Article By: Michael David Watson
"Are you starving your spirit, at the expense of your soul? you may be feeding on the wrong stuff... Your spirit just might be crying out for a home cooked meal!" The urban term soul food, is refering to a type of food that apeals to a particular culture... mainly the African American culture in this sence. Yet every culture can be known by many different types of cooking that has been shaped by the history of that people. I can remember growing up and going to Grandmas and getting some of those ole greens, mashed potatoes, chicken, yams, stuffing, pigs feet chiterlings and so much more. it definitely fashioned the cultural tastes i was to enjoy for even years to come. But just as this article is not about food, We need to be reminded that we are being fed on a continual day to day basis. And not necessarily all foods by choice. Everything we are exposed to in our surroundings is ultimately fashioning and shaping us. Without our efforts to push back, we are being culturized whether we think so or not! Soul food in the context im referring to in this article is everything that we take in that conforms our minds, viewpoints, and effects our thinking, that ultimately assimilates us within our cultural surroundings. Its foolishness to assume that our constant exposure to the "worlds" around us is not constantly conforming us in some way. For example those television shows we can watch every evening or that music we listen to every day is conforming some part of our (soul) or thinking when consumed in excess without any alternative.
We must be careful not to let this culture shape our minds! As Christians we represent the culture of heaven. Yes, We are called to live in this world, but not to be of this world. Tmustere be a difference in our lives than that of the world around us that needs our witness. Inorder for us to be the influencing factor than the world around us, we must possess a spirit that yields more strength than our flesh, and our soul as well! Some might ask what exactly is the difference between the body (flesh) , soul, and the spirit? Well you may have heard that you are a spirit live in a body and posess an eternal soul . Think abou it, If you live in a house and have possessions do you allow the house or the possessions to control you? No! If the house (flesh) controlled you, you would become a prisoner to it. And if the possessions... controlled you ... umm then you... would... become possessed? Ok maybe too much of a play on words... but you get the point! In other words you must be controlled by " the real you" and the real you if you are saved is made up of a living speaking spirit!
Romans 8:14 The sons and daughters of God are led by the spirit of God. Being led by the spirit of God is allowing God To lead the "Real You" and the real you leading the rest of you, body and soul. Our soul, and our spirit needs food just like our body. And If we allow our souls to be primarily nourished and shaped by this world culture it will bear even more strength than our spirit... we will find ourselves easily swayed and moved by mere emotions and stirred by wrong thought patterns that have been shaped by worldly thinking. FEEDING ON THE WORD OF GOD We are living in a culture where people are pushing back on the truth of Gods Word more & more like never before! As christians we can't diminish the validity of The word in our lives - we can't live our lives based on our opinions of God, or the opinions of others, yet we must know God as we know his Word, and His Spirit will confirm the Word we know! I'll say that again, " we can only know God to the extent that we know of him through his Word and the Holy Spirit confirms interprets and breathes life into the Word that we come to know. (John 6:63) Even the things you may know about God right now originated from the Word, somewhere the Word was engrafted into you, whether preached or read or even simply heard.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The word of God is the life source of God into this world! Its the doorway for his spirit into your heart. Therefore His word must take final authority in our lives, and we need to continue to cultivate a hunger for Gods Word. Someone once said, that they feed on the Word of God even after every natural meal that they ate; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He said that it didn't make sense to feed his flesh three times a day, and starve his spirit. Now that's hunger for God! But not entirely something we have to do, it is something that only this man was lead to do. If we look at this as an example we can ask the Lord to lead us to the spiritual foods and diet that most nourish our individual spirit as well. But most of all the strongest source of spiritual protein & the best way to ever increase your faith will always be to feed on Gods word! FEEDING ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD Jesus said, " let all who are thirsty come and drink of me and i will give you rest." (John 7:37) That word rest also means strength... or what i would call food for the soul (psalm 23) We cannot feed on the Word of God alone and still maintain a steady diet. Like I said before the Spirit of God confirms the Word... he makes the word alive. There's nothing like spending time in the presence of God that is rejuvenating and replenishing to your soul. Psalm 63:5
“My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
The Spirit of God is like the juice of His Word. Nobody likes to eat dried up chicken! At least i don't, and without the Spirit of God to breathe life into the word that you eat, it will easily dry up and become religious, tough and lose its taste just like chicken without flavour left out on the counter to dry. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. And when your faith is strong you (your spirit) can lead and feed your soul, & wherever the soul goes the flesh has to follow! The psalms says in my presence there is fullness of Joy. (Psalms 16:11) Spending intimate time with God whether in worship or in prayer & encountering the Holy Sprit will feed your soul a much more satisfying meal than Grandma could cook, or even the world would ever have to offer! So if you have been feeling an imbalance, a lack of passion for God or simply a distance in Your relationship with Him or His Word, then you may be feeding on the wrong stuff... Your spirit just might be crying out for a home cooked meal.
Michael David Watson is the founder & pastor of The BreakOut Center Cleveland, MDW Ministries Inc., The Gift'd School & Owner of Gift'd Expressions Prophetic Art Org. Called to release Gifts and preach the Gospel through the Prophetic Word & Creativity. Husband & Father of three, author of several books, and Prophet Artist based in Cleveland Ohio Michael travels locally & abroad to meet the Call of God.