Optimal health requires optimal nutrition.
No one can deny the importance of bodily nutrition. Our energy levels,
ability to cope with life's challenges, and even mental attitudes are
directly linked to the regular intake of the right foods in the proper
amounts. Eat an unbalanced diet, consume too many sweets, choke down too
much too quickly, or start skipping meals and you'll invariably endure the
consequences. You might feel sick or light-headed. You may become irritated
or depressed. Sometimes, you'll get a little shaky; my family calls it
"getting the jitters." These symptoms are the body's way of saying it's
lacking sufficient nourishment.
The same applies to spiritual health. Without sufficient and regular
biblical nutrition, our inner lives suffer. Our souls long to be nourished
and energized by the Scriptures. When we fail to set aside consistent time
to digest healthy spiritual food, the consequences kick in . . . and it's
not a pretty sight.
We start to operate out of the flesh rather than God's Spirit. We become
shallow and selfish, more demanding, less gentle. We react impatiently,
rashly, and angrily. All telltale signs of inner malnutrition.
For your soul to be properly nourished, it's not enough to have a pastor or
a teacher serve your spiritual meals once a week. YOU need to be able to
prepare your own spiritual food on a daily basis.
Psalm 119 reveals three amazing promises that God fulfills in you when you
feed yourself His Word. Verse 98 holds the first: "Your commands make me
wiser than my enemies." You will have wisdom beyond that of those
who say ugly things against you. God's Word enables you to live above
intimidation and threat.
Verse 99 offers the second: "I have more insight than my teachers." The
filter of Scripture equips you to recognize truth. You'll have more insight
than your professors or supervisors. You won't be bullied or intimidated by
anyone who wants to attack your faith. God promises to give us insight for
The commandments of the LORD
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear,
giving insight for living.
Verse 100 gives the third promise: "I am even wiser than my elders." You
don't have to wait until you're old to gain wisdom. The Scriptures give us
a leg up on people decades older than we are when it comes to
Simply put, studying God's Word yields wisdom as well as insight and
understanding. We often use these words interchangeably, but they're not
is the ability to look at life as God does.
is the ability to see through life's circumstances—to look beyond the
obvious or the apparent.
, the crowning blessing, is the ability to respond to life correctly.
Your spiritual health depends on your fixing your own spiritual meals and
then savoring God's truths. There are at least five ways to get God's Word
into your system, and an easy way to remember them is to use your hand as
an illustration. So, get out a piece of paper, trace your hand, and write
the following points on your five fingers.
1. Hear. Your pinkie finger represents hearing the Scripture
through expositional teaching. Hearing is the simplest way to take in the
Word. "Faith comes from hearing," wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 10:17).
2. Read. Your ring finger represents reading the Bible. You take a
giant leap forward when you move from being merely a hearer of the Word to
a reader. So, find a Bible-reading plan and stick with it!
3. Study. Your middle finger represents studying the Scriptures.
Studying is reading with pencil and paper. Studying means writing down your
observations, noting the text's meaning, looking up related verses, and
recording how you plan to put God's Word into practice. To help you with
this, we've created Searching the Scriptures studies to accompany
each Insight for Living broadcast. They're free and available here.
4. Memorize. Your index finger represents memorizing Scripture.
You truly begin to consume Scripture when you hide it in your heart.
5. Meditate. Finally, your thumb—which wraps around the
rest—represents meditating on Scripture. The psalmist wrote, "I will study
your commandments and reflect on your ways" (Psalm 119:15). That's
meditation: taking time to reflect on God's Word and let it soak into your
Make 2019 the year you don't get the spiritual jitters! Feed daily
on God's Word. Fill your mind with what you've heard, read, studied,
memorized, and meditated on. Think about Scripture while doing chores,
commuting to and from work, or taking a walk. Let truth encourage you as
you drift off to sleep at night. Ingest God's Word and absorb it into every
fiber of your being. What a healthy and wholesome year it will be!