In the wilderness
“he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna,
which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,
that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone,
but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
But it seems that words don’t feed us.
The world feeds us.
Our appetite for creation yields apathy for the Creator
We live on bread alone,
Seeking satisfaction apart from He who sustains
But, can we be humbled in our hunger?
Isn’t the word enough?
From the emerging popularity of “superfoods” to the parental advice that “milk gives you strong bones,” our culture perpetuates the thought that without food we are weaker. So, we see Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness as an attack on Jesus at one of his weak points. In Recapturing the Wonder, Cosper makes the case that “unbeknownst to the devil, he tempted the Son not at his weakest but at his strongest. He (Jesus) was not tempted by bread because for forty days, he’d learned to live without it.”
Jesus was fed by the Word of the Lord. He had fasted and found solitude with God for forty days! For when your mind, heart, and even body are set on God, He prevails. He provides. He feeds and satisfies your soul!
We find ourselves in the wilderness, seeking bread, when the satisfaction of God far surpasses that feeble desire. Our appetite shifts. Our desires become oriented towards God and we find ourselves at our strongest point yet. The Word of the Lord feeds and abounds in satisfaction.
Imagine what would happen if the body of Christ came together to resemble Christ himself in the middle of the wilderness, being fed by the Word of God, committing to prayer for this city, the nation, and the world!
SPECIFICS: Week of Prayer and Fasting
When: January 21-28, 2018
What: Join the Branch as we spend a week in prayer and fasting for revival in the city of Corvallis as well as in our own lives. Fasting is a spiritual discipline, something we do as a means of inviting God into our lives. We abstain from something as important as food to set our hearts and minds on the presence of the Creator over the created. We feast on the bread of life.
Why: We as a church are seeking out this discipline as a community so that we can show thanks and adoration to God, escaping from the distracting world and setting our hopes where they belong. We don’t fast to receive God’s attention or the praise of others, but we fast, knowing that God will reveal himself to us in a way that satisfies our souls and gladdens our lives. Joy overcomes our hungers.
How: There are many ways to fast. We would like each of you to consider fasting from food for this week. Though it seems like a daunting task, it is doable. If a week does not seem achievable, then consider fasting 3 days or even one day. Another form of fasting is called the Israelite Fast. This form of fasting is not eating from sunup until sundown each day. In layman terms, you only eat dinner each day.
Some of you, due to pregnancy, physical limitations or other circumstances would be wise NOT to cut out food for a week. If this is your case, please consider cutting out TV, blogs, internet (outside of work, maybe), video games, or hobbies. You’d be surprised how much time we spend on some of these things in the spare moments of our day.
- Drink plenty of juice and water!
- If you ever feel your health is at risk, stop the fast and consult your doctor.
- Don’t treat this as a week to simply conquer. If you “fail,” just get back on the horse. The point is not to be overwhelmed, but to simply fast from something. If this is your first time fasting, just take a simple step of faith and choose one thing to cut out of your life for the week. You’ll be glad you did.
- Share your stories! You are not alone in this endeavor. Share your stories and struggles with the Branch community throughout this week.
Schedule of Branch events for the week
- Morning Prayer – 7AM – Tuesday and Thursday
@ The Branch Office [Suite 11, 760 SW Madison Ave]
- Midday Prayer – 12PM – Monday through Friday
@ The Upper Room [111 NW 26th St, Apartment 2] (Waiting to hear back from them)
- Night of Prayer and Worship – 7PM – Thursday
@ Christ Central [Suite 106, 760 SW Madison Ave]
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Our annual women’s retreat is in just a few weeks and we couldn’t be more excited! As we have been praying and planning for this getaway it is our hope that by the power of the Holy Spirit we will all be able to pause, come together more fully worship our incredible God, and encourage one another. In addition to worshipping together we will share meals, play games, watch movies and relax!
Ladies, I am greatly looking forward to meeting new friends, connecting with old friends and enjoying time together!
When: Evening of February 2- morning of February 4
Where: Monmouth, OR
Registration: $75 (https://pushpay.com/g/thebranchcorvallis?src=hpp)
A teaching by Pastor Josh Howeth on John 13:1-17.
A teaching by pastor Davey Walker on Revelation 21:1-8
A teaching by Pastor Josh Howeth on John 6.
A teaching by Pastor Josh Howeth on John 4:39-54.