Another word on the spiritual life

Juice fasting. Friends I’ve talked to swear by it as a surefire way to lose weight. Generally for some specified period of time, say a week, the faster drinks nothing but fruits and vegetables that have been pulverized in a juicer. The natural nutrients from the liquid concoction “flush out” toxins in the body that have built up through the consumption of processed foods and animal products and allow the body to “reset”. It also helps adjust your palate so that you find fruits and vegetables palatable once again. Folks I’ve talked to boast of amazing results. And while most do it to lose weight, they discover that the true benefit is a healthier lifestyle centered on eating fruits and vegetables. They discover that mom was right: eating vegetables is a good thing, and fruits make a very healthy snack.

So what does juicing have to do with the spiritual life? Just as most (maybe all) of us were introduced cake, cookies and candy, bacon and eggs, thick steaks, juicy hamburgers, french fries and the like along the way leading to a physical crisis, so also many of us have been introduced to a kind of fast food Christianity that tastes good but leads to spiritual malnutrition. It’s a Christianity that looks good on the outside, but has no spiritual depth; more like conformity to the world than conformity to Jesus. It replaces the proclamation of the deep truths of the Scripture with sermons that barely scratch the surface. It provides worship centered more in how I feel than what is theologically correct. It leaves us feeling sluggish and lethargic instead of invigorated.

So I propose a spiritual juice fast of sorts. Let’s get away from spiritual junk food and reaquire a taste for the deep truths of Scripture. Let’s not settle anymore for sermons that don’t really satisfy our spiritual hunger and that leave us looking elsewhere for more. Let’s abandon worship that fails to remind us of the great theological truths of the faith and fails to usher us into the presence of God. Let’s get back to reading our Bibles, and not just on our own, but also with a group of friends, talking about how the truth of the Word might impact our lives. Let’s pray fervently for each other and for God’s work to be done in and through us. In the process, may we discover more than a few new spiritual disciplines, may we discover Christ being formed in us in incredible ways and the kingdom expanding at an amazing rate.

Until next time, stay salty my friend.

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