"Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
When I was growing up, on Sundays after church and right before lunchtime, my mom would routinely chastise me for trying to snack too much. "Don't spoil your supper!" she would say.
That was in the day before microwaves or crock-pots, so either leftovers had to be warmed up on the stovetop or in the oven or something had to be made from scratch for that day's lunchtime meal.
If it was the latter, well that meant that lunchtime was going to be a loooooong time from when we got home from church. And when you're a kid, that's an eternity—especially when you're hungry. You don't want to wait for the good stuff, and you're looking for whatever's available right now to ease your hunger and help you get by.
Usually, my big sister and I were allowed to munch on a carrot stick, drink a glass of V-8 tomato juice (remember that?) or nibble on something else nutritious that wouldn't fill up our tummies too much—so that we'd have room to intake whatever my mom was preparing for us to eat.
Now if it had been left up to us sisters, we would have chosen to snack on the "exciting" food that was already ready—like ice cream or cookies or whatever else would have sugar-shocked us into temporary good times and happiness.
But we obeyed. And waited. And waited. In the living room, Dad was content reading the Sunday paper, but our little tummies were grumbling. How were we supposed to keep ourselves occupied and focused in the meantime? We had needs, and we were looking to satisfy them.
Once the meal was finally ready, though, we were never disappointed. The food was always delicious, as my mom was (and still is!) a wonderful cook. She took great care in making sure each meal was balanced and that all of the food groups were represented. I never left the table hungry or wanting more. I was always satisfied, even if I didn't care for the occasional peas or lima beans so much.
It's a great lesson in learning what to feast on when it comes to food. What we choose to consume (and when) makes a big difference in how we feel physically. I'm so thankful that I learned this at a young age.
Feasting spiritually follows suit as well. I thought about that when I heard my pastor recently preach on "The Parable of the Great Banquet" from Luke 14:15. And one of his statements really stood out to me:
"We are feeding ourselves so full of the world that we are not hungry for Jesus."
As I sat listening to the rest of his sermon, I thought about what was a part of my daily spiritual diet. Or rather, what wasn't a part of it. I won't detail it for you here and now, but will challenge you to do what I did: consider what you are feeding on, what you are filling yourself with, each day in your life. Too much television? Too much gossip? Too much work? Too much … nothingness?
We are what we eat, literally and spiritually. Today, consider what is filling up your life. Don't spoil your supper—your spiritual feast—with too much that is empty, hollow and not healthy for you. Revamp your spiritual diet now and make room in your life for that which is good for you and will prepare you for the "Great Banquet"—when one day you will feast in the kingdom with your King.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Not sure if you're feeding on what is good for you? Try this: spend a week not praying, not reading your Bible and not spending any time with other Christians (that includes any church service, class, small group or Bible study). Then, see how you feel. Remember, when we feast on prayer, God's Word and fellowship with other believers, we will never walk away feeling empty.
**Listen to the audio/podcast version of this devotional here.
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