We all know the feeling of walking into a restaurant and seeing all the good food. A friend tells you a particular food is SO good, but than they never grab it themselves or talk about it again- even though they say they are still hungry? Or when offered the recipe they say “no thanks”. You wonder: was the food really that good? Is the person eating a lot of it full of energy and healthy, or sluggish and sickly? What makes a food “good”? What if it just tastes good but doesnt keep you full? Or one you know that’s good for you, but you hate eating? What about a food that’s so good you have to meet the chef to compliment him and ask his recipe so you can make it for yourself at home and for your family?
How do you get a healthy spiritual body? By filling ourselves with God’s word and healthy fulfilling Bible messages. Just like physical food, spiritual food needs balance. We all need meat, dairy, veggies, starches, sugars but too much or too little of any one food can lead to imbalances, bad moods, hunger, and sickness. If our spiritual lives lack good balanced meals this leads to weak, sick, anemic, lazy Christians or Christians that run from the good spiritual food for the easy to digest, simple foods. Many may be confronted by too many harsh messages (vegetables) or lack of building messages (meat) that they turn from the faith completely. We need balance to be strong muscular, healthy solidiers in God’s army.
Milk is the first and foundational food. Mothers milk sustains us through infancy when we lack the ability to prepare, cook, feed ourselves, or even chew our own food. Milk goes down easy: a milk message is easy to understand and simple. Many christians know the childrens bible stories they heard in sunday school and maybe a few basics like: “Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin” but its surprising how many never move past this point. They never search for more. Bibles are never opened because they see it as too hard and prefer to stick with the simple stories. It’s a sad fact that there are so many baby Christians who are old in body, but complacent believing the milk is all they need to sustain them in a healthy spiritual relationship with Christ.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5: 14
Breads and starches stick with us longer and sustain us, but bread alone is empty calories- fills you up, but without the meat and veggie portions lacks growth and nutrition. It makes you fat and sluggish. You aren’t ready to move when God calls you to do something. A bread message is like hearing how much Jesus loves us that He died for us so they think “I can sit and relax and dont need to eat anything else- Jesus loves me. Thats all I need”. These Christians are likely church goers- believe strongly in Jesus, know more than just the childrens stories, but still arent searching for the meaty messages. They are complacent- they rarely open their Bible to learn more about Jesus and His life and ways, don’t bother looking at the hidden mysteries in the Bible, they are happy knowing Jesus loves them… but ask yourself: if someone is always giving, and loves you so much they would give you everything on top of that, and all they ask is: “spend time with me”: isn’t it selfish to not want to at least spend time with them? Jesus asked us in Revelations 3:20 “I stand at the door and knock”. Why don’t we let Him in? Why don’t we let Him teach us with meat and veggies. Man cannot live on bread alone: Jesus told us that.
I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:51
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4
Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. Proverbs 20:17
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35
Veggies: although we may not always want to eat them as they can be bitter- they are vital for our everyday survival and workings. Someone convicting you of your sin is like putting a big ol’ plate of steamed Broccoli, boiled spinach, and microwave Brussel sprouts in front of you and demanding you eat every last bite, and even pretend to enjoy it. No seasoning, no cheese, no salt… just hot, bitter, stinky, unappealing vegetables that you need to force yourself to eat. Convicting of sin is not an easy veggie to swallow, even though you know they are good for you and help you grow. No one wants to hear their sin plated in front of them and demanded they accept, but it’s good for everyone to hear so they can improve and grow stronger and learn to reprove themselves. A loving parent always feeds their children a healthy portion of vegetables “to help them grow big and strong, like popeye the sailor man” and every parent who has served veggies to a toddler knows what it feels like to talk to someone else about sin…
One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. Romans 14:2
Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Daniel 1:12
We need the protein and iron in meat to help us grow physically and spiritually. Meat feels heavy when you eat it and feels heavy when you hear it. You know you needed it when you eat it and feel full. Meat is like your favorite bible verse that you always think of in hard times, or a biblical truth that gives you strength to keep going. Most Christians are weak because they havent heard many meaty messages: their spiritual muscles are emancipated and their blood is anemic. They don’t have the strength to keep strong in hard times- this shows in their faith and trust in Christ. Meat is the building block to strength in body and faith. They are weak Christians not due to not having enough faith or not wanting to eat, but due to the nutritional deficiency in the messages they consume (junk food messages that sound good in the moment but lack any lasting effects that change and stay with a person).
