Warfare: Tarrying By The Stuff
March 1, 2001

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I am very thankful to God. I have had some excellent teaching at critical moments in my life. One of those times was in 1992, when God was preparing me to fast for 40 days on water. A friend of mine and co-worker in the prison ministry gave me three tapes on "Bible Fasting" that had been copied from the television ministry of Ernest Angley.

I listened to those tapes once again yesterday. Down through the years, I have listened to them many times, for they carry with them great exhortation and encouragement to fast. I wish I knew how to set my site up with real audio, because I would put those three hours of tapes up on the net as quickly as I could get permission from Ernest Angley's Church.

Today, though, I was reflecting on the fact that Ernest is just a man: a very anointed man who has completed many 40 day water fasts, but still, just a man. And he is prone to error. One thing I noticed is that anyone who might listen to Ernest teaching about fasting could very easily come away from listening to his teachings feeling very guilty or inadequate if they were unable to fast or just plain too exhausted to do so at a particular time. Then, the Lord quickened the passage to me about "tarrying by the stuff".

1 Samuel 30:20-25

"And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil. And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. Then answered all the wicked men, and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day."

Notice it is a command and an ordinance to this day. Notice that some who went down to fight were wicked men. Notice that they were willing to break fellowship over this and send those who did not go into the fight away. Notice David's salute to these people. This is the behaviour of the one who recovers all.

Those who were too exhausted to go down to the fight did what they could do: they tarried by the stuff. They watched over the only possessions those fighting men had left, so that there would not be further loss.

I may do some teaching on fasting and on the anointing to fast in the coming days. It is my position that all believers are called to fast and pray, since the bridegroom is no longer with us. It is the will of God concerning us. Nevertheless, there have been times in my life when I have been too spiritually exhausted to fast; sometimes too exhausted to even pray. In those times of exhaustion, we can take comfort that the Spirit of God did not condemn those exhausted warriors who tarried by the stuff in the days of David. Not only were they not condemned, but they shared in the spoil of battle. They receive the benefits too and they are not shunned from the fellowship of the warriors.

So it is in spiritual Israel today. We are engaged in a season of warfare. We do not yet know for how long we fight. But as we fight, let us guard our hearts. Let us fast acceptibly before the Lord and not be viewed as wicked warriors by him as those with David were found with wicked hearts of Belial.

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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