“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
(Ps. 34:8 NASB)
This scripture is right up my alley. Talk about simplifying spiritual things to a level that we all can understand. David writes this Psalm and draws a comparison of the goodness of God to food! All of us can appreciate when good food has been in our mouths. You take a bite, and it tastes so good, after savoring it, you are ready for the next bite. No one simply says, “Well, that bite was so good, I better not risk taking another, it might not live up to that first bite.” Then you live satisfied with just the one taste. No, once you’ve tasted something good, you take another bite.
As I look at this scripture, and think of how God can use something as simple as food to evoke images of His glory, other terms come to mind. I wanted to take some time today to share what I feel the Lord was impressing on me during my prayer time.
There is a method of preparing meat in which you marinate it. The definition of “marinate” is “to put meat or fish in a sauce for a period of time to add flavor or to make the meat or fish more tender.” As I was in prayer one day, I really felt like the Lord was trying to tell me that I need to marinate in His presence. What does that mean? Well, to plug into the definition of marinate, I would be the meat, and the Presence of the Lord would be the sauce, so He was telling me to soak in His Presence for a “period of time” so that He could add His flavor and make me more tenderhearted.
Soaking in the Presence of the Lord can take on many forms:
- It can be prayer – not just talking to God, but talking with God. Truly listening to what He has to say instead of only taking your shopping list of needs to Him.
- It can be worship – Singing to the Lord, Glorifying Him, Magnifying His Name, Lifting Praise to Him
- It can be sitting quietly in His presence
- It can be Bible study. Not merely reading the words in the book, but actually meditating on what they say. Charles Spurgeon urged his students, “Let us, dear brethren, try to get saturated with the gospel. I always find that I can preach best when I can lie a-soak in my text. I like to get a text, and find out its meanings and bearings, and so on; and then, after I have bathed in it, I delight to lie down in it, and let it soak into me.”
When I looked into the actual process of marination, I realized that it doesn’t actually change the properties of the meat. The liquid that the meat soaks in does not absorb into the meat, rather it is a process of adsorption (the marinade adheres to the surface of the meat). I thought that this kind of tossed my whole analogy out the window. But it really does not. The process is still there. We still need to soak in the Presence of the Lord. However, the result needs to go beyond what marination does. That’s when the Lord brought another word to mind.
Permeate – to diffuse through or penetrate something. Once we have marinated in the Presence of Lord, we need to then allow Him to permeate through us. Whenever I think of the word “Permeate,” I think of a Jimmy Buffet song, One Particular Harbour. In this song, there is a stanza that goes:
Lakes below the mountain
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas
They permeate through me
Applying oils to canvas is just another way of saying “painting”. When that oil-based paint permeates the canvas, the properties are forever changed. It is never the same. Now, put that in context with allowing the Presence of the Lord to permeate through you. You will be forever changed!
Ephesians 2:10 says – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (NASB)
I like the way the New Living Translation renders it – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Finally, when we talk about soaking in the Presence of the Lord and allowing His Presence to permeate through us, there has to be a logical result.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38 NASB). The NKJV translates “innermost being” as “heart”.
Marination is a slow process. It results in tender, flavored meat. When we soak our spirit in the Presence of the Lord, and allow His Presence to permeate through every part of us, the result will be that out of our innermost being, rivers of living water will flow. This doesn’t mean that there is a pool of water that needy people can come to if they seek it out. It says that the living water is flowing from you. If the Presence of the Lord has intermingled with your soul, you won’t be able to help but put it on display.