Most people are familiar with phrases like worship God, adore God, and serve God.
But taste God? If you were to ask the average person to put a verb before God, most likely taste wouldn’t come to mind. The usual concept about God just doesn’t involve tasting Him. And yet, many verses in the Bible show us that God can actually be tasted!
Why do we need to taste God?
There are at least two good reasons why tasting God is important to us as Christians.
First, God wants us to taste Him. He doesn’t want us to know Him just mentally in our head. He wants us to taste His sweetness in our heart. Here are two verses showing that God’s people have tasted Him:
“How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Sweet and good—this is what God tastes like in His Word.
Second, whether or not we taste God affects how much we’re nourished by God’s Word. And how much we’re nourished by God’s Word determines our growth in Christ. A baby can’t grow if it doesn’t eat!
Tasting affects appetite
The above verses in 1 Peter put tasting the Lord in His Word and longing for His Word together. This makes sense—the more we taste God in the Word, the more we long for His Word. On the other hand, if the Word isn’t tasty to us, our interest in it may wane.
Think about your physical appetite. If the food you eat doesn’t taste all that great, eating becomes a chore. Instead of enjoying your meals, you might start skipping them. Once you start skipping meals regularly, you can lose interest in eating. Appetite is kept healthy by eating tasty, nourishing food.
God made physical food in such a wonderful way for us. He could have made all food the same gray color, with the same bland taste. But He didn’t. Eating is enjoyable because of the variety of colors, textures, and flavors of food.
The diversity of colors—red, yellow, green, orange, purple—and flavors—sweet, tangy, savory—illustrate the delicious and infinite riches God wants us to taste of Himself in His Word.
Surely God’s Word shouldn’t be “gray” or “bland” to us. When we taste how sweet, how good God is in His Word, our spiritual appetite will be stimulated. We’ll come back for more because we love the taste.
If our appetite for God’s Word is waning, could it be that we aren’t tasting God as we read it?
How is it possible?
We can taste God in His Word because the Bible is unlike any other book in existence. Matthew 4:4 tells us that the words of the Bible proceed out through the mouth of God. Since God’s words come out of His very being, they contain God’s element and carry His flavor.
But just as tasting physical food isn’t a mental activity, tasting God isn’t something theoretical. It’s experiential and subjective.
Sadly, it’s all too possible to read the Bible and not taste God. Whether or not we taste God depends on how we approach the Bible.
How not to taste God in His Word
It’s likely we won’t taste much of God if:
- We read His Word just to fulfill our “Christian duty,” but without much openness of our heart.
- Our intention is merely to be more knowledgeable about God in an objective way.
- Our focus is on finding ways to improve ourselves.
With these motivations we may get some objective knowledge about God or learn something interesting, but we won’t taste God.
How to taste God in His Word
We can taste God in His Word when we:
- Read the Bible with a heart that’s open to and hungry for God. Praying a little prayer before we begin to read helps: “Lord Jesus, I open my heart to You. I come to You because I need You and I’m hungry for You.”
- Come not just to the black and white letters of the Bible but to the Lord Himself. With this in mind, we can pray, “Lord, I don’t want to miss You in Your Word. I want to meet You in Your Word.”
- Focus not on ourselves but on the Lord’s wonderful Person and all He’s done. A simple prayer can focus us on Christ in His Word: “Lord, I turn my attention to focus on You. I want to see Your wonderful Person in Your Word. Show me more of Yourself.”
You probably noticed that praying is common to each point. Prayer can help us have an open heart, come to the Lord in the Word, and focus on Christ. Even short prayers can open our “taste buds” and make all the difference in our Bible reading.
Enjoying the taste of God in His Word is a joy beyond expression. By tasting God, our hearts are attracted to Him. We spontaneously love Him and His Word more. As we’re nourished in His Word, we’ll grow and be healthy in the Lord.
Have you experienced tasting God in His Word? Share with us!