The greatest enemy of the hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven but endless nibbling at the table of the world…John Piper
It’s the last week of January, a month that is typically associated with fasting in some churches. Though I have finished my own fasting but while I was studying the Bible this month about fasting, I noticed something: how powerful food actually is.
Here is what I found;
- In Genesis 1: 29-30; Food appeared for the first time in the Garden of Eden when God gave plants and animals as food for man.
- In Genesis 3:6; Man fell. The fall of man came about because Eve couldn’t resist her longing and appetite for the forbidden fruit God had instructed them not to eat.
- In Genesis 25:29-34; Esau sold his birthright because he was overcome with his hunger and couldn’t resist the aroma of Jacobs’ stew.
- In Numbers 11: 4-6; The desire for the cucumbers of Egypt caused the Israelites to rebel against God and his provision ultimately leading to a prolonged journey through the wilderness and the death of that generation.
- In 1 Samuel 2:15-17; The sons of Eli treated the Lord’s offering with contempt and were ultimately destroyed.
- In Luke 4:3; Satan tried again to keep man in captivity by tempting Jesus and he used the same trick as in the Garden of Eden, food. The first temptation Satan tried Jesus with was to turn stone to bread.
- In Acts 6:1; The early church had their first disagreement because of food.
Whew, the lack of control of man towards food has sure caused a lot of harm!
Let’s bring it home: Remember that time when you ate more than you should have eaten at that party and you gained some weight; What about that day when you said you were fasting but broke early because you couldn’t resist the smell of that soup, hmm; Or that mama put that you just can’t resist causing you not to eat your wife’s food anymore; Or that lady you are in a relationship with, you know it’s wrong but she is a great cook, hmm.
It is commonly said that the key to a man’s (male & female) heart is his belly! Will that be true of children of God? Will we be held captive and caused to fall and sabotage our destinies as the examples above? Is the lack of throat control worth it in the end?
The Bible has these warning for us;
- Proverbs 23:2 And put a knife to your throat, if you have a strong desire for food.
- Proverbs 23:20 Do not be among those who give themselves to wine-drinking, or among those who make themselves full with meat.
- Luke 21:34 But give attention to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net.
- Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose god is the stomach, and whose glory is in their shame, whose minds are fixed on the things of the earth.
My advice then is this: even though the fasting has ended or your church didn’t call for a fast; endeavor to live a fasted life. Don’t charge your spirit with so much food and drink that you can’t hear the Holy Spirit when he speaks to you. It would be a complete waste if we just fast and bow our heads for 1 month or 1 week and then live the rest of the year with no continued reverence and bringing our flesh into subjection; it would invariably sabotage the results of the fast just concluded.
Let’s live a fasted life; I recommend fasting once a week. To regularly keep a check on our appetite and commune with God on a deeper level.
It may please you to know that only 3 people are recorded in the Bible to have fasted 40 days and nights; Jesus, Moses and Elijah and only these 3 people were on the mount of transfiguration. (Luke 9:29-31) I challenge you to seek for something higher than any human, earthly pleasure can provide.