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Feast or Famine?

This post and the next are written by Chris Davis, as part of the YC which we hope will be of use in your ministry. Chris is the Executive Director of Global Youth Ministry Network and he also blogs over at GYMN-International.

feastI have noticed that when it comes to our spiritual life we tend to run on the premise of feast or famine.

This may be a new saying to some of you, but the idea is that either we have so much “feast” or we are starving “famine”. In the physical realm this is not the best way to life if at all possible. This is living a life on the extremes. In the physical realm when we have a feast, it slows us down as we tend to eat too much. However, if we are in a famine we have nothing to eat for many, many days which can cause us to not be able to function and become prone to diseases.

These same truths apply in the spiritual realm. I know that most of us would not say we are spiritually famished or that we get to live at a feast spiritually every day. So what is the healthy and balanced option?

I was personally pondering this the other day in the midst of feeding spiritually in the morning. I had felt as if God set the table of spiritual feasting right before me. But then I entered a time of reflection on my upcoming day and past days. I noticed the following. That I may even feast daily on His word and His presence and that is all good. I am glad for that kind of routine and God’s presence (though there are days when it is more like I am begging Him for food than feasting). However, I noticed a trend in my life and maybe you have seen this. My trend is to meet with Him but then find myself somewhat still in need spiritually throughout the day, finding myself spiritually hungry or not walking as I would like and not walking as I had committed to earlier in that day. Why is that? I asked myself that same question. I was thinking about all that I had just eaten spiritually. For some reason, I realized that as great as that was, it would not sustain me for 24 hours, probably. So what is one to do?

Maybe, the issue of feasting sounds totally fine and quite enjoyable. But in the physical realm doctors say it is best to eat more small meals throughout the day. As I recalled that health tip, I remembered that early in my walk with Christ, I became frustrated that I would meet with the Lord but then in our next meeting, usually in the next day or two, I felt as if I was reintroducing myself to Him, reconnecting and not feeling at home in Him and with Him all day. As a new believer I had seen people pray at meal times, so I thought that this would be a good way to connect with Christ throughout the day. I went beyond the basic “Thank you for this food” prayer but moved toward meditation at each meal. If possible I would get away from others and sup with the Lord. This spiritual feeding as I physically ate each day helped fulfill my spiritual cravings throughout the day.

Now here I am, 25 years later, asking the same question. Life has become too busy again at times. I find myself even skipping lunches to work (for Him). But as I reflect, I wonder if I am walking with Him throughout the day? Sure I feast with Him, but then I can run so quickly and feverishly that I rarely stop to meditate and digest His truths in the midst of the day. Pausing throughout the day is helping me to stay fed and nourished spiritually. I am still in this journey and looking for new ways to connect throughout the day with the Lord.

One new way that I have used is to keep a rock in my pocket. Here is how this has worked for me. I gathered a small bucket of rocks and as I feast with the Lord, I make a mark or write on the rock a symbol or word that reminds me of the spiritual truth or action that the Lord is leading me to carry with me through the day (and often for many days). I now realize how often I check my pockets throughout the day and feel that rock as a reminder that He is my Rock and He has something to share with me throughout the day. In the everyday items and actions we can be reminded about God.

Brother Lawrence mentioned the following in his Maxims:

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

(A free downloadable copy of this and other classic books can be found by clicking here).

Related Post: Feast or Famine: Spiritual Food Reserves

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