No matter how old you are spiritually, you still need to eat your spiritual veggies.
They’re not something you just eat when you’re spiritually young; you need to keep on eating them until the day you die. In fact, when you come before God on Judgment Day, you should still have a little piece of spiritual spinach stuck between your front teeth. When he sees that, God will have a good laugh and he’ll also know you took his Word to heart to the very end.
So what are your spiritual veggies?
They’re what you learned when you first came to believe in God and follow Jesus, and they’re also the core tenets of what it means to be a Christian.
Here are the five main ones:
- KNOW AND FOLLOW THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. As odd as it sounds, many Christians don’t know the Ten Commandments. They know there are ten of them and they know they’re supposed to obey them, but they can’t name all ten. Here’s the problem with that – if you don’t know what it is you’re not supposed to do, how are you not supposed to do it? If you call yourself a Christian but don’t know the Ten Commandments, get back to the spiritual dinner table and EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
- BE OBEDIENT TO GOD. This is an extension of knowing and following the Ten Commandments. If you’re a Christian, obedience to God is non-negotiable. In fact it was rebellion by Lucifer and the angels he beguiled that got them all PERMANENTLY kicked out of Heaven. It was disobedience to God’s directive not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that got Adam and Eve PERMANENTLY kicked out of the Garden of Eden. BUT it was Noah’s obedience to God’s directive to build the ark that saved him and his family when everyone else drowned; it was Abraham’s obedience to God’s directive to offer Isaac, his son, as a sacrifice that made Abraham wealthy beyond measure and the father of countless generations; it was Jesus’ unswerving obedience to God (even and especially when it meant doing something he didn’t want to do, like being crucified) that made God so pleased with Jesus and ultimately earned him the Messiahship. You cannot call yourself a Christian and be willfully disobedient to God at the same time. Willful disobedience will get you a crappy life and then it will get you damned.
- READ THE BIBLE. Not just a few snippets here and there, when the mood strikes you. Read the whole thing, from Genesis all the way to the end of Revelation. And if you have access to the Apocrypha, read those books, too. The King James takes around 70 days to read, at a pace of an hour or two a day. That’s just a little bit over two months, an hour and a bit a day. Trust me – the time investment is worth it. If you say you don’t have the time to read the Bible, then you urgently need to re-prioritize your time. There are 24 hours in a day; set aside a few of them a day for 70 days, and do that at least once a year until you die. You can’t live God’s Word and teach God’s Word unless you know God’s Word, and you can’t know God’s Word unless you read it, take it to heart, and put it into action. The main reason people fall into error is because they take other people’s word for God’s Word. Remember that most professional priests and pastors are not born-again.
- LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AND YOUR ENEMIES. We want to be treated with respect and given the benefit of the doubt and a second (or third or fourth) chance if we mess up and have a bad spiritual hair day, but we’re not always willing to extend the same courtesy and mercy to other people. Jesus called loving your neighbour the summation of the Old Testament. Loving your neighbour also means loving them in your mind (not trash-talking them in your head while being sweet to them with your mouth). Loving your neighbour and loving your enemies are probably the two most difficult directives you’ll ever have to follow, and you won’t be able to do either without God’s help and lots of practice.
- SAY YOUR PRAYERS BEFORE YOU FALL ASLEEP. It might be the last thing you do in your earthly life, so make it count. Talking to God just before you fall asleep and asking him to watch over you and to bless and protect whoever it is you want him to bless and protect is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. You won’t need to count sheep or drink warm milk or swallow sleeping pills because God himself will put you to sleep. Make sure you also tell God that you choose to forgive everyone for everything they’ve done to you. You don’t want to go to sleep with unrepented sin on your soul, and simmering resentment and finger-pointing are much bigger sins than people realize. Always choose to forgive. It costs you nothing and will win you everything.
Please take these spiritual veggies to heart. Having a strong spiritual foundation is more important than building a mega-ministry or healing the sick or performing miracles, because even demonically-inspired people can do those things, and do so in the name of Jesus. As a genuinely born-again follower of Jesus your aim should not be to perform parlor tricks but to enter into a strong and loving relationship with God as your Father. Such a relationship is formed in an instant at spiritual rebirth, but it can only be strengthened and deepened day by day by obeying the Ten Commandments, obeying God in EVERYTHING, reading the Bible, treating ALL PEOPLE as you want to be treated, and constantly praying to God, especially just before you fall asleep.
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,
resist the devil, and he will flee.