I have two questions for you today.
Question 1: Are you busy? – My guess is yes. If your life is like mine, you are barely staying above water. Your to-do list is always longer than your already-done list. The day never seems long enough, and you are considering giving up sleeping at night to add six hours to your day.
Question 2: Have you eaten this week? – (You may be wondering why the sudden change of gears, but don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this.) My guess is the answer to this question is also yes. No matter how busy your schedule; no matter how long your to-do list; no matter how hectic your week has been- you found time to eat food.
Which makes me wonder: why are we so diligent in feeding our physical man, but unfaithful in feeding our spiritual one?
(Now if you have spent three hours a day in prayer and exegetically studied through half the Old Testament already this week, this is not for you. For the rest of us, read on.)
Think about it. No matter how busy we are, we don’t go a day without eating. But how many times have we reached the end of our day and realized, “I didn’t get my Bible reading done” or “I still haven’t prayed”? We all know we should feast on spiritual food… but how is it that we end up neglecting it, while diligently eating physical food? Here are three reasons I’ve discovered:
- Our desire dictates it – We eat because we get hungry. We will have an uncomfortable desire-a hunger pain in our stomach until we satisfy it because our bodies crave food. But if you go long enough without food, you will eventually not even feel that hunger anymore. The same is true spiritually. We must cultivate our hunger for God. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – Matthew 5:6 But if we ignore the spiritual man long enough, we will not even sense that hunger for God, and be content to not read our Bibles and pray.
- We plan around it – Another reason we are so diligent in our physical eating habits is because we plan it. We block out time in our schedule called ‘lunch hour’. We shop for groceries and prepare food and plan on eating. But for some reason, we totally abandon this process when it comes to spiritual food. Do you have a specific time set aside each day for eating spiritual food? Most people don’t. We kind of plan on doing it, and always intend to incorporate it into our schedule like somehow it will magically happen. It won’t. It must be specifically planned.
- We stop what we’re doing – A priority is simply determined by what can bump it. And when twelve o’clock rolls around, we are willing to stop whatever we are doing, and eat lunch. We consider it worth interrupting our current activity. And that’s why we’re successful in not starving to death. Unfortunately, the same is not always true spiritually. We will read God’s Word…as soon as we finish what we’re doing. We will get alone and pray…when we finish this project. But to be successful, we have to be committed enough to spiritual ‘meals’ that we sacrifice other things, interrupt other things, or even say no to other things.
What have you found keeps you from ‘eating’ spiritually?