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67: Take the Spiritual Diet Challenge for 2023
Thursday, December 8, 2022 by Lyvita Brooks

Starting the New Year, New Quarter, or Fiscal Year off with a 21-Day Spiritual Diet will help eliminate the clutter that causes you to become overwhelmed, unorganized and tired. It will lift your spirits. 

 

 Please enjoy this podcast on your favorite podcast platform. Although efforts were made in editing, this transcript may include a few typos. It’s difficult to catch some minor errors. Enjoy! 

 

Saints, welcome to Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast, I’m Lyvita Brooks, Christian author, Bible teacher, and founder of The Me Project Academy bringing you interviews, book reviews, Christian news, reminders about who you are and whose you are in Christ Jesus and information on how to live a purpose-filled life in Christ.  

You can find this episode transcript, our free Christian Blueprint and much more at www.hangingoutwithjesuspodcast.com. 

Now on to the show ...

Introduction 

47.0 – Saints, I believe one of the greatest struggles women face is “doing too much” that doesn’t allow you to be all that God wants you to be. I’m not talking about being selfish. I’m talking about being alive, free within you, so that you cannot just be amazed by God but also in how He is using you to bless others. And be amazed about what happened when you do spend time with Him. 

1:27 – This is episode 67. Saints, let’s be for real. Life can be overwhelming, chaotic, and sometimes messy. In hanging out with Jesus to discuss more and more about you and whom He designed me to speak to, I realized that I am speaking to overwhelmed professional woman who desire to do what God’s called them to do. Same here. Even in retirement I can relate. You have realized that work, family, friends, things, prestige are not the answer to your happiness, and that happiness isn’t the answer either. You want joy. You want to be passionate about what you do. You want to love the Lord without crowding Him out with work and stuff. You want to spend time with Him and doing what He designed you to do. 

4:27 – Now if you are in agreement, that you are the person I am talking to, well then your next question might be, “Lyvita, how do I make this happen? How do I stop doing too much and do what God’s called me to do with a passion?”

5:27 – Well you could check out “Are You Doing Too Much?” episode 65. But before you do that I’d like to share something that I do each year and hopefully, you’ll do the same. It’s called Planning with God.  

5:36 – Yes. If you have been listening to the episodes back in January 2021 and 2022, I’ve talked to you about doing a fast and prayer at the beginning of the year. This year, I’d like to do something different that will help you start off the New Year focused on the God’s goals for 2023 which in turn will reduce your clutter and stress, because anything not in lined with those goals are a “no-no” unless God tells you differently.  

More about that coming up in this episode. 

A personal update...  

Saints, I am so close to having my mother’s writings published until the joy in my heart is celebrating early. Don’t you feel good when you fulfill a promise that you made to someone? For me it was promising my mother tat I’d publish her writings. I never did while she was alive. Now it’s going to happen. 

Y’all I submitted my editors revisions this week. One of the things the Editor requested is that I tell something about my mother that would allow the readers to relate to her writings. So I tried and failed several times because it was tear-full. It’s amazing how after five years, I still have difficult writing about my mother. Seriously, it’s hard holding back tears just so you can see to write. A thank you to my flash fiction group looked it over and gave suggestions and thank you to my cousin, Brenda, who helped me with the ending. 

Praise God, I have a name for the book. It used to be called, Ma Poems, then Ma & Me.  It’s new title, Nuggets to Live By, a mother and daughter’s writings about the life they see. It’s a book of poetry, reflections and flash fiction. I’m pumped. Saints, it’s going to happen.  

Thank you to everyone for supporting this ministry. Don’t forget to rate and review the podcast because the more reviews and ratings the podcast receives, the more people it can reach. Also I’d love to hear from you because then it makes this feel more like a conversation.  

Now come walk with me where we intentionally and daily hang out with Jesus. 

9:19 – Let’s pray … 

Key Topics With Time Stamps / Transcript With Time Stamps 

10:09 – Almost every New Year, we begin it with a new Bible study, resolution, diet, stop smoking, or something we want to do in order to change the direction of some area of our lives.  

10:28 – I’d like to introduce to you another way to start your New Year off with eliminating the clutter that causes you to become overwhelmed, unorganized, and putting “doing too much” at bay. 

I’m talking about getting on a Spiritual Diet for 21 days so you can strategically plan the year with your Lord. 

How did I come up with “Spiritual Diet”? 

10:47 – A couple of days ago, the Lord and I was hanging out, talking about finishing out 2022, looking at what needs to be completed before 2023 arrives. This is when I was reminded about the topic Spiritual Diet. It came up in Episode 54 where I talked about “When was the last time you ate from God’s table? with Tanya Jones. So the concept isn’t new, but what I’d like for us to do with it might be new to you.  

Do you remember the saying, “You are what you eat?” This is true. What you intake is what will come out. You eat healthy, you will be healthy. If you run on junk food, you will eventually run the risk of destroying your physical health. Same is true for the mind.

12:12 – We have a bunch of loud voices and videos, bombarding, daily, our mind with thoughts on what to think, how to act, what to look like, what we should desire, how much we can do, and that we are super independent Godly- women, and so-on.

