I originally wrote this article many years ago, but I believe the concept is still pertinent in the new millennium. So I dusted it off, revisited a few sentences for clarity, and added some new ones. Now I attempt to entice and motivate you (those who are willing to wade through my literary debris) with some “food for thought” on staying F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, Teachable).
People often comment on how they just aren’t getting anything out of their Sunday School, or they aren’t being fed at their church, or the sermons don’t meet their needs, or the Bible study just isn’t doing anything for them. I must say that this rather irritates me. I am convinced that the truly teachable person can learn in just about any set of circumstances. I have found that if I’m listening, God will teach me amazing things all by Himself! I learn from people all the time, but I refuse to be dependent on others for my spiritual food. I can be abundantly fed by the Creator alone, through meditating on His Word, praying, and memorizing Scripture.
The teachable man King David recognized this in Psalm 119:102, where he claimed, “I have not departed from Your laws, for You Yourself have taught me.”
In Hebrews 5:14 we are told that “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”. Take note that the mature aren’t trained by someone else, but have trained themselves by constantly using the solid food of God’s Word. There’s that word “food” again – I just can’t seem to get away from the dieting analogy! Well, maybe it’s making you hungry (spiritually, of course). If you feed that hunger adequately, you might just end up getting FAT.
The opposite condition is mentioned in the Old Testament and is labeled TEKEL. It can be found in Daniel 5:27, where the writing on the wall revealed that Belshazzar had “been weighed on the scales and found deficient”. I guess he wasn’t FAT enough for God’s standards.
In this new year of 2017, I have two thoughts to add.The first came about because my husband showed me an article in Reader’s Digest entitled, “Why Marriage Makes You Fat” (or something similar). It got me to thinking. Does my marriage make me FAT? If not, why not? Am I encouraging my husband to be more faithful, available, or teachable by my attitude and actions? Those of you who are married might want to resolve this year to pray for faithfulness, availability, and teachability in yourself, your spouse, and your marriage. Even if you are single, you ought to be praying for these qualities in your future spouse and marriage.
My second thought is tied to something I recently read, which added a couple of other words to the F.A.T. concept. The words were Interested and Hungry. We need to be both interested in and hungry for the things of God, or we will never stay FAT.
Now if you try adding these words to the acronym, it actually creates the word FAITH. Hmmm… I think I sense a whole new article brewing.
During my devotional Scripture reading on the morning after I originally finished writing this article, I felt an unusual sense of anticipation for what God might have to show me concerning this topic. Sure enough, I opened my Bible to Isaiah, where I had been studying, and began to read chapter ten.
I actually laughed out loud. Concerning the remnant of Israel, the Lord Almighty says that the survivors, who return to the Mighty God and truly rely on Him (in other words, those who choose to remain faithful, available, and teachable), will have the yoke of the enemy broken and lifted from their shoulders “because you have grown so FAT.” (Isaiah 10:27). I am not kidding. It’s in there. I rest my case.