Philippians 4:8-9 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I almost skipped this portion of the physical body because it can go to a place that can be quite uncomfortable. However, with much communication with the God-Head, I was given a way to incorporate even this system into The Body of Christ.
Our digestive systems are (just as everything else) an extremely intricate system. Everything starts with what we take in through our mouths. The beginning of the actual digestive system starts with our teeth, jaw, tongue, and salivary glands. “We are what we eat.” Anyone ever heard that saying? The foods (including drinks-water, soda, etc.) we eat dictate how our bodies perform. If we take in things that can not only be broken down successfully throughout the entirety of our digestive system but also fully absorbed, we begin a process that can provide us with energy and clarity. For example, have you ever eaten a fast food cheeseburger only to feel extremely sluggish in the following hour? Have you ever eaten an awesome salad that was extremely colorful and then you had tons of energy that you didn’t before? The same goes with information we place into our spirits. What we take in is what comes out with a few digestive stops along the way.
Once we chew our food and swallow, the rest of the digestive system becomes engages. The muscles of the esophagus begin to contract to push the food down to our stomachs. The gastric juices and mucous in our stomachs begin to be produced to help break down the food even more. The bulk of the actual digestion takes place in the small and large intestine. This is where the actual absorption of vitamins and minerals takes place. Other organs that have a role in digestion are the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, and some even believe the spleen is involved.
If any part of the entire digestive system is unbalanced then our bodies do not receive the proper nutrients necessary for full function. Also, if we are not putting in our bodies the proper nutrients then our bodies do not receive what it needs for everything to work as it is designed to.
If The Body of Christ is not receiving proper substance that can be digested properly, then it will not function as it was designed to. There are a multitude of teachings that have been around for centuries and maybe even longer that are man’s doctrine and not actually what is in the Bible. It is each and everyone of our personal responsibility to check everything we are taught through the Bible and through the wisdom of Holy Spirit.
Another thing I want us to take note of is as we grow and mature in the natural our taste, the amount of food, and the type of food we eat changes. An adult human being cannot survive on baby food but an infant’s body is not ready to digest a steak. The same goes for us individually and corporately as The Body of Christ.
1 Peter 2:1-3 – Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Hebrews 5:12-14 – For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
It is essential that we know what we are ready for. If our spiritual digestive system is not able to handle the solid things, then those solid things we take in will only get partially absorbed if at all. However, if we are able to digest the solid things of the Lord and we are playing it safe and remain complacent in our studies, then we are not fully nourished and will have nothing to give to another. Spiritual maturity is not an age thing or a how long you’ve been in the church thing. Spiritual maturity is about taking in the things of God, activating that which we take in, then properly using what we have taken in. The absolute only person that can truly tell us where we are in our spiritual maturity is the God-Head.
If you are unsure of where you are as far as the digestion analogy of the things of the Lord, there is a simple test…
Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
How much fruit are we showing in our day to day lives?
What we take in determines what comes out. We can all start today to live a healthier natural lifestyle but also a healthier spiritual lifestyle. One thing I am noticing through writing this series and the other studies I am doing is the outside reflects the inside. What happens to us internally has a huge impact on how we are on the outside (i.e. skin, hair, nails, confidence, energy, aches, pains, etc.).
Just as our natural bodies have a set path in the way the food gets digested, there is also a way for us to gain the proper spiritual nutrition…
2 Peter 1:5-11 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What we take in determines what we produce and what we put out. We all should take some time every now and then to evaluate what it is we are taking in or being taught. A good teacher will never reprimand you for checking with the God-Head whether something is fruitful or not. If it is not beneficial to The Body then it will be eliminated without incident through a healthy relationship with the God-Head. If it is beneficial to The Body then it will be absorbed and distributed properly throughout The Body through a healthy relationship with the God-Head.
Find some time to evaluate what you have taken in that God wants you to let go of. For me, I am taking this entire year to commune with the God-Head as to things I have taken in over the course of my walk with our Lord. Only with His help can we discern what has been taught through the centuries that are man’s doctrine and what is of Him. If you have any doubts that this is a necessary thing that must be done, I leave you with one thought.
Acts 2:43-44,46-47 – Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common…So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Alicia R. Shipe