[Column] A Soul Survives When It Feeds on the Word

Recently I read an article about North Korean soldiers. It reported that they eat salt as a snack to suppress their appetite and there are many deaths as a result of salt poisoning. It broke my heart to see that these young people who should be nutritionally well-nourished are suffering in famine. Every living thing must feed to survive. Cows eat grass and tigers eat meat. Desert plant welwitschia, it is said, can survive for a century by feeding on dews. Every saved Christian can survive when he feeds on the Scriptures, the Word of God. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Statistically, birds lose their flight ability and dies if not fed for 10 days; dogs can last 20 days without food; turtles can last 500 days without food. Ironically, there are spiritual turtles among Christians, who live day by day without feeding on the Word of God. What does man live on? He lives on the Word of God. He survives when there is the bread of life.

The reason for our limited growth in spirituality is that we are not feeding on the Word of God. America’s prominent revivalist D.L. Moody was ecstatic upon his rebirth experience. A short time later, however, he lost the joy of his rebirth and reverted to the world. Having realized this plight, he fasted and prayed. In the end, he recovered God’s grace. Yet again, it soon disappeared and he reverted back to his old self. In utter discouragement, he cried out to God, “God, I’ve been abandoned.” Then one day he read from the Bible, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”(Rome 10:17) Soon his heart was moved and he realized, “That’s right. I didn’t grow spiritually and my life was full on sin because I didn’t read the Word of God.” From then on, he carefully studied the Word and also listened and his life eventually was transformed. Darkness and sin departed from him and sanctity and the fulfillment of the Spirit took over.

Well-known evangelist R.A. Torrey also had a similar experience. His attempts to nurture his faith numerously failed. One day he stumbled upon Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” He discovered the wondrous secret and fed on the Word. Then there came growth in faith. Later Torrey stressed, “He who desires faith must feed on the Word of God.”

As we continually feed on the Word, we fall in love with God and confess to Him like the author of Psalms, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” (Psalms 119:97) There was a young man who had a crush on a woman. Because he was shy, he sent love letters every week without appearing before her. After a year, the woman finally got married, not to the man who wrote her letters but to the postman who delivered the letters. Prolonged contact coupled with physical presence caused the two to fall in love and they finally tied the knot. The more we meet God through the Word, the more we fall in love with his greatness and beauty. Through the Word, God pours down upon us salvation, love, and wisdom. Let us all feed on the Word and attain healthy and beautiful souls.

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