26th June 2023

Phil Ware says I Doubt It,


Can we really find genuine
nourishment and satisfaction in Jesus?

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and
to finish his work"

.....John 4:34

While most of us would never admit it to anyone else -
and many of us may never realise the following truth unless
forced to think about it - our behaviours clearly say,
"I doubt it!" to Jesus' statement.

We don't doubt that this statement was true for Jesus,
but we can't imagine it being fully true for us.
We doubt that doing the will of God is our sustaining food.

We seek celebration, comfort, consolation, and community
in the food and drink, not in the one who gives those value and meaning!
For many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, this switch
in focus is a problem.

About ten years ago, a series of events led me into a crisis
of confidence and faith.
I loved the Lord. I was heavily involved in productive ministry.
Then, without warning, reason to live was undermined.

The assurance I felt was mine in Jesus suddenly felt uncertain.
The foundation upon which I had built my life suddenly seemed to be
dissolving under my feet.

Sure, I turned to the Lord in prayer... many times.

The truth was, simply living in the will of the Lord during this time
wasn't enough for me; I still felt empty... hungry and thirsty.

I turned to comfort food to... well, be my comfort.

This turning toward physical food wasn't a conscious decision;
instead, it was a gradual loss of spiritual appetite replaced by
comfort food and caffeine colas.
The result was deeper darkness as well as an expanding waste line.

After my spiritual darkness had lifted,
I had ingrained habits that were not good.
As I returned with joy and excitement to ministry, I also felt
the presence of the Spirit leading me.

But, I still depended upon my bad habits to physically fuel me.

As people asked me to help them reconnect with the Lord,
the Holy Spirit convicted me that I needed to follow the plan
I was encouraging others to pursue.

I needed to do two things:

I needed to read one chapter out of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John
each day and ask:
Lord, what do you want me to know from what I've read today?
And, dear Lord, what do you want me to feel about what I've read?
Finally, Lord Jesus, what do you want me to do with what
I have learned from you today?


Intentionally, I needed to address my destructive habits by changing them.

Doing one or the other didn't address the spiritual short-circuit
I had built into my life.
Fake "real food and drink" deadened my hunger for Jesus.
Not daily pursuing Jesus increased my hunger for fake "food and drink."

As I pursue Jesus more fully, the diet change is easier and the
exercise habits find their focus when I'm walking with him.
I can hear his voice when I have decisions to make.

I can feel his presence when doubts creep into the background of my heart.
My emotions are more tuned to feel what I believe he wants me to feel.
Food is now food. Drink is now drink.
(At least most of the time.)

Few of us consciously sets out to diminish our trust and our communion
with the Lord.
Many of us go through times of darkness and disappointment.

They nearly always destroy what we are trying to pursue or preserve.

For now, my heart has found its joy in Jesus,
and my waist size is slowly decreasing.
My passion has returned for living out God's call.
Food and drink are the occasions of experiencing Jesus,
not the substitute for him.

I invite you to join me as I share Paul's life-goal:

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the
Lord Jesus has given me -
the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace
(Acts 20:24).

Without doubt, I want this to be my real food!

© Phil Ware. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Phil Ware has authored 11 years of daily devotionals, including, read by 500,000 people a day.
He works with churches in transition with Interim Ministry Partners
and for the past 21+ years, he has been editor and president of
HEARTLIGHT Magazine, author of,
God's Holy Fire (on the Holy Spirit), and
Phil has also authored four books, daily devotionals on each of
the four gospels. (Visit the Author's Website)