In this article, we will look at spiritual food. What it is for Christians and how we can eat spiritually to help us grow in God. So, grab your Bible and let’s dig in…
You know, it’s fascinating how our bodies develop and change over time, isn’t it?
And guess what plays a huge role in that process? Yep, you’ve got it – food!
But not just any food. I’m talking about the good stuff – nutritious, quality meals in just the right amounts.
Malnourished children don’t grow into the healthy adults they would have been if they had received proper nourishment as they were supposed to.
This is just looking at food on a physical level. But there is also a thing called spiritual food.
The same is true of all the varied aspects of our spiritual growth.
We know that, after we have been born again, we have to grow spiritually and mentally into the mirror image of Christ, but that requires the right kinds of spiritual food.
Some Eastern religions have specific physical foods that followers consume to “encourage spiritual awakening,” but that’s not how Christianity works. It’s not Biblical, either!
So, what is our spiritual food, and how can we consume it?
What Is Our Spiritual Food?
Numerous references in the Bible explain exactly what our spiritual food is, and they can be classified into four broad categories. All four of these feed our faith.
The Word Of God
The first mention of spiritual food is the Word of God.
Jeremiah 15:16 says,
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”
David wrote in Psalm 119:103,
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Even Jesus, when the enemy tempted Him to turn the stones into bread after fasting for 40 days, answered by saying that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3).
Job 23:12 also references the Word of God in the context of spiritual food.
I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
Listening to sermons and teachings from the Word of God is another form of spiritual food, often compared to milk used to feed infants.
An example is 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, where Paul speaks about how he taught the church in Corinth:
“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready.”
1 Peter 2:2 also says,
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”
So, we can see that pure Christian teaching is a form of spiritual milk that can help us mature into Christ.
From the context, we can observe that it is directly related to breaking with fleshly habits and things left behind from our old lives.
Doing God’s Work
John 4 tells us how Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. His disciples had gone into the town to get food, and when they returned, Jesus said to them that He had food they did not know about (verse 32), then went on to explain in verse 34,
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
When we actively live out God’s calling for our lives and invest time into building His kingdom, we also receive spiritual food.
The Blood And Body Of Christ
In John 6:53-58, Jesus says the following:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
When Jesus spoke these words, the people were offended and confused, but today we know He didn’t mean it literally.
It refers to how we accept Him and the life He gives us, and we celebrate that when we hold communion.
How To Ingest Spiritual Food
Like infants who start with milk and gradually progress to better sustenance, we follow a similar pattern in our spiritual lives.
However, while babies should only ingest milk for a significant portion of their childhood, only we can decide how long we will remain on spiritual milk alone, and we shouldn’t.
Another key difference is that we should never stop ingesting the other types of spiritual food when we progress to the next, and we don’t have to count calories – we need all of it as often as possible.
Let’s look at how we are to ingest the four types of spiritual food.
The Blood And Body Of Christ
The first part of partaking in the blood and body of Christ is rebirth. When you are born again, you become part of Him, and He becomes part of you.
You accept everything He did for you and choose to die to yourself. It is no longer you who lives, but Christ lives through you (Galatians 2:20).
But this should also be a daily choice. You should remind yourself of this fact every day. Some people find it helps when they pray it every morning and confess that scripture over their lives, but you may even have to do it more than once each day, especially when you face difficulty.
Communion is also a reaffirming of this choice. By eating the bread and drinking wine or grape juice, you also confirm that you have consumed the body and blood of Christ.
Sound Spiritual Teaching
This type of spiritual food is essential for early believers. It helps them to understand the principles that Jesus taught us and guides them through the first crucial steps of maturing in their spiritual lives, which is why it’s so often compared with milk in the Bible. It is closely tied to discipleship.
But it never loses its importance. We can all do with spiritual correction and guidance from time to time, and getting that from someone that God called to equip the saints (Ephesians 4:11-13) is always helpful. It doesn’t matter how mature we think we are in Christ; we can always do with some more maturing.
Being active in a local church will help with this since you will receive teaching regularly. But you can also supplement these teachings with:
- Christian Books
- YouTube videos
- Reading blog posts and articles.
Just be sure to check if the one you’re listening to is Biblically sound (and reviews and comments aren’t always accurate indications, so take them with more than just a pinch of salt).
In the world of the internet, there are a lot of “influencers” who don’t have any Biblical foundation and just spout out stuff that sounds good.
Studying The Word
God’s Word should be our most frequent spiritual meal. This doesn’t mean just reading the Bible and trying to get through it as quickly as possible, which is the spiritual equivalent of fast food – it’s better than nothing but will leave you hungry again sooner than you think.
You should spend time in the Bible, examine every word, see what it truly means, and chew on it to see how it applies to your life. It’s also essential to study the Bible prayerfully to receive wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
He’s always there to clarify things we don’t understand and to show us how the words should impact us.
Doing The Work Of The Father
The last one is equally as important as the others, but it is often overlooked, either by accident or because it’s inconvenient. Jesus received His spiritual sustenance from doing the work of the Father, as we’ve seen.
Many believers, even those sitting in church pews for decades, feel unprepared to work for the kingdom. That is a blatant lie and deception from the enemy, who wants to hinder the spread of God’s kingdom and our spiritual growth.
The first time Jesus sent out His disciples, they had only been with Him for about three months, and He had already sent them to do the same things He did! And they did.
They performed miracles, healed the sick, and preached the gospel of the kingdom, just like He did, and they had excellent results.
There’s no reason why we must spend four years in seminary and be ordained before working in the kingdom. In fact, in Ephesians 4, which we saw earlier, Paul said that the five-fold ministry was there to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
It’s not the pastor’s job to do the work of the Father (though they should do it too); it’s the work of those of us who sit under their teaching every Sunday.
And the exciting part is that the moment you step out and minister, you will notice a level of spiritual maturity awaken in you that you never thought possible!
Spiritual food is essential for any believer. We are to mature into the fullness of the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), and this only happens when we feed our spirits as God intended.
We should partake of the body and blood of Christ, listen to Godly teachings, study and meditate on the Word of God, and work in the kingdom of God as often as we can, not as religious practices but in an understanding that our spiritual wellbeing and maturity depend on it. That’s the only way we will ever begin to resemble Christ as we should.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…