February 18, 2014
How to Ruin Your Appetite for God
"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
With the summer season just a few calendar pages away, the media is preparing to bombard us with information about new diets, exercise programs and creative ideas for healthy eating. So in light of all the buzz, I considered my own health goals for this season and wondered what changes I need to make.
My thoughts soon wandered away from my physical health, to my spiritual health. As I pondered the junk food I need to remove from my diet and toss from my cupboards, I considered what spiritual junk food needed to go as well.
Junk food is usually delicious in flavor, low in nutritional value, but high in fat and calories. While okay once in awhile, if I fill myself with junk food on a daily basis, I won't be hungry for nutritious food.
In the same way junk food derails our health goals, succumbing to the temptations of spiritual junk food throws us off track and curbs our appetite for God.
Today's key verse addresses this subject of filling ourselves with God's Word, instead of the temptations of the world. In this first chapter of Joshua, God appointed Joshua to lead the Israelites after the death of Moses. To prepare Joshua for the task, God gave him instructions and encouragement. God explained the importance of meditating on His Word to avoid temptation and sin, and the importance of keeping His commands on Joshua's lips.
God knew the distractions and discouragements of the world could easily derail Joshua from God's chosen path. So He commanded Joshua to have a daily menu of God's truth — to meditate on the Law every day and talk about it often — so that His ways would always be fresh in Joshua's mind. In other words, God wanted Joshua to be filled with His Word, so that he would have no hunger for the temptations of the world.
An infinite amount of spiritual junk food tickles our fingertips every day through television, movies, computers, smart phones, books, radio and more. Even though these mediums can offer good "food" as well, if we don't use spiritual discernment to selectively choose what we are consuming, we may find ourselves filled with the wrong things, and a curbed appetite for what is spiritually nutritious.
If we aren't careful, the spiritual junk food the world offers might inadvertently become our primary source of nourishment, diminishing our appetite for God's Word and lessening our desire for healthy portions of His instruction.
Too much junk food of any kind will weaken our bodies and our spirits. But spending time with God and keeping His Word on our lips will bring strength and health, inside and out. Might we put His words on our lips today and pray for an insatiable hunger from this day forward?
Dear Lord, open my eyes to the spiritual junk food I have fed my heart and mind. Help me see where I need to make some changes in order to be spiritually healthier. Give me the courage and perseverance to break unhealthy habits and focus on what You know is best for me instead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For tips on spiritual "vitamins" that can help increase your appetite for God and draw you into a closer relationship with Him, consider purchasing Tracie Miles' book Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World.
Visit Tracie's blog for more encouragement on building a close relationship with God.
Proverbs 31 Ministries will launch its next 5-week Online Bible Study of the Made to Crave Action Plan on March 2nd. Be equipped to put realistic everyday healthy choices into practice and find encouragement on your journey to healthy living with us! Click here to sign up.
Reflect and Respond:
What "junk food" have I been consuming that is possibly curbing my appetite for God and His Word, and negatively impacting my relationship with Him?
Ask yourself these three questions, and then pray over your honest answers:
1. In what ways do I feed my heart and mind on a daily basis? (TV, radio, books, God's Word, devotions, etc.)
2. Does my hunger for God outweigh my hunger for other "foods"?
3. What two changes can I make in my daily life to increase my appetite for God?
1 Peter 2:2-3, "Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness." (NLT)
Matthew 4:4, "Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (NIV)
© 2014 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 18 February 2014.