Nourished by the Word, Life-Study of James, Message Four, pp. 31-33
NOURISHED THROUGH THE WORD
If we would resist temptation, we need to be nourished through receiving the implanted word. We may use eating food as an illustration. Although we may be physically healthy, we still need to eat nourishing meals every day. Although we have physical life, we still need daily nourishment. If I did not eat breakfast in the morning, I would not have the strength to work. The principle is the same with the divine life. Through regeneration God has imparted His life into us. But this life still requires nourishment, and the nourishment we need is the implanted word. Every day we need to come to the Bible to receive God's word. In our spiritual life we need a good "breakfast" every day. When we eat our spiritual breakfast, we receive the implanted word. As God plants His word into us every morning, this word becomes nourishment to our inward man, and it strengthens our spirit. Once our spirit has been strengthened, it will sustain our soul. As a result, our soul will have the strength to withstand suffering and to resist temptation. This means that through the nourishment of the implanted word we experience the salvation of our soul.
If our soul is not strengthened in this way it will not he able to withstand trials and temptations. For instance if a brother is not nourished through the implanted word, his soul will not be able to withstand the loss of a job or of a sum of money. Such a loss will always affect our soul. Satan uses such sufferings to put us down. How, then, can our soul be sustained in the midst of such suffering? Our soul can only be sustained by a spirit that has been nourished through the implanted word. Realizing this, Paul prayed that the saints would be strengthened into the inner man (Eph. 3:16). Our soul needs to be strengthened in the inner man, and the inner man is the spirit. But how can the spirit be strengthened? The spirit is strengthened by being nourished with the implanted word of God.
Many of us can testify that our spirit has been strengthened by God's implanted word. If we spend some time in the morning to take the Word of God into us, our spirit will be strengthened. Because our spirit is strengthened, it will sustain our soul. Then our soul, being sustained in this way, will be able to withstand trials and resist temptations.
We know from experience that if our spirit is not strengthened and our soul is not sustained by a strong spirit, we are easily defeated by trials or temptations. The result is failure. This means that although we have been saved in our spirit, we are not being saved daily in our soul. Rather, day by day there is a loss to our soul; we even lose our soul. Do you know why we lose our soul? We lose our soul because it does not receive sustenance from our spirit. If our spirit is "flat," lacking heavenly air, it will not be able to sustain our soul. Hence, we need the implanted word to "pump up" our spirit. If our spirit is filled with divine air, it will be strong and able to sustain our soul. As a result, our soul will be saved.
Day by day we need to receive in meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our soul. The implanted word is full of energy to save our soul. This word in 1:21 certainly is an excellent point in James' writing. Every day our soul is tested by outward environmental sufferings and by inward enticing lusts. For this reason, our soul needs to be saved. As we have pointed out, in order for our soul to be saved, it needs to he sustained through our daily feeding on the implanted word. This requires that we receive the word of God just as we receive our daily food. If a child refuses to eat, he will become weak and unhealthy. If a child refuses to eat nourishing food, he is not submissive or meek in the matter of eating. Every child needs to receive in meekness the food served by his mother. If he eats healthy food in this way, he will be strong and healthy. In like manner, we need to receive in meekness the implanted word.