Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 19: In the same way that I feed my body daily with physical food, I must also feed on spiritual food to satisfy my soul.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
-Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
The term “soul food” is used to describe ethnic cuisine, and as many of us know, is synonymous with black or African-American culture. History tells us it originated primarily in the Deep South and became popular during the Civil Rights era. When you think of soul food, what comes to mind? For me, the words “comfort” and “contentment” immediately come to mind. If you have had soul food, you know exactly what I am talking about. It is flavorful and tasty, to say the least.
Most people enjoy eating, especially a good meal. We eat not only for nutrition, but for satisfaction as well. We need food to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy. Food sustains us. It gives us energy and it is essential for the body’s growth and repair. Without food, we can only survive for so long.
While physical food is necessary for nutrition and is great for fellowship and unity among family and friends, there is another kind of food that gives lasting, eternal satisfaction. Its nutritional value is essential for salvation and spiritual growth, and yes, I am talking about the Word of God. In Scripture, we read:
But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval (John 6:27 NLT).
Like eating physical food, we are urged to consume the Word of God and make it a priority. In order to mature in our walk with the Lord and experience His glorious presence, we must feed daily on His Word and apply it to our lives. Scripture tells us that:
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple (Psalm 119:130 KJV).
We enter God’s presence through His Word, the Bible. When we take a bite out of God’s Word and meticulously chew on it, there is this incredible sensation of oneness with the Lord. There is nothing like it. Not even the greatest chef in the world can create a dish that is as tasty and satisfying as the Word of God.
In Psalm 34:8 (NIV), King David invites us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Scripture also tells us that everything good comes from God. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV). Consider the Lord’s kindness and all the wonderful things He has done for you, now feast on His constant love, goodness, truth, and grace. Let the light of God’s Word shine through and nourish your soul.
You see, when we allow Scripture to nurture our souls, we enter a place of God’s rest. We must set aside time to read, listen and study God’s Word. You cannot grow spiritually healthy apart from God. We cannot become the people God intends us to be without His sovereign Word. The Word of God supernaturally influences our lives when we feed on it daily.
Because the Bible is food for our souls, we are reminded in Scripture that the Word of God runs deep. It is life-giving and is actively working to transform us into the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29). When we take time to read the Bible, it renews our minds, refreshes our souls, and searches the motives of our hearts.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NIV).
Intentionally reading, listening, believing and obeying God’s Word will powerfully change us because our lives are an open book before God. We learn from the Bible that, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV). I don’t know about you, but the idea that God Most High knows every detail of my life, is incentive enough for me to submit to His will, and the only way for me to do that is feed on His Word and allow it to change me from the inside out.
What are you using to nourish your soul today? Is it earthly wisdom and motivational speeches or is it something other than God’s Word? For the Lord Jesus, the spiritual transcends the physical. When His disciples had urged Him to eat something, Jesus said to them:
My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work (John 4:34 NLT).
In the same way that we eat physical food to sustain us, we must eat spiritual food to nourish our soul and spirit as well. In explaining the sacrifice of His body on the cross for our sins, Jesus said:
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6:51 NIV).
When we read God’s Word and trust in His Son Jesus, we receive the gift of salvation. Just like water is the most essential nutrient to our bodies and is involved in the vital functions of the body’s organs and cells, so is the Bible. Like streams of living water (John 7:37-38), the Word of God flows through us to quench and fill the dry and desolate areas of our soul.
If you are thirsty, hungry and your appetite is craving something else other than the Word of God, let me encourage you to make feeding on His Word a priority. Add God’s Word to your menu or make it the first ingredient in all your recipes, and like yeast rises in dough, so will the Word of God rise in your heart and produce nourishment and satisfaction for your soul that will last a lifetime.
“God’s Word is a feast for our heart, mind and spirit. This is one banquet table where there is no such thing as taking too much.”
– Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
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