When I was a little girl, there were certain foods I just did not care for. I disliked tomatoes, pizza, and cauliflower. I even avoided ketchup if at all possible. Gradually, I developed a love for all these things over time as I was exposed to various recipes. In high school, nothing tasted more delicious than a pizza or french fries and ketchup. Isn't it funny how we have to develop a taste for some items while we instantly love others?
Unfortunately in the spiritual realm, we are all born with a sin nature. We are much more comfortable with our flesh than being obedient to God. When the Holy Spirit awakens us and we come to know Christ as our Savior and Lord, we take on an entirely new set of tastes. No longer do the sins of the flesh taste delicious to us as they once did. Oh, there is still temptation, but we are now free to choose the best spiritual nourishment.
In the Book of Psalms, we read this in Psalm 119:103: "How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" As a new babe in Christ, we had to learn how to eat and digest the Words of God. It was not instantaneous, but slowly we developed a hunger for God's Word. The
more we read it on a daily basis the sweeter the taste of His instruction to us becomes.
I compare this whole process to what happened in a big diet change I made over the last six months. Having discovered that I had a blockage in a major artery of my heart which needed to be remedied, I knew that some changes had to take place in my daily diet. Trust me, this was not easy to do as I had grown up eating what I thought was a healthy diet. I took a food program led by a doctor and his wife which looked at research concerning diet. Along with the classes, they provided healthy food for those of us taking the class so we could learn how to prepare it and grow accustomed to some new tastes. After completion, I went through my cupboards and my refrigerator removing items that were not healthy for me. I replaced them with the healthier vegetables and fruits. I had to learn to cook differently and I had to change my tastes. After years of bad habits, this was not easy. However, I have been determined to improve my overall health so I can enjoy my family for as along as the Lord allows. Since beginning this program in September, I have remained on course, and I am enjoying a whole new way of eating.
In the same way, we need to develop new habits so we fully acquire the taste for God's Word. When Jesus prayed for the disciples and all who would come after them in His high priestly prayer, He asked the Father to sanctify us in the truth because God's Word is truth (John 17:17, my paraphrase). So we have to stop and ask ourselves, "How much time do we spend in the Word of God?" Do we try to read daily? Certainly there are many good books out there about God that can encourage us in our walk but they can never replace the Bible when it comes to truth telling.
One of the dangers I see today is that believers often spend more time reading what someone else's experience with God has been rather than spending time in the Word. Man is fallible while God is infallible. What a man writes out of his/her own experience may miss the mark as we are not perfect. However, we know that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is 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" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, knowing that God's Word can instruct us, we need to develop our taste buds for more not less of His Word each day. It is like taking a medicine critical for our health. We dare not miss a dose!
There are many fine Christian writers out there, but we need to look upon their work in light of what Scriptures teach us. As we do this, we can be certain to maintain balance in our walk. Digesting the Word of God first will guide us into all truth for His Word is truth. Be thankful that we have the Holy Spirit living within us to teach us as we read, pray and contemplate the Bible. Remember, His Word is a light unto our path. Selah!