Ever notice that when you go on a diet that things change? I don’t mean in terms of weight loss, but mentally. Your desire for the now forbidden sweets seems to increase. There are times when you really feel like you could eat everything in the house. And don’t overlook the temptation to just cheat a little on that diet.
Generally speaking we tend to go on the diet because we want to make a change for the better in our lives. Perhaps we want to get healthy or pass an upcoming physical. Sometimes it just a matter of wanting to look good either to ourselves or someone else.
So I began to wonder about spiritual dieting. I didn’t like what came to mind and because when I think of dieting I think of removing certain foods from my menu or at the least highly limiting them. My first thoughts were not of growing closer to God but instead away from him because of that idea of getting something away from me. In this case it is because I have a new nature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” So if dieting is the limiting of food normally taken into the body, for me to diet spiritually means I am limiting the spiritual food I need to take in.
You might say how can that be, how can we limit ourselves spiritually? Over in Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” There are those who diet or limit themselves on quality with the brethren. We need each other to encourage one another as that same verse goes on to say “but exhorting one another”. That word ‘exhort’ means to call near, comfort, and encourage. Being separated from a local assembly (church) doesn’t help us spiritually, it weakens.
Another way we can spiritually diet is in prayer. In 1
Samuel 12:23 “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you”. Samuel was speaking to all of the people that day, the newly proclaimed king (Saul), the few who didn’t want a human king, and the probably 99.9% of the people who wanted a king. This was rebellion against God on their part but despite this sin Samuel knew he should still pray for them.
When we neglect to pray, especially when we have said that we would pray about something specifically we are spiritually dieting, denying ourselves. James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” Pray for the other person heals their needs and at the same time heals us because we are doing as the Lord would have us do.
How else can we diet spiritually? By not reading and studying the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 ” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Why is it a problem if I don’t read my Bible? I go to Sunday school and sit through the sermon during church and even occasionally say ‘amen’. Well, how do you know what the preacher and Sunday school teachers are saying is true if you don’t investigate or study the Bible on your own?
Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. Let’s break that verse down a little. Sound doctrine means that a person has been feasting on the word of God, spending time in prayer, & is willing to help build others up. Problem here is that these people don’t want any of that, they might be too afraid of getting some Holy Ghost conviction if they hung out with those people. So instead they want people who will tickle their ears, make them feel good about themselves, & that they are alright living how they are.
For the lost this is abstaining not dieting because they aren’t saved, aren’t truly heaven bound, & aren’t part of God’s family. Those who are saved and living this way are backslidden; they have gone astray.
God’s plan for us to be spiritually fit doesn’t include dieting. He wants us to feast in these areas and then go exercise, spiritually speaking. James 2:18 “…shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew their my faith by my works.” We really can’t show our faith without our works or the putting forth of effort on our part. But we can show our faith by being active for the Lord. 1Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Whether in good times or bad praise the Lord.
Now it may be that you are thinking to yourselves, I have tried all that and all it got me was spiritually and occasionally physically beaten up. Let me tell you, that’s a good thing. It means you are active for the Lord. Satan ain’t gonna mess with someone sitting around doing nothing. He don’t need to because that person has already taken care of themselves for him.
Don’t go on a spiritual diet from God go on a spiritual diet of God! See just how fit you get.