Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that occur when one does not properly relate to food. Eating disorders are serious. They can and do result in physical and emotional turmoil. There are a lot of control issues related to eating disorders. An unbalanced spiritual diet will result in a spiritual eating disorder. If you go without spiritual food; you will lack the proper skills to navigate through the spiritual maze of life. Jesus came to this world to redeem us from the penalty of sin. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. He came so that the world would not be condemned but saved. It is through His love we have obtained grace. To find out more about your purpose and the plan God has for your life it is important that you explore God’s Word. The Word of God is food for the soul. Have you ever thought about the side effects of a Spiritual eating disorder? When you do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet it is difficult to comprehend spiritual things. Did you know that you can actually forever be in a learning mode and still not comprehend the spiritual things of God? In fact you will have a tendency to be misled. It is vitally important that you regularly read, study, digest and apply God’s Word in your daily life. You do not want to develop a spiritual eating disorder. It will result in serious spiritual consequences.
In order to grow properly one must consume a nutritious balanced daily diet. It is often said “we are what we eat.” Eating is a natural normal everyday occurrence. Without a proper daily diet one can become malnourished. It is a well known fact that in many third world countries thousands literally starve to death daily due to a lack of a proper balanced diet. It is difficult to reach your full potential when your body does not have its proper nutrients. Food for your body is what gas is to a car. Think about it? How far will your car go without gas? How can you make the journey? Food is fuel for the body. God created a marvelous thing when He created man. We are created in His image. We are body, mind and soul. God has also provided the necessary resources for us to live healthy lives. In order to grow physically we need food. In order to grow intellectually we need to study and stimulate our brain cells. When we study we assist the building of dendrites. Okay what are dendrites? They are nerve cells that send impulses to the body. Intellectual growth without spiritual development is futile. You will never fully understand life and its true meaning without knowing God. Remember He created us with a soul. Our soul also has needs. We need to spiritually feed our mind and soul with the Word of God. The Word of God is spiritual “bread from heaven”. It is essential to our spiritual growth and development.
Did you know that the Scriptures are considered “The bread of life?” They are essential for the proper growth and spiritual development for the believer. Just as food is necessary for the body; so is God’s Word for our soul. A proper spiritual diet is required if you truly desire to grow spiritually. A constant diet of religious junk food is unhealthy. Yes, it is possible to grow without God’s Word. But, you will not grow spiritually. You will grow carnally. It is even possible to grow religiously. This will cause you to be misled as well. You will be tossed to and fro by the various doctrines of man. Please know growing religiously is not the same thing as growing spiritually. Many people talk right and walk left. Remember Jim Jones and his followers? If one does not regularly participate in studying and applying the principles of God’s Word to life’s circumstances it is also possible to become stagnated. The Bible clearly tells us that God is a Spirit of Truth. When you know the Truth the Truth will set you free. This type of freedom leads you to be free to become who God wants you to be. It will give you a new lease on life.
Tasting the indescribable fruits of God’s Word is like putting on 3 D glasses. Meaning you will see things on a deeper level. God really is awesome! Spiritual warfare is at hand. Despite everything that goes on there is nothing that happens He is not aware of. Just think about that for a moment. That is really deep. Look around you and see all the things that are going on. The further we move away from God’s principles the worst things get. Many choose to live a life of misery and despair. Life presents many challenges. God intended for His Church to carry on His Son’s mission. He Loved, trained, developed, nurtured and became a living example to His disciples. He even died and rose from the grave so they would see the scriptures being fulfilled. This was the ultimate demonstration of love. Did you know that He and His disciples were persecuted, misunderstood, lied on and mistreated by those He came to help? They even plotted secretly to discredit Jesus in spite of all the good He had done. The Bible tells us there were places He went that due to unbelief His power was not manifested. These are a few of the important facts you will discover when you study the scriptures.
Today we have the Word of God in Book form. His Word is our source of spiritual food. Did you know that there is nothing written in the Bible that is less than 1800 years old? That fact is awesome in itself. The Bible’s Truth will forever be alive. It will and has stood the test of time. In Jesus’ time they did not have the Bible like we do. It had not been compiled into the Biblia 66 books as we have today. God really does supply all our needs. He did not leave us Comfortless. He left us His precious Holy Spirit as our internal Guide that we receive on the profession of our faith. We must daily ask for His infilling presence. We need His Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word. God does not want us to be spiritual anorexics. He wants you to know Him through His Word. How is your spiritual diet? How much time do you spend acknowledging God in your daily life? Do you ask Him to give you your daily bread?
