In his song Breathe, Michael W. Smith speaks of two elements that are vital to the Christian life, The Holy Spirit, our spiritual breath; God’s Word, our daily bread.” Concerning God’s Word, he wrote the following lyrics, “This is my daily bread, Your very Word spoken to me. And I, I’m desperate for You.”
Early in my Christian walk, I was mentored by a Southern Idaho pastor named Sheldon Slagel. Sheldon discipled me from 1973-1978. God used this man to help cultivate my love for His Word, the Bible. I remember receiving the following admonition from Sheldon, “Wayne, you can be no more committed to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, than you are to His Word.” And today, those words still resonate in my heart and I too, have passed them on to others.
There isn’t anything that is as basic for human survival as air, food, and water. Just as our physical bodies need these things to thrive, God has provided spiritual counterparts that we may thrive in our walk with Him.
All too many professing Christians suffer from spiritual malnutrition because they are not daily feeding on God’s Word. Many, that I have talked to, tell me that they just don’t have the time and they believe that listening to sermons or Christian music is enough.
Though sermons and Christian music may provide some needed spiritual nutrients, nothing can substitute for personally feeding on God’s Word. Job spoke of his need of God’s Word in the following verse, “I have not departed from the commands of His lips, I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).
When Jesus was battling the tempter in the wilderness, hungry and weakened from forty days of fasting, Satan gave Him a suggestion to ease His hunger, Jesus resisted that temptation by quoting the following verse, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
The scriptures refer to Jesus as the Word, the logos of God, God in the flesh. When we sit down with the written Word of God open before us, we are sitting down with the logos, Jesus Himself. To be committed to God’s Word is to be committed to Christ, and vice versa.
It was the Apostle Paul who wrote, “And do no be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). The renewing of the mind of which the Apostle speaks, happens when we spiritually ingest the life-giving Word of God and find that it is to us also, as necessary as our daily bread.