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Having and Receiving

 

We have spiritual DNA. There are things that God has put in us as Christians that are His desires and His ways. Many things that God has put in us are things that cooperate with the growth process.

Why does the human body get hungry? So that it will do what is necessary to get the nutrients into the bloodstream it needs in order to stay alive and grow. We have natural fears and reactions to dangers that help keep us alive. If you are on top of a tall building and you look over the edge, you naturally feel fear because the body knows that it is in danger. We have natural programming that perpetuates life.

The same is true about us spiritually. In our spiritual makeup, we have desires, hungers, and propensities that cooperate with growth, the sanctification process, and our maturing in the Lord. We hunger to read the Bible because it’s good for us. We hunger to be with other Christians and to be in fellowship because God determined that life in a community environment is the healthiest place for us.

Another propensity within our spiritual DNA is a hunger for more of the Lord Himself. The hunger we have to ask, to seek, and to reach out for more is good for us. Why? Because seeking causes us to get more of what we need. Any healthy Christian wants more of the Lord. The Lord put that in us.

Let’s briefly look at the famous illustration of a tree and how it compares to our growth. The tree is hungry for moisture. The roots grow deep into the soil to find it. Roots will do anything to find moisture. They will tenaciously push through hard packed undesirable soil to find the water. The result of this is that the tree ends up being firmly planted. It has a deep anchor in the earth which allows it to weather tremendous rain, sun, wind and storms, thus prolonging the life of the tree.

The tree has no idea what the result will be of all this water it is seeking. The tree does not have the intelligence to see the end goal or game plan of establishing a deep and elaborate root system so as to provide stability and strength. It just wants the water. It will do what ever it takes to get it. Because the tree is thirsty, it ends up becoming established.

The same is true for us spiritually. We just want more water. We want more of the life of God. We want more fellowship. We are not sure why. We don’t seek these things because of the outcome. We seek them because it’s what God put in us to want. The point is that as we cooperate with our spiritual hungers, we cooperate with what we need spiritually and with God establishing us as strong and mature believers.

Many Christians do a good job of wanting more. But there is also another essential element to the growth process that is often neglected. It’s learning to enjoy. The tree is thirsty for water and so it works hard to find it. But once it finds the water, it drinks deeply.

This “deep drinking” is a rare activity amongst Christians. It is as if we are always hungering and seeking but rarely finding, being satisfied, or enjoying. If you look at so many of the Christian song lyrics, they are all about wanting more, but rarely having. Enjoying and drinking deeply are just as vital activities as hungering and thirsting.

 
Eating, Basking, Soaking, Enjoying
 

Think of your most favorite food. If you could have anything in the world to eat, no matter the cost, what would it be? When was the last time you had a chance to enjoy your most favorite and delicious food? There is a friend of mine who makes the most incredible BBQ ribs. I’m telling you the truth, these are the most amazing mouth watering ribs the world has every known. When I bite into these most scrumptious and delicious ribs, it is an emotional experience. It takes my friend two days to prepare and cook these incredible ribs.

Eating can be a truly enjoyable experience. Many things in life are a picture of spiritual things. The Lord designed us to eat. He made eating a desirable and enjoyable experience. Have you ever wondered why the Lord uses illustrations throughout the scripture of eating of Him? The children of Israel ate manna in the wilderness. Jesus tells us that He was the manna that came from heaven. He also says that He is the bread of life (John 6:48-58).

In the moments we trust and believe the Lord, we are actually taking Him in. It is as though we are eating of Him. As you break through to trusting and being according to the Spirit, you will begin to experience the Lord Himself. Relax and enjoy Jesus. Learn to stay in this place of taking Him in and enjoying Him. There is no hurry to leave. It is as though you were relaxing outside in the warm sun, basking in the enjoyment of God. Enjoying the Lord’s presence is like drinking the coolest, sweetest water after walking all day in the desert. Drink deeply and take your time. Enjoy your drinking and enjoy the great pleasure of the presence of God.

 
There Are Many Tables Available
 

If we are according to the Spirit, we are feeding on the life and love of the Spirit. If we are according to the flesh, we are feeding from the flesh. From the flesh we can get emotional satisfaction and energy from accomplishing various tasks and projects we have during the day. We can feed off various worries and fears. We can obsess about problems, future and past events, opinions about people, and from things people have recently done, said, or what they might do. We can feed off news, world events, movies, radio, entertainment, and sports.

There is nothing wrong with watching a program or listening to the news, but when we feed off these things it is death. As you learn to feed off the life of God and Him alone, you will develop the ability to be detached while you distantly observe things that are outside of the Kingdom. If you do watch a ball game, see a movie, hear the news, or hear other people’s opinions – they will not deeply involve you on an emotional level. Your heart will not go out to these things in order to feed from them.

Junk food is everywhere and it is constantly calling to us. Keep the things that are outside the Kingdom, outside of your heart and emotions. This is best accomplished by actually feeding on Christ, not by just trying to ignore what is not Christ. If you try to resist things of the world without actually feeding on the Spirit of God in your heart, you will only strengthen the flesh. Trying to “not focus” on something is actually still focusing on it, but in a negative way.

Many Christians are consumed with avoiding evil and avoiding things of the world in their lives. They are quick to spot and point out “worldly practices” in others lives as well. Often, these people are not consumed with Christ, they are only concerned with “what is not Christ”. These “guardians of the truth” are usually very dry in their souls, not extremely tender hearted, and usually without hospitality (Eph 4:32).

There are many tables other than the Lord’s table that we can eat from. Initially they seem to provide a shallow satisfaction, but they will always leave us dry and religious. The living Spirit of God Himself is the only source of true life that we must drink from.

In Matthew 11:12 we read, “…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force”. We must learn to be very aggressive in drinking and eating from the Spirit, and only from the Spirit. Settle the issue in your mind and in your heart that every day, your mission in life is to constantly eat and drink directly from the Spirit of God and nothing else.

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