Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The Christian's spiritual soul food
Before it was all said and done, Jeremiah would end up having the longest prophetic ministry of any prophet in the Bible. For over 50 years he warned the people of Jerusalem and Judah to mend their ways and get right with God. The King in Jerusalem and the court officials accused Jeremiah of treason and the people accused him of treachery. Jeremiah's situation was anything but comfortable. It was painful and he needed nourishment for his soul. How was it that Jeremiah was able to find comfort for his soul? In God's Word. Today's post briefly unpacks how God's word is the believer's true soul food.
The Bible is the only true "soul food" for the believer
Truly it could be said that the Bible is the only soul food on the planet. Unlike any other book or any other food, the words of the Bible feed the soul and soothe the heart. Whenever Jeremiah speaks of "eating God's words", he is referring to meditating or thinking upon them. Jeremiah's comfort in life derived not from courting popularity - for there was none to be found. Neither did Jeremiah find comfort in his circumstances - since the nation he loved would be conquered and carried away into exile in Babylon.
Overtime Jeremiah learned that his only sustenance in the spiritual famine of life were the words of God. Elsewhere other Biblical characters speak about this life-giving quality of the words of God being true food for the soul. Job for example refers to God's Word as being more precious than his "daily food" (Job 23:12). David expresses his hunger for God's word in Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" In the New Testament we find Peter saying to Jesus in response to a question raised by Jesus in John 6:67-69 "So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
As Christians, we need to daily take in the scripture to avoid spiritual malnutrition
Too often Christians attempt to carry on their daily Christian walk without taking the time to spend time in their Bibles. The late Dr. Adrian Rogers once said: "These two things has God ordained together that no man can part; dust on the Bible yields drought in the heart". We so often fill our souls with spiritual junk food, only to find ourselves unnecessarily weak and defenseless. Reading and meditating on the scripture requires dependence upon the Holy Spirit. In our flesh we are inclined to lean upon our own understanding rather than the words of God (see Romans 8:4-8). When we find ourselves not desiring God's word, that is when we need to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle that desire. The Spirit's main work entails making clear the contents of scripture (see 1 Corinthians 2:10-13).
Whenever you and I neglect scripture, we will find ourselves neglecting other spiritual responsibilities. Soon, we will find ourselves going through the motions. We may look good for a period of time to most people while not even realizing that we are spiritually starved. This writer speaks not from anecdote but from personal experience. How much one takes in the scripture will determine how much godly living they live out in life.
Only when we give ourselves regularly to the scriptures and meditate upon them will we then have power to fight the good fight of faith (see Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 4:12). Moreover, by the scriptures is our faith quickened and our focus on Jesus rekindled as we walk out in obedience to the Lord (Romans 10:17; 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:1-2). May you and I take the time to read, meditate and apply the scriptures daily - the true "soul food" of the Christian.