"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." - Psalm 23:5
I wanted to come up with a good definition for fasting and I finally settled on the thought that fasting was simply said “starving your carnal man”. Later I was praying for someone who seems to be slipping away from the Lord. I said in my prayer “Lord call them back to the table.” That was the first time I ever prayed that prayer and as I thought about it this message came to me.
The Lord has set a table before us. It’s our choice to eat or not. Every time we read His word we are fed. Whenever we attend church we are nourished. During times of prayer we are encouraged and strengthened. Everything that is good, righteous and true is on The Lord’s Table. When we push away from the Lord’s Table we begin “starving our spiritual man."
Since being saved I have lost interest in a lot of things and it was easy to give them up. I stopped watching TV before I got saved. There was nothing ever on and the commercials drove me crazy. Now I can’t stand watching TV. Now I see not only the blatant sin but also all the subtleties. I used to be a big football fan. I lived for Sundays and Monday nights. Then it lost its appeal. I saw the idolatry, I saw the love of money in the overpaid players and what’s the point anyway. You can’t win every game and every championship every year. I am a big music lover. I was a huge fan of the Beatles, been to a bunch of rock concerts. All that stuff used to thrill me but there was no satisfaction in any of it. When I got saved it was easy for me to sell my entire music collection (close to 400 albums) at the pawn shop. I never gave it a second thought. If they weren’t praising God what was the point anyway. I had found my source of satisfaction and nothing else would do.
Early on in my salvation I came up the theory that everything was either good or evil, there was no gray areas. It was either good for you or bad for you, no in-betweens. I can’t prove it but over the years I haven’t been able to disprove it either. Everything you do feeds either your carnal man or your spiritual man. When you believe that the question isn’t “is it ok with God to this or that” the question becomes “what am I really getting out of this.”
It’s been my experience over the years that you can develop a taste for anything. I’m from up north and the first few times I tried crawfish I didn’t like them. Now crawfish is easily my favorite food. I didn’t like sweet and low at first now sugar doesn’t taste good to me. You can lose your taste for something too, that’s what happens when you starve your spiritual man. I’ve learned you can get used to anything. If you could translate someone from 1920 and have them watch a modern sitcom they would blush. If you took an Indian from the jungles of South America and showed him one of these violent movies we have now he would be traumatized, freaked out. You become desensitized and even the absurd can become normal.
During the worship time in church I am usually focused on dancing and don’t see much of what’s going on around me. But sometimes I get a big kick out of watching others praise God. It was a thrill watching a certain somebody Sunday. I had a smile “glued” to my face. That means when you stop smiling you’re still smiling. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen in place. How exciting!
Like I said earlier I don’t care for TV or football anymore but I couldn’t help but get caught up with the Saints during the post season. I started watching them in the playoffs, and of course watched the Superbowl. That on-side kick really thrilled me. I would think about all the time, even during prayer. I wanted to see it again so I checked online to see if you could buy a copy but it was too pricey. Not long ago I searched the internet and found the Superbowl Highlights. I watched it and enjoyed it almost as much as the first time. It was almost enough to make me love football again. I really believe that if I start getting my enjoyment from football, or rock music and concerts I would loose my taste for The Word, Church and Prayer. It wouldn’t happen over night it would take awhile. I would gradually start getting my thrills praising this world instead of praising God. So it’s my decision which man do I want to feed and which one do I want to starve. It’s an easy decision for me. I’m gonna feast on God and fast this world.
I’m still living for Sundays, but now it’s Wednesday nights not Mondays. I know where my satisfaction is found, for “I have food to eat of which they do not know.” (John 4:32)
1 Corinthians 10:21, 23
You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
By Bro. Jeff Jackson
14 October 2022