Our Spiritual Nutrition

How many times have you gone to the store for milk and bread? In the physical sense, we often do this without giving it a second thought, because milk and bread are staples that we need as part of the food we eat every day. Spiritually, we also need food to keep us alive, but many people have no idea where to find this type of sustenance. In the Scriptures, God’s Word is compared to food, to illustrate how much we need it to live spiritually healthy lives.

Food is something we can readily identify with, and something we need to nourish our physical bodies. God knows this, so He liberally sprinkles His Word with references to milk, bread, water, wine, fruit, meat, and even wheat to get His message across. When we study the Bible, we can discern the deeper meaning.  

We’ve all read about what Eve ate in the Garden of Eden that led to the downfall of mankind, but God uses food analogies to point to our restoration as well. Newly born-again Christians can handle just the basics. “Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation, Since you have [already] tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord”(1 Peter 2:2, 3, AMP). Christians struggling to accept the basics of the Truth aren’t yet ready to move on to meatier subjects. “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready” (1 Corinthians 3:1, 2, NIV).

When we begin to grow and mature as Christians, we can handle something more substantial. Jesus referred to God’s Word as His spiritual meat. “But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:32, 34). We can pattern our lives to follow His example.

When God led Moses and his people through the desert, He fed them physically with manna from heaven and with water when they were thirsty. He tried to feed them spiritually as well, although the people grumbled, complained, and resisted (1 Corinthians 10:3-5). This reference to water as something more than just hydrogen and oxygen is repeated in the New Testament story of Jesus and the Samarian woman at the well (John 4:9-14). In our lives, the Word of God is bread and water for our spirits and souls.

When John the Baptist announced Jesus’ ministry, he used the analogy of wheat (Luke 3:17) to illustrate how God separates His children from the rest of the world. Jesus compared His Spirit to new wine (Matthew 9:17; Luke 5:37). He used examples like these because He knew how important food and daily sustenance was for us.

After feeding 5,000 people, Jesus spoke of Himself as the bread of life, but many didn’t understand what He meant (John 6:48-51). For many people, God’s Word will go completely over their heads. But His chosen ones will understand, and when they keep His Word, it will produce visible manifestations. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

God describes those who don’t want to hear His Word because it’s too uncomfortable as people who “fill up on spiritual junk food” (2 Timothy 4:3-5, MSG). But, we as Believers are urged to live and speak our faith.  Taste the Lord and see that He is good (Psalm 34:8)!

— Creflo Dollar