A friend and I were talking one day about the different pressures we were facing — deadlines on projects, family concerns, new opportunities that were presenting themselves — and she asked me how I paced myself…how I refreshed my mind and recharged my batteries for the next push. And because she’s getting to be a good friend, she didn’t laugh when I said, “I watch cooking shows.” It’s a natural thing for me. I like to cook and my family likes to eat, so it’s a true win-win proposition!
But no matter how many shows I watch or how intrigued I am by the exotic ingredients or the masterful techniques of the chef, at the end of the day something very basic is missing — the eating! Now on the one hand that’s probably a good thing, at least for the sake of my health. But on the other hand, all the promise of delicious flavors and life-giving nourishment pictured in living color on my screen is not available to me. I can’t smell it. I can’t taste it. I can’t really experience it. I need to make it myself in my own kitchen with my own hands and take it into my own mouth for it to do me any good.
And I really think it’s quite the same when it comes to God’s Word. Listening to sermons in church, even doing Bible studies can be a lot like watching those cooking shows. We’re learning the ingredients and becoming conversant with the tools and the recipes and the processes. But knowing what to do and even how to do it is far different from actually doing it. Until we engage with God’s Word on our own, taking it into our lives prayerfully and personally, it’s just information. Mind you, it’s good information. But it’s still not what it can be.
The Old Testament prophets really understood this comparison with food. In Jeremiah 15:16, the prophet reminds the Lord of his love for God’s promises: “Your words were found and I ate them; and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord God of hosts.” The prophet Ezekiel received a vision in which he consumed a scroll containing God’s words to demonstrate the absolute necessity of internalizing and digesting the Word. And his testimony was this: “So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.” (Ezekiel 3:1-3)
As we journey In The Word together on this website and in the various studies we provide, let us always remember to personally take in what we’re reading and hearing. Take time to mix it with faith — the faith that believes and puts it into practice. We need to allow His Word to “prove” in our hearts like the good bread that it is and then to permeate our lives so that His thoughts become our thoughts, His desires become our desires, and His will becomes our will.
My greatest desire for you this week and going forward is that of the Psalmist, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
Blessings to you,