Thursday, January 3, 2013

Soul Food by Martin Wiles

Rice smothered (yes on top) with green beans, lima beans, collard greens, turnip greens, blackeye peas or gravy. But where they sit is not as important as how they’re prepared. These healthy vegetables must be transformed with sugar, salt, and cooking oil.

And the meat? Coated with flour and fried to create a crunchy outside which incarcerates the grease making the meat tender and moist. And not in olive or canola oil but lard. Grease that hardens for future reuse. Grease that also can be combined with water and flour for gravy. Of course, any good soul food meal must be accompanied by banana pudding, pound cake, pecan pie, etc.

Having lived in the Deep South most of my life, I’m very accustomed to “soul food” even though it clogs my arteries, bulges my stomach, and may eventually lead to high cholesterol, diabetes and elevated blood pressure. God, however, encourages a healthier variety of soul food; Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2 NLT).

What nourishes the soul (mind, will and emotions) isn’t greasy food but spiritual practices that change our thinking. Genuine soul food requires time alone with God so we can hear his Spirit speak to ours and involves prayer, reading his Word and meditating on various verses of Scripture. To this, we add dollops of time with other believers who encourage us and hold us accountable. Laying the above foundation allows God to prompt us to apply what we’ve learned. Sacrificing for others as well as sharing God’s love with them will follow. Anytime our minds are fed the proper soul food, it affects our actions in positive ways. Instead of clogging arteries and raising cholesterol levels, it lengthens our life…all the way into eternity.

Prayer: All sufficient God, thank You for providing the necessary soul food that will form us more into Your image by changing the way we think, feel, and act. Motivate us to feast on what possesses eternal value rather than temporary pleasure.

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