How Is Your Spiritual Hunger?
Blessed Are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Our hunger defines us. Hunger motivates. What we desire shows us what we really are within. Spiritually, hunger is the indicator of our spirituality. Physically, hunger is one of the signs of health and prolonged lack of hunger is an indicator of illness.
If we lack spiritual hunger, something has gone wrong! When my children were young, they sometimes came to the dinner table with no appetite. I learned to go check their rooms, and I would find candy wrappers in the trash! They were filled with the wrong food for health!
Too much occupation in leisure time with entertainment at the expense of spending time with the Lord can quench spiritual appetite and leave a believer unfulfilled and vulnerable to Satan’s assaults. The candy of the world must be guarded against or we may lose our zeal and passion for God.
Life has become so compacted with things to occupy us in so many ways that we must make God our first priority if we’re to survive spiritually! In the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke of the cares of this life entering in and choking the word in us, making it ineffective. To maintain our spiritual lives, we must stay hungry spiritually. That means we must have a desire for spiritual things that is so strong within us that it moves us to make time for Jesus throughout our day.
Desire follows attention. I must devote time and attention to whatever I want to create a hunger for in my life. That means I must find a way to make sure my spiritual life is nurtured. A regular devotional time at the beginning of your day will start this process.
Maybe you seem to have no hunger or desire for God right now and you know you need to change. Let me offer the following suggestions. If you’ve been involved in sin of some kind, confess it to the Father in repentance. Sin quenches spiritual desire. Sin hardens the heart. Tell the Father what you’ve been doing, and make a consecration with His help to cease! If you’re sincere, the Spirit of God will enable you. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 - NKJV).
Then, ask the Father to create in you a hunger for Him and for the Word and for spiritual things in general. Ask Him to deal with anything that is encroaching on Him in your life, and make a change.
Finally, set your clock back early enough to spend some time, 10 to 15 minutes reading the Word when you first get up. And then spend a few minutes in real prayer, pouring your heart out to the Father to begin your day. Talk to Him about the specific things that bother you. Worship Him for His love and goodness to you. Three to four weeks of this will start a new habit of putting spiritual things first in your day!
Your hunger for Jesus will return when you turn away from personal sin, when you start to spend time with Him, and begin to keep in your thoughts throughout the day.
I’ll end with these quotes from Smith Wigglesworth:
Spiritual hunger is when nothing satisfies us as much as being near to God.
I’d rather have a man on my platform who is not Spirit-filled but hungry, than a person who is Spirit-filled and satisfied!
Worldliness is that which cools my affection towards God.
I’m only satisfied with the dissatisfaction that must be satisfied over and over again.