NOT BY BREAD ALONE
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
Let us pray: Father, we pray that Your power will descend on us and empty us of everything known as self and drain out every unbrokenness from of spirits, so that Your word can have root in our lives, in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Beloved, the Bible talks about the sower who in his assignment had some of his seeds fall on good ground and yielded bountifully while some fell on barren land and therefore yielded nothing. God wants to profit with us hence He is investing in our lives. You cannot live the life of an unprofitable servant, who buried the one talent that was given to him by his master. This means that your life must be tailored towards yielding dividends unto God. At this juncture, I want you to raise your voice and pray like this: “O Lord, anything that will not make You to profit with my life, take it out now, in the name of Jesus.”
Matthew 4:1-4: “Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” For you to remain standing as a Christian who will make heaven, there are three things you cannot put aside:
1. Holiness: The Bible does not mince words as regards the importance of holiness. It says in Hebrews 12: 14: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” You may see anything, you may see vision, you may prophesy, you may know your pastor, you can hold all the church posts but seeing God without being holy is impossible.
2. Prayer: Jesus did not say preach without ceasing, but He said pray without ceasing. Without prayer, you cannot communicate with God. This is a non-negotiable condition for making heaven. A prayerless Christian is a dead Christian. The staff with which to walk with God is prayer.
3. The Word of God: This is one area where the devil has dealt a serious blow on so many Christians. It is sad but true that many church goers are completely ignorant of the Bible. I am not talking about the theoretical experiences many gain from Bible colleges. You could even go to these colleges and come out more confused.
Many church goers are even completely ignorant of whom the Lord really is. Some would resolve to read the Bible from cover to cover only to abandon it midway. To some, the best place for their Bible is under the pillow, with a Psalm opened, and to some, it is a tool to be used when in danger. Many have small Bibles; some have big ones but do not read them. Without any argument, we all know that the Bible has changed so many lives. In countries where reading the Bible has been long accepted as tradition progress was rapid. While in places where people do not like to read the Bible, progress has been slow. Those who read it before but later abandoned it, are in trouble now. There is power in the Word of God, if not, there would not have been so many attempts to destroy it. Perhaps you have heard of John Wycliff, the first man to translate the Bible to English. Prior to his effort, only priests or pastors used to read the Bible and their interpretation of it was unquestionable. John Wycliff’s efforts were therefore seen as a threat to this situation. No wonder he was eventually killed for making it possible for everyone to read the Bible. They killed him, but even some years after his death, they were still not satisfied with the punishment of death. So, his corpse was exhumed and burnt to ashes and the ashes were dumped inside rivers. Happily today, the Bible is everywhere and in it, we have the best of books, the greatest book and the most wonderful book. It is the book that has lasted longer than any other book. It is however sad to note that it is the most neglected book. A lot of people do not know that when they do not read the Word of God to feed their spirits, they will have no strength spiritually.
There was a man in a country where they do not permit people to read Bible. His only Bible was seized and thrown away. Later, he discovered that somebody else had one hidden in a village nearby. He managed to get in touch with him and started copying about two chapters a day. Two chapters were sent to his son and by the time he was through with it, he got born again. It is amazing to see many in a free country as ours still refusing to read the Bible and get filled with the powers therein.
In a certain place, a man was preaching at the back of the house of a university professor. He described the birth of Jesus Christ - how a virgin gave birth to a son called Jesus. Hearing this, the professor was upset and described his sermon as illogical, because to him, there was no way a virgin could give birth. To further discredit the sermon and the Bible as a whole, he bought a copy of the New Testament and studied it for thirteen years. By the time he was through with it, he became a born again child of God. It was then his turn to preach the Word with even greater fire than that of the man he set out to discredit. Such is the power in the word.
It is not only prayers that you need to get along with God. In fact, when your prayers are devoid of the Word of God, the devil will not respect you much. Remember he was defeated by Jesus with the weapon of “It is written.” Recently, a sister paid dearly for her low level of the Word. She saw a demon in the dream who showed a part of her body to her and said to her, “You are not going to get it.” She then started quoting the Scriptures against the demon. To her amazement, the demon demanded from her where the quoted Scriptures were written in the Bible but she could not tell. This delayed her miracle for some time but that incident taught her a lesson. The Bible commands that we should keep God’s words in own hearts.
Deuteronomy 6: 6: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” And Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This implies that it is possible for you to hear the Word and the devil takes it away. So, there must be a determined effort on your part to hide the word in your heart. To do this, two things are required:
1. Kick all useless thoughts out of your heart. Worldly and ungodly thoughts struggle for the same space in the heart with the Word of God. One has to go for the other to stay. It is the height of hypocrisy for a person to come to the house of God and write down passages quoted by the preachers together with the messages and then never go over them again in his private time. Some even forget their jotters in the house of God because other irrelevant and worldly thoughts have occupied their hearts. These must be knocked out for the Word to have a landing place.
