The Answer to Spiritual Malnutrition

I’m at the age where I’m taking my physical health more seriously than I used to. I’m taking several beneficial supplements, exercising daily, and trying to eat better. Paying closer attention to my physical self has caused me to consider the care—or lack of care—that I give my spiritual self. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that being busy has often caused me to neglect the health of my spiritual nature.

I realize many people deny the existence of a spiritual nature within themselves and so for all intents and purposes they remain spiritually dead. They live for the joys they can find in this present physical world. But denying their spiritual nature has no more validity than a person who denies they have a physical or psychological nature. It’s there whether we realize it or not.

Others may have realized their spiritual nature and tried to feed it with the various spiritual counterfeits available—new age teachings, the practice of ancient superstitions such as astrology or the reading of palms or consulting mediums and such. There’s no shortage of spiritual poisons to choose from.

Then there are those who have been born of God and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In short, they are spiritually alive to God.

But spiritual life, like physical life needs nourishment. It needs regular good food. That’s where I find myself often lacking. And the reasons are almost always the same. Lack of time, lack of faith, and just plain old dullness of spirit caused by my malnutrition.

As you may have surmised, this present blog post is a result of a recent spiritual self-examination that has confirmed my drifting back to the shallows of spiritual life. It happens to all of us. When we don’t feed our physical body, it becomes weak and susceptible to sickness. Same with our spiritual life.

How is it with you? Is this dullness of spirit leading you back to the shallows too?

First, let me ask you if you’re aware of your very real spiritual nature? Have you had an encounter with God through Jesus Christ? Are you indwelt by His Holy Spirit? If not, that’s your first remedy. Go to my home page and click on the section called “An Invitation.”  If you will follow through by accepting God’s invitation to you, that will begin your spiritual life.

If you’re already a Christian, but, like me, feeling a bit malnourished due to the neglect of your spiritual nature, let’s take some good supplements, exercise a bit, and consume better spiritual food. Here are a few of things I’m going to do in the next few days and weeks. Join me if you will.

  1. Every day I’m going to refresh my spirit by deliberately spending several minutes dwelling on, pondering, and marveling at the vastness and the goodness of God. I’m going to consider His magnificent attributes, one by one. I know from experience that doing this will lead me to number two.
  2. Contemplating the goodness of God invariably leads one to praise. As we consider His power, His grace, and His sovereignty in our lives, we can do nothing other than praise and worship Him. If doing number one doesn’t lead to number two, we’re doing number one wrong.
  3. One special topic to thoroughly ponder over and over is God’s overwhelming love for us. Perceiving the intense love God has for us is in itself a life changer and if we do this one right, it will also lead us to more of number two.
  4. Next, I’ll thumb through the book of Psalms and read a few psalms aloud, pondering as I go. (That will likely lead back to number two as well!).
  5. Then, knowing that spirituality without feet is pretty much useless, I’m going to prayerfully consider how I can live out my faith by loving others. Not just in word or thought, but in practical ways.  Jesus said that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. When we find ourselves not giving, that’s a sure sign of spiritual malnutrition.  The first part of James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” That’s spirituality with hands and feet. I think it’s also a necessary nutrient for good spiritual health.
  6. The second half of James 1:27 says, “…and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” If I’m honest, I’ll admit that part of my spiritual malnutrition comes from having been too attached to the things of this world. When we look to our spiritual nature, we must also look away from our attachment to this present world. The two are simply not compatible, nor can they be. Ever.
  7. Finally, there is prayer. Talking to God. Not just sending up short bullet prayers, but getting on our knees (or prostrate on the floor) and communing quietly (or occasionally loudly) with God. Don’t hurry. Don’t watch the clock. Don’t let your mind wander. Don’t fall asleep. Just talk to God and listen to God. Let God have all your burdens. Relax in His presence. Think less of yourself and focus more on Him. Let prayer also lead to praise and worship. You might read another psalm. Sing or speak the words to a favorite hymn. Stay in God’s presence until you sense you’re finished. If you do this regularly, you’ll look forward to this time because you will be becoming more spiritually alive and God’s presence will be all the more real.

If we do these things, I’m convinced our lives will change. To be spiritually healthy is as important–or more so–than being physically healthy.

Let’s do it!

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2 Responses to The Answer to Spiritual Malnutrition

  1. John April 30, 2016 at 12:05 am #

    Excellent prescription….

  2. BJ April 30, 2016 at 3:29 am #

    As beneficial and enriching as your thoughts are for spiritual nourishment, I hope you’ve also realized that this post contains a great outline for a new book from you on that very subject!

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