Gracie, my 17 month old has this constant desire to find our dog’s dish and scoop her chubby little fingers around the dog food. Apparently, this is great fun; because she does it any time she finds the door to his room open. She quickly puts it in her mouth before any one of our family members can stop her and squeals and giggles when we do. His food can’t possibly taste good. Just the smell of it is enough to make me feel nauseous. But, regardless of how many times I feed her good food that our family enjoys or fill her tummy with nutritious delights, she still loves the thrill of going back to the dog dish. As she scooped yet another handful the other day, I realized something…I’m that way too. Maybe we all are?
Now, I don’t truly eat “dog food” and I’m pretty sure you don’t either, but I’ve too often chosen something that is readily available, entertains me, or excites me regardless of it’s intrinsic value. It might be in the form of ways I spend my time, the way I eat, or what I choose to fill my mind with, but either way, it’s “dog food” compared to the feast God has for me.
His word tells me to “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Or that “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” But if I choose to feast on everything else but Him, I am missing out on real sustenance and I am left hungry again, willing to snack on anything that satisfies, even if only for a moment.
So, what’s your “dog food”? I have to believe, we all choose some from time to time.
I’ve realized over the years, that building an appetite for the things of the Lord doesn’t just happen. It’s honestly a bit against anything that culture throws at us, as well as against what our own sinful being craves. That’s because when we were born, beautiful babies who haven’t seemed to do a thing wrong, we were born depraved (morally corrupt-sinful). It wasn’t “what” we did to that point. It’s “who” we are. And that is: sinful people in need of a holy God.
As a Christian, who has laid at Jesus’ feet in surrender and received the gift of new life that’s been offered because of his death on the cross, one of the first steps I take to draw close to the Lord when my heart is wandering is to recognize the issue (the dog food) and ask the Lord for guidance. It’s a conscious choice I have to make and changing my appetite doesn’t necessarily happen over night. I have to surrender my heart to Him and this can be a process. Sometimes, God reveals my sin all at once, but sometimes it’s been over the course of days or weeks. It can be painful, but it’s cleansing and so necessary.
Do you remember the last time you asked the Lord to reveal your sin to you?
I also have to ask the Lord to help me make better decisions, so that instead of choosing what feels exciting or thrilling to me, but not necessarily helpful, I can feast on the delicacies that only He can give. I begin to “fill my stomach” with what He offers and trust that His plan for me is perfect and satisfying.
Self help books about “being a better me” aren’t going to help me make better choices and neither will just talking it out with others. I have to read God’s word and allow Him to speak to me in order to really know Him and what He desires for my life. When I have “tasted and seen” the Lord, I don’t doubt His goodness as often, or my need for Him. It’s then, that I begin to trust that His way really is best and that I don’t need to choose “dog food” in order to feel satisfied. The more I’ve come to know the Lord, the more I love him. He knows me like no one else and nourishes me like only my Creator can.
My challenge to you today is simple: Pry your fingers off the dog food. Don’t believe the lie that it will ever satisfy. God is waiting patiently for you to feast on the morsels of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control that only He offers.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8