What happens when you don’t feed yourself
I just preached a sermon on Philippians 2 where we talked about how God has taken care of all of our needs and how this frees us up to take care of the needs of others.
What this does NOT mean is that we don’t take care of ourselves. We have to feed ourselves with the gospel every day.
If you do not feed yourself everyday then you will become tired, malnourished and unable to work and care for your family. You must feed yourself healthy, nutritious food in order to be able to care for others.
It works the same way in our spiritual lives. We must feed our souls every day. We have an intense desire to love and serve other people, but we have to be spiritually healthy enough to do so.
How do you feed your soul every day? Spend time with God and in the Scriptures. The Word of God will feed us and nourish us. The Scriptures reveal God’s unconditional love through Jesus. We need to hear that message every morning before we do anything else.
I try to do two simple things in the beginning of my day.
- I read a verse immediately when I wake up. I struggled for a long time with looking at my phone first thing in the morning. I was checking email, Instagram, facebook, etc. I was doing this before I did anything else. It was like a drug to get me going. I think I felt important if people were grabbing for my attention that early in the morning. It was a bit of a rush. But it was also extremely stressful. I felt that I needed to respond to these inquiries immediately. I was worried people would think I was not responsible if I didn’t respond to them asap.
I have one friend who starts his day at 4:45am. He sends me facebook messages before 7am. I don’t believe it is his expectation that I respond that early, but I place that on myself. So, I had to tell myself to stop it! I will not respond to anyone, unless it is an emergency, before 8am.
So, what I do now is use an app called YouVersion. It has a daily verse and I just read that verse and meditate on it for a moment to get my brain going in the right direction. This is not a substitute for my devotional time, but it does help me get the right focus to start my day.
- I read my Bible and pray with a journal. This is the second thing I do to feed my soul in the beginning of the day. Now, I usually begin my reading of the Scriptures while I am working out on an elliptical machine or stationary bike. I know this may sound a bit unorthodox, but it tends to be the best part of my day. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins release a positive feeling in the body due to the activity they stimulate in the brain. So, when I combine exercise and Bible reading my mind and body really start to function at an extremely high capacity.
I get so much more out of my Bible reading when I exercise that I bought a stationary bike for my office to help with sermon and Bible study preparation.
Since it is really hard to write in a journal and ride a bike, I take some time when I get to my office and write out some prayers and specific verses or thoughts that I learned while reading the Scriptures.
My encouragement to you is to simply feed yourself first thing in the morning.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8