A defining quality of rebelutionaries must be that we are students of the Word. There are enough “Minute-A-Month” teen bibles crammed with more cartoons, beauty tips, and party-mix recipes than Scripture, to convince us that serious bible reading and study is not expected of us. One of the greatest ways we can rebel against low expectations is to be students of God’s Word as teenagers.
Feeding Our Souls On God’s Word
We don’t know about you, but as 18-year-old guys we not only have an intense, constant hunger for all things edible, but we also strive to feed that hunger in an equally intense and constant way. We are acutely and painfully aware when we miss a meal or any one of the dozen snacks we scatter throughout the day.
This takes on special significance once we start viewing God’s Word as food for our souls—or as Charles Spurgeon liked to put it, “the daily bread of the true believer.” Our hunger for God’s Word and our diligence in satisfying that hunger should be even greater than our diligence in fulfilling our physical appetite. Why? Because the consequences of spiritual hunger are far greater.
How Spiritual Hunger Affects Our Souls
Think about how physical hunger affects us. Our bodies are forced to compensate for inadequate nutrition by curbing physical and mental activity. Hunger deprives us of our initiative and ability to concentrate, leaving us in a state of apathy. Not only that, but antibodies and other proteins diminish in the bloodstream causing a weakening of our immune system and greater vulnerability to infectious disease.
Isn’t it scary to realize that the same kind of things are happening to our souls when we fail to feed on God’s Word? Spiritual hunger curbs our spiritual activity, energy, and focus. It makes us apathetic and weakens our spiritual immune system making us much more vulnerable to temptation.
Whenever we miss meals we are quick to use it as an excuse when we struggle to perform our best: “I missed lunch today so I’m having trouble thinking straight,” we say. But how seldom do we make the connection between our poor performance, say, resisting temptation, and missing our devotions that morning.
Priorities Move Other Things Around
Our physical bodies are important, but they pale in comparison to the value and worth of our souls. Jesus said that one soul is more valuable than the entire physical world (Mark 8:36), so you’d think that we’d make feeding our souls at least just as much of a priority as feeding our physical bodies.
Unfortunately, when I (Brett) find myself getting busy I can easily let a day slip by, or even several days, with little more than a few spiritual nibbles here and there. But if I miss breakfast, on the other hand, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, you can be sure that I will make up for it first chance I get. You see, our priorities move other things around, they don’t get shoved aside by other things.
Even a person whose schedule makes it nearly impossible for them to have devotions first thing in the morning can show that God’s Word is a priority by turning to it the minute they have some free time. The “blessed” man from Psalm 1 shows his right priorities by how he delights to meditate on God’s law. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and when he can’t sleep, he’s thinking about the Word of God. [Note: See Charles Spurgeon’s commentary.]
The Ceiling Is Where The Floor Ought To Be
If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that even though spending extended periods of time reading and meditating on God’s Word goes way beyond what is expected by our culture, it is really only the basics of what is necessary for a healthy relationship with God. It’s really true that “the current ceiling for students is much closer to what the floor ought to be.”
This is why going through the motions doesn’t cut it. Reading our Bibles every day just to feel good about ourselves or to be “better than the average teenager” accomplishes nothing. Snatching up a Proverb here and there may prove helpful in a purely practical way, but we must ask ourselves: Is our delight in the law of God (His will, His word)? Do we study God’s Word? Do we make it our best companion and hourly guide? If not, we are starving our souls.
“Is That Your Soul Rumbling?”