By Deb Boyce
"You are what you eat." I heard that phrase countless times growing up when my food choices were less than ideal. My "pear" body shape was always at risk to become a stout Bartlett instead of a slender Bosc. Lately, however, this phrase has been in my thoughts not in connection with physical food choices but my spiritual food choices.
Matthew 5:6 tells us that "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled." (satisfied)
To hunger after righteousness is literally to be starving for it.
By definition: to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire.
To be satisfied is to be filled with Jesus and content in His presence. Just like eating a meal satisfies our physical hunger for the moment so feeding on the Word satisfies our spiritual hunger for the moment. And just as eating a meal only satisfies us for that day, so it should be with our spiritual meal as well.
We need physical food every day to give us energy and stamina to live life. We need spiritual food every day to give us the wisdom, knowledge and discernment to live life righteously.
The question I have been asking myself is: "Am I what I eat spiritually?" "Am I starving for righteousness? Do I long to know Jesus so intimately that I can hardly wait for that next "meal" in His presence?
Do I come to bible study out of duty or because it is "the right thing to do" or do I come because I ardently crave His truth and want more of it?
Am I looking to be "satisfied as with the richest of foods?" (Psalm 63:5a)
I want to have the same passion for God that David expressed in Psalm 42:1-2: "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"
And again in Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God; Earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water."
David voiced his deep longing to be in God's presence and to quench his thirst with the living water of God. It was something he couldn't live without.
Is it something I can't live without?
So how do I hunger and thirst after righteousness? How do I move from duty to delight? (I confess many times I am in 'have to' mode with my quiet time not 'get to'.)
1. Check my heart motivation:
Psalm 51:6: Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Psalm 51:17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
2. Seek Him daily, asking Him to increase my passion for Him and His Word and Come into His presence in delight not duty:
Ps. 119:10-16: I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
3. Dwell on His love for me:
1 John 4:10: This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin.
Zeph. 3:17: The Lord Your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you He will quiet you with His love He will rejoice over you with singing.
4. Look with expectation for the new truth He has for me and respond as He leads thru confession, prayer, meditation and journaling.
Ps. 25:4-5: Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Ps. 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
5. Respond with praise and worship:
Ps. 145:1-2: I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your name forever and ever.
Psalm 63:3-5: "Because Your love is better than life my lips will glorify You. I will praise you as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied (sated, be filled, fulfilled) as with the richest of food; with singing lips my mouth will praise You."
In conclusion, I ask:
Am I what I eat? Am I feasting on the "fruit" of righteousness and the "bread of life?" Am I thirsty for the "living water?" Does Jesus satisfy me above all else? Is He truly all I need or want?
My heart says no, not always; but it is my desire. My challenge for myself is to keep seeking and asking for an all-consuming passion for Jesus. My challenge to all of you is the same. For we have God's promise: "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13