands have been right were you are now, and have managed to claw their way through the mud and begin their own divine ascent up the ladder to God through the teachings of His Beloved Son – Jesus Christ. For you see it is only natural to want, to desire, and to seek comfort in this world – but these flames of passion only draw our focus away from the eternal goal we seek when we claim our birthright as Christians. And so we are in a constant battle with ourselves. “The greatest and most perfect thing a man may desire to attain is to come near to God and dwell with Him.” “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
There are many who say that being Christian consists of fasts, vigils, prayers, and other similar austerities of both the body and the mind. But these virtues do not by themselves constitute Christianity for they are practices used deceivingly by many other “so-called” non-Christian religions today. But these spiritual actions are only the means and methods of attaining Christian unity – drawing nearer to God. In other words, if you are expecting an important guest in to your home, you will gather up your clutter, clean the house and prepare it for the guest’s arrival. Or, if you purchase a new couch, TV or appliance, you clean up the area where the new item will be placed. This is also true with accepting Christ into your life.
Now do not be discouraged, He accepts you as you are now. He came for you, knowing full well that you will ignore His teachings, that you will cuss at Him, curse Him and His ways and even make fun of Him. And yet, despite all this, He still stands their loving you, waiting for you to say to Him that you are now ready for Him – even if it is the last days of your life. And so what we hope to achieve here is to help you prepare yourself for the entrance of more and greater Christ-like values. And just as there are three who would lift us up: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – there are three who would bring us down: the flesh, the world and the devil. The first three will attain life, the latter three will attain death. We hope to train you to be able to separate what is of God, and what is not.
As a practice, Christians fast that we may have dominion over the cravings of our own flesh. We maintain vigils that we may be vigilant to the attempts of this world to try and pull our focus away from our path to God. And we pray, that God may grant us strength to defeat the devil and all his snares. So these Christian Practices are like weapons of war needed to defeat the enemy. Fasting is equivelent to military training, vigils are our shield to block the attempts of the world, and our prayers (mingled with His Grace) are our sword.
But a soldier sent out to fight without a general to lead, or an experienced army commander to follow, is doomed to fight an ever-loosing battle as the attacks of the enemy are never-ending and this sole fighter will be without support, reinforcements or experienced direction.