This column is for you if you are reading this. Just take a personal inventory and see if you are really ingesting a balanced spiritual diet. You know and God knows. You should feed yourself spiritually in addition to being fed physically. When you attend a worship service it is the time for you to become spiritually nourished and energized as well. To praise God from whom all blessing flow. God has given many gifts to the Church. The gifts were given to spiritually mature the body of Christ. (See Ephesians.) When junk food is served in lieu of the Word of God; many become spiritually codependent. This often makes it difficult for them to deal with life’s everyday challenges. When you attend service the pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, minister or appointee, are all charged to deliver a message from the Word of God. When one truly lays aside their own agenda this is possible. It is also very good when the messenger let’s the listeners know when they are using illustrations to make a point. This is helpful for those who are not as familiar with scriptures. This time should be consecrated; instead of used to personally say something to someone you do not have enough courage to confront. Only after praying and sincerely meditating on God’s Word this is possible. Some even see this as an opportunity to get someone else to say, what they can not say themselves to someone. What happens when you eat junk food? The proper delivery of a spiritual message will feed your soul. It will enlighten, convict as well as encourage you to grow spiritually. The Word is like a two edged sword it cuts both ways. There is something for the messenger or deliverer as well as the recipient. God has left no stone unturned to see that His children receive proper spiritual nourishment.
It is an arduous task to deliver God’s Word. But how will you know if something is from God? Good question. This is why you need to study. You need to be like the Bereans in the book of Acts, they knew the Word of God for themselves. This is why it is important that we too develop our personal relationship with Him. A healthy Spiritual diet is one of the most important assets you can acquire. As a Christian it should be a necessary priority. How important did I say spiritual food was? Life can be difficult. A proper balanced spiritual diet will help you weather the tempestuous storms of life. It will give you keen insight. When everyone is saying it’s alright when you know its all wrong, let His Word guide you. God never tells us to support something that is not right. A proper spiritual diet will help you to stand for what’s right when the majority falls for what’s wrong. A proper spiritual diet will allow the Fruit of God’s Spirit to flourish in your life when spiritual warfare is about you. God keeps His promises. He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. I can bear witness to this He won’t! He said He will supply all of our needs? He will! (This does not mean just getting or having what you want) He said He will be peace in the midst of a storm. He will! His Word tells us that “God is Love” He truly is! Love is a wonderful thing. Having someone to love and knowing others truly love you is a wonderful thing. Many really do not know what Love really is. Love really is a beautiful ever unfolding gift from God. In the midst of trials, tests and wickedness God’s love will be an anchor. But you must always remember that spiritual nourishment is essential. His Word tells us that, “God is Love.”
When you read, study, deliver or share God’s Word please be prayerful. There are so many that have gone shipwrecked. So many casualties due to an unbalanced spiritual diet. Much too much junk food and not enough substance. If I tell you to come to my house for dinner you are expecting a balanced nutritious meal, right? What if I give you a plate of raw carrots? That’s okay if you are a rabbit. You might even think its funny, but, when you get home how do you think you would feel? My point is. As human beings we need more that just carrots. Some foods are a little hard to digest. We need both balanced spiritual and rich nutritious diets for our spiritual and physical growth. God wants us to continuously grow spiritually. “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” What does that mean? We must learn to embrace the Truth of God’s Word. God wants to be in every area of our everyday lives. He wants us to have a rich full spiritual diet, healthy marriages and sincere loving families.
I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend some time with God. Really digest His Word. I assure you whatever is going on in your life He already knows. God wants you to live out the promises of His Word. God can and will make a way out of no way. He heals and He delivers according to His Will. Did you know Jesus also used very unconventional methods? The religious establishment was quite often opposed to His methods. What are you saying? God will supply the road, direction, vehicle, people and resources when and if necessary for you to accomplish whatever He wants you to do. All you must do is step out on faith! Do not be surprised when someone does not understand you. Always keep in mind that what matters is that God knows and sees everything. Nothing can come our way unless He allows it. This is why He tells us to do whatever we do as you do it for Him. Remember His Church is supposed to be the pillar of Truth. The enemy is the father of lies. God is awesome. God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” He is truly worthy of our praise. Remember it is more important what God knows rather than what others think. Why do you think Jesus spent so much time getting away and spending time with His Father? Jesus remained constantly spiritual nourished. Did you ever think about the fact Jesus could have just said everyone be healed. He could have completely done away with poverty and famines. He had the power to do so. But that was not the plan. He was faithfully obedient. It is important to know that Jesus was terribly misunderstood, called evil and blacklisted too. God also has a remedy in any case. God tells us to be happy when persecuted for righteousness. God really does have everything under His control. Knowing His Word is vitally important for your well being. Jesus really is coming back for His true Church. Some things will just not be understood on this side of Heaven. God will never lead you to do anything that goes against His principles. Really get to know God for yourself. You do intend to spend eternity with Him? This will prevent you from developing a spiritual eating disorder. Allow His Word to be “bread from heaven.” Let Him truly be your Shepherd. His Word has a bountiful table of blessings prepared for our spiritual nourishment. God will move or take you over any mountains or through the rough terrains of life when and if necessary. Begin to feast on the delicacies of His Blessed Word. This will result in you experiencing the fruit of His Spirit. Just remember you need a balanced spiritual diet to make the journey.
