We need to feast on God’s Word every day. There’s no pill to pop, no quick meal replacement available. If we don’t have our spiritual dinner, we will get spiritually thinner.
We also need to drink deeply of God’s presence. It’s an amazing thing that the Creator of the universe wants a personal relationship with you and with me. Mind-boggling as it seems, He is a father to each one of us and He wants that close and loving relationship that can exist between a father and his child. It’s what He created us for. When we come to Him in prayer, it’s like having an intimate conversation with a Dad who loves us, and is always there for us. He invites us to share every part of our lives with Him, and when we really experience that relationship, we wonder why we ever hesitated to seek His will and not our own.
Prayer reminds us that we need to be focused on God and not on ourselves. It validates our love for Jesus and our commitment to Him. It reminds us where our strength really comes from. It keeps us humble. It keeps us real.
If we want to be spiritually healthy, then, we will feast on God’s Word so we can come to know Him and how He would have us live. We will drink deeply of His presence, filling up on His love and strength, learning His will for us. If we don’t drink, we will shrink.
Finally, if we would be healthy, we will exercise our spiritual muscles to do what God is calling us to do. We will depend on the Holy Spirit as our personal trainer, and work under His direction. We will be trained in obedience, running so as to get the prize.
Obedience is the muscle that tests the depth of our faith – is Jesus the Lord of our lives or not? Have we been giving lip service to Jesus but still trying to run our own lives? Is the service we offer what we think is good, or what God has directed us to do? Good works are fine, but not if they’re done in place of spiritual growth. Works in and of themselves don’t build spiritual muscle, unless they are the works God has for us as part of His will for our lives.
Jesus illustrated this truth when He visited Mary and Martha. Martha was doing a lot of work to prepare a feast for Jesus. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, feasting on His words. Martha’s works left her frustrated and resentful. Mary was filled and at peace, because she chose the only thing that was needed at that point.
The plain truth is that we often want Jesus as our Savior, but not as our Lord. We like the part about being saved and going to heaven. We’re not nearly so sure about handing over our lives here on earth. We have a sneaky suspicion that God may require more than we want to give of ourselves; we like to think we can still be in charge, and that we’ll be happier that way.
So we’ll feed our spirits if it’s convenient, and if we’re not too tired. We’ll tell ourselves we don’t have time for daily Bible study; we don’t have time to pray. Besides, we’re already so busy that we’re exhausted. But if we’re honest, we realize we always have time to eat something in the run of a day. We always have time to take in fluids. We make time for those who mean the most to us. The truth is, we always have time for what is essential. The real question we have to ask ourselves is this: is God essential in our lives?
The choice is ours. Will we have dinner or will we get thinner? Will we drink or will we shrink? Will we be spiritually trained, or will we be drained because we’re trying to live in our own strength?
Will we renew our commitment to God and to his purposes for us as individuals and as a church? Will we come to the waters each day and drink? Will we listen to Him and eat what is good? Will we accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He has sent us?
If we will, God promises we will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. May it be so for each one of us.