Spiritual undernourishment is one of the most serious and prevalent problems among Christian families today. Unlike physical undernourishment, it is not due to a shortage of the right food, because God has provided all we need of that. It is His desire that all His children be adequately fed. The Holy Spirit said through Paul, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16 NKJV). The book of Psalms opens with a description of a man who is truly blessed and who is perpetually fruitful, because “his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2). Why then are so many Christians undernourished? If you are in the habit of blaming the devil, you can do it this time too because Satan does not want you to feed upon the Word of God. He knows how detrimental the Word is to his cause; with just three verses he was soundly defeated by Jesus in the wilderness (Mt. 4:1-11). How then does Satan keep Christians from feeding on the Word of God when it is so sweet to their taste and so essential to their health? The answer is simple: by killing their appetite. Have you ever seen a child sit down at the dining table with his favorite meal, and not eat it? Would you not conclude that something killed his appetite? If a child stuffs his stomach with junk food before the meal, he will have no room for the nourishing food which he actually needs. I believe our spiritual eating habits are more serious than we realize. Bad Diet
Junk food in itself may be harmless and we may easily rationalize, and even end up believing, that we need not be so strict about it – until it eventually becomes our main diet. There are many varieties of junk food. Some are quite spicy, others are artificially flavored, but they all have this in common – they stuff you without nourishing you.
Knowing the varied tastes of different individuals, Satan caters to each according to our weaknesses. To one it may be so-called escape literature; to another idle talk or gossip; and to yet another interesting TV shows. However, regardless of the kind, the result is the same – it kills the appetite for good food. The more junk food we consume the more we crave, and the less interest we have in eating spiritual health food.
Another trick of the enemy is to have believers postpone their spiritual meal a little bit. He tells the housewife, for example, to do all her housework before feeding on God’s Word. He then reminds her of many other things to do whenever she is about to sit down with the Bible. He tells children to put off taking in God’s Word until after they’ve played, studied or slept. He tells fathers that keeping up on the news or getting to work early is more important than morning Bible reading. He has different distractions for different people but the goal is all the same – to keep us away from good, solid, spiritual food.
This serious condition must be guarded against, and whenever it occurs must be immediately combated. In the Old Testament, God gave this direction: “These words which I command you today, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Dt. 6:6-7). Good spiritual nourishment is to be continuous. These instructions were repeated again and again. God promised Israel this practice would make their days “like the days of heavens above the earth” (Dt. 11:21).
In the New Testament we are exhorted to develop a hunger for the Word of God. The Apostle Peter gives us good advice when he tells us to desire the Scriptures in the same way a new born baby desires milk (1 Pet. 2:2). When the baby desires milk, he cries for it and nothing will distract him until he gets it. He must get that milk so that he “may grow thereby” (2:2). If only more of us were like babies when it came to desiring the pure milk of God’s Word!
Once we get used to eating junk food, Satan finds it easy to offer us whole meals of “garbage.” This worthless food is described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, as “the husks that the swine ate” (Lk. 15:16). Many fathers and mothers, who would shudder at the mere thought of someone actually feeding their children garbage, are quite indifferent as to the more important matter of the quality of their spiritual food.
It is important to develop a good appetite for the Word of God in order to enjoy good spiritual health. The more we read and meditate in the Bible, the more we enjoy it and want to read it and meditate on it. On the other hand, the junk food which this world and its god Satan offer, appeals to our natural desires.
Remember how the children of Israel, while in the wilderness, lusted for the food of Egypt. They missed the leeks, garlic and onions (Num. 11:5). I really can understand their feelings because I was born in Egypt and lived there for twenty-eight years. When I immigrated, it took nearly a whole year for me to adjust to a new diet. I know from personal experience that the food the Israelites missed actually tastes good but most of it has very little nutritional value. Furthermore, the garlic and onions give one really bad breath!
And so does Satan’s junk food. If we’re eating it, our speech will betray us and those close to us will know that we’ve been with someone other than Jesus, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt. 12:34).
By contrast, whenever the Israelites were enjoying Canaan, they did not miss the food of Egypt. If junk food is the main course in the diet of any member of the Christian family, a weaning process must take place. The best way to accomplish this is to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Ps. 34:8). Nothing will deliver us from desiring junk food like communion with Christ while regularly feeding upon His Word.
This article taken from Anise Behnam’s book, To Your Health, which is available from Believers Bookshelf, Sunbury, PA 17801. Used by permission.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org