Be Extra – Eat Up

The past year has left the world in a state of uncertainty, Christians and Unbelievers alike are all perplexed by the pandemic that blew across the globe and left the wealthy unable to save their lives with their vast riches, the poor unable to offer a tear to appease the scourge in the land. I believe we have experienced moments in which we have had to cry out like Elijah; “I have had enough, Lord”.

Elijah was a man subject to like passions like we are. After a successful victory over Ahab and his prophets, he was threatened by Jezebel and he became afraid, the same emotion prevalent among lots of people as a result of the pandemic. After running for his life and crying out to God, he was visited by an angel and told to arise and eat (1 Kings 19:5-6). He was offered a meal and drink to nourish him as he was exhausted.

“And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee” (1Kings 19:7).

For a delicious meal, we all might get tempted to have a second serving; Elijah was served baked bread and water, so the call for another meal time wasn’t to fulfill the same initial purpose of nourishment but a secondary reason i.e. Elijah would be embarking on a journey and not just any journey but a great (difficult/hard) one. The extra meal was not just for nourishment but for sustenance. This brings to mind the tale of the ten virgins.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep”. Matthew 25:1 -5 (NLT)

The virgins embarked on a journey and five of them decided to go with just the oil in their lamps while the other five chose to carry extra oil. They went on the journey not envisaging that the bridegroom would delay in his coming. His delay showed the consequence of their respective decisions. From the stories of Elijah and the ten virgins; now we know that there is a need for us to be “extra”. The modern day believer cannot survive on the piecemeal of a quick recitation of words in the morning, the placing of the bible as a strategic weapon, the emotional Lord you know how tired I am, I love you, thank you and still hope to survive this great journey of life unscathed and victorious.

More than ever before, we are called to:

(A)Arise- Yes, we have heard this call before but this second call is not the same as the first, now we are being called to get up to attention and begin to manifest. Proverbs 6:9 says “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Elijah and the ten virgins were all sleeping when the call was made for them to get up. We can no longer afford to be drowsy or asleep with the happenings around our world.

Life as we know it keeps changing and unfolding new facets that are practically unknown territories. These are the days of alertness, sobriety and focus. The mundane is no longer good enough for us. There is a journey ahead with uncharted paths and in order not to fall by the wayside; we need to be at attention. I Peter 1: 13 says “Therefore, prepare your minds for action.”

(B) Eat – For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107: 9). The bible cautions against gluttony. “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.”(Proverbs 25:16). Gluttony is the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste. From our bible reference, the angel calling Elijah the second time to come and eat was definitely not an invitation to gluttony considering he went in the strength of that food for the next forty days and forty nights( I Kings 19:8). The bible reads, so he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. Implicitly Elijah’s feeding that day (the present) was nourishment for forty days (the future).

In preparation for winter, some animals get ready by eating extra food and storing it as body fat. Bears may eat up to 40kg of food per day effectively doubling their body weight. They use this fat for energy while hibernating. Winter depicts the season of harshness, calmness, silence, mourning, death, ending and detachment. We will all experience winter season in our lifetime, the period of calmness (waiting on God to answer you), harshness (adverse situations of life- barrenness, sickness, stagnancy, unpleasantness), mourning (loss of dream, income, relationship) etc.

Like everything in life, it is not what happens to you but how you respond to it that counts. If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small (Proverbs 24:10). Suffice to say, that your lack of strength is due to a deficiency in your nutrients or inadequate portion to sustain you through the days of adversity. Believe it, winter will come and you will have to see it through its course (Eccles.3:6. A time to search and a time to give up as lost). If the animals are careful enough to prepare for winter by eating up; Brethren like never before, this is the time to eat up. God promises to fill the hungry and thirsty. In Ezekiel 3: 1-4 – He said to eat the scroll and fill your stomach with it. God didn’t just instruct Prophet Ezekiel to eat and fill his stomach for no reason; He did so because Ezekiel had an assignment to fulfill.

Elijah prepared for the future by eating today, the wise virgins prepared extra oil for their journey. The next best time to do anything is NOW; in case you have not been storing up for winter, this is the time to be discontent with the portion of spiritual food you are getting. Like Oliver Twist you need more. The world’s climate is changing and the need for extra serving is no longer optional. You cannot survive on the bare necessity. This is the time to tarry more in prayer, study the bible, fellowship with other believers, consecration and praying in the Holy Spirit. Remember we are walking through unknown territories; this is the time to cry, “More Lord, more of you in my life”. It’s time to double up our spiritual weight by putting on the “whole armour” of God. The second serving is here, now is the time to…