John 4:31 – 34 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Have you ever picked up a bag of marshmallows, intending to eat only one or two, and before you know it, you’ve downed a quarter of the bag? Well, I have. They are just so sweet and fluffy and soft, I don’t even realize how many I’m eating! But there is a tiny little problem with marshmallows. They have absolutely no nutritional value, whatsoever. None. Nada.
They may be fluffy and sweet, but in reality, they are a total waste of calories. If we want to be strong and healthy, if we want to get some real bang for our caloric bucks, we need to eat meat. Protein. Muscle food.
Some of us are kind of like those marshmallows, when it comes to our spiritual lives. We get all dressed up and go to church, and boy, do we look sweet! We carry our Bibles proudly, fluff ourselves into our favorite pews, and settle in for a soft sermon which will make us smile and feel even more sweet and fluffy. But we don’t ever actually DO anything. Our time at church may be sweet and gooey, but that’s all it is. We are spiritual marshmallows, with no real substance.
When Jesus’ disciples urged him to eat something, he said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The word he used for food actually meant meat. Protein. Substance.
Friends, if we want to grow spiritual muscles, if we want to be strong in our faith and in our relationship to Christ, we have to eat the right spiritual food. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Doing God’s work in this world provided spiritual nourishment and built spiritual muscles for our Lord, and it will do the same for us. Do we want to be stronger in our faith? We must act in faith, even when it is hard. Do we want to make a difference in this world? We must get to work! By doing what God wants us to do, instead of just hearing about it, we will find nourishment which will sustain us even during the long, dry spells.
So, how do we know what God wants us to do? Ask Him. Read His Word. He doesn’t try to keep these things hidden from us. But often, we just forget to look for opportunities.
Let someone cut in traffic. Mow the neighbor’s lawn. Hug someone who is hurting. Make a phone call, send a letter, give a compliment. And when the opportunity presents itself, tell someone how great God is.
It’s all about loving others, the way He loves us. And when we put our faith into action, we will develop spiritual muscles.
Just like Jesus.
Dear Father, Thank you for doing what you were sent to do. Help me to do the same.
I think I need to sign up for some “fitness training” for my spiritual muscles, Renae.
This post spoke to me: just five minutes ago, after spending an hour online, visiting others’ sites and leaving comments, I asked myself: Why am I really doing this?
I spend so much time online now, posting on my own blog and encouraging other bloggers, sometimes I lose the purpose of it all.
Of course, my answer was to share my story: of what Jesus has done in my life.
But lately, I have been so present on the internet and my quiet times have slowly evaporated.
So I thought to myself: “If I don’t spend time with Him, being fed, what will I really have to offer in the telling of my story?”
You are so right: He is our substance, our meat.
We need substance, protein every single day.
Thanks for confirming the Lord’s reminder today.
Hi Jean! I think we all need that.
Judi, You’re right. We often need to re-evaluate why we are doing what we do, to see if it has substance. Good point!
Have you ever experienced the withstand from the evil when you set out to do what seems to be Our Father’s will?
Just when you train with real heavy weights, or cycle up a steep hill.
I am certain to develop muscles when the effort is hard.
Guess it si so with the spiritual muscles too.
Today I had this project that would hardly move. I called for the help of Jesus, a the shut door was suddenly opened.
Jesus is a reliable coach. He will not give us heavier burdens than we can carry.
You are right, Felisol. I guess God is kind of like our personal trainer, pushing us to work out at just the right level to help us get stronger. So glad to hear the door was opened for you!
I really like this analogy Renae. Funny how we spend so much of our time on everything other thn our spiritul health and this above all fuels the rest of what we do. Protein for the Spirit – you should put out range of tshirts! Great post.
Thanks, Lilly! I can see a trend here . . . “Caffeine for the Soul”, “Protein for the Spirit”, . . . where does it end? 😉
Maybe I’ll come open a t-shirt shop on the Riverwalk.
Great and helpful thoughts in this post, Renae! I can get so busy doing good things that I neglect the most important things…
I think we all do that, Jeanette!