Not by Bread Alone: But by obedience

Introduction

This Newsletter discusses the importance of our obedience to the Word of God.  Our obedience to God is a basic requirement of every believer in Christ Jesus if we desire to grow and develop in Him.

The disobedience of Adam

Adam, the first man, was given instructions by God and he was to observe them in order to live and enjoy his life to the full. However, he disobeyed God and sinned against his maker. He was then separated from God as a result of his sin. So He died spiritually and fell short of the glory that was given him by God.

In reference to the above, Paul writes that “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (Rom 5:14), that is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

The obedience of Christ

Jesus Christ was the Son of God yet He learned to be obedient by those things which He suffered while on earth (Heb 5:8). He was tempted by men and the devil but He remained resolute to be obedient to God. Believers are being encouraged to learn from the Christ who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest they get exhausted and faint in their minds (Heb 12:3). Jesus, being found in fashion as a man, never fainted in what He suffered. He humbled Himself and became obedient until death, even the death on the cross (Php 2:8)

Adam was tempted with food in the Garden of Eden and he fell (Gen 3:6). Similarly, Jesus was consistently tempted with food on the mountain during His forty day and night fasting but He remained obedient to God. For His obedience, Paul again writes: “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17).

Therefore, as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, shall many be made righteous (Rom 5:19). Also, as sin hath reigned unto death, even so, might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 5:21). God demands our complete obedience but not only our sacrifices (1Sam 15:22).

Conclusion

Human beings are being encouraged to remain obedient to God for them to live eternally. The first man, Adam, died because of his disobedience to God, but Jesus, the second man, lives forever because of His obedience. Therefore, man does not need food alone to live but his obedience to God. Everything we experience in life must teach and urge us to live in obedience to the word of God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are strong but we are weak. May you empower us with your Spirit, to live to obey you as we walk with you. In the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. AMEN!

 

Not by Bread Alone: But by prayer and fasting

Introduction

In this edition of our Newsletter, prayer with fasting is discussed as an important basic need of every believer in Christ. Man needs food to survive but we also need to feed and sharpen our spirits with prayer and fasting. This piece of writing does not seek to comprehensively provide teachings on prayer and fasting but to highlight their relevance in the life of believers.

Faith and prayer with fasting

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Faith is the assurance that what is being hoped for shall happen through the power of God. Prayer with fasting is the act of abstaining from food for a period while seeking the move of God in our lives as we commune with Him. It is possible to fast without praying and it and it is also possible to pray without fasting, but the result is amazing if the two go together. Prayer and fasting quicken and sharpen our faith. It is read that:

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Mat 17:20-21)”.

According to the above scripture, Jesus tells His disciples that faith is a great tool in the lives of Christians but it does not answer all things. The truth is that a person could have faith but would not be able to move all mountain until prayer with fasting is added to it. If you have tried all means but nothing seems to change or improve, try prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting could empower believers to cast out devils, to receive healing and to heal the sick, and make impossible situations possible for believers. Some of the things that prayer and fasting can do are detailed in the next paragraphs.

Prayer and fasting

Fasting may weaken your knees and your flesh (Psa 109:24), but your spirit would be stronger, sharper, and tougher. By fasting and prayer, Esther and the Jews escaped death that was decreed against them by the king (Est 4:15-17, Est 5:4-8).

Again, prayer and fasting help us to humble ourselves before God and draw us closer to Him by opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit. As Joel writes: “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning” (Joe 2:12).

Also, the more we draw closer to Him in prayer and fasting, the more often He visits us. This was the case of Cornelius. After he had prayed and fasted for four days, God sent His Angel to him. This brought deliverance to Him and his household (Acts 10: 1-4, 30-33). Cornelius received specific directions from God about what he needed to do to get the blessings of Abraham.

Moreover, prayer and fasting help us overcome our fleshly lust that war against our spirits (Gal 5:17). Thus, prayer and fasting make us live in the spirit. With this, we are able to overcome the works of the flesh and make us look more like God as it did happen to Moses on the mount (Ex 34: 28-35).

Our gifts are also sharpened the more often we pray and fast. If it is preaching and teaching, it makes the preaching of the word of God go forth with great power and authority. Paul demonstrated his preaching with the spirit and with power (1Co 2:4). This did not come by eating and drinking but by fasting and prayer. They also sharpen our vision and help us to live within our calling with humility and passion.

We are also helped to discover God´s purposes for our lives as individuals, as a church or as a country. Daniel exercised himself with prayer and fasting and the Lord God opened his eyes to see His divine purpose for him and his nation (Dan 9:3). If you do not know the plan of God for your life, you may approach Him in prayer and fasting.

Conclusion

Prayer and fasting are very important exercises for every believer who desires to be grounded in the faith and excel in their calling, as well as those who wish to take authority in their divine mandate.

Prayer: May the Lord help us to commit ourselves to prayer and fasting and help us to take territories for Him. In the name of Jesus Christ.