Nourishment. It’s a word we hear a lot when it comes to health and nutrition, but do we really know what it means? What does the Bible have to say about nourishment?
The google definition of nourishment is: the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition. To nourish means: to promote the growth of, nurture, rear and furnish/sustain.
As we think about nourishing our bodies and truly focusing on giving our bodies the things they need for energy and growth our perspective changes a lot. Suddenly instead of looking to things for satisfaction or a sugar rush of energy, we start looking at how it is truly sustaining and promoting growth.
As I thought about nourishment I went to the Bible for what it has to say about food and nourishing our bodies:
A few things that stood out:
- Using food for comfort isn’t helpful– “Food does not bring us near to God” (1 Corinthians 8:8a).
- Bring your anxieties to God (not to food) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Worrying about food wastes time and life. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life” (Matthew 6:25-27).
- Natural foods straight from the earth are healthiest “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness” (Psalm 24:1)
- To nourish your body and appearance, eat vegetables and drink lots of water! “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way… ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food” (Daniel 1:8, 12,13,15). And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29)
In the same way we look to food to nourish our bodies, our souls and walks with the Lord also need nourishment.
Here’s a few of the many verses on spiritual nourishment in the Bible and what stood out to me:
- We must surround ourselves with a Godly community to spur and sharpen us in our walks with the Lord, and towards growth for the kingdom & our eternal purpose. (Romans 10:3, James 3:14-16) Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; (Psalm 1:1-6)
- We are called to abide, meaning to reside in Jesus. To abide is to continue, to stay and to remain. When we lean into the Lord and remain in Him, we will see growth in our walks with the Lord and our lives will be changed. Fruit will be an overflow. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
- We are called to fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God, the bread of life. But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
- When we go to God > things of this world we will be content. We won’t crave the things others have or that this world offers. The more we fill up on Him the more we want of Him. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
One thing I have realized in my own life is that the more I nourish my walk with the Lord, the more I desire nourishment in every area of my life. Why? Because out of an overflow of a healthy and growing relationship with God, spiritual fruit grows. That spiritual fruit and growth gives us a greater desire to walk in obedience and submission to the Word of God.
When I experience nourishment in my walk with the Lord, I have a greater desire for nourishment in my marriage, parenting, relationships, business and health. I really believe that living nourished starts by being in the Word of God and prayer.
Here are a few reason why I spend time with God daily:
- He commands us to know Him. (Deuteronomy 7:9, Deuteronomy 11:1, Psalm 119:9-11) And not in a mean parent or tyrant kind of way, but out of an overflow of a loving Father who knows what is best for His children.
- What I value is what I will spend my time doing and thinking about. If I want Jesus as my Treasure, I must give Him my most valuable time and think about Him all the time. (Matthew 6:19)
- Jesus woke up early to spend time with the Father. “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
- My purpose for living is to bring God glory. It brings Him glory that I spend time with Him everyday and become a woman like Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Take some time today to pray over your spiritual nourishment and desire for more of Jesus. Reflecting and getting real with God about where we are is an important part of growing and allowing the Lord to mold and shape you. I would be remiss to also mention the importance of confession within reflection. Confession is an essential part of our walk with Christ. As humans, we are sinners, but God asks us to be aware of our sin and, with his help, continually turn from those sins and do better. We can’t ignore the areas of our life that need to be brought to the feet of Jesus and confessed. When we recognize and confess it, it makes room for new growth.
Praying for you today friend.