The Right Diet
It’s natural to seek God when you are in need—when you’re hungry for what He can give you. But there is more to the Bread of Life than blessings and miracles. All of Scripture is profitable. You can’t take the blessings without the instruction. You can’t take the miracles without the discipline.
There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (MSG)
It can’t be stated any clearer. All of scripture is God-breathed and useful. You cannot pick and choose your way through the Christian faith. Yes, God gives liberty, but He requires responsibility. He gives prosperity, but expects generosity. We are blessed and highly favored … but we will face troubles and trials.
“Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). That’s a balanced diet.
We want to come to God’s table and feast off of salvation, miracles, blessings, protection, healing, grace, freedom … all of those things are there for the taking. But the right diet requires we digest the tough stuff, too. Separation, consecration, discipline, obedience; these are also profitable to our soul, and necessary for sustainable faith. If you only eat the blessings, will you be able to stand in the face of trials? Will your faith sustain you when you suffer loss, disappointment, sickness or failure?
Job was on top of the world! Wealth, health, family and success were all on his plate. The enemy fully expected when Job’s riches and treasures were stripped away from him, he would curse God. Then, the unexpected happened!
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). Job praised God anyway. He took everything God was serving: the good, the bad, and the ugly. His faith sustained him at his lowest because his hope was not stored in the blessings—they were just a byproduct of his faithfulness.
We all want grace. But that’s not all He’s serving. We must eat the whole Book, all of Scripture, which includes trials and tribulations and setbacks. Whatever the Father sets on the table, eat it. Take it all or starve to death. If you only eat the pleasant verses, you’re not going to survive. The Bible tells us everyone who lives in Christ will suffer persecution. You’re going to go through fire. You’re going to go through trials. You’re going to go through disappointments. You’re going to have your heart broken. If you don’t eat the whole book, when those times come, you’ll be disillusioned.
Jesus is the word made flesh. He is the bread of life. If we are willing to take all of Him, we will never hunger or thirst.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
John 6:54-58 NIV