Benzoates, Propionates, Sorbates, Nitrates and Nitrites plus many, many more! There are just so many different chemicals added to food these days to preserve it, so that we can have the convenience of eating whatever we desire at any time we like.
While much of it is generally tolerated by our bodies, there are certainly some things that can lead to health problems. As time goes, by more and more chemical additives get struck off the list of those considered safe for consumption, because their long term negative health impacts have been uncovered, and others get added as manufacturers try to replace ones they can no longer use. It’s tempting to think that there is more concern for preserving the food than preserving our health…
Common sense tells us we should have our own fresh produce and eat from these food types the most…Yet how many of us STILL go to the pantry for the packaged food when feeling ‘peckish’? And this is EXACTLY the same principal for spiritual food…
It takes more time and effort to grow and prepare our own ‘fresh from the garden’ food, so many of us head to the supermarket and stock our pantries with food containing artificial preservatives, colours, sweeteners and so on…
It takes more time and effort to prayerfully seek The Lord’s wisdom by getting to know scripture for ourselves than relying on secondary sources! It takes time to search and search for God’s answer and wisdom on contemporary issues, to compare scripture to old and new commentaries…It takes time to investigate authors, to see what they say on other relevant issues and how they lead their own personal lives…It takes more time and effort to be a disciple of Jesus, than to be a fan of a pastor.
Yet scripture warns us that there would be ‘wolves in sheep clothing’ or false prophets just in the times of old, and that even the devil disguises himself as an angel of light.
This is NOT to say we cannot trust other people, but we should first make ourselves disciples of Jesus for wise discernment…and we cannot do this without coming to Him prayerfully and studying His Word in scripture.
Furthermore we CANNOT be His disciple without holding to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura – Also known as the infallibility of scripture…Yes, even the translated versions with footnotes!
You see, one who does not hold to the authority of scripture as The Word of God spoken through man, who picks and chooses, is committing the original sin of rebellion and fashioning for themselves a god of their own…Themselves. The person who does this, is sadly blinded by the world and easily falls under the authority of another; that being themselves, culture, or another ‘spiritual person’. When we pass authority onto another, we give away the position that only God Himself should hold, and therefore open our minds to false doctrine/beliefs and manipulation.
When we study Christianity historically, it’s clear the leaders who were led by solo scripture, although still fallible, were the ones who worked for the betterment of all people, putting others before themselves.
Why is it today, when we have scripture so readily available and people attending church services, we have Christians who do not know The Word well? Why do we have Christians regurgitating ‘spiritual sounding’ phrases that are not biblically sound, to others in conversations with authority?
It’s true we all need a good pastor to help us on our journey and we need to attend a decent bible-believing church with sound applicable, exegetical preaching. But no pastor can see inside your heart and minister to your exact need as The Lord can, when you come to Him alone in prayer and reading the Word!!
“But I just don’t have the time…” This is so often said but we do all know that it comes down to priorities. Jesus was incredibly busy but always took time out, even when others slept, to have alone time with The Father when here on earth as a man.
Pre-packaged, easy and convenient food may look delicious and fill our stomachs but it DOES have side effects! If you choose to stock your ‘pantry’ full of worldly treats that seem great and convenient…like yoga, self-focused and prosperity based preaching, Eastern martial arts, fortune telling, indulgent spending and over eating, self-medication with drugs and alcohol, feel-good psychology, worldly movies and music, trends like ‘emo’, ‘safe’ pre or extra marital sex, pornography…
Some people may say that they can do one of the above mentioned things as their conscience is clear, that they are ‘free’ in Christ. While we are free in Christ, we are free from sin as we are under His guidance, and we must know what He expects from us through His Word.
1 Corinthians 4:4 states that if our consciences are clear this does not mean we have God’s approval. As disciples we need to stay in a place of humility to Jesus and His Word. We do not want to come to a place in our Christian lives where we believe we’re so secure we will not fall, or be tricked by the enemy. How often do we hear of mature Christians falling off track? Pride comes before destruction, Proverbs 16:18.
We are not to engage in activity that could pull others, or ourselves off our Christian sanctification journey.
The enemy from the beginning in the garden has always tried to twist God’s words to pull people off track! Don’t be fooled by ‘easy and convenient’ food that changes the Word of God and offers a more ‘palatable’ less challenging alternative…Jesus is coming back and we are to be found READY! Remember the way of life is narrow but the way of the world is wide and easy!
Study Time ~
After reading, now take some time to consider the following questions.
Q1. What ‘easy and convenient’ spiritual food may you be feeding on from your ‘pantry’?
Q2. How did this ‘food’ get there, and how much of a hold does it have on you?
Q3. How can you increase your knowledge and application of scripture in your own life?
We hope you have a great week! Our next post in this series will be ‘spiritual detoxing’…What to do when you feel you’ve gone off-track and need to cleanse!
Richard & Melanie.