The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”Roman 8:15 NIV
When you get right down to the heart of being a Christian, of being a child of God, it all boils down to three things: Eat, Pray, Love.
We must Eat, sustenance doesn’t just have to be physical. Nourishment can come in many guises; and just as our bodies need to be fed, so to do our souls. We need to feed our spiritual bodies. Sure we can partake in communion at Church during the service, and receive the body and blood of Christ, but that isn’t enough. That doesn’t feed the part of us that needs to be enriched in the Word of God.
Bible study, devotional reading, personal Bible reading, listening to sermons or podcasts on the Bible, those help to keep us nourished in the Word. They feed our soul what it craves, connection to God, fellowship with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The trinity comes together and gives our mind and body what it needs, feeding us until we are full but always leaving us wanting more, craving more. God fulfills our daily needs and makes sure His children, His Chosen are cared for.
In the word of God is the Spirit and the Spirit gives life. Associating the word “eat” with the Bible might be strange yet God gives us His word to be our spiritual food. So though we may read and study God’s Word, if we don’t eat it as food, we’ll be spiritually hungry and, as a result, weak in our Christian walk with Jesus.
By themselves, the words in the Bible are only black and white letters, and if we use only our mind to understand them, that’s all they’ll ever be to us—letters. So for the Bible to become the food that fills our inner hunger and enlivens us, we need to touch the Spirit in the Word of God.
Our human spirit was created by God to contain and contact God. It is uniquely qualified to contact the Spirit in the Word. So above all, above studying, memorizing, reading, or expounding, we must exercise our spirit to “eat” the Word of God.
How do we exercise, or use, our spirit? We exercise by prayer. Just as we exercise our feet by walking, we exercise our spirit by praying.
Exercising our spirit by praying is the way we ‘eat’ the Word of God:
“And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.”Ephesians 6:17-18 NIV
These verses make it clear that we are to receive the Spirit in the Word of God by means of prayer. When we exercise our spirit by prayer to touch the Spirit in the Word, we go beyond the written word of the Bible to touch the living Word that nourishes and supplies us.
Praying even before we open the Bible is also helpful: “Lord, I come to You in Your Word. Lord, help me to exercise my spirit right now to take Your Word as food. Feed me, Lord, in Your Word.”
The Lord Himself says, ‘remind Me…put Me in remembrance’ (Isaiah 43:26), so don’t underestimate this method and power of praying God’s Word back to Him (reminding Him of His promises). Pray with everything you’ve got believing that what you have prayed for, you will receive.
God’s word challenges us to avoid anxious thoughts. Instead, we develop a thankful heart while taking our concerns to him in prayer (Philippians 4:6). His word also urges us to continue to pray faithfully for things (Colossians 4:2; I Thessalonians 5:17). God’s word is a “lamp for our feet and a light on our path,” (Psalm 119:105), the prayers of Paul, Peter and John should serve as an excellent guide for our own prayer life.
As we read through God’s word, we need to be aware that God will lead us to many more wonderful passages that can inspire a deeper prayer life. If the principles in the verses we read apply to a situation in our life, then we should pray through those truths while applying them to ourselves and our situation. God will richly bless us as we discover more of what His Word has to offer us, as we continue to nourish our souls with the Word, and grow deeper in prayer we will become the Love that Jesus gave us so freely. The Love that he died to fulfill, salvation.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16 NIV
The Love found in the Bible, the love we exhibit everyday, is two fold. It can mean love between two people, or the kind of love we ascribe to things. When directed toward things, love means enjoying or taking pleasure in those things. Love towards a person(s) is more complex.
As with things, loving a person(s) may mean simply enjoying them, taking pleasure in them, but there is another aspect of interpersonal love that is very important in the Bible. Love is not always a delight in what a person is, but a deeply felt commitment to helping them be what they ought to be. As we see, the love for things and both dimensions of the love for a person(s) are richly illustrated in the Bible. Our focus needs be on God’s love, then on man’s love for God, man’s love for man and man’s love for things.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Old Testament was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:36ff; Deuteronomy 6:5). The second commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18). Then he said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets” (Matthew 22:40). If we were to obey these two commandments we would in essence be fulfilling the entirety of the Old Testament and what God was trying to teach us. Everything in the Old Testament, when understood at the basic intrinsic level aims to transform God’s people into those who fervently love both God and their neighbour simultaneously.
Love in the New Testament
In the Old Testament we see that God loves his own glory and delights to display it in creation and redemption. A deeper dimension of this self-love becomes clear in the New Testament, with the coming of Christ. In Jesus we see God as never before. He is a revelation, for in ever sense, Jesus was and is God. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3).
The coming of Christ not only brought about the revelation of Jesus is God, but by His death and resurrection Christ also brought about the salvation of all of mankind (Romans 5:6-11). This salvation includes forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), access to God (Ephesians 2:18), the hope of eternal life (John 3:16), and a new heart which is aligned to do good deeds, the deeds of God, (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14).
Therefore, when dealing with love, we must try to relate everything back to Jesus and his life, death and resurrection. In the life and death of Christ we see in a new way what God’s love is and what man’s love for God and for others could and should be. And through faith, the Spirit of Christ living in us, enables us to follow His example.
In Romans 8:35 Paul said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” In verse 39 he says, “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This change from “Christ” to “God in Christ” shows that under the heading “God’s love for men” we must include Christ’s love for men, since his love is an extension of God’s.
Love is not to be—cannot be—restricted to friends. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27). The great desire of the Christian in doing good to his enemy and praying for him is that the enemy might cease to be an enemy and come to glorify God (1 Peter 2:12; 3:14-16; Titus 2:8, 10).
Eat, Pray, Love, Chosen
We can conclude that faith when understood using the the analogy of Eat, Pray, and Love, elevates our beliefs. We become one with God, with Christ. We become more than just Chosen. We have transcended from deep contentment into the promise that God always has and always will work through love for us, His Chosen. Therefore, the way to become a loving person is to set our hope more fully on God and delight ourselves I n the confidence that whatever is encountered on the path of obedience – to God’s Word – is for our good, the greater good of mankind. Just as Jesus was delivered on the cross, so to will we be delivered when the time comes.