As a school counselor, I am often asked to speak to young boys and girls about several “uncomfortable” topics. One of those topics is eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, the signs and symptoms as well as the potential consequences of such actions. The conversations aren’t easy ones to engage in. However, the conversation must happen for the good of the children involved, so that they evade harm. Similarly, we have to ask ourselves a question, Christians… for our good and to evade potential harm.
This past week, I attended a good, “ole-fashioned” tent revival in a town about 15 minutes away from mine. The evangelist presented some scary statistics, ones that made me extremely sad… but what’s even sadder is that I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t shocked at the amount of Christians who stated that they did not attend church regularly, who did not read their Bible daily, who did not have quiet time as a family, etc. It was under that tent, in the hot and humid Georgia weather that the Lord impressed this message upon my heart… because He convicted this sinner’s heart.
He said, “Macey, are you starving yourself?”
It’s easy to point the finger at others and say, “You should attend church more, read your Bible more, have a better relationship with Jesus, love Him more.” But as my sweet mother always says, “When you point one finger at someone else, there are many more pointing right back at you.”
Macey, are you starving yourself?
I thought back over my recent days. I thought about the amount of time I had spent with Jesus versus the amount of time that I had spent on other things. Sadly, I have to confess… I’ve been starving myself when it comes to Jesus. I’ve spent so much more time investing my effort and my talents into things with no connection to Jesus… no spiritual benefit to myself or others.
As these thoughts were flooding my mind, the evangelist made a comment. He said, “If we don’t fill ourselves with Jesus, we’ll be filled with something else.”
I let that sink in. If I do not allow myself to be filled up with Jesus, something else will fill me up. I, for one, don’t want anything or anyone else “filling me” except Jesus, but I have to put in the work to make that happen! I have to spend time with my Savior! I have to set aside time for just me and Him.
Christians, are we starving ourselves?
According to studies conducted in 2015, ¼ of Americans said that it had been more than a year since they had a read a book. (This book worm’s heart cringed at that!)
But the cringing didn’t stop there. Only 45% of Christians said that they read the Bible more than once a week. More than 40% of Christians said that they read their Bible once or twice a month. One fifth of Christians said that they had never read the Bible.
This is not a post to make anyone feel judged or “less than.” This is a post that is written by a Christian woman who has starved herself of Jesus for far too long. This is a post that is written for me… to encourage me to spend more time with the Lover of my soul… but I’m praying and hoping that I can help someone else who feels as if they are in the same boat as myself. Because I’ve asked myself some tough questions… Macey, are you one of the 45% only reading your Bible once a week? Macey, are you one of the 40% that only reads your Bible once or twice a month?
Not that reading my Bible more is the key on a checklist of being the best Christian possible… and by reading more I am somehow superior to others. Reading my Bible, praying, and spending time with God should be something that I long to do, something I cannot live without doing because my very soul thirsts for His Word and for prayer to Him.
You see, just like our mortal bodies, our souls can only be starved so long. Our souls are thirsty and hungry for Jesus, but if we choose to ignore those thirst and hunger pangs, then our souls will seek other things to satisfy it. What’s more, if we choose not to fill ourselves with Jesus, we will be unable to fend off attacks from Satan… just like our fatigued mortal bodies will be unable to function correctly if not given nutritious sustenance.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…”
Thankfully, we do not have to attend a rehab facility or go through other monumental hoops to remedy the problem. I’d say that there’s two simple (yet maybe not so easy) steps to fix our starvation problem.
First, we have to humbly come before our Savior and confess our starvation problem. We have to ask for His strength to help us overcome.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
Second, we have to make time for Jesus. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we have to make time… just like we would for a significant other, a family member, or a friend. We have to make the time… and once you make the time, you will find that it is easier and easier to spend time with Jesus… to truly enjoy your quiet time with Him.
“My soul yearns for You in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for You.”
“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your Name, O Most High, proclaiming Your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”
Macey, quit starving yourself.
Fellow Christians, let’s quit starving ourselves.
Jesus is ready and waiting with open arms.
PICTURE AND QUOTE IS NOT MINE.
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