When a baby is born, its basic need for food is soon recognized! An appetite is one of the fundamental proofs of life and growth. And, for that newborn baby, while the first meal is delicious, only a couple short hours later, he or she is ready for more nourishment. That nourishment must be provided on a very consistent basis in order for that baby to grow properly and maintain good health.
In a spiritual sense, a newborn believer will have an appetite for the Word of God, called the “bread of life” and the “water of life”. It is our source of nourishment for our spiritual growth. In Matthew 5:6 tell us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” God promises to fill our appetites for spiritual food through His Word.
Physically, irregular feeding or little food at all will cause us to suffer malnourishment, sickness, and sadly, death. Eating unhealthy foods will cause us to feel full, but will result in sickness and a general sense of poor health. We not live at our full potential if our diets are in need of a major overhaul. When we are weak physically, we are more susceptible to disease.
It is same for our spiritual man. Little time spent in the Word will result in spiritual sickness. If we spend time feeding our flesh, our spiritual man will suffer. If we’ve spent hours in various forms of distractions and entertainment and little or no time in the Bible, our flesh will certainly be controlling us, keeping us from walking in the Spirit. In addition, if we are weak spiritually from filling our appetites with our earthly pursuits, we are more susceptible to spiritual disease and attacks from Satan.
For example, if I neglect my personal devotion time with God, it will be very easy for me to succumb to the temptation to grumble, complain, or gossip. I’ve not equipped my heart to fight temptation that day. I’m fighting a battle without my God-given weapon, His Word. However, if I’ve spent time in the Word and time in prayer, asking God to guide my tongue and let every word I speak be in obedience to Him, I’ll be slower to complain, and quicker to make God-honoring decisions even in the mundane tasks of my day.
Even if you’re not filling your time with sinful activities, simply neglecting to read the Word consistently will have devastating consequences on your walk with God. You’ll find yourself powerless to live Spirit-filled.
George Mueller, a powerful man of God and a man of great spiritual discipline said, “Since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is, to obtain food for his inner man. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food; and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning; so it should be with the inner man. Now what is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God; and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts…How different, when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, arid the temptations of the day come upon one!”
We wouldn’t think of going an entire day without feeding our physical body. We are painfully aware of our need and desire for food several times throughout the day. What if we regarded our spiritual appetite with the same intensity? What if we wouldn’t consider going several hours without communication with God through prayer and reading? What if personal devotions (a set time with God each day) were as much a habit in our lives as breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Imagine the spiritual growth you would experience if you made the Word of God a consistent and major part of your day, not just something you do occasionally or at church?
If daily time with God is a struggle for you, consider making a commitment to be in the Word for the next seven days. Research suggests that if you do something twenty-one days in a row, it will become a habit. Once you’ve established a routine, stick with it. Leave reminders for yourself throughout your home. Ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Eliminate distractions during your time with God. Put your cell-phone to the side and concentrate on gaining knowledge of God through His Word. God has given us the tools we need to live Spirit-filled lives of victory. If you are powerless and defeated in the area of personal devotions, determine now to commit to consistent, daily time in His Word.