Living in the southern part of Africa, there are tribes of people who hunt animals through peculiar methods. These hunters participate in what’s called persistence hunting. This method is unorthodox in that the hunter will chase the animal until it has grown tired, and once the animal is exhausted the hunter will kill it, take some meat for himself, and bring the rest to the tribe. Despite this, meat-based protein is not their main staple; rather, it’s a diet of sixty percent carbohydrates, twenty percent fats, and twenty percent protein. Their diet is focused this way so as to give the hunter the energy he needs to successfully chase the animal and bring back nutrients for the tribe.
Christians live by the spirit. As scripture points out in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 or 2 Timothy 4:7, our life can be described as a spiritual race. This race, however, is no short sprint, but a long marathon ﬁlled with rough terrain and enticing distractions. Much like a marathon runner, or the tribes mentioned earlier, we need to nourish our spiritual bodies so they can successfully ﬁnish the race.
First, we need to ask the question of how I nourish my spiritual body. Like the runner, we cannot ﬁll our bodies with spiritual junk food. There are somethings that are proﬁtable for us while others need to be left by the wayside. Look at 2 Timothy 3:16-27: “All Scripture is inspired by God and proﬁtable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Everything we need from growth and development, to early stages of training, to full spiritual adulthood can be found in one source: the inspired word of God. Anything else outside of the word is not beneﬁcial and should be cast by the wayside.
However, I don’t open the Bible to a random passage, read it to myself, and say there I have been spiritually fed today. When a babe is just beginning to develop, you do not give them a T-bone steak. Their diet must be tailored to the stage of life they are in. Our spiritual bodies are the exact same; we tailor the scriptures to what we need. Consider 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” God makes it clear through His word: I have accurately handled, or as other translations say rightly divide, the truth to what I need for growth.
What if I don’t know what I need? Feeding my spiritual body is so new to me, where do I begin? That’s a very common, and understandable question to ask. Fortunately, just like a mother or father takes care of their child in supplying what they need, we have a spiritual Father in heaven who seeks to give us everything we need, and provide us with a path that leads to strength. More than that, we don’t have to go through some mystical or strange way to speak with Him. James 1:5 tells us, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” We can also see by the words of Jesus, in Matthew 21:22: “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
In summary of what was discussed, we are locked in a spiritual race as long as we live. Because we are in a spiritual race, we must feed our bodies with the proper fuel it needs to press onwards, and get rid of the spiritual junk food that’s of no beneﬁt. We must also learn to tailor or spiritual diet to where we are in our race so that we are not overburdened. Greatest of all, however, is that we have a Father in heaven who stays with us in every step of the race to ensure that whatever we need, all we have to do is ask and He will supply us. If I may leave you with one more verse. Look at Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, ﬁxing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”