A Spiritual Food Pyramid

Ever since I was baptized 37 years ago I have been in love with the Bible.  I remember when I was a senior in high school taking one of those tests designed to help you know what to do with your adult life.  The job I ranked highest in was “priest.”  I know that happened because several of the questions had to do with the Bible.  On each one I had checked “highly interested” or whatever the highest ranking was.  What else could a person like that become if not a priest?

Since I’m a naturally disciplined person by nature, I loved the challenge of reading through the Bible in a year or studying a subject like prayer through the entire Bible.  I’ve enjoyed digging deeply into God’s word to understand a particular book or topic.  Early on in my Christian walk I learned how to use the Psalms as a prayer book and later developed the practice of praying the prayers of Paul (and others). 

In the past few years I’ve discovered the ancient practice of Scripture meditation.  I was excited to be able to share this with the congregation both in the Bible class and sermon today.  I loved the exercise we did in class meditating on Psalm 1.  I practiced the exercise at home yesterday and felt an immediate draw to focus on the tree mentioned in the passage.  In class others were drawn to different parts of the Psalm.  One person focused on the word “delight” and another on the word “meditate.”  Another said meditating on the Psalm brought to mind a grapevine in his garden that he thought was dead.  However, when cutting off the dead parts he discovered that there was still life in the root.  He made application to his own life and spiritual journey.  How wonderful that the Holy Spirit can speak to each of us in unique ways when we take our time, focus on Scripture, and listen. 

Meditation does not do away with other types of Bible reading or study.  Instead, I believe, it can enhance such work.  We still need to get a grasp on the big picture of the message of God as occurs when we read the Bible systematically.  We still need to know what the individual authors were communicating to their original audiences as can be understood through Bible study.  Grounding such work as Bible reading and Bible study on the proper foundation makes all the difference when it comes to meditation.  No matter how I’m looking at the Bible my ultimate goal is always to cooperate with God’s Spirit in the formation of my life into the image of Christ.  When this is our purpose and goal, we can be assured of enjoying rich times of meditation on the unchanging but ever new Word of God.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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One Response to “A Spiritual Food Pyramid”

  1. avatar tommytwotoez says:

    Bravo on the sermon Byron! I missed having been able to leave my comment on last week’s blog but I’m here now for this one. Also, I can’t believe we missed the class on meditation! Besides the lesson on fasting this was one of my most “looking forward too” classes.

    One of the reasons why I’m so excited about this lesson series is because we’re exploring areas of training and practices that I once thought condemned as new age foolery! As if the very word -meditation- causes the listener to give it a side ways glance. “Meditation you say?” My mind plays the word association game and connects meditation to Buddhism or monism. But that’s just not the case anymore or ever was!

    Here are a few definitions of the word for those (including myself) who feel uncomfortable with the word meditation:

    • To reflect on; contemplate

    • To train, calm, or empty the mind

    • To engage in devotional contemplation, especially prayer

    • To think or reflect, especially in a calm and deliberate manner

    • To reflect deeply on spiritual matters

    The third cries out to me, “To engage in devotional contemplation,” aka prayer (one of its many forms). Why? Because through these past few weeks I’ve realized something odd about my spiritual journey. With people I prefer to listen, but with God I prefer to talk. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a bit humbling to know that I am nothing without my King and likewise lay every concern and falling at His feet, but do I make just as much time to just listen? Quietness is an oddity within itself, isn’t it? I mean why wait for a silent answer if we can deduce our own problems?

    Before these training lessons I’ve personally spent to much time talking and not enough time listening. I’ve prayed before and gave credit to God but in reality I’ve attempted to solve my own dilemmas, not trusting my King to aid in its resolution. This quietness, this mediation is a much needed practice within my life. Thank you for bringing our family into a deeper study of the Word.

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