2. Form the habit of meditation. A starting point is to pick a verse or two a day and meditate on them throughout the day. This is where many miss it. They do not read their Bibles, and do not memorise Scriptures, they are therefore empty. As serious Christians, we are not only supposed to hear the Word of God, read and study it, but we must also memorise and meditate upon it. It is only after that that you can begin to apply it and share it with others. Many are not aware of the fact that the level of the Word inside them is known by the devil. He knows those who are serious Bible students and those who just read the Bible to silence their conscience. He recognizes those who read for the sake of reading. So he can gauge the spiritual temperature of many by the level of the Word in them. John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” A careful analysis of these verses reveals that the Word of God is the Son of God and if the Word dwells in you, then the Son is in you. The opposite is also very true.
3. Read the whole content of the Word of God": The Bible says that the word of God is the Son of God. So, for Jesus to dwell richly in your life, the Word must dwell richly in you. The Bible also likened the Word of God to a seed. The parable of the sower talks about some seeds falling on good soil, some on the rock, etc. The seed talked about here, is the Word of God. Your heart must receive it or else it dies.
The Bible also likened the Word of God to a sword. Hebrew 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Word of God is a mirror through which you can look at yourself to see the way you are and make adjustment. We are encouraged to know the Bible, which is the Word of God. Anything in you that hates the Bible is your greatest enemy, and that may lead you to hell fire. You are to receive the Word fully. If it says, “Do not,” then don’t do it. Do not argue, do not use human logic to figure it out. Swallow it, hook, line and sinker.
We should dwell in the Word of God. Anybody who has made up his mind not to obey God has no business coming to the house of God because each time you come and God talks to you and you turn your back and go away without making any adjustment, He writes it down and the words will then stand against you on the day of judgment. If you have been born again for five years and you have not read the Bible through once, I put it to you that you are lazy. Sometimes ago, in England, I preached to a white boy and he gave his life to Jesus. That was on a Tuesday and by the next Tuesday when we were to have Bible study, he had read through the entire Bible. Yet we had old members of the church who got born again before him but had never for once read through the Bible. When you read the Bible, it quickens you. The Bible says the flesh profits nothing, therefore, when you read the Word, you are strengthened and when you abandon it, you go lean.
Beloved, this is the word from God to you. If you have abandoned your Bible, please make amends and it will be well with you. At this juncture, I would like you to bow your head and confess your sins.
If you know you are a lazy Bible reader or you only read the Bible when you feel like or you are one of those who just carry it about, ask the Lord to forgive you and make a covenant with Him that you will be on fire as far as the Word of God is concerned, that you will not allow the enemy to cheat you or put you on the shelf because of the lack of reading the Word of God. Talk to Him and He will surely help you.
The Bible says, “Forever O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven.” Also, tell the Lord that the giant of ignorance in your life should die. Ignorance is a serious giant that paralyses people. Pray like this: “Everything that the devil has secretly stolen from me because of lack of the knowledge of the Word of God, I claim them back, in the name of Jesus.” Matthew 22:29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Jesus is saying that, not knowing the Scripture nor the power of God will result in error. Ignorance could make a person to be living in sin without knowing it. It is sad and the effect, disastrous. The disciples of Jesus got into very serious confusion in Luke 24:4 which says, “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.” They were confused because they had forgotten that Jesus had earlier warned them about looking for the living among the dead.
Lack of the knowledge of the Word of God will result in the following:
a. Spiritual dullness.
b. Confusion. A person who does not know and have the Word of God in him would be roaming about aimlessly and would suffer unnecessarily. He will be afraid where there is no fear. The devil will kick him about like football.
c. Spiritual sickness. A person without the Word will suffer malnutrition because the Bible is the food for the soul. Many Christians are sick or weak because their spirits too are sick. The physical food that we eat has various functions it carries out in our body. For example, food builds up our body and replaces worn out tissues in us. Through food you get energy. What food does to our physical body is what the Word of God does to our spirits. Hence in some places, the Bible calls the Word of God milk, bread or honey. Spiritual malnutrition will happen when a person is not feeding adequately on the Word of God.
d. Lack of spiritual resistance: An affected person will not be able to resist the devil because his spirit lacks the necessary strength.
e. Sinful life: Sin will keep you away from Bible and the Bible will keep you away from sin. Therefore, lack of the Word will keep you in sin.
Beloved, living without the Word of God is empty Christianity. Your life should not be by bread alone. Resolve not to be an empty barrel as far as the Word is concerned. Make a definite plan to saturate your spirit with the Word and ask the Lord to help you. May your Bible reading be revived by fire, in Jesus’ name.
1. I renounce any signature of my name in satanic possession, in the name of Jesus.
2. I release my name from every satanic possession, in the name of Jesus.
3. I release myself from any ceremony linking me to evil powers, in the name of Jesus.
4. I release myself from every blood donation to the devil, in the name of Jesus.
5. I paralyse and disband all satanic parents, in the name of Jesus.
6. I renounce every satanic baptism, in Jesus’ name.
7. Every power assigned to hide my light under the bed, be paralysed, in the name of Jesus.