Carnivore. Vegetarian. Vegan. Gluten free. Dairy free. Organic. Eating for our blood type. So many “eating” options are before us, at least in the land where I live. We give great attention to our food intake, knowing it affects our physical health.
I’ve often asked myself: What would my physical health be like if I ate physical food in same way I ate spiritual food?
Would I be healthy and energetic? Malnourished? Would I have so little nourishment that my appetite would be gone? Would I be getting by, but with needed changes? Or, would I be dead?
These are important questions to ponder—because spiritually, like physically, we are what we eat.
It’s easy to eat food on the fly, while running out the door. Or, to just grab something someone hands to us in a drive-through. However, these aren’t the meals that do us the most good, or the ones which we remember.
Do you feed your faith “on the fly,” or mostly when someone hands something to you in a “spiritual drive-through?” Do you pay careful attention to your intake, or lack thereof? It’s crucial to take time to eat at the spiritual dinner table.
How healthy is your faith? Is it well fed and growing, or is it waning? Thankfully, we can build ourselves up in faith. While we can become physically healthier through our eating habits, surely eternal life is of greater importance than physical life.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)
Maybe you have been disappointed, or have been struggling to see God at work in your life—wanting to see victories that don’t seem to happen. Perhaps you feel as if life is going in the opposite direction from your desires. As a result, faith can suffer– tempting us to lose our appetite for the spiritual nourishment we need. Consequently, we are more apt to consume “junk food” that’s neither satisfying, nor good for us. It can come in the form of mind consuming social media and entertainment, or people or things that confuse our spiritual focus.
So how do we feed our faith? Here are some simple reminders.
- We’ve got to eat the meat—or at least protein. There’s no substitute for opening the Bible and taking in the words of God. When we read, we can remember the power of God, his kindness, his love, and his truths…for faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
And, let the word digest. Take time to really listen. Take time to see God. See him at creation. See him with Moses, David, and Mary. See him raise the dead and see Jesus raised from death. Be amazed at the magnitude and minutia of his creation. Take time to read the word. Take time to hear the word spoken. Sometimes, hearing the word of God spoken out loud speaks to me even more keenly, while at other times silent meditation moves my heart and mind.
- Invite others to “eat with you.” We need each other. Sometimes I need to “do my own cooking” spiritually, while at other times my faith is fed through others. When friends are hurting, or going through trials or life changes we often encourage them by sending physical meals. Often, food prepared for others is arranged through an internet tool called “the meal train.” Perhaps we could also encourage each other with “spiritual meal trains,” as together we encourage one another’s faith. When I feel weak or hurting, nothing encourages me more than receiving a meaningful Scripture that speaks to my particular needs.
We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.
In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know…Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. (1 Thess. 3:2-4,10)
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:1-12)
It’s a special treat to “go out to eat.” Likewise, it’s a privilege and special time to “go out to eat spiritual food” as we meet together as a church, worship together, and hear the word preached. Neglecting this privilege and responsibility will weaken our faith.
- Sharing our personal faith feeds our faith. Yes, inviting people to church can be helpful…as friends may come and open their hearts to seeking God. But there is so much more involved in sharing our faith. Sharing our faith reminds us of what God has done in our lives. As you read the book of Acts, the disciples went everywhere sharing what God had done in their lives. It’s crucial, as the Scriptures state, to be active in sharing our faith. This feeds our faith.
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:4-6)
As we hear encouraging news of how God is working in others’ lives, it strengthens our faith. We can’t hear these workings of God if we aren’t actively sharing them. Sometimes, without this focus, we can forget the mighty ways God has and is continuing to work on our behalf.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. (Romans 1:8)
- Take supplements to strengthen your faith.
Often, in addition to reading the Bible, gaining encouragement from others and being encouraged, and sharing my faith I’m strengthened by spiritual books and spiritual songs. I try to always be reading spiritual books, and I’ve gained so much from them. At times, music strengthens my faith like nothing else can do at the time.
When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers. (2 Timothy 4:14 NLT)
Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! (Colossians 3:16 MSG)
You may feel you have little faith, but it can grow if you feed it. Fortunately, our faith does not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power. Even a little faith, with God’s huge power, can move mountains.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it— and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it,
which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 MSG, emphasis added)