“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Isaiah 55:2
Is there such a thing as being too full? You bet there is! We have all felt the awful feeling of eating too much. But when the food is to die for, when it is prepared to perfection, when it is a special holiday like Thanksgiving, we are ripe for the excuse, “I can eat to my belly’s over-satisfaction today. I will go on a diet tomorrow! But we usually regret it later.
Our stomach has its limitations. Our body variably gives us warnings, unlike horses who get into too much grain, eat beyond full, and end up foundering. But when the food is what we yearn for and there is plenty of it, we have a hard time putting down the fork sooner than later and saying, “Enough!
Today is a day of feasting in many households with family and loved ones. Most all have their favorite dishes which they anticipate being a part of the Thanksgiving meal. Plates are piled high with food from more than enough different dishes for any one meal. How you leave room for any dessert is anyone’s guess! Somehow you can make room for pumpkin pie with whipped cream, pecan pie, bread pudding, carrot or red velvet cake, and any number of fruit pies or cobblers. Oh, the weight you will put on. But it is, after all, a special occasion meant for feasting. Can’t hardly escape it!
Physical over-eating is certainly very doable. We can do it more than we care to admit. But is it just as possible to over-eat spiritually? Can we ever feed on the Scriptures too much? Can we spend too much time in prayer? Can we get too much of Christ? Will our spirit ever get too full of what sanctifies the soul?
Good question, but I think we all know the answer to it. No, we can never get too much of truly spiritual food and sustenance. There is never any danger of over-eating what our soul’s stomach aches for. If anything, we are normally starving for spiritual refreshment.
In this life the sanctifying process always has in it a yearning to be glorified, to be brought to the place of perfection, wondering if we will ever see the final end of sin. Some of us really yearn not to suffer the malady of sinning again and again. We wonder how many times we will trip. We often wonder if we will ever attain perfect and faithful love for the Savior, if the last vestige of sin will ever be crushed; in other words, no more tears, no more grief, no more anguish and pain brought on by sin.
Over-eating spiritually is not really our problem; under-eating is. There is in a fallen world that which fights earnestly for our appetites, which squelches the appetite and feeding of the soul. Time is a fixed resource which finds itself always in the midst of a battlefield.
We, by design, have a concrete resource of time and, no matter how you divide it up, it is always the same: 60 minutes, 24 hours, seven days, 12 months. Spiritual feeding requires a time choice. Physical feeding involves body-necessity. We do not eat, the physical body starves and eventually dies, as in eating disorders. Ironically, as well, if the spiritual is not fed, evil proliferates, and the soul starves also. Time is fixed, but a choice must be made in using it for both the physical necessities of life and the spiritual.
How much time to dress and get ready for the day? How much to prepare and eat? How much to work? How much to care for babies or children? How much to sleep? How much to recreate? Then, the question is, how much to read the Word, pray, and meditate? How much to witness to our faith? How much to worship, study, and fellowship with church family? Choices in the use of a fixed resource!
One can be overdone, and one fights for time. The heart determines how the time will be proportioned. You have to organize time to survive, physically and spiritually. But remember, one gets over-fed, and one is under-fed. A true disciple disciplines himself to balance the two as needed. He will not allow his soul to starve for lack of food. He desires greatly the abundance of soul-food.
It is a decision of faith which says, “I will make time for my Savior. I will draw near to God. I will give food to my soul! It is very aware of the physical demands of life but knows that the physical can and must be interwoven with what is spiritual, for we are both physical beings and spiritual. And then there also is time to discipline food for the soul alone. Choices? But I will not neglect the abundance of Him with whom I have most and preeminently to do!
“Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, Son of God and Son of Man! Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.
(1st verse of anonymous hymn from German Songbook, “Fairest Lord Jesus, 1677)
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