12:43 – All this noise is coming from the culture we live in, our genetics, educational background, examples and experiences in our lives and those of others, and the internet of people we don’t really know but call “friends”. Our mind digests and assimilate all this information through thoughtful meditation, ponderings, memories and questionings. It impacts our reactions, speech, responses, and attitudes. 

Did you know that having a physical diet parallels with having a spiritual diet? 

13:34 – One of the earliest references to a parallel between physical and spiritual eating or diet can be seen in Deuteronomy 8: 2-3. This is where the Israelites were being reminded that their experiences in the wilderness was for instructional purposes. How to live both, physically and spiritually and that it all depends upon God’s providence. This principle is true for us today. Let me read Deuteronomy 8:2-3

 “2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word[a] that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

15:07 – Here we find that God is talking about the physical and the spiritual. You need both to live.  Let’s compare the two. 

Physical Diet

  • We focus more on this because we see it all the time
  • Starvation of the physical leads to faintness, headaches, first.  
  • Examples of Starvation: loss of weight, dehydration, irritability, attitude change, etc. 
  • Feed for Growth: foods that are healthy for your bodies blood type, non-processed or grown with chemicals, that help your body stay healthy and strong, etc. 

Spiritual Diet

  • We focus less on this because its effects take longer to appear on the outside. 
  • Starvation of the Spirit will lead to sin. 
  • Examples of Starvation: arguing, drunkenness, despondency, gloominess, depression, irritability, conflict, addictions, competitiveness, etc. 
  • Feed for Growth: practicing spiritual disciplines, obedience to God’s will in all aspects of your life, applying spiritual principles into our lives 

17:06 – What you put into your mind will determine the quality of life you will live, physically and spiritually. Therefore, this is why I am suggesting that you start your New Year off with a 21 day Spiritual Diet that includes fasting and prayer with a focus on planning with God. I know I said a mouthful. So let’s start at the beginning. 

What is a “Spiritual Diet”? 

17:37 – A spiritual diet consists of milk, bread, honey and meat. But not the actual things. Milk, bread, honey, and meat are symbols for the type of spirituality or food that you can digest at different seasons in your life, or better yet, they symbolize ways you intake God’s wisdom from His word in different areas of your life in order to grow into a mature believe.

18:14 – I’ll say that again, Milk, bread, honey, and meat, are symbols for the way you intake God’s wisdom from His word in different areas of your life in order to grow into a mature believe. Some areas of your life you can handle the solid truth of God’s word but in other areas you are like a new Christian only in taking the basics. 

18:48 – Milk symbolizes the basics understandings of God’s word, surface knowledge of God’s truths found in the Bible, like a newborn baby. Unskilled in the word of righteousness, like a child.  In essence, when it comes to a particular area in your life you can’t handle anything here, but watered down truth, easy to swallow information. 1 Peter 2:2 reads, 

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk,

that by it you may grow up into salvation—“

19:43 – Bread symbolizes eating of God’s word through pondering, meditating, being in God’s presence. In this area of your life it’s full of wonderment and amazement and questions so you spend time with the Lord seeking answers and just getting to know who He is as God and you as His child. Matthew 4:4 reads,

“But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 

20:41 – Honey symbolizes the joy of God’s word. It’s taste. In essence, you can’t get enough because it is so sweet. It’s your perception of God’s word as being “can’t get enough of it”, “delightful”, “heart-warming”. (Share Auntie’s soup story) Psalm 119:103 reads,

“How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!” 

22:34 – Meat symbolizes solid food. A steady intake of truth and discernment. It’s for the mature, those who have “their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” The key words here are constant practice.  Hebrews 5: 11-14 reads,

“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

23:45 – The goal is to grow from milk to meat, in all areas of your life. To go from being a new Christian to a mature believer who is constantly giving God their all. All of who they are and all of what they have because they know it is His, after all.  Therefore, the path, the journey you take from being a newbie Christian to a mature believer will depend on you and how much of you that you are willing to give in obedience to God’s will for your life.  

How do you grow from milk to meat? 

24:23 – By practicing the spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines allow you to spend time with the Lord. The more you practice them. The more you desire to spend time with the Lord, eating from His table. Your milk slowly but surely becomes bigger and bigger intakes (eating of) meat. 

25:14 – We know the main spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, Bible reading, worship, praise, evangelism, fasting, stewardship, journaling, meditation and my favorite that I talk a lot about on this podcast and that’s silence and solitude.  

25:34 – And yet there are others, such as Sabbath, Holy Communion, Memorization, Serving, and Discipleship. Then there are those which are an off shoot to what you know. For instance prayer. Well other forms are intercessory prayer, prayer walking, praying scripture, or breathe prayer.  Another example is discipleship can come in other forms like, mentoring, accountability partner, or spiritual friendship.  

26:18 – This Spiritual Diet will consist of chewing on God’s word and being in His presence through fasting, prayer, Bible study and reading, journaling, meditation, prayer walking, intercessory prayer, silence, and solitude. 

How do you develop a “Spiritual Diet” for the New Year that contains fasting, prayer and planning with God? 

27:13 – The best way to begin a new diet is to start with a challenge. Hence, we have the 21-Day Spiritual Diet Challenge. It begins January 8, 2023 to January 28, 2023 with you giving up social media, unplugging the phone after a specific time or your favorite TV program for 21 days. The planning part is the purpose where you can spend two hours out of each day seeking the Lord’s face about what He wants you to accomplish in 2023. This way anything that doesn’t align with it during the year, well, ask God what to do with it. 

So what do you need to do to participate in the 21-Day Spiritual Diet challenge? 

28:38 – First, make a commitment to yourself and God that you will accept the challenge to go on a Spiritual Diet for 21 days to set goals with Him that will direct you into fulfilling your purpose in 2023.  

29:24 – Second, schedule the challenge Sunday, January 8th, 2023 and end it 21 days on Saturday, January 28, 2023 on your calendar. Then register to receive reminders and encouraging resources to help you along the way.  

29:58 – Third, during this time you will commit to scheduling 2 hours a day for 21 days to spend with the Lord. My suggestion is schedule: 45 minutes a day in the AM, 45 minutes a day in the PM and 30 minutes a day during the afternoon. Now if 2 hours a day is impossible, try 90 minutes a day, or 1 hour a day. Adjust times depending on your schedule and lifestyle. But remember you are giving up social media or a favorite TV program. So my suggestion is replace that time with spending it with the Lord. Take some time to think about how you will do this. Talk it over with your spouse and children, to make sure everyone is aware of what you are about to do so they will not disturb you during designated times. Hey, you could even make this a family affair. 

31:46 – Fourth, set up a place where you can meet with God during each of your scheduled times. Make sure the location contains, Bible (not on phone or laptops), journal or notebook, and writing instrument. Be very intentional about where you set this up. Look for places where you will have the least interruptions. The internet in any form can become a disruption. Make sure your phone is on silence and computers, laptops, are off. 

32:40 – Fifth, what will you do during these times? I know you are wondering. Well, for 21 days you will read one chapter from the letters of 1st & 2nd Corinthians. True that is 28 days and we will only have 21 days. I’ll get to that in a few. During your chapter reading time ask God to highlight a key word, verse or phrase that He wants you to meditate on throughout the day that will help guide you towards setting up goals for 2023. 

33:18 – Seventh, don’t fret about writing anything down. I have a link to the 21-Day Spiritual Diet Challenge in the comment section of this episode.  The link includes, the start and end date, a calendar of what to do each day, and during your 3 times of the day.  

33:58 – Eighth, you are probably thinking, well Lyvita what is the purpose of this challenge? Remember when I shared in the beginning of this episode about speaking to overwhelmed professional woman who desire to do what God’s called them to do but no time to do it with quality? Well during those times of reading and seeking God’s guidance on what is key in the chapters for you, you will be learning what goals God wants you to pursue in 2023 and from that you will center your life around. I’ll show you how to do that, but you will need to register in order to receive all those goodies. 

Conclusion 

35:16 – Saints, now is the time to do something different. Now is the time to go above and beyond what we are used to doing. Now it’s the time to challenge ourselves to become a more mature Christian. It’s time to move out of drinking milk to meat in those areas of your life that you have not given fully over to the Lord. 

35:48 – Sunday, January 8, 2023, join me and others by participating in the 21-Day Spiritual Diet Challenge. Just receive the material as a download and get started on January 8, 2023. I will also be participating in the 21-Day Spiritual Diet Challenge to plan with the LordMy goal is to stop watching movies after 7 pm for 21 days and no candies, cupcakes, or sweets.  

36:12 – Think about it what better way to begin 2023, then to spend time engross in God’s word seeking His goals for us in 2023. This challenge is only as hard as you make it. If you do it, you will be amazed at how God will speak to you about things you know not. 

36:41 –  Let’s eat together from the 1st & 2nd Corinthians participating in the 21-day Spiritual Diet Challenge beginning January 8, 2023. See you when you register.  

37:02 – Thanks for listening today you may also find it helpful to receive the Me Project Academy newsletter with episode updates, spiritual discipline tips, the 21-day Spiritual Diet Challenge updates and much more. All this and more can be found, including my contact information, on www.hangingoutwithjesuspodcast.com or in the show notes. 

So until we meet again over the airwaves, intentionally and daily, hang out with Jesus. 

Lyvita: Shalom! 

 

Resources Mentioned on the Episode and suggested reading & social media handles: 

21-Day Spiritual Diet Challenge 

 

Calls to Action: 

  • Sign up for The Me Project Academy Newsletter for resources on developing disciplines to help you grow in Christ, prayer and new releases of the podcast.  
  • Website: www.hangingoutwithjesuspodcast.com 
  • @hangingoutwithjesuspodcast (Instagram) 
  • @themeprojectacademy (Pinterest) 
  • [email protected] (for comments) 
  • www.goodreads.com/lyvitabrooks 


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