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true. Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place. They have actually transcended suffering. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true. One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control! Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
Depression is America’s number one health problem. A growing number of our population suffers from depression. Depression can be brought on by trauma, prolonged stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, living with a substance abuser, sexual abuse, obesity, unemployment or unresolved family dysfunction. A decrease in neurotransmitters is also a major factor in depression. When anger is not dealt with properly it can actually manifest in the form of depression. Depression is actually unresolved anger turned inward. A person can actually be depressed for years and not know they are depressed.
A depressed person suffers from self- defeating beliefs. Here are a few of those beliefs. I have to be loved to be happy. I must give up my beliefs to please others. If others don’t like me I can’t be happy. I can’t trust others they will only hurt me. I’m inferior to others. I should never hurt anyone else’s feelings. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself with others. Comparing will either make you feel superior or inferior. Everyone has there own unique shortcomings. We all are in a state of “becoming”. Know that God made us all uniquely different yet equal.
There are varying degrees of depression.The foundational causes of depression are usually rooted in some type of personal injury. A deep sense of hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, ambivalence and despair are usually a side bar of depression. Depressed people are usually focused inwardly. A deep sense of shame often keeps the depressed person in a state of emotional isolation. Angry with themselves and sometimes even angry with God they experience a great deal of conflict. Depression is often described as feeling as though you are totally alone in a black bottomless hole.
A chronically depressed person may often have suicidal or violent thoughts towards themselves or others. They also suffer from distorted thinking, which can resort in magnifying situations. A great sense of loneliness is realized since they feel unwanted, unimportant and unloved. They may over eat, under eat, sleep excessively or to the extreme be unable to sleep at all.
In extreme depression there is frequent loss of emotional control and frequent crying spells. Overwhelmed by the depression their being inhabits a deep void. Although often remorseful after improper behavior, they have the potential to exhibit extremely violent and self-destructive behavior. A depressed person can use their depression to manipulate others. Attention getting depression frequently ends up in loss of mate and friends.
Bipolar depression alternates between manic and depressive moods. There is much medical evidence to substantiate genetic predisposition in some individuals. In between episodes they can have long periods of normal functioning. This type of depression can take a toll on those afflicted as well as their friends and loved ones. Depression of this magnitude accounts for the majority of mental hospital admissions. In most cases the assistance of a prescribed anti-depressant medication is necessary. This helps to replenish the depleted neurotransmitters. This kind of treatment is only viable by a qualified Psychiatrist or a medical physician.
Depression is of a spiritual nature as well. Although the word depression is not mentioned The Bible on numerous occasions mentions hopelessness and despair. Remember when King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and wandered eating grasses, grew long, long, hair and his nails grew as claws.
He finally lifted his eyes to the Lord and praised Him. His understanding was restored.” Read Daniel 4: 32-34. What about Job, Moses, David, Elijah or Jeremiah, these are just a few examples. Or how about King Saul who had a tormenting spirit? Encouraging a depressed person to think realistically from a biblical perspective is crucial to their healing. Depression can be cured with the right therapeutic help when it is not of a biological nature. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit is much needed in dealing with a depressed person. Help them to understand that God loves them because of who He is and not because of who we are. (Without God we really aren’t much of anything.) His love for us is not based on what we do or do not do. That He loved us so much He allowed His son Jesus who was sinless to die for us. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior He stands patiently waiting to help us with our varied sin weaknesses. A truly Christ centered life will give your life new meaning! Fellowshipping with balanced committed Christians is a plus. Spending time doing something for someone else will give them less time to spend in introspection or self- pity.
Let them know God already knows all what has transpired in their life. Encourage them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him. Not a religious knowledge! But to really begin understanding that the Bible is not a fantasy! The examples therein are for us, then, today and tomorrow! Once you accept Jesus He is forever there for you. Just don’t leave Him out! You are adopted. Your old self should gradually begin to take on the characteristics of your heavenly Father. But for this to take place you must spend time with Him. Begin to meditate on His WORD! Start with Romans 5:1-6 and Philippians 4: 6-9. Be patient know that God has promised to work everything in your life for good eventually. Learn to properly verbalize your anger. Don’t suppress it. It’s okay to be angry!
Christians often experience depression. Feelings of abandonment override their ability to rationalize that God really loves them right where they are. This is why it is so very necessary for committed teachers of the Gospel to expound with wisdom and simplicity. Keeping it on a level for all to understand. To reinforce that we can really do ” all things through Christ that strengthens us”. To know that fear is not from the Lord. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Also see “Getting Your Joy Back”