Lately, I have been clued in to a very important fact. As I began to understand this fact and make changes accordingly, my walk with the Lord has improved dramatically. Would you like to know what this fact is? Here it is: everything that I put into my body has an influence on me.
This includes things like food and drink but also things that I see and hear.
There’s plenty of information available about the effects of eating a diet that is high in fat, sugar and processed food. Hopefully we all realize by now that such a diet is bad for us and can cause serious long term damage to the bodies that God gave us. If we eat better we will feel better; that much is known. But that’s not entirely what this post is about.
Much less is being said about what we choose to see and hear on a daily basis. As a 21st century person with internet access we have, literally, millions of choices in terms of what we will allow to enter our bodies through our eyes and ears. And remember, everything we put into our bodies has an influence on us.
As we discovered last week, we are always in submission to something. We either yield to our flesh and the old man or we yield to the Spirit and produce fruit. Realizing this, we need to be very careful that the things that we see and hear are encouraging fruit production and not the glorification of the flesh.
Even some seemingly innocent things can be harmful to our walk in the Spirit if they are consumed too much or with the wrong attitude. Here is an example from my own life: From January until April of 2013 I read around three fiction books a week. Being an avid and fairly speedy reader and working in a bookstore meant I had a lot of opportunity and access to all kinds of books. I even started the year with the goal of reading 100 books; after all, reading is good for you, right?
My mind became filled with the worlds and the characters that I was reading about to the point that I often found myself thinking about the book I was reading or had just finished. I began to examine the characters and situations in my head and relive my favorite parts. My head got so cluttered with these things that pretty soon I was barely hearing God at all. There was simply no room left for him because I was completely preoccupied with fiction.
These weren’t bad books in terms of morals or content. Many of them were well written and contained some truly upstanding characters. In short, it wasn’t so much the books themselves that were causing the problem. It was the amount of them I was reading and how they were causing me to exclude my Lord from my thought life. I needed more God and less fluff. And I believe there are many other Christians out in the world today who need the same thing.
I have a little notebook that I carry around with me so that when I get an idea for the blog or have something I need to remember I can quickly jot it down. Not too long ago I wrote “the amount of love, joy and peace I experience is in direct proportion to the amount of time I spend with the Holy Spirit“. To spend time with the Holy Spirit we must be in the right frame of mind and free of distraction. To make sure we stay in the right frame of mind and live a life that is free of distraction we need to be very careful what we see and hear. Tomorrow, we will take this idea a little bit further.
Are there any distractions in your life that you have had to cut out recently? I would love to hear from you!