I was talking with the Lord last year over a meal and heard him clearly tell me to eat up my dinner. Three times. After that sort of amusing word, I’m always intrigued. This is how the Lord likes to hook me, I think!
Protein builds muscles, he reminded me. So I began to think about this with some new insight, for everything that is true for our physical body is reflected in our spirit, I’m learning. When we do things – when we exercise – our muscles are torn and worn and it is in the repairing of them, using protein we’ve eaten, that they are strengthened. So what is it that makes us stronger in the spirit?
It is the Word – scripture – God’s speaking to us – that builds us up. We know this! But our diet must be coupled with exercise – with obedience to the word. Without the tearing and the wearing out of our human abilities the muscles of a human spirit cannot be rebuilt as muscles of Jesus’ spirit in us. God works in these organic ways, growing and replacing from within – we see it all the time.
To continue the analogy, rice gives us energy. Carbohydrate is the fuel of our continuing life, allowing us to move. What is it that energises us in the spiritual realm? Surely it is praise and worship! You can go a day without carbs, but your body will need to re-wire and re-plumb and improvise to find some energy somewhere – yet you are designed to burn that carbohydrate in every cell of your body! Now sometimes we think we can get on without worship, yet worship is the thing that gives us energy – spiritual energy – to do the work that God has for us. As we burn the fuel – make the offering – give the sacrifice – we ourselves are cleansed and changed and made ready to act.
I think the analogy could go even further – I love to shove a metaphor – and I wonder whether prophecy might not fill some of the place that minerals and vitamins do in our earthly diet… But there are so many things to be explored here! Suffice to say, I’m convinced that getting the two big blocks sorted for growth is a good place to start – the protein of the Word, exercised through obedience, and the carbohydrate fuel of worship, burnt to give us life!