Regulating Our Spiritual Metabolism

So what’s the big deal about high metabolism these days?  Everybody wants high metabolism.  It’s that fat-burning capacity that is so coveted.  If you can engage in the right exercise in the right way at the right time you can maintain a high-rate fat-burning process.  Or if you can eat just the right foods in the right amounts and get your body into a state of ketosis you can burn body fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.  Either way it’s a lot of work in face of the reality that the body’s metabolism naturally slows down as you get older.  You don’t want to exercise as much and the body doesn’t need as much food.  Oh my!  What a terrible combination!

The World Overwhelms

In the counseling room I see the same awful combination.  The sin-cursed world is feeding us a tremendous amount of junk food (heavy trials), but we’re not doing the proper amount and type of exercise to handle it.  We’re unprepared.  We’re out of out of shape.  We’re sluggish.  Actually, I’ve seen it in my own life too:  a boat-load of trials and tribulations and very few protective measures in place.  For example, there are seasons when I become extremely grumpy, easily irritated, constantly annoyed, and continuously unsatisfied with external circumstances. The result?  A heavy, hopeless heart.  What is happening to me during those times?  No rigorous exercise and plenty of carnal consumption.  As I respond to my world by consuming every heavy burden that comes my way and there is no “fat-burning process” in place, I can become sluggish, crushed and defeated.  Where are my ketones?  You know, those little things that break down fat for energy that I can use to power through my issues?  The external circumstances never just go away so I need an effective, consistent, targeted strategy.  What has proven to be the most effective regimen?  It’s the regular application of the Word of God.  The needed exercise is actually opening the Bible and allowing the Word of God to regularly engulf me.

God’s Word Strengthens

We don’t grasp what remaining in the Word on a daily basis actually does for us.  For some, diving into the Word of God on a daily basis for significant periods of time can seem like overkill or overeating.  Think about it:  Typically when we overeat we feel stuffed and we stop eating for a while to give the physical body a chance to recover and burn the excess fuel.  The spiritual body processes nutrients differently.  You can never overeat, even when you feel like you’re swirling in biblical truth.  You can eat as much as you want because you are never full to capacity and there’s no such thing as being ‘spiritually overweight’!  You should always devour deeply for more and  more biblical refreshment.  This is the one time it’s OK to be a glutton.  Treat each Bible time as if it will be your last meal.  It’s that steady struggle for scriptural intake that holds the soul in balance.  Consuming the Word of God is the conduit God provides to send those life-saving reminders of things like this:

  1. His love is better than life.
  2. Nothing compares to what I have in Him.
  3. He has promised rest to those who come to Him.
  4. He has a river of delights available to His own.
  5. This is not all there is.
  6. I am here to represent Him and bring Him fame.
  7. He is the continual source of direction, comfort, peace and joy.

When you are living on these types of constant reminders, you are operating at a high metabolic rate, capable of shedding the excess pounds of this world’s woes.  Much of the slough sheds immediately!  For example, when you’ve just had a volatile conversation, you suddenly remember that you are representing Christ and He will fight for you, so you rest.  Or you did not get the promotion you were hoping for, but you suddenly remember that He is the God of hope and the source of all joy, so you recover and keep working hard anyway.  Or maybe you just received a diagnosis that is fatal but you suddenly remembered that you have a marvelous new home being prepared for you, so you start sharing Christ more.  Or maybe you don’t get the boyfriend or girlfriend you want.  What then?  Hopefully you suddenly remember that His love is better than life, so you lean on it.  God’s got this!  God is my helper; what can man do to me? Or lastly, perhaps nothing turned out right today, but suddenly, as you are reading this, I hope you are assured that He is still present with you AND bad days here can never compare with what you have in Him, so you cease striving and do what you can.  Do you see how this works?  Look at what you are missing if your conduit is blocked from biblical flow!

Are you ready to get out of that eat-it-today, wear-it-tomorrow junk food cycle?  Without the steady stream of the Word of God we are subject to every invasion of bitterness, depression and anger that comes our way.  There is a way out but you’ll have to strain, sweat, huff and puff to find it.  Drown yourself in the unfailing love of His word.  And I do mean drown, for He has said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).  You will not die, but live!  You must saturate and re-saturate your heart and mind with the Word of God daily so that you are always burning the excess weight of the world, getting in shape and letting the light of God shine through you!  Your metabolic rate will be off the charts—a type of spiritual ketosis.  You will become lighter and brighter.  You will lose the weight of the world and you will find that your relationship with Jesus, empowered through the Spirit-inspired Holy Bible, becomes the only thing that truly matters.

Candace Dunston
Candace is the homeschooling mom of five children and has been married to Phillip for 25 years. She is a certified biblical counselor and serves in the counseling ministry at Faith Church. She enjoys teaching parenting classes and marriage ministry with Phillip and speaking at various women’s events.