Three Reasons We Stop Eating

3 Reasons We Stop Eating

By: Pastor Tim Harvey

After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  For 40 days Jesus ate no food and the devil used his hunger as an opportunity for a particular kind of temptation.


Striking at Jesus’ identity, “If you are the Son of God…” the devil tempted Jesus to abandon the will of his Father in order to gratify his own physical cravings. In response, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”


The Word of God is true food. The perfect man, in the midst of the deepest possible physical hunger, knew that the Word of God is true food.  


Why, then, does it seem to be so easy for Christians (myself included) to have a “take it or leave it” practice when it comes to regular consumption of God’s Word?


I emphasize the word “practice” because no Christian would consciously say that regular, daily consumption of the Bible is neither here nor there. All Bible believing Christians acknowledge (at least with mind and mouth) that daily Bible reading is very important, even essential.  However, when it comes to reading the Bible there often seems to be a disconnect in what we know to be true in our minds, and what we actually live out on a daily basis. Here are three reasons we stop eating the true food, God’s word:


1)  Every meal is NOT filet mignon. Or steamed crab legs, or fried catfish, or (insert your favorite meal). What I mean is, there are times when we read the Bible and we may not have a “Wow” or “savory” experience. In fact, depending on where we are in our walk with Christ, the “Wow” or “savory” experiences might even be the exception to the rule.


The temptation, then, is to think, “I’m not getting anything out of this.” And the result often ends up being a decreased frequency in reading or even stopping altogether.  When this happens, however, it proves that we are not really seeing God’s Word as food. If our attitude toward physical food is that we will only eat when guaranteed an amazing experience, we will die of starvation. Yes, some meals are steak dinners, but many meals are chicken nuggets. Either way we need food to survive.


2)  We have already eaten too much junk food. Part of what draws us to feast on God’s Word is having a hungry soul. But often we “fill” ourselves with so many other things (many of them not bad in themselves) that we have no appetite.


Sometimes we seek to fill our deepest longings with things such as entertainment, family, work, etc., and we seem to temporarily satisfy a craving only meant to be satisfied in Christ. But this is like eating junk food. It may satisfy the hunger in some way, but it brings no sustenance or life. If we find we never have a hunger for the Word of God, it may be time to put the spiritual chip bag back in the cabinet.  


3)  Sin. Sorry to not have a food oriented third reason, but this just needs to be straight and to the point. D.L. Moody is credited for saying “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” Sometimes we go through periods of indulging in sin, have no repentance, and wonder why we find the Bible bland or even bitter to the palate.


The reason for the distaste is related to point two. When we indulge in sin, we “fill” ourselves with something other than true food. But indulging in sin goes beyond just being filled with junk food. It’s more like being full on poison. Junk food may stunt our growth and give a false sense of satisfaction, but poison kills.  


If you’d like help in being a more consistent eater, the Olive Tree Bible Study app (available on iTunes and Amazon) has been extremely useful to me. I would also suggest the Kingdom Bible Reading Plan. Each day has readings from the four major sections of the Bible (Law, Writings, Prophets, New Testament).

And, if you drive a lot, you might look into apps that will read the Bible to you. Podcasts or sermons are great, but don’t neglect your daily bread, the bread you need to live, His Word.