Jesus said, “But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matt. 4:4). Our souls need the words of God. They are as necessary to our spiritual life as food is to our physical life. Here are some ways to feed your souls upon the word of God.
- Hear the word. There are different ways to hear the word, such as listening to an online sermon or podcast. These are good, but God’s primary tool for getting the word into the ears of his people is preaching. When we gather together for worship, we come to hear what God has said in his word. We come with a sense of expectancy to understand Christ through the word of God.
- Read the word. In response to the question, “how often should I read the Bible?” British preacher John Blanchard said, “How often do we face problems, temptation, and pressure? Every day! Then how often do we need instruction, guidance, and greater encouragement? Every day!…an even greater issue [is], how often do we need to see God’s face, hear his voice, feel his touch, know his power? The answer to all these questions is the same: every day!” And I would add, how often do we need to trust God? Every day. How does God cultivate faith within our souls? “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom.10:17).
- Meditate on the word. Meditation may have gained popularity as a Far Eastern concept, but it is a thoroughly biblical one as well. The Psalmist says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands” (Ps.143:5). And again, “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate” (Ps.145:5). Biblical meditation is thinking deeply over the truths of the Bible. It involves taking a verse or an idea you’ve read or are memorizing, and mulling it over in your mind. Taking it in hand, and turning it one way, and then another, in order to extract spiritual truth from it. Biblical meditation isn’t an attempt to empty your minds, but instead to fill your mind with God’s word. Donald Whitney compares hearing God’s word to dipping a tea bag into hot water. But “meditation [on the other hand]…is like immersing the bag completely and letting it steep until all the rich tea flavor has been extracted and the hot water is thoroughly tinctured reddish brown.” When you hear the word, you get it one time; but when you meditate, you let the word soak into your mind.
Feast your souls on the table God has spread out before you. Hear, read, and think deeply about what God has said.