October 23, 2017

Are You Eating Enough?

When Christ was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, He responded with Scripture every single time. Why?

In the time of the Gospels, Christ was found teaching and expounding upon the Old Testament Scriptures over and over again. Why?

Throughout the New Testament, authors such as Paul and Peter quote from the Law and the Prophets and command us to preach and teach from the Scripture continually. Why?

Why does the Bible place such an emphasis on reading and knowing its message? Why are we as followers of God supposed to know His words so well? Why should we memorize it and internalize it? Why should we feast on it?

Christ gives us the reason for all these “why’s” in His rebuke to Satan, during His time of temptation in the wilderness:

Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

He was quoting from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. In that passage, Moses is discoursing on the Ten Commandments that God established on the mountain top. Along with the commands, he delves into a little history of how God led Israel through the wilderness. In chapter 8, specifically, he talks about how God fed the nation with manna, a strange substance never seen before or since, which came directly by God’s word of command. And He fed them with that manna for the purpose of teaching them that they could not live apart from His commands. Because through His commands He also offers provision and sustenance. And life.

And this is why it is so absolutely necessary for us to be in the Word daily. This is why we must savor it, mull it over, digest it. This is why we must know it in the most intimate sense of the word, personalizing every promise and command in our hearts and minds.

Consider this: what happens if you go without eating regular food? You miss a single meal – okay, no big deal. You miss a day of food – you start to get pretty hungry, and might have some adverse reactions like weakness, shakiness, fatigue. You skip more than that and your body starts going into starvation mode. Bad things happen. You actually harm yourself by not eating enough.

And it’s no different in the spiritual realm. If you miss a day of Bible reading, you may not notice a difference. If you miss a week of reading God’s Word, your focus will start to waver, your peace and contentment will plummet, your sense of purpose will waver. If you miss it regularly – if you hardly ever crack open the Bible or really pay attention to any of its words – you are doing serious spiritual harm to yourself.

Like a baby who never drinks its mother’s milk, you will be stuck in newborn status, with no spiritual muscle or tone. Your spiritual life will be stunted, it will wither and shrink. You will have no peace, no joy, nothing to hold on to when life gets rough. You will have no foundation for knowing which paths to choose, what direction to take, because you won’t know the truths of what God wants you to do with your life. You won’t have fellowship with God, because you won’t know when you’re rejecting His truth and continuing in sin. You won’t become more like Him, because you won’t know what He is like.

And not only that, but if you aren’t regularly feasting on God’s truth, what are you consuming instead? Worldly lies about how you should look or feel, emotional whispers that deceive you, fleshly desires that lead you toward destruction… If you’re not filling yourself up on God’s Word, then you’re being filled with something else. And that something else is not going to be helpful. That something else will not help you grow, lead you toward contentment and peace, give you proper direction, or help you live a truly abundant life. Why?

Because nothing satisfies the soul like God. Nothing fills your deepest hunger like His truths. Nothing guides you and sustains you like the eternal surety of His Word.

So taste it. Chew it. Digest it.

And do it all over again. Unlike regular food, you can never overeat from the bounty of God’s table. There is no unhealthy weight gain, no skyrocketing blood sugar, no adverse reactions from the deliciousness of His words. You can never get too much of His gourmet loveliness.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate on it day and night,
so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success.”

Joshua 1:8

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