The Presence of God- Nourishment
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor……. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released, and prisoners will be freed. 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
In the present religious form of Christianity, we experience on a day-by-day basis, as born-again believers reading our Bibles. Many times, it is a type of Daily Bible Reading Plan, and that is good. In that, the Word of God is Living and Active, so if we read it God is going to teach us something or compel us to make changes in our lives. We realize what the Psalmist says in Psalms 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
It is the “pleasing” part I think we can elevate to a new way of realizing the power and wisdom of God’s Word. Instead of just “leaning” into it, I believe we need to “digest” it and let it do work in our life. When we eat food, our body will digest that food and give nourishment to make us healthier. The Word of God is meant to do the same thing. Jesus said in John 6:63 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
The very words Jesus has given are spirit and life and those words should be digested for spiritual nourishment. 1 Peter 2:2 speaks to this very subject when it says 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk to grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment. At the onset of salvation, the new convert must digest and be nourished from the Word of God for spiritual growth. The Apostle Paul knew first-hand the importance of being nourished by the Word, but when he was born again, he took on a whole new way of looking at it. Prior to his conversion, Paul saw the Word as more of a set of rules to follow according to the Law of Moses. But after salvation, everything changed for him, and his perspective of his new faith changed everything into a more personal way of looking at life. John the Baptist said it this way. John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
This is a good example of the presence of God through Jesus and the effect it has on all who are born again. Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! This new life is jump-started with the receiving of the Holy Spirit at conversion and continues as we digest the living Word of God and see just how much God is reaching out to us and how evident His presence is in every aspect of our walk. King David was known for being a “man after God’s own heart.” David would not take certain steps without talking to God first, and then making his decisions based on that relationship. David relied on God’s presence to show him what to do in major battles and other important decisions in his life. Because of Jesus, we have an even better opportunity to experience the presence of God and thus receive ongoing nourishment for our souls.
G.I. Joe always said “knowing is half the battle” and I believe that is truly seen in a new believer's life when they are introduced to the fact that God is Spirit and those who worship must worship in Spirit and truth. John 4:24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Digesting the truth is so much more than just listening to it, learning from it, or leaning into it. Digesting the truth is our lives being changed by that truth making a connection with God and realizing His presence in our lives in the Holy Spirit. And then change, true change will take place. When we realize the presence of God in our lives, we begin to crave the nourishment, and the nourishment we receive changes our soul, our heart, and our daily walk. Not left to bump through life, but very directional in our walk and that direction is toward God. To not pursue God this way is to dishonor all He has given us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Now Romans 12:1-2 means so much more when it says And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The Pilgrimage Continues….