“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34.8 NIV).
There are three things that the body needs: Carbohydrates (Carbs), Protein and Fat. These are called macronutrient (macros) because they are the three foundational nutrients of the body. Some fad diets will you tell you to avoid one macro or to only eat another macro, but in most situations this is not healthy or balanced.
Each macro fulfills a specially designed purpose in the body. Carbs are the main source of energy to the body. Proteins provide amino acids, the basic building block of the body. And Fats (healthy fats) have many necessary benefits, including protecting the body’s organs, absorbing vitamins, creating hormones, etc. We need all three macros in order to have a nutritionally integrated diet. Plus, each macro brings its own flavors and textures to our pallets, and they work together to make our eating experience much more enjoyable.
The problem occurs in our diets when we eat our macronutrients out of balance, such as too much carbs and not enough protein or when we eat processed substitutes of healthy macros, such as saturated and trans fats and processed sugars and carbs instead of good fats and complex carbs.
Balance and authenticity are the keys to enjoying foods that keep us energized, healthy and looking and feeling great! Though the actual percentage of the macronutrients can vary from person to person, a good rule of thumb is 3-2-1. Out of our total daily calorie intake, we need 3-parts carbohydrates, 2-parts proteins and 1-part fats.
I would like to run this same theme of balance and authenticity into our spiritual lives. We have three fundamental macronutrients to a healthy soul—prayer/worship, Bible reading/meditation and fellowship/service. All three of these macro spiritual nutrients are necessary for us to achieve a healthy spiritual life for the Lord.
First, I like to suggest that our prayer/worship is similar to our carbohydrates. Carbs give our body energy and help us to achieve all our activities for the day. They are easy to absorb and instantly make us feel good. Just like carbs, prayer and worship maintain our spiritual activity and give us a boost of energy when we are running low. Prayer and worship is something we must be doing all throughout our day if we are going to victoriously achieve the goals that God has set for us. They keep our heavenly momentum going and prevent us from falling into defeat and despair.
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4.4 NIV).
Next, I like to suggest that our Bible reading and meditation is similar to our protein. Just like protein provides us the basic elements (amino acids) to build our muscle, Bible reading and meditation provide us the basic elements (truth and revelation) to grow our spiritual muscles. In order to grow muscle, we must break it first. However, if we are not consuming enough protein, instead of rebuilding muscle, our muscle will deteriorate. The same goes with our spiritual lives.
God breaks us in order to build us up stronger in Him, but if we are not “eating” from His Word, we can’t fully rebuild our spiritual muscles. Instead of growing stronger in Christ, we will become bitter and spiritually weaker. But if we consume God’s Word by reading the Bible, the breaking will only lead to stronger faith. The Bible is the prime source of our protein, like our steak. But we can also eat of God’s Word through literature, music, movies, sermons, etc. that are composed of God’s Truth.
“Then your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty” (Jeremiah 15.16 NIV).
Last, I like to suggest that our fellowship and service to others is similar to our fats. I have a theory that people need enough fat on their body to endure a 7-day famine. But we must make sure we are taking in good fats that are inline with our bodies’ needs. The same goes with our spiritual lives. Godly fellowship lines our spiritual lives with much needed “cushion,” especially when we feel like we are spiritually starving. Sometimes a simple word of encouragement or a nod of understanding from someone helps us get through a particularly difficult time in our lives. We can borrow sustenance from others when find ourselves in a season of a spiritual deficit.
Moreover, godly service is our way of giving from our abundance (stored fats) to others who are spiritually starving. We can serve others from the overflow of what God has already given us. Not only are we blessing them with much needed “soul nutrients,” but we are honoring God with the talents and abilities that He has placed within us. This form of service is God’s highest plan for us. He wants us to love Him and love others as ourselves, which implies that we must love ourselves and treat our bodies, minds and souls with love, respect and understanding, so we can adequately love, respect and understand others. When we fully submit to God and His Spirit, He will ensure that our spiritual macros are balanced and authentic, so we can be a source of good to others.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12.30-31 NIV).