This summer when we attended a church service with our daughter and family at LifeQuest Community Church, Pastor Rob referred to certain people as having “refrigerator rights” in their home. He made the point that close friends and family are treated differently within one’s home than visitors and acquaintances. This catchy phrase in his message gave me something to think about.
While thinking about “refrigerator rights,” I want to make an analogy between the Bible, God’s Word, and a refrigerator. It is my choice whether I constantly abide in the presence of God and His Word or whether I am just a guest at convenient times. If I choose to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” (Psalm 23:6) I have “refrigerator rights!” This entitles me to open my Bible and spend quiet time with the Lord on a daily basis. If I only spend time with the Lord for an hour or so at church on Sunday morning listening to a pastor’s message, then I am more likely to just be a guest. If guests come to our home, I may give them something to eat, but I will serve them what I have prepared. It may simply be a cup of coffee or a whole meal depending on the schedules of everyone involved. My Reader, if our house is your residence, you have the freedom to partake of whatever you want, whenever you want. You can serve yourself rather than being served by me.
When I open the door of the refrigerator, the first thing I notice is that a light goes on. A similar thing happens for me when I open the cover of the Bible because a spiritual light goes on within me when I open it. Psalm 119:105 NIV says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Proverbs 6:23 NKJV says, “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Jesus reveals himself as light when he says in John 9:5 NIV, “I am the light of the world.” My life needs to be enlightened!
After I open the door of the refrigerator, I look upon the shelves. The light allows me to see what food is available for me to eat. When I open the cover of my Bible, I can read what is written on its pages. This is food for thought! I discover Jesus saying in John 4:14, “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Then Jesus declares in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:50-58 is a longer passage spoken by Jesus that is applicable. “But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world…. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
I can keep food in our refrigerator, but it will spoil if I do not use it in a short period of time. God’s Word does not spoil, but neither will it be beneficial to me if I just let the verses of scripture remain on the pages of the Bible without ever reading them or applying them to my life. In Exodus 16, I am reminded of how God specifically provided daily manna as food for the Israelites. Listen to Exodus 16:4-5,21: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.‘…Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.” God’s Word is always fresh inside the cover of the Bible, but I must daily feed on His Word to satisfy my spiritual hunger. Lamentations 3:22-24 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’” If God’s mercies are new every morning, then I need to feed on His Word every morning in order to receive my portion! I must consume God’s Word so that I am not consumed by things of the world. I also need to use up what God gives me before He will give me more. The Lord will feed and nourish me as long as I rely on Him, but if I try to do things under my own power He will let me. Zechariah 4:6 informs me that it is “Not by might nor by power, but by My (the Lord’s) Spirit.” In order to have the physical energy I need for daily activities, I must consume food that I will find in the refrigerator. In order to have the spiritual strength I need for daily encounters, I must meditate upon God’s Word that I find in the Bible. My physical and spiritual hungers can be satisfied by the food found in the refrigerator and the Bible if I take time to partake of it.
My Reader, do you utilize your “refrigerator rights” offered to you by the Lord? Do you open the cover of your Bible as often as you open the door to your refrigerator? Included in the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples as an example of how to pray, Jesus says, “Give us daily bread.” (Luke 11:3) It is presumed that Jesus was referring to physical food with reference back to Exodus 16, but I also believe that Jesus was reminding these men, and us today, of our need for spiritual food on a daily basis as well. He desires a personal relationship with you that allows you to be in His presence where you have both physical and spiritual “refrigerator rights.” Be part of God’s family; don’t just occasionally be His guest.