Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Force Feed Yourself the Word

"Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." - Deuteronomy 8:3

Sometimes you just don't want to read the Bible. Sometimes you're tired, unmotivated, just feel guilty, too busy or apathetic. It's hard to gin up the motivation to do something that feels like drudgery in the moment.

But we are in a war (Eph 6:10-20). And war requires vigilance because of the reality of constant threat. Every day we face the danger of backsliding into old sin patterns and becoming hard in our hearts. Every day we either grow more in Christ, or atrophy in our spiritual muscles. Either victory or defeat in that day's battle.  And wars are won, one battle at a time.

So what are we to do when we don't feel like reading the Word? When we lack the motivation to connect with God? When we're tired of praying? When the Bible just seems like black words on a white page... like just NOTHING is happening?

Force feed yourself the Word. 

That's right. Just simply, DO IT. Don't feel like it? Do it anyway. Just ball up and get it done. So what if it doesn't "taste good", you need to CHOOSE to put that spiritual bread in your mouth and eat it. Consider it a spiritual discipline. You NEED the Word. You'll die without it.

Consider the metaphor of weight lifting. Oodles of men and women have no problem forcing themselves to go to the gym, endure pain and sweat and tears, and CONTINUE to persevere for weeks and months in disciplining their body. Should we not have the same attitude towards our spiritual strengthening? Should we not have even MORE motivation towards Christ?? How much better and more satisfying our Savior is than a few pounds of flesh and muscle!! "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103)

Consider also that God is PLEASED with your obedience even if it is faltering and half-hearted. Would He like you to RUN towards Him? Sure! But like a proud father of his little daughter taking her first steps, God is pleased with your failings in the right direction. To not have the faith and affection for Christ in that moment, and yet to STILL choose to pursue Christ is a glorious thing. It's like the faith underneath your faith.  It's the sense of the warrior pressing forward in the battle, even though he has no strength left.

And finally, remember the gospel FIRST as you are struggling with your lack of desire for the Word. Jesus died for the deadness of your spiritual taste buds. He forgives you for your lack of affection for Him. Even though you can't feel Him or even care right now... He isn't going anywhere. And doesn't that just make you love Him all the more? Perhaps your heart will come alive again and you will WANT to read the Word. If so, then do it; but if not, then force feed yourself the Word. 

Nom nomz,
The Relentless Fight