REFLECTIONS IN SCRIPTURE
Life is full of contrasts that graphically portray mans true nature. For example much human misery and ill health stems from having a poor diet. Poverty and famine bring starvation for millions who do not seek such depravation, but are in general victims of the results generated by the greed of others, war, mismanagementresources,of available resources, or natural climatic and other conditions.
On the hand within the richer nations, complacency, greed and laziness lead to obesity, something which has become almost endemic and certainly in the UK a major source of extra expenditure for the National Health Service. Conversely there are those who for the sake of fashion and social acceptance amongst their peers starve themselves to get into ever smaller sizes of clothing. Again models trying to reach size zero have been in the headlines and there is controversy about fashion companies trying to promote such unrealistic and health threatening fashion.
Human beings are very good at going to extremes and yet a balanced healthy diet is essential to both good mental and physical health. Over weight and obese children face having a poorer quality life and associated mental and physical health problems. Overweight and obese adults will have a shorter life span and facesuch as coronary heart disease, diabetes, skeletal disorders and many other potential health deficits. Yet for all the health promotion activities provided by health professionals few people take much notice! Few will change and eat a healthy diet,to eat the ‘junk’ and other unhealthy foods that generally are the staple diet of many who are overweight. All advice is ignored until disaster strikes, but then it is largely too late!
Now with this is mind, in spiritual matters it is just as easy to become ‘flabby’, lazy and unhealthy. Christ’s disciples cannot afford to starve themselves of the essential nutrients needed for healthy spiritual growth. Nor can they afford to be spiritually lazy and slumber as did the foolish virgins in the parable told by Jesus.
Now Peter states:
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ..” 1Peter 4:11
How can we speak according to the ordinances and Word of God if we do not take in the manna of life, gathering just as each has need? The lesson is clear from those oracles of the Word that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Further, without the spiritual sustenance that we need, how can we be active in ‘ministering’ and in the service of our Creator. How can our lives bring honour and glory to Him?
Spiritual malnourishment or ‘obesity’ triggered by eating the wrong spiritual diet will bring spiritual lethargy and ill health followed by a very limited life span. We live in an age when mankind speaks anything but from the Word of God. They seek pleasant things, human rights and material benefits. They fill themselves with man made ideas, philosophies and wisdom; a junk food diet that leads to an early and eternal grave. The result is a world that calls what is right, wrong and chooses that which is perverse.Thus there is a famine, not of materials things, not of foods to satisfy the stomach, but a famine of the Word of the Lord our God. Even those who would call themselves brethren in Christ, turn from that which is a healthy diet of ‘manna’ and turn to the apparently richer varied diet of Egypt, not realising that it is but a thin diet indeed, devoid of the life giving vitamins and other nutrients needed for health spiritual growth. The Truth is watered down to make an easier less challenging life and they are the poorer for it!
The last days will call for spiritual stamina if we are to endure to the end and run the race of life to its ultimate conclusion. The Spirit through the Word calls upon us to turn from a poor diet to a healthy diet and to turn to the healthy, nutrient filled manna provided within the Scriptures. Let us be amongst those who have been satisfied with the manna of God’s providing, the food that is renewedof each new day of life that we are privileged to be granted. All that is needful for spiritual health is there for us to gather in from His Word.
Amidst the teeming billions of humanity that have existed throughout the ages, a few, just a small remnant, will be found who have walked the path of wisdom. When the Lord Jesus returns, He will bring an end to their wilderness journey and as the greater Joshua will bring them into the land promised so long ago.They will be privileged to inherit all things and never hunger nor thirst for righteousness again.We areprivileged to have been invited to travel through the wilderness to a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’.
So, hold fast that which is good, learning to seek first the Kingdom of God and learning the path of wisdom which says: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”We can only follow this path and eat grow spiritually healthy by a daily diet of reading the scriptures. But just looking at the scriptures is not enough, it must be ‘eaten’, taken into the heart and mind,formingthe foundation of our thoughts and guiding our every action.
If that is the case we will neither be spiritual obese, nor starving, but will be active and willing in the Masters service; “speaking the Truth in love, (that we) may grow up in all things into Him who is the head––Christ–– from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Eph 4:15-16