Are you hungry?
This is an easy question to answer when it pertains to physical hunger, but what about spiritual hunger? When was the last time you were spiritually hungry? Do you crave God’s Word? Does consuming it feed your soul? When was the last time your soul felt satisfied?
Although we don’t often think about spiritual hunger, Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” He came to feed our souls. He is the Bread that sustains us spiritually. Shouldn’t we be hungry for Him?
Just as a healthy physical life depends on eating nutritional foods; a healthy spiritual life depends upon feeding from the Word of God regularly. We eat physical food because God created us with a physical appetite. If we skip a meal, we will become hungry and our stomachs will begin to growl. Most of us will not go long without eating.
God also created us with a spiritual appetite. He gave us an innate desire to know Him. If we do not feed upon His Word regularly, we will become spiritually ill. A lack of desire for the Word indicates that we have become insensitive and are unable to recognize spiritual hunger.
We can take the following steps to increase our spiritual appetite.
Develop an appetite for the Word by tasting.
I love chocolate! The more I eat chocolate, the more I want chocolate. Chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, chocolate milk, chocolate anything… Why does eating chocolate make me want it even more? Because it taste so good.
God’s word is like chocolate. The more we eat from it; the more we will want. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” God’s word is good. As we eat from it, we will acquire a taste for it. Then when we fail to eat it, we will find ourselves longing for it.
Pray for a hunger for the Word.
Sometimes we are embarrassed and don’t want to admit that we have no appetite for the Word. However, God already knows the condition of our hearts. He knows what brings us delight. If we are not delighting in His Word, we can ask Him to give us a desire for it.
Even David, the man after God’s own heart, prayed, ‘Incline my heart to Your testimonies” (Psalm 119:36).
Abstain from eating junk food.
Junk food fills our stomach without providing nutrition. God created us to be consumers. We have to eat to live, but we choose what we eat. If we fill ourselves with junk food, we will not be hungry for healthy food.
Consuming a nutritious spiritual diet requires that we resist filling our lives with spiritual junk food.
Any activity that does not build us spiritually can be junk food. These may include watching TV, listening to secular music, reading books, following sports, or engaging in other hobbies. These may not be harmful in moderation. But any activity that causes us to neglect spending time with God becomes spiritual junk food.
Every activity that feeds the sinful nature is spiritual junk food, including: “sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar” (Galatians 5:19-21HCSB). We must abstain from these to be healthy.
When we learn to feed upon the Bread of Life, we will be healthy and satisfied.
Jim Burg, in his Bible teaching Changed into His Image describes the satisfaction of a believer who feasts upon the Word of God: “The believer is satisfied. He is like a person who has just pushed his chair back from the Thanksgiving dinner table at his grandmother’s home after stuffing himself with turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, hot rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie; he cannot be tempted with an invitation to eat a bologna sandwich. He is just too full to eat anything else.”
We are tempted to eat ‘bologna’ sandwiches because we are not taking the time to sit down and eat from the feast that our Father has provided for us.
God promises in Psalm 81:10 “open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
Take time to feast on the nutritious Bread of Life this week. You will be satisfied.