All of us, some more than others, enjoy a good meal. After worship on Sundays the quick rush is to the restaurants or to the house for a big Sunday dinner. During the week we eat throughout each day to sustain our health and prevent any number of problems. One who skips meals or eats poorly will suffer health consequences. Our Creator has fashioned us in a way that requires proper, healthy sustenance for our physical bodies.
Our Creator has also fashioned us so that we must feed and sustain our spiritual bodies too. Just as a man will suffer from malnutrition when he does not take in food for his body, he will also suffer from spiritual malnutrition when he deprives his own spirit of the food it needs. In fact, such deprivation will cause spiritual death – a separation from God – if not corrected.
Our loving Lord Jesus assures us that those who seek for truth will be filled or satisfied. In the Beatitudes he assures us that our spiritual hunger will be met. He tells us in John’s gospel that we can know the truth (John 8:32) which will set us free. The royal prophet, Isaiah proclaims that we will all be taught by God (Isaiah 2:3). The needs of the soul will be met by the father himself!
But just as someone must seat himself at the table to be served, so too must we come to the table to be served by God. Those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness find it in many ways but never through neglect.
Regular Bible study is essential for spiritual growth.
When one comes to God’s word with an open and hungry heart, he will drink richly of its truths. By looking deeply into the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25) we discover both who we are and who we should seek to be. Remembering Paul’s words that even Satan can appear as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) we must seek the spiritual nutrition to discern his works and the falsity of his message. Only by knowing God’s words can we “try the spirits” (1 John 4:1) so that we may know whom to believe. Attendance at Bible study and worship as well as attendance at Gospel meetings, revivals and lectureships will help but nothing can take the place of personal time in the word of God.
Regular Prayer is essential for spiritual growth.
Jesus was a man of prayer. He began his ministry with prayer (Luke 3:21) and ended it similarly in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36). He began his day with prayer (Mark 1:35) and taught his disciples to pray likewise (Luke 11:1ff). It is through prayer that the soul of man can reach toward the throne of God and lay our needs and petitions before the Father. We often pray for the current crisis in our lives, and we should, but when did you last ask for spiritual strength and maturity?
Regular exercise in righteousness is essential for spiritual growth.
Think back on the truly great men and women of faith that you have known. Were they busy about the Lord’s work? Did they display their faith through the works they did? Certainly! One will never work enough to “earn” heaven. But the man seeking righteousness will have tangible evidence of his faith (James 2:14-20). Works of righteousness may include service to others in the name of God. Opportunities abound to do care for others. Pause and consider seriously the question, “When did you last do something for another, for God, without any benefit to yourself or your immediate family?” Sometimes we become so busy with our own lives that we fail to “work the works” (John 6:28; John 9:4) of the Lord.
The hungry man will be filled! However, he must come to the table where the Lord fills his people. How about you? Hungry?
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