Feeding on the Right Food

I like meat.  Meat and potatoes or rice, supplemented with a few vegetables for color.  If there is no meat, it does not qualify as a meal in my opinion.

Growing up, my mom would plan meals around the meat.  For example, if grilled chicken was the meat, then she would plan sides to complement grilled chicken.  This has continued to be the pattern for my entire life.

The Power of Protein

One time while traveling, we were staying with a host that, while not a full vegetarian, tended towards a more vegetable based diet.  The meals she made us were good, but after several days, my brain wasn’t working correctly.  I found some nuts to munch on between meals that helped, but I knew that something wasn’t right.

It took a little while to figure out, but what I was missing was adequate protein.  Apparently, my body and brain require a large quantity of protein to operate at their best.  Since that trip, we now travel with some beef jerky, nuts, or other protein rich snack food in case the meals don’t provide enough for my full functionality.

Substance of Meat

I’ve been told that beef is one of the hardest foods for our body to fully process (I’ve not researched or verified this, so if I’m wrong, then please forgive me and allow the illustration to stand).  Therefore, we don’t feed babies a chunk of steak.  There is a lot of substance to beef, so it takes more work to break down and digest.  

In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, Paul tells the church that while he wants to feed them meat, they are only able to process milk.  This is because of their immaturity in the ways of God.  

As we grow in maturity, we are able to break down the meat of the Word of God (the Bible) and gain the benefit of the depth of nutrition that is there.  We are able to have greater understanding as we study the Word alongside the Holy Spirit, who is a great teacher.  

Ingesting the Word

We need to ingest the Word of God, not just read it.  More than once, I’ve found myself having read a chapter of the Bible and not been able to tell you what I read.  It is easy to go through the motions of a daily time reading Scripture but not gaining any understanding.

How do we ingest the Word? We have to prepare, put it in, chew on it, keep the nutrients and then live it.


Great meals don’t just happen, they take preparation.  We need to prepare our space, make sure that we don’t have distractions, and prepare our hearts to receive.  

We need to have the ingredients to make the meal.  There are many translations of the Bible available for us to choose from.  There are many opinions about the various translations as to which is more accurate, easier to read, and so forth.  Personally, I like to read from a variety of translations as it gives me a better understanding of what the Lord is saying in each passage.  

Find a place that you can take in the Word without distractions.  You may have a favorite chair where you can meet with God.  It may be in your bedroom, your car, or in a closet.  If possible, have a consistent location, much like we generally have a set place to eat our meals.

We also need to prepare our hearts.  I have to admit there are days that I just don’t feel like reading Scripture.  If I just go through the motions, then I don’t get all that is available to me.  If my heart is open to receive, then revelation and understanding are more likely to happen.

Put It In

Consistently and systematically read, or listen to, Scripture.  Not just a verse here or there, but the entirety of the Word of God.  It’s important to have the context of each passage, as well as the ability to fit it together with the whole of the Bible.

Find whatever method works best for you.  I’m a visual learner and process information better in written form.  Others are auditory learners so they need to hear the information.  

I’ve heard from many people that they struggle with reading and comprehending what they have read.  Generally, these are auditory learners who need to hear the words to process them.  If that is you, then find an audio Bible.  Don’t feel like you have to fit the mold of everyone else.  The key is that you are taking in God’s Word.

Chew On It

We don’t take a big bite of steak and just swallow it.  We chew on it before swallowing.

Process what you have read or heard.  Talk with the Lord about it.  Look at different translations or commentaries.  Break it down and see the depth and breadth of what the passage is teaching.

Supplement with teaching from others.  Be sure that you don’t just take everything that a teacher says, even your most trusted teachers may misspeak or have an incorrect understanding occasionally.  Take everything back to Scripture and the Holy Spirit for confirmation.  

Keep the Nutrients

God created our bodies to extract the nutrients from the food we eat and then discard the excess.  We need to do the same with the teaching that we read and hear.

There’s an old saying, “Eat the meat and throw out the bones.”  I’ve found that in time I will disagree with every teacher on some point.  This has even applied to some of my own past teaching, as I learn more and grow in understanding.  Instead of discarding everything that someone says based on one point, we need to ask the Lord to use the teaching to speak His truth to our hearts and minds, while not taking in what is incorrect or unhealthy.

Don’t feel like you have to get a deep revelation out of every passage.  Some meals have less than others.  We don’t stop eating food just because we had a few unsatisfying meals.

Each year, as I read through the Bible, there are new insights and revelations.  These grow my understanding of the Lord and His ways.  There are also familiar passages that refresh me again and again.  Just as our bodies need constant nutrition, our soul and spirit need the continual food of Scripture.

Live It

If we eat a bunch of food and then just sit on the couch, we will grow fat and unhealthy.  Similarly, if we study Scripture but do not go out and live the truths that we learn, we will be spiritually unhealthy.  The Word of God is alive and needs to be lived out in our lives.

Practice the ways of God in everyday life.  There will be times that you get a new understanding and yet make mistakes in applying it.  That is part of the learning process.  No athlete studies the rules and methods of their sport and then goes out and performs perfectly.  They practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more.

Are you maturing in your walk with the Lord, or are you still eating baby food and drinking milk?  We need to be eating solid food, so that we may know the Lord’s ways and put them into practice in our everyday lives.

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  (Hebrews 5:14, ESV)

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