When 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
I visited some friends recently outside Austin, Texas. One day we were trying to decide where to eat for lunch and I mentioned seeing a place that served Louisana-style shrimp and crab. My friend exclaimed, “Oooo those are my two favorite foods!” And off we went!
As our food was placed before us – heaping piles of crab, shrimp, corn and potatoes — I thought I heard my friend moan. And when she started in, slurping and sucking on her crab I actually did hear her moan! We started laughing so hard! That lunch is what came to mind when I read this verse from Jeremiah. Eating joyously and to our heart’s delight.
Jeremiah was in a pretty tough spot with God and the people of Israel. He had to tell the people of God’s coming wrath. You see, God was done being placated by Israel’s rulers. It was time to pay the piper for their egregious and continuing sins. But God promised to save Jeremiah after he makes his plea of faithfulness.
Just think if we all devoured God’s word like my friend did her pile of crab and shrimp! Or like Jeremiah in his plea for rescue!
“The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.”-A.W. Tozer
Acute desire. To yearn to read more about God. To seek with all our heart ways to serve God. To sit in mediation with anxious expectation to hear from God. That’s the kind of love God wants from us. Like lovers that can’t get enough of each other!
My husband and I started out in a long distance relationship. He lived and went to college in Colorado and I was in California. We began calling each other every day. Spending hours on the phone. We wanted to learn everything we could about each other. Then our phone bills started arriving! As poor college students we couldn’t afford to call each other anymore so we took to writing. Each day I would anxiously await the mail. And each letter that came was pages long. I ate up those words with joy and with a happy heart.
The Bible is like those love letters. It tells us all we need to know about God’s character. It regales us with stories of how He makes promises and keeps them. He tells us about how much He sacrificed to show us love. And He shows us the way to be united with Him again.
If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. If we have the idea that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we have missed the true meaning.Oswald Chambers
Loving God is not a passive pursuit. We need to love with abandon. We need to eat up every word from His lips!
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
Friends, the enemy is like that jealous school girl who wants to steal your boyfriend away. She’d love to see you get a bit complacent with your relationship. She’ll even find ways to distract you and put a wedge between you. The difference is, the enemy can only work on one side of this relationship. God is never distracted.
The presence of passion, faith, and belief in our hearts is a gift. It’s on loan to our souls.Priscilla Shirer, Fervent
In other words, we don’t need to conjure up that passion or desire to eat up God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is already there, waiting for us to access that burning faith! We need only to call out to God and say, “I love you, Lord with all my heart! Teach me everything about you so that I may serve you!” And He will certainly place a feast before you.