21 Day Prayer & Fast: Day 20

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.