A month ago, I was walking to Kroger on a Saturday night when the Lord stopped me in my tracks. I wanted to go grocery shopping, but He wanted me to go home.
I went home angry that night: this was the only time I could grocery shop this week and my food at home was low. He didn’t even let me to go to the Publix on the way home. He needed me to work that night, but the only thing I could think about was feeding my face. The urge to do this eventually overpowered me and I hastily ate the fruit bowl I had in the refrigerator before I went to work.
That night, the Lord impressed me to go on a four-day fast. Four days without food?! I’ve fasted for two days before and I barely made it through. Doubt after doubt arose, but I set out to start that Sunday, as commanded. Doubt after doubt assailed me that day and as I traveled home with all these things in mind, the Lord impressed me to go to the Publix that Sunday night so I could get some food to eat. Naturally, I could have had a feast after all the time I spent without food..
But instead of this, I asked the Lord if we could talk. You see, the Lord asked me to do something and instead of obeying Him, I spent my time lamenting about the supposed impossibility of the task. This didn’t sit right with me at all. I asked Him for the strength to do it, to fast four days. This requested was granted and for four days, I ate no food. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be; though my coworkers were concerned at how I spent my time working on material for this website rather than eating lunch. But the mission was accomplished…or so I thought.
For the past few days, I felt an overpowering urge to eat, especially when writing content for this site. Then last Saturday, the Lord called upon me to fast again. Already I was thinking that I was about to have another four-day fast. But I knew that I had to do this. I spent the day willing myself not to eat. I knew that this urge was getting in my way and I purposed to overcome it.
After work yesterday (Monday), the Lord impressed me to get home quickly and I didn’t understand why. But I did and when I got home, nothing was amiss. So I sat down and I called some of my friends and family. I had not done this in a while and it was nice just hearing their voices and hearing how life had treated them. I had also decided to listen in to one of our church’s phone ministries that night. After prayer, the speaker for that night talked about a topic in health that I needed to hear that night; temperance.
As the speaker went into the topic, it dawned on me that this was why God had rushed me home that night. I was lacking this virtue in my life and it got so bad, it was affecting my relationship with God for the worse. So as I was taking notes from the speaker, I was looking up Scriptures on temperance. I knew I would eat that night, but I refused to do so until I knew what the Bible said about temperance. There was a lesson to be learned here and I wasn’t going to let my stomach stop me from getting it. The fruit of this study was so profound to me, I meditated on it that night and all day today.
The lesson last night taught me that whatever I eat or drink I should do it to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). I spent so much time trying to seek my own glory by indulging my appetite, I had lost sight of my goal: to faithfully warn the world of Jesus’ Coming. All had been put aside for one meal.
The Scriptures tell us that a man who strives for mastery is temperate in all things (1 Cor. 9:25). Being able to understand God’s prophetic messages is one of those things that I strive to do every day; not only for me, but for the many others who will read them. As the work of reaching others was food for Jesus, so should this work be food for me (Jn. 4:31-34). And it has been. There’s been nothing more rewarding to me than knowing that people are reading the content of this site. But my intemperance had made me lose sight of this joy.
But that was only the surface of the matter, for the Bible revealed to me how importance temperance actually is. Temperance is vital to withstanding the wiles of the enemy in the end times. When Paul preached to Felix about righteousness, temperance, and the judgment to come, Felix trembled before him (Acts 24:25). The fact that these three qualities are mentioned together tell us that temperance is as necessary for God’s children to have in the last days as Christ’s righteousness and the knowledge of the coming judgment.
Temperance is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and it is key for those who seek to be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus. Not only must those who serve in church office be temperate, but the aged men in the church as well (Tit. 1:8, 2:2)
Lastly, there are four things that God calls us to be temperate about in regards to our food. He calls us to:
- Eat the right things. We have to understand that we don’t have to have the foods that are bad for us.
- Eat food slowly.
- Eat enough. (vs. eating too much).
- Eat the right combinations. We must avoid an excess of variety/combinations at the dinner table.
I pray that you will consider the wisdom passed onto me. God’s people must overcome this sin before the return of Christ, lest it overpower them as it did me. Temperance has played a part throughout the history of God’s people and it will soon do so again. Get ready.