Signs of spiritual starvation will ensue when we continue in a season of snacking on God’s Word. Read three ways to avoid it and thrive.
Do you ever have snacks for dinner? This mama declares a DITY on Sunday nights. A DITY = Do IT Yo’self! It means grab whatever for dinner when Sunday rolls around because Mama’s not cooking! A typical menu for my four-year-old on Sunday nights is an apple, some cheddar bunnies and a bunch of popcorn. He would be happy if we had snacks for dinner every night. He’s a picky eater and it sure would be easier to serve him snacks, but it wouldn’t be healthy. He wouldn’t thrive on that kind of diet.
Isn’t that the same for when it comes to “feeding” our spirit? God provides a fresh portion for us daily. Remember the manna He provided to the children of Israel? That food service from the sky had to be collected and eaten daily. I wrote all about that, HERE. It’s a fascinating study.
If we survive on “snacking” we won’t thrive. What’s “snacking”? Those are times that I:
- Rush God
- Don’t take time with God at all
- Skip heart application even though I know I need it
- Don’t keep digging to find what I need for that day
- Infrequently nourish my spirit man
But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 ESV
Starving in a Land of Abundance
There is not a short supply of Bibles, Bible studies, and devotionals. You and I could spend all day reading books written by Christians, listen to music created by Christians, and be in the company of Christians. If you don’t take the time to properly “feed” your spirit, then you are starving in a land of abundance.
And that’s what the devil wants you to do because it makes you a prime target to be taken out.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
If you are not taking in proper nourishment to sustain your spirit and soul, you will become weak. A lion looks for the weak and sickly of the prey for an easy meal. Be on the lookout for him, like 1 Peter instructs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be an easy target for him! I don’t want to be a warrior that’s too famished to fight with my sword.
Signs of Spiritual Starvation
What are the signs of being spiritually malnourished? I have no proof of these “symptoms” but they are some ideas that came to mind when I wondered what the signs would be. I know that at least one or more of these have affected me when I have continued in a season of snacking:
- Indifferent to Bible study
- Lax with prayer life
- Weak in the battle
- Quiet about sharing Jesus/works of God in your life
- Diving deeper into secret sins
- Robbed from effectiveness in your calling
- Quenching the Spirit
- Hearing the wrong voice
Avoiding Spiritual Starvation
If you don’t think you are in such a case, then be informed so you don’t fall into the hands of the enemy. If you see yourself in snacking mode, the good news is, you can avoid spiritual malnourishment. Here are three ways:
Do you ever find yourself hungry, ducking in and out of your kitchen, but you don’t eat since nothing sounds appetizing? I have, but eventually, I had to pick something and make myself eat. Imagine flipping through the pages of your Bible every day, but not doing much reading or any studying. That would be the same as your spirit man not eating. Even if nothing seems appealing, pick a Bible study and make yourself go through it. Or pick a topic that could currently apply to your life and look up applicable verses. When you are intentional with the spiritual discipline of Bible study, you will find your appetite grow for God’s Word.
You know when you finish a meal but you’re still hungry? Sometimes you go back for more right then. Or you plan to wait until the next meal before you eat. Dinner is over and the kitchen is already cleaned up but your stomach is growling. What do you do? Probably eat because you didn’t have enough. (Okay, that’s it. Get all things dieting out of your head! *wink) Sometimes our spirit is desiring more from the Word after we finish the devotional, or Bible reading, or whatever for the day. Have seconds of God’s Word even if it’s later in the day. God provided the portion you need for today—gather all of it!
When you eat, your body assimilates the nutrients and extracts the vitamins from your food. Extract everything you can from your Daily Time with God. I know there might be time constraints, or you may need to come back if you get interrupted, but allow the Holy Spirit to go deep. God wants your heart more than your time. Meditate on what you have taken in during your day so His Word will fully absorb into your heart. Even if you are on the run, allow the Holy Spirit to sink deep into your heart so you can be spiritually healthy.
The goal is not to only avoid spiritual malnourishment. Or only survive. It’s to thrive—to grow spiritually all the time! Learn to receive the daily portion He provides for you, and you’ll see it happen!
Prayer of Pursuit
Father, help us to eat of Your Word every day. Help us to be like the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17:10-11 and receive the Word with eagerness. Help us to examine the Scriptures daily. May we come stay or come back until we gain the full portion You have provided for us each day. With Your grace, help us apply what we have taken in and let the Holy Spirit have His way. In Jesus’ name, amen.My goal is not only to avoid spiritual starvation but to thrive—to grow spiritually all the time!