Matthew 4:4 makes it clear that the Bible is good for food: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” So does Jeremiah 15:16: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” How can we eat God’s words? To eat is to take food into us and digest it so that it becomes part of us. To eat God’s words is to take them in by prayer while exercising our whole being to enjoy them. This verse in Jeremiah says that the Word was “unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” We must keep pray-reading the Word till it becomes our enjoyment and rejoicing; then we have eaten it.
MILK AND SOLID FOOD
In 1 Peter 2:2 the Word is referred to as milk: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (Gk.). The portions of the Bible that are easy for us to take in are milk. They are also called “the good word” (Heb. 6:5) and the word of grace (Acts 14:3; 20:32). When we read some parts of the Word, we feel like a child enjoying a refreshing glass of milk. Other portions of the Word, though, have more weight to them; taking them in is like eating a steak. These weightier portions are referred to in Hebrews as solid food (5:12) and as the word of righteousness (5:13). When we can receive them, they give us the weight of maturity.
These, then, are the ways to take the Word: taste it, breathe it, eat it, drink it as milk, and take it in as solid food.
RAIN AND SNOW
Notice how the Word is described in Isaiah 55:10-11: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” The Word is likened to rain in summer and snow in winter, watering us to produce the seed for fruit-bearing and the bread for our satisfaction. This is a marvelous picture of our experience in taking the Word.
THE WORD WITHIN
“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14). This Word that makes us strong and able to overcome the wicked one is no longer only external; it is the Word of God abiding in us. This means we have taken it into us by breathing, by praying, by eating, and by digesting. It is now the Word in our life experience, not just the Word in knowledge.
THE WORD SANCTIFYING
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). How does the Word of God sanctify us? We are sanctified, not by teaching, but by being saturated with the very element conveyed in the Word. That element is the Lord Himself, the essence of the Spirit. As we are daily in the Word, the Word gets into us and saturates us subjectively and dispositionally with the divine essence.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)