Thursday 18th October 2018

Welcome to Digital Church

Welcome to Digital Church, I hope you find the teaching useful. My prayer is that you will be encouraged in your walk with the Lord and that you will bring glory to his name.

The Dangers of Processed Foods

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16v13

Some time ago my wife was diagnosed with Coeliacs, a condition that makes her intolerant to wheat. Suddenly shopping became very different, instead of rushing round the shelves putting what I wanted in the shopping trolley, I now had to stop and read the labels to find out what was in the can or packet. I must admit that it came as a shock to find just what extra ingredients got added to even the simplest of foods. It did not take long before I became frustrated with the endless label reading and sought an easier method, a method that seemed obvious at first, but required some extra work. I learnt to cook everything from fresh, no more processed foods! Instead it was a case of looking up recipes and learning to know every ingredient that went into the meal. It took more time, but the food was far tastier and healthier for both of us.

At first this method seemed very slow and frustrating, many a time I wished I could just put in a packet mix, but over the days and weeks that followed I got used to the method, in fact at times it didn't seem to take that much longer, I just needed to think ahead and be prepared. Nowadays it is just become the normal way to cook.

As I was out praying on the hills this morning I had one of those moments I love so much, when the Holy Spirit takes a simple example in life and expands it to explain a spiritual truth and this morning it was about diet, thankfully not physical but spiritual.

The reason I used to like processed foods was that it was a way of cooking something quickly, someone else had done all the work. I just read the label and thought that I liked the sound of it and ate it. What I hadn't realised over the years was how many "extra" ingredients had been added to make it attractive, weird additives and colourings and modified ingredients, all to save me time.

As I was praying the Lord likened "spiritual diet" to "processed foods". How often do we want to save time and so just buy a spiritual pre prepared meal, be it a book, youtube video or TV programme? As Christians we have a habit of trying to take short cuts to spiritual growth. Instead of going to the Lord and seeking him direct, we try to eat food that others have prepared, however so often we don't realise that this food often contains "other ingredients" that have been added to make the food more attractive. So often we justify ourselves by saying that we have carefully read the label or know the author, but the question has to be asked, why are we not willing to spend time with the Lord seeking and waiting in him.

For the apostle Paul this was the way that he received the message of the gospel and the teaching that makes up so much of the New Testament. He was willing to spend time in the Fathers presence and listen to what the Holy Spirit had to say and so he was able to say:

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1v11-12

As I look back over my spiritual life I can see how so often it was the pre processed teaching that introduced man made errors into my spiritual life, errors that often remained unseen as they became a constant part of my spiritual diet. Authors that I really liked, yet could not see errors in their teaching, errors that remained with me for many years, errors that soon became pillars in my spiritual life that I would not question. Only as I changed my spiritual diet and moved over to pure foods, straight from the Father was it possible for the Lord to show me how unhealthy some of this teaching had been.

The problem with seeking revelation is that it takes time. How many times does the Psalmist tell us to wait on the Lord, or as it says in Psalm 40:

I waited patiently for the Lord...

Waiting patiently, being willing to sit before the Lord and wait for the Holy Spirit to speak to us is something that we easily become lazy at. Instead of seeking the Lords direct wisdom we look for someone else to have sought him for us. A nice pre prepared meal to save us time. Just like with our physical diet we may claim we are short of time, but one thing I have found in life is that I can always find time for the things I love, it just means having to remove things of lower priority from my life. If we truly love the Lord with all our heart, if He is first in our lives, then what is it that is that is stopping us seeking Him and giving Him the time he deserves?

This poor spiritual diet is not only a danger to ourselves; it also becomes a danger to those we minister to. For if we get used to a "fast food" spiritual diet, we in turn pass this method of feeding on to others around us; we teach it to our spiritual children by the example we set. When Paul talks about the way we should minister he says:

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 2v12-13

I must confess I find it frustrating at times how the Lord can give me revelation, how the Holy Spirit can show me something and then when I come to teach, it seems but a shadow of the real thing, however at least I know the ingredients are fresh and can only pray that in turn the Holy Spirit will give real revelation to those who listen.

Paul's constant prayer for the church was for wisdom and revelation from God, for the church to be hearing clearly the voice of the master. Jesus also prayed for the same thing. The question that has to be asked is do we want to put the effort in to seeking the Lord, of sitting at the Fathers feet until he speaks. Why is it so much of a struggle to sit at the feet of one we claim to love with all our heart?

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 10v27

The Spiritual Man

The Spiritual Man "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."
Romans 8v19

So often we talk about walking according to the Spirit or being led by the Spirit when we really have little idea what these terms mean.

This short book looks at some of our attitudes and behaviours and challenges what is being led of the Holy Spirit and what is being led of the flesh and how can we change how we are led.

ISBN: 9780957698819

Author: Simon Coward

Number of Pages: 42

Click to Download or Order

A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park An easy to read book covering the basics of Christianity in short chapters. ideal for new believers or those wondering what Christianity is all about.

ISBN: 9780957698802

Author: Simon Coward

Number of Pages: 44

Click to Download or Order

The Dangers of Processed Foods

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16v13

Some time ago my wife was diagnosed with Coelia... (read more)

No one inquired of the Lord!

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.
Joshua 9v14

Joshua chapter 9 tells us the account of the Gibeonite deception. These people that God had told the Israelites to destroy came of with a simple decept... (read more)

True Unity

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
Psalm 133v1-2

Unity among Christian... (read more)

Education, the media and government

As a pastor I am regularly hear complaints from Christians that the government or education is against them or that the television is full of immorality and that we should complain or write to our MP's. In fact as I write this, an article has been se... (read more)