“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:1-5
What does sanctified by the word of God and by prayer mean?
Having no answer, I prayed and sought God for what in the world this had to do with marriage and food being sanctified. According to His word (Luke 11:9) and just like Jesus’ responses in the New Testament to those who asked Him questions, I was given another question.
Did God really say you could not eat from any tree in the garden (Genesis 3:1)?
Really?!? Then it clicked. Everything God created was good because He said it was good (Genesis 1). When Satan who had departed from God and with a seared conscience came to tempt Eve, he did so by placing doubt in Eve’s mind regarding the Word of God and the goodness of what God had created and given to her and Adam.
Next question, please.
(A teacher can list 2 questions and count them as 1)
What if Eve had taken those deceitful words and instead of defending them gave thanks for what God had given to her and Adam? What would have happened if Eve had prayed and asked God to help her remember His goodness and the command that she was given regarding the tree?
Just like Eve we have the tendency to reject and be ungrateful for the good things God has created and given to us. God has given us marriage and He has given us food. We should receive these with thanksgiving and through the word of God and prayer be good stewards of what He has given to us.
What does sanctification of marriage and food look like in the believer’s life?
The sanctification of marriage and food in the believer’s life means walking in sexual purity and following the commands against gluttony. We will consider sex and sanctification on Thursday so let us focus on food and sanctification today.
Do we base our eating habits on what God has given to us?
Multiple scriptures warn us against gluttony (Click here for a quick reference). In Proverbs, we read Agur son of Jakeh’s (Proverbs 30:1) wise request in regard to stewarding what God gives regarding food.
Give me neither poverty or wealth; feed me with the food I need. Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8b-9).
Jesus Himself reinforces this request of Agur when teaching His disciples how to pray.
Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).
Lord God, creator of all good things, when have I left Your truth and sought after the forbidden fruit?
Forgive me Father for being ungrateful for the food You place on my table. Forgive me for speaking my own words when confronted with lies instead of asking You to remind me of the good Word You have already spoken. As I feast with You at the banqueting table of Your Word, restore the joy of sanctification to my soul.