I have recently finished a book that asked the question, “Does your spiritual life taste stale to you?” I guess that question touched a responsive chord because I plopped down the $12.99 retail rather than searching on-line and bought the book. It was difficult to walk on by after the title grabbed my attention: I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.
It was written by Vince Antonucci a man raised by a Jewish mother and abandoned by his poker-playing father. He now pastors a church in Virginia Beach known as Forefront Church.
I found his storytelling captivatingly honest and the weaving of biblical principles through the stories fresh and inviting. It is funny and poignant and the first book in quite a while that I could not put down.
Imagine a believer suggesting that Christians should buy a bumper sticker that reads “Stop Having a Relationship with Jesus.”
When the shock of that statement wears off you see that he is pointedly inviting you to consider whether just a relationship with Jesus is enough for you. He helps you think about something that might be more precious. Here is how he makes that point:
Continue reading “Does This Taste Stale to You?”
This morning in Day Three of the “Walking By Faith” study we were encouraged to consider that God invites us to “taste and see that the LORD is good“.
Tasting often begins by thinking about what we are hungry for. I know myself well enough to know that thinking about tasting is not the same as tasting! Could it be that our experience of God is flat and unsatisfying because we never go further than just thinking about Him.
Tasting is defined as becoming acquainted with by experience–it is an engaging of the senses and ingesting in order to answer a craving. To identify a food craving I consider–am I hungry for salty or sweet, is this gnawing just a desire to snack or am I ready for meat and potatoes? If my heart gets set on cheese cake — an apple is a huge disappointment and does not satisfy!
Substitutes just don’t cut it! Isn’t it wonderful to think that we were created by God with soul craving, appetites that only He can satisfy? While I try to satisfy my craving with other things, the disappointment I feel is evidence that I am trying to substitute!
Just like Nutra Sweet is not the real thing–but is a diminutive experience that approximates but does not meet the standard of the real thing–trying to answer my soul hunger with God’s gifts rather than meeting and feeding on God misses the mark. Isn’t it wonderful to know that as we taste His goodness it not only delights our hungry heart but nourishes us for the journey of living?
Lord, today–increase my appetite for you. Let me know by experience that you are the bread of life–the staple food. Don’t allow my taste buds to become accustomed to artificial substitutes–give me a craving for the Real Food that is you! Amen
Psalm 130 shouts to my soul that waiting is a purposeful attitude of the heart!
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord…”
So many times my inner thoughts shout back, “Lord, why so much waiting–what have you got against “now”?’
My impatience is conclusive evidence of how much unbelief still lives within. Impatience has become a siren that lets me know that I am resisting and rejecting the truth.
In waiting, I have noticed that my faith mushrooms from childish, spoiled ranting to a settled, secure confidence that no matter how long it takes my God is worth waiting for!
That movement of the soul is from wanting something to wanting the all-satisfying someone! Waiting whets my appetite for God and what I hunger for is to know Him better. When that happens Warren Wiersbe says, then living becomes not a mirror in which I see myself better but a window through which I see the Almighty!