Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 15, 2014

Starvation – Concluded, by David Bower

How do we Combat Spiritual Malnourishment and Starvation?

The first step in combating any illness is a proper diagnosis of the problem. All too often symptoms of spiritual malnourishment or starvation can be attributed to something else not really related to the problem.

If you’re feeling depressed, sad, discouraged, fearful, angry, or any of the many other ills that may come, you might feel like I’m too whatever (fill in the blank) to go and read the Bible right now; all I feel like doing is sleeping, crying, hitting or kicking something or someone or a variety of other useless actions that do nothing to solve the problem.

Proper therapy and healing can come when we study, learn and apply the word of God to our lives every moment of every day! The Bible is a food pantry filled with healthy, nourishing spiritual food that will feed our spirits and help us grow and remain spiritually healthy. We need to eat from it many times a day and thereby provide the needed nourishment for our spirits. When we’re not studying it we need to meditate on it and pray over it so the word can become real in our lives.

As we fill our lives with the Lord and His word, we force out those symptoms of spiritual illness! I’ve seen that happen in my life time after time over a period of many years; it really does work!

Too often we look at the Bible as a spiritual medicine cabinet to which we go when we get a spiritual cut or bruise; while there is value in that regard, it is not the main purpose of the Bible which is meant to serve as a spiritual food pantry from which we regularly get the spiritual food we need to grow and prosper in our Christian lives.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

I bring up the subject of the power of the Holy Spirit at this point because the Holy Spirit is the one true teacher of spiritual truth. Any hope of assimilating and applying spiritual truths to our daily lives will be totally dependent on the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Lord told this to the disciples in John 14:26 when He said to them:

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” If you desire to absorb God’s word and make it a part of your life then you must let the Holy Spirit teach you and open your heart to the truth of the word; this is the life changing application of the word of God to your experience of living.

The Holy Spirit can be quenched in your life by unconfessed sin; when that happens, and it can happen all too easily, then you lose the fruit of the Spirit in your life and cease to live a Spirit led life. God recognized the problem Christians would have with personal sin and provided a solution which is described in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

“8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

While verses 8 and 10 describe the problem, verse 9 provides God’s solution to man’s problem of personal sin; we confess it to God and “he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I’m particularly grateful for the “purify us from all unrighteousness” part. I’m an 81 year old retired Christian grandfather who lives at home yet I confess my sins to God many times each day!

A Private Test

Ask yourself what percentage of the time you feel the Holy Spirit is in control of your life; how many hours out of each day are you manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit within yourself and to others? Do you think those who know you best would agree?

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is described in Galatians 5:22-25 where it is written:

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Then ask yourself how you see yourself and all that is around you; do you see all things as a creation of God which is sustained from moment to moment by the mighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you see God’s hand everywhere you look and know He is in control of everything and everyone? Do you understand that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will? Does the thought that we are all created beings and, along with the entire universe, exist by and for God cause you to rejoice and give thanks to your creator? If you can give a heartfelt yes answer to those questions then you most likely have no problem doing the following;

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26


Responses

  1. Thank you, David, for pointing steadfastly to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!” Philippians 2:11 Amen and amen!

    Like


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