“A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13:4 (NIV)
I guess because I am speaking on food this afternoon at the MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) Conference this verse above just struck me this morning. My talk today is entitled Whole Food = Whole Family and I will be addressing the need to eat counter culturally in order to give your whole family the ability to function optimally for the outworking of God in your life.
I am struck by how adequate the main message I want to convey today is summed up in the short sentence above. Basically what it is saying is, if you sit back and just eat what is easy to access and prepare, your body will never be filled. But on the other hand, if you make efforts to give the proper nutrition to your body and prepare foods in a diligent and purposeful manner, then you will always be satisfied.
I also believe that not just eating in that manner brings about a satisfaction, but also being filled with the things of the Holy Spirit bring about a spiritual satisfaction that is even greater. I find over and over again people who are hungry for God and desiring to be filled by His Spirit who turn to spiritual junk food – the easy stuff – instead of investing time in the diligent pursuit of God and His raw materials for finding Him, are always searching, eating, and putting on more weight, but never finding true satisfaction for their souls.
What I am talking about when I say spiritual junk food is the already processed stuff. The scriptures that have already been completely ground down into a fine powder, mixed in with some synthetic spiritual food enhancers either to make them look more appealing to the eye or to enhance their taste, and then baked into a delicious treat. That type of eating is satisfying for the moment, but within a very short time you will find you are again craving to be fed because what you ate was not filling and substantial.
To be spiritually filled, the process of eating must be approached differently than that of the cultural norm. Instead it requires an individual to take the scriptures as a whole, to open them up and to engage in the work of reading them, seeking God in them, journal on them, meditate on them, pray about them and through them, and seeking ways to find the greater meaning in them – their original context and the word meanings – that in the end brings about a spiritual filled state.
Is the process of changing over from eating processed foods to whole foods easy? No – it takes work, determination, and ingenuity. Plus a couple friends to keep you on track in your new pursuit doesn’t hurt either. The same goes in moving from changing over from eating processed spiritual food to whole spiritual food. Find some friends who have the same desires as you and allow one another the freedom to question the progress, including the triumphs and the back slides. And then be real enough in your sharing to say how you are doing in moving toward your goals.
Just as I will be teaching today, baby steps are better than no steps at all. So set your goals low to start so that you can be encouraged by your success. I promise this type of progress is one God loves to help you will and if you pray for His help to start eating more spiritually healthy, He will give you more than enough help to make you succeed. Just trust in His leading and you will find each baby step a natural progression toward the goal your heart desires.