LIVING BY THE PROCEEDING WORD
Dt. 8:3 "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Sue and I just returned from our annual Virgin Watch vigil (our substitute for Christmas), a time when we set ourselves apart from the world and the church at large to make ready our hearts for the next coming of the Lord. This was the 30th anniversary of my first Virgin Watch led of the Lord down on a lonely beach campground on the Florida Panhandle, at the same time the Lord was just opening up the anointing and vision for this writing ministry.
This year we took off three days for fasting and prayer at the seaside resort of Atlantic City, praying into and through the end time writings of the New Testament, and the prophetic writings of our esteemed brother Leland Earls. Doing this creates an inner sense of spiritual invigoration unlike any other for us. The Lord has always met us richly in this set apart time and place, giving us new perspective and anticipation for charting our earthside course into the new year under the abiding light of alert expectation to be ready to be taken up into His permanent manifest presence. In that place of setting apart, everything else dies away: No news. No TV. No entertainment or parties. No phone calls. No work. No obligations to think about.
During last weekend's vigil, the Lord illumined through Sue the passage at the head of this article, and I want to share just a bit from it.
This verse is the source of Jesus' response to the devil in the wilderness that "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." If you will remember, His response came at the end of the 40 days of testing when Jesus was at His hungriest and was really tempted in the flesh to make some bread for Himself out of stones. I want to draw your attention now to this source verse from Deuteronomy 8:3. It too is a verse about hunger. It is also a word about humiliation.
It says that God specifically led Israel into a place of humiliation and hunger ahead of being fed with the manna from heaven. Where did the manna come from? It came directly from the voice of the Lord. God spoke, and there it was, every morning. They did not earn it. They were in no place to work for it or merit it. They had no strength. They were in no place to "labor for the meat that perishes." (And later, when they wanted that meat anyway, God gave it to them, and it made them sick).
It is in just this way that the Lord wants us to be able to come to live in the present wilderness of our earthly lives. He wants us to be able to find our natural provision directly in relationship to His spoken word, not from our efforts. He wants to remove from us the curse laid upon the ground at Eden's sin to become our immediate provider.
But for this He wants us to come to a point of hearing that enables His spoken "proceeding word" to connect with us. And it is only through the place of extreme hunger that we are brought to such capacity to hear that higher proceeding word of divine provision in support of our direction.
From this we must see that it is not just enough to quote the verse "man shall not live by bread alone....." We must know what it is to actually not live by bread alone. We must first then know the preceding hunger ahead of the proceeding word. We must know a certain poverty (which is financial hunger) in order to come to the place of hearing the proceeding word that provides for our lack.
I am always amazed at how a time of dedicated fasting leads to a place of intensely more sensitive spiritual hearing. Together Sue and I heard things in these three fast days that we would have heard no other way, leading us to faith actions we would not otherwise take. And I cannot encourage the church enough to dare to do something different at this darkest, coldest time of faux mirth in the Northern Hemisphere to get away from all the noise and social obligation and to instead dare to hunger to find the proceeding word of the Lord in the secret place of the Most High.
Why should we practice doing this now? Because in only a short time to come, the entire remaining church is going to be forced to flee into the wilderness with the wings of an eagle to escape the ravages of the one world religious economic system. The things you are used to now for your provision and which you take for granted every day will no longer be available to you. There is going to be much humiliation and hunger in the coming wilderness.
But it is there that the church will finally learn what it truly means to receive its provision, not by laboring for the perishing meat, but by the provision of the spoken word of the Lord. Everything the Lord exhorted His followers to in "taking no thought" for what you are going to eat or drink or put on is going to become the reality. And seeing that this is so, it only makes rich spiritual sense to begin training for it now. It is good to learn now how to go without while trusting the Lord to provide for you out of His abundance.
Here is an interesting thing to observe about the wilderness temptation of Christ. Each one of the three proceeding words by which He withstood the devil found its way into the Lord's prayer:
His word that man should live only by the manna of the Father became the prayer, "give us this day our daily bread."
His word that one should not tempt the Lord our God became the prayer "lead us not into temptation."
And His word that one should worship and serve only the Lord our God in response to the devil's kingdom offer became the prayer, "Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever."
Jesus was the first "wilderness disciple." He lived what He taught and prayed. And He gave us a prayer born of wilderness suffering to guide us in how we ought to pray. Our prayer is to find the proceeding word of the Lord amidst our humiliation and hunger outside the camp of this world system, and to enter into that last stewardship salvation from the works of collective society.
Blessings to each one in your continued faithful pursuit of the Lord. May you find your stride in the proceeding word of provision emanating from your hunger.
“I know your poverty,” says He, “but you are rich.”
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created September 3, 2018