Joseph Herrin (03-27-2012)
Beans, Glorious Beans!
As anticipated, the response to the last post where I spoke of Yahweh breaking my leg was mixed. There exists a remnant who have embraced a message of divine correction and the fear of God. However, the majority in the church reject the notion that Yahweh would inflict injury or suffering upon His children. The very suggestion offends those who have been influenced by the prosperity preachers who teach that God is all love and mercy and kindness while ignoring His holiness and severity.
Tragically, the majority in the church have become conformed to the image of the lost and apostate masses of mankind whom the Psalmist describes, and the apostle Paul quotes, in the following words:
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
The reason there is so little holiness in the church today is that the church does not fear Yahweh. The apostles feared Him, and they urged the church to do the same.
II Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
The church today wants “the comfort of the Holy Spirit,” but they reject “the fear of the Lord.” One lady wrote in response to the previous post declaring that we are not under the Law, but under grace. She has been inculcated with the doctrine of cheap grace which gives a person liberty to sin with impunity. In her mindset, which is quite common today, the fear of God is an Old Testament matter. Her admonition to me was that Yahweh is not to be feared today, for He is a God of love.
Please, if this is your thinking, carefully consider the following passage which is New Testament. Not only does the apostle state that Yahweh is to be feared today, but that Christians should have even greater fear than those who had only the Old Testament. This is brought out in the phrase “Of how much worse punishment…” Look for these words in the passage below and see how they are used.
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
I confess that I was continuing in sinful behavior that the Father had previously given me instruction and correction in. It was not only just that He should inflict this discipline upon my physical body, but it was a merciful act, one in which He showed much restraint. He could have brought a more severe correction and would have been justified in doing so. My heart cries out, “Thank you Father for your patient correction of your son. I want to share your holiness. I do not want to be disqualified to inherit those good things You have planned for my life. Help me to stand, and to be an example to others of an overcoming son who is ruling over the passions and desires of the flesh.”
The Father is already giving such help. I will share an experience that occurred the same day I posted the blog regarding my re-breaking my leg. I was sitting with my leg propped on a pillow and my computer in front of me. The thought came to me that “nothing changes unless something changes.” I had heard this saying previously, and there is wisdom in it. I pondered that if I wanted to have victory over the appetites of my flesh, and get down to that weight the Father had prescribed for me and remain there, I would have to take definite steps to do so. The change would not come without some alteration to my previous habits.
As I thought on what I could change practically, the thought arose in my mind that I should look into recipes for rice and beans. I knew beans to be a very nutritious food source, and they come in great variety. They are low fat (actually no fat unless it is added in the cooking process), and are quite hearty and satisfying. Many consider beans a humble food. I remember an uncle telling me that, growing up very poor, his family ate so many beans that when he became an adult he never wanted to eat another one. Beans have been a staple for the poor. This is why they are associated with “soul food,” that humble fare that was eaten by the African slaves brought to America. Humility is the order of the day, so eating this humble food appeared to me to be in keeping with the Father’s will.
(I have already removed most meats from my diet at the Father’s instruction. This was a personal word to me, and I do not share it as an universal instruction for the body of Christ. Having become diabetic for a short period in 1998, and having a heart attack about 5 years ago, the Father has dealt with me strictly regarding my diet.)
After thinking about rice and beans for a moment I went on to other matters, but the Father brought me back to the subject of beans when a sister in Christ sent me an e-mail about thirty minutes after the thought had first popped into my head. This sister shared the following:
I too struggle with the same area of my flesh Joseph. Awhile back I discovered beans as a wonderful food and I believe a godly one. I’m sending you a story about beans that I have shared with many from Daniel that I love to tell.
The first word in the follow-up e-mail, in capital letters was “BEANS.” There was then a little story of Daniel and his three friends in Babylon eating beans. The e-mail ended with a recipe for black beans.
This sister’s correspondence bore witness to what the Spirit had spoken to me just a short while earlier. I was confident that the Father was giving me direction for making alterations to my diet. Without a plan I would surely make spontaneous eating decisions that would be driven by my natural appetites. I needed to take action to make changes to my diet. The Father was directing me to make beans a key part of my diet.
Now, some might be thinking, “Beans sound so boring. Surely God would not make you eat beans as a major portion of your diet.” I believe He would. Yahweh has been speaking much about a wilderness experience for His saints. As a pattern, Yahweh gave the Israelites manna to eat in the wilderness. Diet was a very integral part of that which the Father used to humble His people. Manna was good, tasting like wafers with honey, but the flesh craves variety. The flesh is not content with eating to meet the body’s need for nutrients. It wants entertainment.
Bear with me a moment as I explain this matter. I am not saying that it is wrong to eat foods that taste good. Nor am I advocating that Christians adopt a bland diet to become more spiritual and less carnal. What I have shared consistently in my ministry is that as a disciple of Christ we need to be content with whatever the Father chooses for us. He does not always give us “the bread of affliction.” At times He provides milk and honey, grapes figs and much variety.
In the wilderness Yahweh had a specific work to accomplish among His people. During the centuries they dwelt as slaves in Egypt, the children of Israel had been slaves to their fleshly appetites. Yahweh wanted to set them free. He wanted them to find their satisfaction in doing His will rather than in sating the flesh. He therefore tested them by depriving them of the variety of foods they had known in Egypt to see if they would be content with what He provided for them. We know the outcome. The people complained bitterly as if they were suffering some great adversity.
Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of Yahweh; and when Yahweh heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of Yahweh burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
What was the people’s complaint?
The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
This was not adversity. The people were not suffering. God gave them all they needed for their bodies’ nutritional needs to be met. Their complaint was purely carnal. The flesh clamored for satisfaction through excitement and stimulation. God wanted His people to find their satisfaction in doing His will. Yahweh will deal similarly with His people today. The Israelites are set forth as an example to the church.
I Corinthians 10:1-6
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
What was the evil spoken of here? It was being dissatisfied with Yahweh’s provision. It was murmuring and complaining against God because He was not pandering to the people’s flesh. As Yahweh brings a remnant of His people through a wilderness experience in these days they too will be tested in similar ways. We are urged to not fail as the Israelites did.
I Corinthians 10:7-11
And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Yahweh has not told me to eat only beans and rice. I am to make these items a staple of my diet, however. In truth, I like beans very much. Yahweh is gracious. Will I still like them as much a year from now? I trust that I will be content with whatever the Father chooses for me. The grace of God will certainly be sufficient for me to walk without murmuring or complaint.
I Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Yahshua.
After receiving this instruction from the Father I put some black beans on to cook in my crock pot and I went shopping for a rice cooker. Whole grain and brown rice is much healthier to eat than the highly refined instant white rice that is so popular. They also take a lot longer to cook. I did not want to use my propane to cook rice for an hour and a half on the stove, so I purchased an electric rice cooker that also steams vegetables. George and I had a very good meal that evening, and quite satisfying.
My point in sharing this is that if you too are sensing the Father’s hand of discipline in your life, if you are sensing the need to break free of old habits and to establish new ones, then you may need to take definite steps in order for these changes to be effected. “Nothing changes unless something changes.” Ask the Father to show you how to bring forth the changes in your life that will be pleasing to Him.
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