Food for Thought

vegetables - Daria Shevtsova

Image credit Daria Shevtsova

Each day we eat three meals, fulfil six servings of fruits and vegetables and drink eight glasses of water. All these are vital to keep our body performing optimally. Just as our physical bodies need proper care, our spiritual bodies require the same. Do we meet this need with our spiritual meals each day? Are there breaks in our routines that allow us time alone with God and like-minded believers to refuel and recharge for the work ahead?

The mind processes 100,000 thoughts throughout the day. Our morning devotion would be only one thought for the day. Can we account for the other 99,999 thoughts we will have? Just as we feed our bodies right, let’s feed our minds right. For a start, we can reign in our thoughts by learning from Paul, who strived to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). How can we do likewise?

milk - samer daboul

Image credit Samer Daboul

Saturate with Scripture. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” Our intake of God’s Word, as Peter illustrated, should be likened to that of a baby drinking milk—it’s the only thing we take to and desire, and even cry out for.

As we go along absorbing and observing His Word, it is pure goodness and life-giving. Crave it! Taste and see that the Lord is good (see Psalm 34:8). In other words, it is too delicious to miss. Psalm 19:10 compares Scripture to gold and honey:

They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the comb.
honey - PollyDot.jpeg

Image credit PollyDot

There is no other food more fulfilling and satisfying than that provided by the Lord Himself for our spiritual health. In John 6:35, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” The gospel is bread and drink. There is nothing more satiating than truth poured into our souls. And you are what you meditate on. Is the gospel coming out of your life? Chew on it.

Furthermore, as if God couldn’t emphasise enough on the spiritual foods He offers for free, Isaiah 55:1,2 proclaims:

Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

buffet - Ira Lee Nesbitt

Image credit Ira Lee Nesbitt

Conversely, when we take in the wrong foods (people with allergens to certain things) or mishandled foods (hygiene problem, or ill-prepared meals), it is easy to get food poisoning and digestive issues. Similarly, God warns of the kind of spiritual food we need to be careful of, like the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod (see Mark 8:15).

Interpretation of Scripture requires wisdom from the Author, and so to prepare spiritual food to feed others outside of His instructions or direction can cause harm. We certainly need to be careful in how we handle His Word.

Finally, God warns us too of not having a good grasp of the Word enough to advance to deeper truths and solid spiritual food. To remain on a liquid spiritual diet will impair our health drastically. Hebrews 5:12-14 rebukes:

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Growing our relationship with God and maturing in faith gives rise to wisdom and helps us discern right from wrong. There will be hard truths and teachings to encounter as we mature, helping us form our convictions, as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Dig in!

*Thumbnail image credit Jimmy Chan.