Friday, 18 August 2017

What Are You Feeding On?

Dear Friends, 
What Are You Feeding On?


Some years ago, (possibly about 10 years) whilst I was on a Women's Weekend Conference, God challenged me about the books I was reading. I can't remember what the teaching was on, but I do remember that at some point during that weekend God spoke to me. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with the books I was reading, just that I could be filling my mind with other, better books. 

(I just want to make it clear that this was something God was asking of me. This post is not about telling you that you need to do what God said specifically to me at that time. God is taking each one of us on a journey, the route he has planned for me will be different to the one he has for you, however, the destination is the same.  As he takes us on the journey, you and I are responsible for listening to his voice and following his directions for our life.)

From that time on, I focused on buying fiction books by Christian authors. I soon came to love and enjoy them far more than any of the secular books I'd been reading and I have discovered some great authors who tackle issues from a Christian viewpoint. I particularly enjoy Biblical fiction which I find helps to bring the Bible to life.

In recent years, my reading has gone through another change. I have found that I also want to read more non-fiction books on topics such as Christian living and Bible study. Authors I have particularly found helpful are Sharon Jaynes, Lysa TerKeurst, and John Ortberg.

One constant book which I've never grown tired of reading is the Bible. We need to feed daily on God's Word. Not just the parts that are easier to digest, but all of it. We need to chew it over and put it into practice, not gulping it down, but savouring each mouthful. Every time we feed on God's Word it does us good, even though we may not be fully aware of it at the time.

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Jeremiah 15:16 (NLT)

We see from the following verse that the Psalmist considered God's Word to be his food:

How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Psalm 119:103 (NLT)

The world is far more focused on what we feed our bodies. There are all kinds of diets we can follow. Emphasis is placed on a healthy diet with foods from all the food groups, drinking plenty of water and eating the required amount of fruit and vegetables. Junk food is considered by many as OK for an occasional treat, but not on a regular basis. We have the saying "You are what you eat" as a reminder to take seriously what we are feeding our bodies as what we eat affects our overall health and well-being.

Little attention is given to what we feed our minds. Yet what we feed our minds has far greater significance on our whole being. What we feed on affects our thoughts, our attitudes, our emotions. It affects the way we view ourselves and others. It affects our speech and the way we act. This can be either for good or for bad. So we need to give careful consideration to what we are feeding on.

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NLT)

Am I feeding daily on God's Word or are there some changes I need to make? Feeding on God's Word gives life, sustenance, strength for the day, and hope. 

What kinds of books, magazines etc am I reading? What do I watch on television? What websites do I browse? What would my internet history reveal? Who am I following on Facebook, Twitter, etc? What kind of company do I keep? Do I  keep company with those who are feeding my taste for gossip, crude language, complaining and grumbling or do I keep company with those who help me to develop a taste for the positive, for what's encouraging, pure, true? 

The saying "You are what you eat" is also true for us when it comes to our minds. Whatever we are feeding our minds on, will come out, and will shape who we are. 

Imagine the damage done to our bodies if we were to feed on junk food day in and day out. Now imagine the damage done to our minds if we were to feed on junk day in and day out. Feeding on the wrong kind of things leaves us dissatisfied, uncomfortable, spiritually unhealthy, empty and with a bitter taste in our mouths.

On the flip side, imagine what lasting benefits, blessings and spiritual health comes when our minds feed on what is good and right for us.

Only I can make the decision to change my feeding habits (whether it's for the body or the mind). No one can make the decision for me. In fact, if someone was to tell me what I needed to do, it would probably get my back up and I'd dig my heels in and refuse to make any changes.

However, once you and I decide to change, we have incredible help and support from the Holy Spirit. Only he can challenge and convict us and only he can give us the determination and will power to make those changes. He is on hand every day as our constant companion to spur us on and to make new feeding habits.

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [centre your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Philippians 4:8 (AMP)

To Think About:
Have you made a habit of feeding daily on God's Word? How has it given you life, sustenance, strength for the day and hope? Have you noticed any other benefits from feeding on his Word?

Have you noticed that what you feed on affects your thoughts, your attitudes, your emotions, your words, your actions etc?

What other things are you feeding on? Are there any changes you need to make to your diet?

Vicki

If  what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon. (Its content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: 

"Dear Friend..."











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