Oh the times when God’s Presence feels so close that we never want the experience to end! In these mountain top moments my strength is renewed, and I feel deeply connected to God. My inner Warrior stands tall, speaks boldly and my confidence level soars like on “wings of eagles.” It is in these times that I can physically feel the strength of the Lord rising within me. In these times I am reading the Word of God daily, praying continually, and soaking, to the point of marinating, in His presence. I am not only reading the Word, I am applying it in my life on a daily basis. It is not hit or miss, it is daily and continuous. In these times my cravings are for things of the Lord, and my own desires are set aside. These are the best of times.
Of course there are other times when my Spirit has demonstrated the symptoms of bulimia. I feed on the Word of God, seemingly with intent to live what I read, but instead, vomit my own fleshly thoughts the first chance I get. There is really no better way to cleanse the pallet than to spew a little toxic waste into your friends or family member’s life. Trouble is that makes us just like the world. It may feel good right in the middle of an election process, but is that really how God wants you to display His love. But this sort of thing happens to me when I allow daily activities, distractions, and the things of this world, to interfere and impact my time alone with God in prayer. I have knowledge and love of God, but discard it in the moment, and make decisions in my flesh, and based on how it seems best for me.
Now it is not our intention to disregard what God has shown us and taught us in His Word, we just become self-focused or we begin to feel an unfair world closing in on us. Guilt and condemnation come crashing down and sometimes we just want to hide or quit! This is the down side of the spiritual cycle and the worst of times for me.
But we are not alone in this regard; Paul addresses this very thing in Romans 7:21-25. “I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Before committing my life to Jesus, I was experiencing Spiritual Anorexia. I was literally starving my spirit to death. I knew of God, and believed there was a God, but did not have a relationship with Him. My focus was self, and I could not get “ME” off my mind. I felt desperate, and anxious, without hope or a future. I felt guilty for not being good enough, leaving me miserable and searching for answers. I had no prayer life, no Bible study, and no connection to God’s people. My soul was starving and I was trying to survive on the world’s junk food. With no spiritual nourishment my wheels were spinning fast, but I was going nowhere in a hurry.
I thank God that He pursued me, reached down in my pit of despair and gave me a reason and purpose for living. As my relationship with Him progressed, I hungered after His Word. I craved the quiet time alone in prayer. His Holy Spirit was shining a light on my new life, and the path He desired for me. I craved to live and be more like Jesus. I turned from the things I had been doing and the change was obvious. People noticed things were different with me!
There is a more dangerous type of Spiritual Anorexia and it has eternal consequences. There are those who have chosen to avoid the Bread of Life, to swear off the Living Waters. They crave the things of this world, feed on the desires of the flesh. Eventually, missing the love of God in their life creates a gaping emptiness where their heart used to be. Truly, spiritually starved to death. Psalm 10:4 describes their new old ways, “The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.”
I believe most of us want to do what is right; we are “good people.” But there is a problem; we are all born spiritually diseased. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” There are no fad diets, no pills to take, no working your way up the stairway to heaven, there is only the “Great Physician” and his name is Jesus. He is the only way to heal our spiritual disease; the sin problem. None of us wake up in the morning and say, “I am going against God today and commit some really big sins!” No, most of us intend to start the day with God, and then, finish the day thanking Him for the blessings of the day. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. So what can you do?
Faith-Prayer-Discipline-Repeat; Have faith in God, trusting in Him more and more every day. Pray like you have never prayed before. Jesus arose and would spend a long time praying in the morning. The Bible also talks about Jesus praying all night in certain situations. If our Lord and Savior spent this much time in prayer, how important should it be in our lives? Our spirit, mind and body need to be in tune and alignment, and this requires discipline. Ask God for help in every aspect of your life. Trying to do it on your own is living in the flesh; we want to grow spiritually, so turn all things over to Him. Do not stop, do not give up. Establishing healthy spiritual habits helps us practice our love for God and others. Isn’t that what God asks us to do?
Shaped by Faith