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Fruit is sweet and good to eat, it has nutrition, but fruit alone is not sustaining and doesn’t stick around long. You eat a plate of fruit, feel motivated and quick to start something, but not even an hour later it’s gone and your hungry yet again. Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches, through the Holy Spirit, we can produce fruit. Although that fruit is good, it isn’t lasting. We can be patient and joyful one minute, but if something doesn’t go our way, stub our toe, rain on our parade, or a kid gets sick on an important day that fruit flees out as fast as it went in. Which is why it’s important to consistently and continually give out fruit as Christians, but know it’s not sustaining like meat or bread.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Read on your own: John 15:1-17, Matthew 7:15-20
Oil and fats
Oils add flavor and can smooth on the way down. It protects and coats the intestines, but if you eat too much it cause what you injest to leave you too fast. The Bible references oil a lot in annointing (to cover, protect, bless) either to protect sheep from biting flies and pestilence or to cover someone’s head with oil as a symbol of the Holy spirit to dwell in them to protect them from the enemy: a parallel that is often seen when you read the Word. Most people think of God and Jesus, but the Holy spirit is equally important- but often one that is forgotten and slicked over. Jesus died so the holy spirit could come dwell in us, but we often forget that. Oil is also often used in baking and giving flavor to breads. If you think of Jesus as the bread and the holy spirit as the oil it really can make you think about the connections between other things in the Bible. It’s a very interesting book when you get into it. For extra credit if your wondering where God the Father is in the bread and oil symbolism check out this verse (Hebrews 12:29) and see if you can figure out. Post below if you think you have it!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes. Psalm 133:2
(Jesus) Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7
Others for you to research yourself:
Leviticus 8:30, leviticus 10:7, 1 Samuel 16:13, exodus 29:2
Sugar feels good to eat but lacks any nutrition for survival. When we hear a “sugar” message its sweet to your ears and feels good- but isnt a message that gets you in your bible and makes you want to learn more. Its not convicting, doesnt teach you deeper things of God. When you fill up on spiritual donuts- your not hungry for the meat and veggie messsages Jesus can give you. Sugar is addictive at the same time causing spiritual starvation if consumed too much. Sugar leads to physical obesity and disease; sugar messages lead to spiritual obesity and disease. I won’t go into this much but there’s a pretty popular preacher that is a good example of being full of sugar- here’s a hint: “Live your best life now”. Jesus told us we would be hated as He was hated in this life. That our rewards are in heaven, not on earth. If we live our best life NOW, where would we spend eternity? Food for thought…
A child doesn’t know how to properly feed himself, or the self-discipline to make himself a plate of vegetables and eat it willingly (to look at his own sin- acknowledge it, swallow it, and know that he must be stronger than the temptations of it.) They will choose junk food and sugar over any other food, but we can’t grow and mature as a Christian on sweet messages and junk food with no real meaning. A parent or teacher needs to stand in that gap to provide the good wholesome balance to the child’s meals until they are mature and can seek it for themselves. Physical growth is a give-in, but spiritual growth comes with maturing in Christ, seeking His word, and disciplined enough to seek Him for themselves.
It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory. Proverbs 25:27
A sated man loathes honey,
But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7
So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” Revelation 10:9
(Jesus) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Jesus is a gentleman. He doesnt barge in and demand we be with Him, He loves us. He gave us free will. He wants us to love Him and have a relationship with Him. He is just waiting for us to answer the door. He understands if we are a child and don’t know how to read and understand His Word. It’s OK to start right where you are at, this very day. He only asks we open the door, let Him in, and He will eat with us. He will feed us milk until we are ready for breads and mashed foods. He will cut up our foods into bite sized pieces as we grow our teeth. Our meat will be very small until we are ready for bigger chunks. He will show us our sin (veggies) because He loves us and wants us to grow big and strong in Him. He will give us meat to grow our muscles and the bread which sustains us. He only asks: can I come in? When we mature He will teach us to cook in the kitchen with Him, so we can share the food we made with Jesus with others. How amazing would that be?
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:40
When Jesus comes back- He’s coming back as a bridegroom to take His bride (the church) home. What kind of bride do you want to be for Jesus? What kind of bride do you think is He expecting? A healthy, strong, motivated bride that has a strong relationship with Him already or a lazy, sickly bride he doesnt know? This is our time, before He comes back, to prepare ourselves for the wedding supper of the Lamb of God. We don’t know when He’s coming, which makes the timing of His coming irrelevant as those who lived 100 years ago had the same standards to live up to and will be judged individually by their own lives in their own time. It matters how we each live our own lives now. Many think they know Jesus, but they only know OF Him. It’s like the difference between reading about a celebrity in a magazine, and having coffee with them as their best friend. Are we living for God, spending time in His word, building that relationship? Are you spending your life preparing yourself like a bride for a wedding wanting to impress her groom, or are you living for yourself? A humbling, but important thought…
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; Revelation 19:7
(Jesus) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
God bless your journey, and your spiritual diet.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
If you want to research more for yourself these are also good for study: Isaiah 28:9, 1 Peter 2:2, ephesians 4:11, John 6:31, Matthew 6:11, romans 14: 1-23, Hebrews 5: 12-14 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-3