Atkins or South Beach? Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig? In today’s society, there is no shortage of companies trying to sell their products to make you slimmer, sleeker, and smaller. One day, coffee is good for you; the next, it gives you cancer. If you can’t get off the couch to buy your groceries, guess what…they can be mailed to you! Interestingly, what do all these products have in common…their emphasis on FOOD. Yes, food is essential and a major component of an overall healthy diet. Some are blessed to never have to think about what falls into their body…but whether now or in the future, there will surely be a consequence.
Of course, this is not going to be a full piece about how many grapes you should eat each day. But it is also not about how many Bible verses you should memorize. Rather, I just want you to think about how to assess both your physical and spiritual diets. So let’s get into the first “food for thought.”
“We struggle just to have enough to eat, but we are never satisfied.” ~ Ecclesiastes 6:7
Have you ever eaten a full meal…and yet still were hungry? Dissatisfying, isn’t it! We have viewed food as a pleasure…as something under our control that is supposed to fill our bellies until we cannot have anymore. Interesting thought–considering that most of the world, especially those who live in poverty, eat food for survival. Food is rationed to glean the daily nutrients necessary to live. For us, if we don’t eat what we want…we are unhappy; for others, if they don’t eat what they MUST…they die.
The same connection could be made with our faith walk. At times, we become accustom to creating our own “spiritual diet,” with the goal of being our own version of a well-rounded, spiritual Christian. If we don’t like a certain sermon, we just don’t go back to that church. We treat the prayer requests of others like “vegetables” on our plate: we don’t like ’em, so we don’t pray for them (besides, we are so full from our meat and potatoes). Yes, we have become quite gluttonous with our spiritual taste–yet empty at the same time. To be honest, I don’t think God would have a problem with us becoming “fat in the Spirit.” But being hungry is connected with our appetite, and too many times our appetites are shaped around what God has done for us, instead of for WHO HE IS (PERIOD). If God has shown himself as a “provider” in an extraordinary way–THAT’S AWESOME!!! BUT if you constantly seek Him for just His provisional capabilities, you are now shaping your appetite to adjust to your “taste.” And it is very easy to do a Janet Jackson “What have you done for me lately, God?” move.
Now close your eyes for a sec–imagine if you were in China, where Christians are persecuted for expressing their faith. Or the Middle East, where Christianity is the minority faith and face constant oppression. Or even just in a family where you are the only one who professes Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Wouldn’t you take every opportunity to chase after the teachings of God? To hear a gospel track that spoke to your situation? To shout “Hallelujah”? You would if you tied your survival with your spiritual stature. Your appetite is so wrap around KINGDOM LIVING…not just on being a king.
The point: No matter where you are, we are all welcomed guests at the table of Christ. He provides our DAILY bread (not monthly, bi-weekly, or per holiday). It is there everyday, with a variety of options to help us grow. Instead of just counting calories, we must count it a blessing that we can receive daily assurances without getting it mailed, shipped, or flown in. So reaching Him should never be a problem. But the choice of what we fit on our plate…is yours.