Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, ‘It is written; Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Our bodies are magnificent pieces of machinery. When our Creator sculpted us in His incredible image, He gave us not only a glimpse into His eternal realm, but He also left us with an amazing amount of imagery that correlates directly with His Word. I saw this imagery last weekend when I attended a continuing education course on nutrition and our bodies. The instructor who was leading the course at one point in her lecture said, “Simply put, you are what you eat.” She continued saying if we make poor food choices on a regular basis, we will inevitably begin to feel awful; but if we fuel our bodies with what they were built to run on (the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, with little processed foods), we will experience a more active, healthier life. Toward the end of the course, she assured us, if we began to consistently eat the way our bodies were intended to be fueled, we would crave the right foods and never desire to go back to the junk food way of living. I left the lecture that day thinking about the choices I was making for my health, but then, as He is known to do, God redirected my thoughts. While my food choices are essential to my well-being, my intake of His nourishment is indispensable to my soul.
As Believers, we know we are spiritual beings, and as such our bodies crave spiritual food – that food consists of two major components – Jesus Christ (John 6:55) and God’s Holy Word (Matthew 4:4). They are what we were created to run on. This concept is illustrated beautifully in the Gospel of Matthew. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to (Jesus) and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written; Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:2-4). Are we, as Christians, getting enough of God’s precious Holy Word so that our spiritual souls don’t starve? Research shows we aren’t. In fact, an article published at Christianity.com, showed that the number of Christians who read the Bible on a daily or even regular basis is dropping at an alarming rate. It went on to state, “Nowadays, it seems, many (Christians) view Scripture, not as a book to read regularly, but as a text book one dips into when wishing to remind oneself of the basis of faith or when seeking an answer to some perplexing spiritual issue.” What is wrong with us? Are we just not getting it?! After all, the Bible is God’s one and only published book – shouldn’t we, as His followers, be immersing ourselves in it on a consistent basis? Or, maybe we are so used to filling our hearts, minds, and souls with the junk food of the world that we rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to eat the pure, non-processed spiritual food found only in His Word.
We must remind ourselves that reading the Bible occassionally versus immersion in the Word is the difference between a liquid diet and one of solid food. The writer of Hebrews explains this – “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” (5:13-14). There are two phrases in this scripture that give us a hint as to what is expected of us in order to receive this solid spiritual food. First, the words “constant use” are actually translated “a power acquired by custom, practice, or use; a habit.” We must make reading His word a daily practice in our life, an act that comes as a natural response to living. Second, the phrase “trained themselves” means to “exercise vigorously the faculty of the mind for perceiving, understanding, and judging.” Much like an athlete vigorously trains for his sport, we must vigorously train ourselves to be in His Word in order to digest His magnificent gift of solid spiritual food and subsequent nourishment for our souls.
So, how are you feeling these days – depressed, anxious, sluggish, powerless? Maybe it has to do with the food you are eating. Go get His Holy Word and feed your soul today! I have a feeling, like the nutritionist assured me with my food choices, once you get a generous helping of Jesus Christ and God’s Word, you will never crave anything in its place!
Until next week, stuffing my face at His banquet table… Katie