Hunger is the signal telling us we are running out of essential fuel! In the natural, it starts when our stomach is empty but quickly messages the brain to activation. I may be able to ignore my stomach, but it is much more difficult to ignore my thoughts. Do I as acutely sense spiritual hunger? How do I respond when I’m hungry?
Hunger is the feeling of weakness or discomfort caused by lack of food. It triggers the desire to eat or crave food. Am I hungry for more of God? Do I choose to satisfy my spiritual desire through Him or other sources.
At times after finishing a pleasant meal and feeling fully satisfied, if I catch a glimpse of some sweet delicacy I impulsively want more. How about you?
This is normal! God made us to always be on the lookout for more; He has designed us to never be empty.
The Hungry are Fed
Heidi Baker, missionary to Mozambique, often affirms “The hungry are always fed.” The hungry, in desperation, push to the front of the line. They will not be refused!
“The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him –
may your hearts live forever.”
God has allowed us to recognize natural hunger through the discomfort of painful hunger pangs. If we ignore our bodies long enough hunger actually subsides. The same is true spiritually. He has also built within us an awareness of spiritual longing and hunger.
Hunger ignored has a price tag; vital organs can be irreparably damaged. We cannot safely ignore spiritual hunger either.
The Spirit within us is constantly inviting us to enter the Lord’s Presence and feast in His abundant provision. There are no shortcuts to resting, waiting, worshiping, or meditating on the Bible. Junk food goes beyond chips, coke, or a bit of chocolate. Time can never be regained! How we spend our minutes forms life patterns shaping our identity.
The unceasing demands of our physical bodies and fleeting attractions can be the greatest hindrance to wholesome feeding of the Spirit.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit,
and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.
They are in conflict with each other…”
We will either reach for what is good and truly satisfies, or what temporarily tastes and feels good. Daily we choose!
Jesus The Example
Let’s contemplate this verse.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…”
There can be unrealistic expectation that faith will be a pleasant journey of “always full”. Not so! The Spirit purposefully led Jesus to a wilderness of prolonged hunger. In the place of hunger, what Adam lost in the fall Jesus began to reclaim.
After forty days of hunger the Tempter comes! His timing is usually the same for us as well. When hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, halt! This is a place of vulnerability.
Jesus, the Living Word, stood His ground against every assault of the evil one.
“Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Bread will never satisfy our deepest hunger! Neither will lust, money, power or position! Our relentless deepest hunger is satisfied in God alone.
“The key to Christian living
is a thirst and hunger for God.”
When we go to God for every need to be met, we too will experience supernatural provision. One of the names for God is Jehovah Jireh. It means “the LORD will provide”, or “the LORD our Provider.” Provider is who He is!
In the Lord alone is provision for all we need! Our hunger is meant to draw us to The One who provides.
In Christ Alone
In the Beatitudes, Jesus states,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.”
Jesus gives us a life-giving promise. Not only is He the Lord our Provider, He is the Lord our Righteousness! Ultimate filling is complete in Him.
Our personal wilderness journeys are ultimately meant to accentuate our hunger. The hot dusty road heightens and stresses our hunger and thirst for more of Him. It is a good thing!
Without hunger pangs, we would not survive. Are you hungry?
I hear it all around me! I see it among the young and the old! People of every nationality, demographic and generation, crying, “More, Jesus! More of You!” The hunger is increasing, and it is good.
People are turning their hearts and eyes from temporary satisfaction to ultimate fulfillment. It is beautiful! Prayer rooms are filling up!
“I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
God journeys with us in the wilderness, bringing us through to the other side. He invites us to “open wide our mouths”. Don’t expect a crumb from our generous God! Open wide your mouth! May faith arise in each of us for more. God is anxious to satisfy our hunger; “I will fill it!”
There is no need to look elsewhere. “I will fill it!”
The Sound of Hunger
The birds outside my window rouse me at three in the morning. Long before the sun breaks the darkness of night, pangs of hunger stir little nests with cries for more. One hungry little chick has an ability to awaken an entire nest. The feathered chatter shifts from nest to nest until the whole community is alive with the sound of awakening.
Let us take a lesson from these little feathered ones, we can never be too greedy for more of God; “open wide (your) mouth”.