I think I definitely have an obsession with film titles and perhaps I should speak to my shrink about it on my next visit ( ok I don’t have a shrink but if I did my obsession with film titles and music titles would be the first thing I would want to discuss) but the title “Eat, pray love” does have a Christian ring to it. I’ve never actually watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love but if the synopsis on IMDb is true, then Eat, Pray Love has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. However, I wish to discuss these three verbs in relation to Christianity because I believe each verb conveys what it means to be a Christian.
And so it begins; Jesus piece number two.
I just want to take us through what I believe to be the three vital components of Christianity and hopefully by doing so it will become clear which aspect of our Christianity we need to work on. My prayer is that you are encouraged to spend time and analyse your lifestyle in line with the scripture (Lord knows I will be doing this also) so that our walks with God will not be in vain but fruitful as possible.
I’m not much of a foodie ( in fact I’d rather spend money on experiences than food but I realise now that food is essential to my survival and experiences are not ) and so my relationship with food has always been rather awkward. However, I do agree that food is essential for nourishment, necessary for strength and encourages growth and so it’s consumption should be encouraged. Similarly, the consumption of the Word of God should be encouraged. The Word of God i.e. The Bible is akin to your favourite meal because it is also essential for nourishment (of your Spiritual Body), necessary for strengthening your Spiritual body and encourages growth (in your walk with Christ).
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts – Jeremiah 15:16
The key word here is “ate” meaning Jeremiah took the Word as he would food. It gave Jeremiah great joy to eat the Word of God; he was obviously hungry for it. We have all experienced that elation when we are about to devour our favourite meal (mine’s King prawn fried rice if you were wondering) and we either eat the food so slowly as to savour the moment or eat it really quickly in our excitement. I imagine that when Jeremiah used to eat of the Word of God, he would do so very slowly to savour every moment.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good – 1st Peter 2:2
Again the word “taste” reinforces the food imagery. The Word of God will tantalise our taste buds like no other sensation has done before but we have to crave for it. I don’t even like milk (I think it is rather disgusting) but I do like my salvation and so I must stick with my spiritual diet if I really want to reap the benefits.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10: 17
Our faith is contingent upon studying the Word of God and allowing the scripture to become real in our lives. The principle is simple – Read The Word;enhance your faith.
The Bible is greater than any narrative you have ever read, ever watched. Think of your favourite book or movie and times it by a thousand, billion, trillion, zillion. It is infused with murder (see David and Uriah), thriller, romance (see Songs of Solomon) and is about the perfect redemption story (Jesus and the world).
The effect of eating the bible is a renewing of our mind and insight into how to please God just as Romans 12:2 suggests, ” …. but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Salvation is a process made much easier when we eat of the Word.
“….men always ought to pray” – Luke 18:1
I will be completely honest because I believe that there must be transparency in the Body of Christ, but this is an area where I sometimes fall short because often I forget that prayer is simply intentional communication with God. Occasionally, I try to do too much but then I tell myself “Cristine, strip away all the pretence and just speak to your Father”. This is the advice I would give anyone struggling in this area- strip away the pretence.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7
You do not need to babble or repeat words for hours on end because as that scripture continues to says (I purposely didn’t put that part of the scripture up, you’ll have to read it. I can’t do everything for y’all) the Lord knows what you desire before you ask. You just need to be sincere and humble yourselves as it reads in 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (but humility is another topic for another Jesus Piece).
I think God values our communication, he wants to hear our voices, he wants us to vocalise our troubles, say where it hurts and where it needs mending because he is our Father and similar to your earthly Father he wants to know about everything that concerns you.
Last but definitely not the least is love “….And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1st Corinthians 13:13
God is love and thus as joint heirs with Christ the Son of God, who came to the earth as an embodiment of God’s love, we must also exude love. The Bible even goes as far as to question our love for God, if we cannot even love our brother.
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
– 1st John 4: 20
The logic in this statement is brilliant, how can you claim to love a God that you do not see when you cannot even love the one that is in your house, you see at Church, eats with you, prays with you or attends the same university as you? (The list is not exhaustive but I hope you get my drift). I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that when Jesus was asked “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” ,
The bible classes those without love as having “nothing” .
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
– 1st Corinthians 13 1-4
Love is indispensable.
So in essence, we need to eat ( not just physical food but the Word), we ought to always pray stripping away all the pretence and we have to love as sons and daughters of a God that is love. God is love and so by extension we are love.
Love Cris x
P.S I might actually watch the movie Eat, Pray Love now and maybe even write a review lol .