On Monday we talked about how the things that we choose to put into our bodies have an influence on us, either for good or for evil. We discussed how even things that are normally good can influence us for evil, if we use them in the wrong way or in the wrong attitude.
On Tuesday we went a little bit deeper with the idea of influence and painted a mental picture of Jesus and all of the other things that we let influence us sitting around the table of our mind and heart. As we drew the mental picture we came to the conclusion that Jesus must be first at the table of our mind and heart and that our other influences should support that arrangement.
If, over the last two days, the Holy Spirit has nudged you about certain influences in your life that are pulling you away from your relationship with God, then it might be time to take a look at a Spiritual Diet Plan.
The Spiritual Diet Plan encompasses all areas of our life. It may indeed involve cutting out certain foods or drinks that are having a negative influence on our walk with God, but I suspect that for most of us, it’s in the realm of entertainment and social activities that the real work is to be done.
I shared a story on Monday about how my love of reading fiction novels was leading to an overindulgence of fantasy. As the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, I made the decision to remove fiction books entirely from my life for a period of time so that I might focus more fully on the Lord. As a result, my reading time now is focused on the Bible and on books that encourage and nourish me spiritually. This was how I put the Spiritual Diet Plan into practice in my own life.
It has made a massive and wonderful difference.
As I began to spend more time in the Bible and in books that pointed me towards a fuller and deeper relationship with God, I found that I naturally became more focused on Him and His kingdom. The influence exerted on me by my new choice in reading material was overwhelmingly positive and helpful whereas the influence exerted on me by my previous reading material mostly left me mentally muddled and distracted.
If you need a Spiritual Diet Plan, exactly how you implement it will be up to you and the Holy Spirit. I have an overactive imagination and a love of fantasy so I am very careful to minimize my intake of those types of influences. For you, it will likely be something completely different.
Certainly Facebook and other types of social media are easy to identify as a possible distraction for many people, but really it can be anything that you are allowing to influence you negatively. Ask yourself this: Is there anything that you consistently look forward to more than your relationship with the Lord and getting to know Him better? If something just popped into your mind, that’s a sign that you might need to decrease something so that He might increase in your life.
The Spiritual Diet Plan then is the process by which we narrow and eliminate those distracting influences which get in the way of the type of relationship that the Lord wants to have with us. In their place we must add and build up those things which will influence us for the good and support Christ as the center of our existence. It’s past time that we as believers take a hard look at our own lives and proclaim loudly by our actions that absolutely nothing is more important to us than our Savior.
Is there anything that you have identified in your life this week that might need to be narrowed or eliminated so that you might have a stronger relationship to God? And, what are you observing about other Believers around you? What common distractions and negative influences might you help them overcome through your prayers and encouragement?