I love to read. I like great novels but sometimes it feels overwhelming to get caught up in a long story when life is so busy; so I really enjoy short articles about good workouts, how to lose weight, great recipes, organization, being more efficient, etc.
I was thinking about some articles I’ve read that say how important diet & nutrition are to losing weight. Exercise is great & necessary for many reasons but if you don’t get that diet in line and make it a lifestyle, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to healthy weight. Some of the tips they gave were:
- Plan ahead. Set a meal plan for each day so that you don’t get caught starving.
- Quality over quantity. Eat smaller portions of quality food & be mindful of your choices.
- Slow down & savor each bite. Really enjoy & taste what you are consuming.
- Don’t stand & eat or sit in front of the t.v. where you are mindlessly eating food.
As I thought about those tips, I began to think about it in terms of our time with the Lord. I love how the Bible often relates food & exercise to our spiritual journey with him. There are so many parallels.
In order to have a rich spiritual life & healthy relationship with Jesus, you have to:
- Plan ahead. Set a time each day where you will be with Jesus, studying His words to you & focusing on him.
- Don’t get caught up in having to read 5 chapters of the Bible & an hour in prayer each day. Spend quality time. Read a smaller portion of Scripture & give yourself prayerful time to ingest what you’ve read. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the words & make them come alive to you.
- Slow down. Don’t be afraid to ask someone that is ahead of you on the journey where to read & what to study so you can really enjoy what you’re reading.
- Eliminate distractions & interruptions. Don’t put your phone, ipad, computer next to you if it’s a temptation. If you have a busy home, look for a time where there will be minimal people or a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.
A couple of other thoughts. “Enjoying what you read” doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be easy or fun. Lots of content in God’s word is challenging & hard & we have to grapple with it. I just mean that you will enjoy what you are reading b/c you know it’s speaking to & changing you, disciplining & shaping you. Another thing, there are seasons of life. Don’t be condemned if you can’t spend as much quantity time studying as someone else but (& here’s the big but) don’t starve yourself either. You can not maintain a healthy weight without the above steps nor can you maintain a healthy relationship with Jesus without meeting with him regularly.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8 (NLT)
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” Psalm 119:18 (NLT)
"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.” Psalm 119:162 (NLT)
“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews 12:11 (MSG)
Enjoy one of my favorite songs to Jesus right now.