"Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:21James exhorts believers to stop consuming the foolish things of the world and instead fill our reservoir with the Word of God, planting it inside of our souls. Even if the earthly things we indulge in aren't necessarily grave evils or wicked actions, they still have the ability to tear us apart from our fellowship with God. They can't provide us with a filled reservoir. I can watch my favorite movies and still not be filled. I can speak to my best friend for hours and still not be filled. I can read my favorite books a thousand times over and it still will not fill my reservoir like my Bible can and will. There is no amount of placid productivity that replaces the work of the Word of God within me. Another key word in this verse from James is "meekness." We receive the Word of God, it becomes implanted in us, when we have a posture of meekness–a posture that imitates the character of the incarnate Christ. Choosing meekness over pride and boasting allows us to submit to hearing the Word of the Lord unadulteratedly. When we approach our Bibles with humility and gentleness, we're better able to receive it in a sturdy way, implanted within our new nature in Christ. The implantation of the Word of God within us is what fills our wearied, emptied reservoirs. We will surely profit when we approach Scripture with a spirit of meekness, ready to receive instruction. Having Scripture planted inside of our minds, being filled to the brim with the Word of the Lord, grows great abundance in our souls, strengthening us and readying us for complete obedience unto God. We know from Hebrew 4:12 that our Scripture is living and active, penetrating our hearts and minds and judging us accordingly. We know from 2 Timothy 3:16 that Scripture is breathed-out by God, useful and profitable to us, and fully equips us. We know from Isaiah 40:8 that the Word of God endures forever. Through our Bibles the Holy Spirit teaches us, upholds us, and defends us. He fills our reservoirs, calling and compelling us forward in our maturity.
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." 1 Peter 2:2-3Peter is reminding us that Scripture nourishes us. We begin by tasting that the Lord is good. We savor the sweetness of Jesus Christ. We lap up the spiritual milk that is given to us, but we cannot expect to be sustained in milk alone. We move forward toward full meals, and even fuller feasts. We crave the Word of God, knowing that we will be filled from it. Our appetites grow alongside our spiritual walks; as we are able to eat more, our walks with God deepen. And as our walk with God deepens, the size of our reservoirs grow. And when it grows, it can no longer be filled with earthy things. It won't be saturated by the things of the world. It can only be filled by more and more of Jesus Christ. But why is implanting the Word of God within you, letting it fill your reservoir, important for your personal life? Because whatever fills your reservoir is what you will produce. Whatever you spend your time doing, whether its TV watching, music listening, creative doodling–all of it will influence whatever it is you want to spend your time producing. TV, music, and drawing aren't bad things but their quality, their wholesomeness and density, are things to pay attention to. What we consume influences what we say, how we act, and what we spend your time thinking of and dwelling on. We must be attentive to the things that we take-in. Consumption matters in this life because we have the option to consume things that are bad for us, or bad for our fellow believers. In the life to come, we will only be able to consume good things, and that will lead to inexhaustible praise of God. But on this side of Heaven, we have a choice, a choice that can either draw ourselves and others closer to God or put a wedge between us all. Sarah Morrison is a staff writer for The Daily Grace Co.