A new year is upon you filled with numerous opportunities to deepen your relationship with your heavenly Father and to increase your ability to fulfill the special plan He has just for you! You have a better opportunity to fulfill that plan if you are spiritually and physically fit. How are you beginning this new year—are you approaching it with a solid understanding of the nutritional requirements necessary for spiritual and physical vitality, or are you randomly starting it without a deliberate dietary plan?
Physically, you know that your body has specific nutritional requirements in order to function properly. When you stand on the scale and observe the weight that it records, your response may be, “I surely have more than fulfilled those requirements in the past, and now it is time for me to consider a reducing diet—a new plan for my nutritional intake!”
An intentional spiritual dietary plan is as essential to your spiritual growth as a deliberate dietary plan is fundamental to your physical well-being. First Peter 2:2-3 teaches that spiritual growth is marked by a craving and a delight in God’s Word with the intensity with which a baby craves milk.
When you make sound nutritional choices, you have the opportunity to dramatically boost your immune system. The same is true in your spiritual life—when you choose to ingest a regular diet of God’s Word, you build a spiritual immunity that provides vitality in the midst of life’s challenging circumstances. Have you considered ingesting these Spiritual Immune Boosters?
Psalm 34 poses immunity for fear.
Psalm 23 proffers the immunity for confronting loneliness.
Psalm 27 offers immunity for the times when others fail us.
Psalm 51 affords immunity for the instances when we sin.
Psalm 91 suggests immunity for dangerous circumstances.
Psalms 129 presents immunity for when God seems estranged.
Joshua 1 poses the immunity for courage.
Isaiah 45 is a recommended immunity for discouragement.
Matthew 11:25-39 proposes immunity for anxiety.
Psalm 121 conveys the immunity for a lack of confidence.
Matthew 6:19-34 provides immunity for worry.
John 14 provides immunity for coping with sorrow.
1 Corinthians 13 communicates the immunity for the tendency to develop a bitter or critical spirit.
According to Psalm 119, God’s Word is the most effective source for building your spiritual immune system. May I encourage you to examine it and list all of the benefits of “tasting and seeing that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34.8)? As well, meditating on each of the Spiritual Immune Boosters shared in this blog post will consistently build your spiritual immune system so that you have the stamina to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph. 6:16). Kelsey’s Korner introduces strategies to avoid spiritual starvation.
Consider this question: if a man eats just once a week can he live? If he feasts until his heart is content, until his eyes are glad, but only once a week, will he survive?
Eventually, this man will starve. Without daily renewing the nutrients needed to sustain his body, he forfeits his capability to withstand the elements or illnesses, and he will eventually resign his ability to walk, to speak, to think. Defenseless and weak, he will succumb to death. So, too, is the man who does not daily nourish his soul before the presence of the Lord.
Scripture likens the words of God to bread, and Christ proclaims that man cannot live without them (Matt. 4:4)! Job assures his friends that he has treasured the words of God’s mouth more than his own portion of food (Job 23:12). Yet so often our time in God’s word is pushed aside during busy seasons. Only when we are struck with affliction or when we want something do we dust off the pages of the Holy Bible. If we allow this habit to continue, we, similar to the man who eats just once a week, will eventually be overtaken by the troubles and temptations around us. Without the words of God, we forfeit our defenses and will grow weak, weary, and spiritually ill.
In contrast, Psalm 1 illustrates the strength and vitality of the man who is nourished by God’s Word:
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (Ps. 1:1-3).
The man depicted in this Psalm has his delight in the law of the Lord and can say along with David, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple….the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold” (Ps. 19:7, 9b-10a). Yet this man doesn’t just delight in the law—he meditates on it continuously! Both day and night his heart is filled with truths and praises of God. Because of this, he is “like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” Safe and securely rooted, the man of Psalm 1 is constantly refreshed by the cool, life-giving words that flow around him. With this sustenance and stability, he produces fruit—his leaf does not wither! In other words, no matter the season of life, the pestilence, or the sorrows, his life buds, blooms and grows sweet and full with decadent fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)! And why? Because he is firmly planted, watered, and nourished by his daily delight in and meditations on the Word of God.
Just a little over three months ago my mother succumbed to cancer. She was my go-to person, my best friend. I told her everything and relied on her wisdom and encouragement almost more than any other person. Had I not been firmly planted and established by daily delighting in and meditating on the Word of God, I would have been like the wicked man described in Psalm 1 as being tossed and driven away like chaff in the wind (v. 4). Friends, we cannot deny our souls spiritual food and expect to be strong enough to withstand the day of affliction! If we are sick and weary from a lack of spiritual nourishment, then temptations, trials, and tribulations will “wither our leaves.”
I encourage you, turn your affections towards our Lord. If you’re thirsty, drink (John 4:13-14). If you’re hungry, taste and see that He is good (Ps. 34:8). Do not abandon your time with our Father! Day by day plant yourself firmly in His streams of life and delight and meditate on His truths; you will be rewarded by the ample strength, peace, and spiritual fruit that He affords you!
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Be strong and of good courage: do not be afraid, nor be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Therefore I may boldly say, “Though I do not know what the new year holds I can rest in the understanding that God will give me what I need.”
Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!