Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart
Food is such an important part of our culture and society isn’t it. The rise of shows like Masterchef and the like have fueled the rise of the ‘food culture’ we see operating today, where cafés, fancy restaurants, sustainably sourced food, and even superfoods are becoming increasingly popular. I think it is fair to say that many of us would spend a great deal of time thinking about food – perhaps what food supplies we will need for the weekly grocery shop, what we will be having for dinner or what restaurants we would like to try out. We spend so much time thinking about what we will feed our bodies, but how much time do we actually spend thinking about what we are feeding our souls? It is an important consideration as what we feed our souls actually feeds and nourishes something in our hearts and lives – either good or bad.
The Bible says that ‘man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Deut 8:3). This tells us that it’s not enough for us to be well fed physically, but that we need nourishment and sustenance from God Himself, for He is our source and the One who truly satisfies. As it says in Psalm 37, I believe that we are called to feed on His faithfulness, as doing this will bring life, nourishment, and blessing to our lives. Unfortunately all too often we can feed on the wrong foods spiritually, which will actually nourish things in our lives that really shouldn’t be there.
As we consider what we are feeding on, there are a couple of things that are important for us to remember. Firstly, what we feed on will determine our focus. If we’re not careful, depending on what we are feeding our souls with, we can easily have our focus in the wrong places. It can be easy to slip into focusing on what we feel God isn’t doing, rather than on what He is doing, or on all that He has done. I believe this is why worship is so important for us, because when we worship something happens – we actually feed our souls with the truth of who God is, and the wonder of all that He has done. As we do that, our focus shifts and is made right. I love the story in Acts 16, when Paul and Silas are in prison – bound in the stocks, in the middle of the night – and their response is to pray and to praise. They were feeding their souls on the faithfulness of God rather than the dire situation they found themselves in.
Secondly, what we feed on determines our fruit and our growth. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus talks about how a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, and that it is out of the abundance (or overflow) of the heart that the mouth speaks. Good trees are nourished with good things, which then leads to good fruit. The opposite is also true. Similarly, in Matthew 15:18-20 Jesus is teaching how it is the things that come from within, from our hearts, that defile us – these are things that hinder fruit and unfortunately, are often there because they’ve been fed in some way.
In this winter season, there is a challenging question for us to consider – what are you feeding on? Perhaps some of us need to go on a ‘detox’ diet with regards to the things we’re feeding our souls with, and begin to feed on His faithfulness. Let me encourage us as His people to have the Word, worship and prayer as staples in our spiritual diet, as these things will help us to feed on His faithfulness, which in turn will nourish something good and lasting in our lives.