Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bread, Milk, Meat, Water, . . . Candy?

So maybe you are eating well physically, but how about your spiritual diet? Could it be that the Church of today is suffering from malnutrition? A brief nibble of Scripture here, a token prayer there, a small cup of milk at church a few times a week, a hunk of meat every once in a while, and lots of sugared "worship music," fast-food devotionals, and fun and games with other starving spiritual children.

So many times this is the true picture of my life. But it isn't God's picture of what He wants for my life! On the contrary, He would like us to be feasting daily on the real soul food of the Word of God, prayer, communion with the Lord, and fellowship with other believers.

"But he answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God' " (Matthew 4:4).
Whole-grain bread is one of the excellent foods God has provided us, but even good physical bread is not enough. We must live by every word of the Scriptures! This means that we must be in the Word all the time, reading and studying and meditating and memorizing. We must really know the words of God. We must hide them in our hearts. And then we must obey them.

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2).
Pure, personalized milk straight from the breast of a healthy mother is the perfect food for babies to grow into healthy children and adults with strong bodies and immune systems. But again, what is more important than food? Soul food (1 Timothy 4:8)! The Word of God is the perfect food for our souls to grow into healthy and strong spiritual adults, no longer tossed about by every wind of doctrine but instead ready to guide younger believers in the Way.

"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (1 Corinthians 3:2).
As a baby gets older, he eventually needs to be weaned from his mother's milk and fed with meat like grown-ups. He needs to eat real food. Milk is good for babies, but eventually we do expect them to grow up. The same goes for Christians. We need milk for a while, but the idea is to be continually growing and learning more and more, reaching higher and higher and deeper and deeper.

"For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).
Pure water is so vital to our existence! If we go without it for more than a few days, we will die. Spiritual water is just as important. We need to drink daily, moment-by-moment, from Christ, our fountain of living waters. Just as pop brings temporary refreshment but no real nourishment or quenching of thirst, so the pleasures of this world and spiritual candy are only broken cisterns and can bring us no true aid, no true quenching of the deep thirst of our souls.

God's design for us is to abide in Him (John 15), to delight in His Word (Psalm 1), to commune with Him in prayer throughout every day (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and to fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42). This is true nourishment. This is how our souls will thrive!

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