Just like the body grows, there is a sense in which the spirit
also grows; and just like the body needs physical food in
order to grow, so the spirit needs spiritual food in order
to grow. That is why Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread
alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
The Bible is a supernatural book. The Bible is actually food
for your spirit! In Hebrews 5:13-14,
Paul referred to spiritual food and spiritual growth when
he said that "solid food" belongs to those who are "full of
age," and "milk" belongs to those who are "babes." 1
Peter 2:2 -- "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk
of the word that you may grow therebye."
At a certain maturity level, the human body not only requires
food in order to grow, but it also needs exercise. Athletes
don't build their muscles by just sitting around and eating.
They reach their peak physical condition by lifting weights
and exercising. It is the same with the human spirit. We not
only have to feed our spirit but we have to exercise our spirit.
That is why Paul said in Hebrews 5:14, "solid food belongs to those
who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
And James 1:22 states, "But be
doers of the word, and not hearers only." The apostle Paul
exhorts us to go about our spiritual training in the manner
that athletes go about pursuing the gold medal. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 he writes: "Do you
not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one
gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone
who competes in the games goes into strict training. They
do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get
a crown that will last forever."
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus spoke about
being doers of the word and not hearers only when He said,
"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things
which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and
does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man
building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on
the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently
against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded
on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man
who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against
which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.
And the ruin of that house was great."
It's important to recognize that we can't be a doer of the
word unless we are first a hearer. We know what to DO by first
HEARING. So we must first open up our Bible, bow our heads,
and talk to Jesus, ask Him to teach us His truth by His Spirit.
In John 16:13, Jesus promised the
apostles that after He returned to heaven, He would send the
Holy Spirit to take His place on the earth and personally
teach us His truth. That promise has already been fulfilled.
Jesus is in heaven right now and the Holy Spirit is here on
earth available to teach you His truth. The apostle Paul spoke
of the work of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians
2:9-10 when he said, "'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God
has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed
them to us through His Spirit." Then in the middle of verse
11, he writes, "Even so no one knows the things of
God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the
spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that
we might know the things that have been freely given to us
by God." Then in verse 14:
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit
of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned." The Spirit of God
helps us to understand the Word of God.