Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. KJV
One day I fully expect to wake up and be a triangular shaped corn tortilla chip. With the amounts of chips and salsa I consume, eventually I may become tomato based. I have no idea where the quote “you are what you eat” originated from, but as true as it is to our physical health, our spiritual health is largely based on what we ingest and have a steady diet of. Just like mass quantities of milkshakes has the potential to turn your thighs to cottage cheese, a mental diet full of negativity, lust, and gossip will turn your spirit to mush.
The scriptures make many references to food in regards to our personal and spiritual lives. This most likely is because food is one of the basic physical things we need to survive. Abraham Maslow came up with a hierarchy of needs that we as human beings must have to survive. Food, water, and shelter are the most basic of necessities and without them we can never hope to “self-actualize”, or achieve ultimate fulfillment. While food is physical, the word of God is spiritual. The Bible says that man cannot live by bread alone. We can have our basic life sustained with bread, but without the word of God, we can’t reach self realization and fulfillment. God needs to speak into our lives on a daily basis. If we go long without food, our attitudes show it. When I’m hungry, my patience is low, I can feel lightheaded, and I’m quick tempered. Spiritually, if I haven’t heard something “proceeding out of the mouth of God” for the day, for my situation, and for my life, the fruits of the spirit will not be manifest. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance stand no chance when I’m spiritually and physically deprived.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made human beings. Our physical man does not exist without our spirit man and our spirit man has no place on earth without our physical bodies. They are intertwined in a divine dance that we embark on daily. The spirit and the flesh regularly step on each other’s toes in this dance, and must constantly be drawn back together to follow God’s tempo. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are at war with the fruit of God’s spirit in our lives. We will manifest the thing in our life that we spend the most time on. Is our diet raunchy TV shows, movies, questionable websites and relationships, or do we dine on what is pure, lovely, and of a good report? This does not mean that everything in life has to be intensely and purposefully spiritual, just like in our physical lives we do not have to constantly dine on organic, grainy whole foods to be healthy. This does mean though that a majority of our focus has to be on what we want our ultimate outcome to be. Because I do not wish to weigh 300 plus pounds, I exercise portion control when I’m indulging (well at least I pretend to). On the same token, because I wish to have the fruits of the spirit leading the dance in my life, I will work to balance the secular and the sacred.
1 Cor 3:2-4
2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Peter 2:1-3
2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.