Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)
- TITLE: Developing A Spiritual Appetite
By Doug Laird
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Surely, the fragrance emanating from the kitchen or a bakery can stimulate our appetites.
Scripture (2Cor. 2:16) teach that we, that is our proclamation of the Gospel and the promoting of Bible Doctrine, produces a fragrance that is savory to the taste for, “…those who are being saved”, and the stench of death to, “…those who are perishing.”
Anyone, whose secular occupation exposes them to the repulsive stench of decaying human remains will agree that the odor of decaying human remains is in a category all of its own.
As glorious and pleasing as the spiritual fragrance of the Gospel and Bible Doctrine is to a believer with an appetite for God and the things of God, such things produce an offensive odor to one who is under the control of the hostility (Romans 8:7) of the fallen nature.
These opposite responses can be said for the fragrance that emanates from post salvation doctrine, as well.
While the fragrance can stimulate an appetite in advancing disciples, it can generate an unsettling reaction in the souls of immature or backsliding believers.
Unsettling reactions in the spiritual realm can be likened to adverse food allergies in the natural realm, ranging in severity from minor or deadly.
The unsettling feeling is the result of an internal conflict between accurate doctrine and false concepts that we chose to retain.
Rejection of the Gospel results in an eternity of spiritual death.
Just as tainted food can upset the stomach in the natural realm,
the inability to digest advanced post salvation doctrine (Hebrews 5:12) is the result of failing to build a soul structure that has its foundation made with faith and faith alone in the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When sufficient internal or external pressure is reached or induced, the stomach or undeveloped soul structure will expel what was recently taken in and create an aversion to taking in similar content in the future.
When it is false doctrine that is being expelled this is a spiritually healthy process, but the inability to digest advanced doctrine will stunt the spiritual growth of the believer.
Many persons, who have gone through chemotherapy, now avoid certain foods as the odor or taste triggers a psychological reminder of the nausea that one experienced during the treatments.
The same can happen in the spiritual realm, especially to believers who come into the family of God from a “religious” background.
The roots of religion run long and deep and are not easily taken up.
When many “religious” believers come up against the inevitable challenges that Biblical discipleship will generate, they fall to the wayside under the pressure that hits their souls from many sides.
The diabolical objective is that the
believers never learn the “truths” that would have otherwise set them free (John 8: 32) from such bondage that impedes spiritual maturity.
Continuing (John 8: 31) in the Word of God requires that the advancing disciple not only learn its principles, but that he also make personal application of them (James 1: 2, 3) as well. Many believers come to enjoy the savory taste of Bible Doctrine, but fail to benefit from it by metabolizing what they take in, converting the food into spiritual energy for the production of divine good.
In order for any one of us to take in and digest the spiritual food of Scripture, we must acquire a savoring taste for it.
We did not come into this world hungry for God or the things of God. In fact, the dominating nature of pre-salvation status of our spirituality is one that is actually hostile towards such things.
As we acquire a savory taste for spiritual food, keep in mind that there remains a nature (Romans 7) within us that is hostile towards God and the things of God, and that it works like diet-pills that diminishes the appetite that we may otherwise develop.
Whichever nature, be it the fallen one that desires the junk food of religion or the new creation that desires the unadulterated Word of God, it will be the one that we feed that will develop an appetite to satisfy its desire for its own savory taste.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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