Devouring the Word of God

When I discovered your words, I devoured them.

They are my joy and my heart’s delight,

For I bear your name,

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

Jeremiah 15:16

Not sure of the exact date, but I can see myself as clearly as if it were only moments ago. Until that moment, the Bible was just a book stacked amongst a bunch of other books, none of which I wanted to read. Sounds ridiculous, right? That was thirty-four years ago, and a lot of life has been lived, and books read, since that moment.

What a moment in time. It was lifechanging, stepping into another world. When I began reading His Word, I didn’t want to stop. Just one more page, one more verse. It was as if the floodgates of heaven opened and poured down into me! New understanding, new insights with every reading.

If I were a poet, I would compare His Word to a warm summer day. But I teach fitness and it is better than the best workout I have ever done. In fact, I love the richest chocolate cake you can bake, and yet His Word is richer still, fulfilling, satisfying, and sustaining. I get it, ridiculous comparisons, but God meets us right where we are. Right in the midst of our life He intervenes. He visits in the middle of taking the children to school, and even in the breakroom at work when the crude joke is being told.

God came knocking on the door of my heart while I was raising four young children and teaching fitness classes as a single parent. Looking back, it would have been easy to say I was too busy to share my life with God. I quickly realized He didn’t want me to share my life, He wanted my whole life, and He would carry me through!

Sitting at my desk, looking at the first snow, is enlightening to the magnitude of God in our lives. The dark woods are crisscrossed by the light produced by the snow laying on the branches. The darkness is swallowed up by the light! With Jesus in my life, my eyes were enlightened, and everything looked brighter! It was as if a veil had been lifted!

Back to the best spiritual workout ever. When I read the Bible for the first time, the dopamine levels in my brain went off the charts. Sort of like a workout when your heart rate increases to the maximum level. The neuropathways in my brain found a new path and a new way to think. Reading His Word brought an unexplainable inner peace and joy.

I found that the more I read, the more I wanted to read. I began to devour the Word, eating it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead of snacks, my cravings were for the Word. It may sound odd, but I did eat the Word, and read as much as time allowed while raising four small children. Have you noticed the body craves whatever you give it, whether good, bad, or ugly?

Galatians 5:17 reminds us, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other.”

So, what’s a girl to do? In simplest terms, be led by the Spirit of the Lord and say no to what your flesh wants you to do! This requires discipline, and time with the Lord. Being Spirit led is counter to the culture, it is swimming Upstream! Here’s another tip, ask the Lord for His help in everything you do. Those few seconds may be all the time you need to say “No,” to the world.

I remember scratching my head when seasoned spiritual leaders would use words I didn’t understand. I asked God to help me with my limited understanding, asking Him to help me understand what I read and glean wisdom from the Word. I quickly realized the Bible was a spiritual soul map for my life. Starting my journey in the New Testament, reading the four Gospels, helped me understand that Jesus is the Son of God, lamb of God, Savior, who takes away our sins.

Jesus showed us the way to live, not only with His words, but with His actions. Jesus healed the sick, took time for children, took time with adults, taught us how to pray, and lived to forgive. Jesus demonstrated how to love people right where they are, encouraging spiritual improvement through love and self-examination. He took our shameful sins and nailed them to the cross, crucified for us, and then rose from the dead, forever victorious over death.

You probably know all of this, and that is great! But are you continuing to read the Word, getting fresh revelation, and sharing with others? People need Jesus! They need to know He loves them and will restore them to good spiritual health. Ask yourself, do I still have the hunger?

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

So, tomorrow, begin the day with the Beatitudes for breakfast, and be the beautiful blessing the Lord knows you can be.

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