Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8
As I waited in the checkout line, I overheard the little girl behind me talking to her mother. “Ooh, can I have this?” she said, fingering what can only be described as a tube of fluorescent green goo. “No way,” her mother said, “that’s pure sugar.”
There are lots of things that look tasty to us when we are young that have no appeal once our tastes have matured. Likewise, foods that small children scorn are sought-after delicacies for adults. Why? Because some tastes are acquired. As the French proverb says, “Appetite comes with eating.”
The same is true of our spiritual appetites. Shallow amusements are naturally more appealing than a nourishing diet of God’s word. We crave all sorts of things that are harmful to our souls, from juicy gossip to satisfying revenge. But while sin and empty pleasures may taste good, they lead to decay and deterioration rather than strength.
If we make the choice to taste the goodness of the Lord through his Word, we will find our tastes changing as we discover his excellencies. Just as someone who appreciates a fine steak would choose it over a lollipop, as you grow in knowledge and love of God, you will find an increasing desire to choose what will build you up spiritually rather than tear you down.
Perhaps you’ve experienced this. Maybe it once felt like a chore to memorize Scripture, but now it is a delight. Or perhaps you’ve had to discipline yourself to attend church regularly, but now you can’t wait to hear the preaching of God’s word. That’s because you’ve developed a taste for it!
If you don’t currently have any desire for spiritual nourishment, take a step of faith in obedience to God’s command: “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Choose to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. Choose to obey his commands rather than the desires of your flesh. Choose to make him your refuge by trusting the righteousness of Christ. Then wait in hope and joyful expectation of tasting the goodness of the Lord.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Confess to God the things that you crave that are detrimental to the health of your spiritual life.
- Meditate on one of God’s promises that shows his goodness.
- Pray that God will increase your desire for all that is holy.
Betsy Childs Howard is an editor for the Gospel Coalition. She previously worked at Beeson Divinity School and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. In addition to being a regular contributor to the Gospel Coalition website and First Things, she is the author of Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed.