Feeding the Inner Man by Travis Evans
November 6, 2006, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Devotions

By Jonathan Oldacre

John Piper explains in his excellent book entitled “When I Don’t Desire God,” that George Mueller, a man “famous for founding orphanages in Bristol, England” in the 19th century, made it his daily aim to get his “soul happy in the Lord.”At the age of seventy-six, Mueller, wrote the following:

“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend everyday was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.”

Piper goes on to explain that Mueller’s means (the “1. agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end”) for getting his soul happy in the Lord “stayed the same.” Mueller writes:

“I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it…What is the food of the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God; and…not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.” (emphasis mine)

Two dangers arise from the neglect of reading and meditating upon God’s Word. 1.) Just like our bodies, our souls can become emaciated by lack of nourishment from God’s Word, and 2.) our souls can get fat, unhealthy, and glutted on the pleasures this world has to offer at the expense of soul-nourishment. Which of these are you more prone to?
Have you given yourself to reading and meditating on the Word of God today? Have you ruined your appetite by snacking on the world?

If you identify with either of these extremes, don’t be discouraged! Grace is available today! Forsake self-sufficiency and worldly appetites, put your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of any and all sin relating to your neglect of God’s Word, and then take up the Word of God with fresh faith! Listen to Psalm 19:7-11; God desires for you to enjoy the same soul-nourishing benefits of His Word as He did for this psalmist:

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.”

Nourishment and wisdom and the fear of the Lord and joy and delight all await you in God’s Word today!

(“means” definition courtesy of


3 Comments so far
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Man Jon,

You are so challenging in exhortation and gifted in encouragement. That was a lot of fun to read just now! You brought the heat, and also reminded us of the grace of God that we have access to because of Christ. You served me so well! Thanks Bro!


Comment by Caleb

How full of grace is God to give us absolute truth that is more desireable than fine gold and sweeter than honey, and yet, I try to satisfy myself with the gravel that the world has to offer. Thanks so much Jon for challenging us to delight in and seek joy in the word. What a great reminder of God’s grace!

Comment by Boomer

Jonathan thanks for reminding us to have our souls happy in God as a first priority. I’m glad we finally got some Mueller up in here too! He is definitely one of my historical heroes he just makes you want to read and pray for days. Mueller thought to himself how can I glorify God the most in this life? So he said I know I’ll start an orphanage, never ask anyone for any financial support and just pray and believe God to provide and God did! He merely took God at his word. His word said it and he believed it. John Piper has provided us with a list of other spiritual giants that provoke us to love God’s word more. So if anyone is looking for a historical hero here’s a good place to start.

Comment by Travis

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