Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Is Spiritual Hunger Consuming You?

Do you have emptiness like hunger, but nothing satisfies?

Do you have a supreme longing that is coming from the very core of your heart?

"O taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that trusts in Him." Psalm 34:8

Most of us think of food in connection with hunger, and rightly so. Have you ever been so hungry that you could think of nothing else but eating? Each of us has been famished for food at sometime or other in our life, but the food we ate did not satisfy all our hunger. There is another hunger that rages within us, called Spiritual Hunger. It can feel different to different people. But, here are some of the common feelings; a deep sense of emptiness; feeling like there is no meaning or significance to life, feeling lost or like something is missing, being on edge, a gnawing feeling, or a very deep sobbing, a longing from the very center of your soul.

Hunger is the greatest motivating force that we could ever have. When people get hungry watch out, cause something is about to happen. Hunger is a gift, it is something that God does inside of us to create tension, and increase our level of faith. He will use our faith to pull from Him, until it becomes a reality in and around you. Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him! God wants to be with us. He has put a mysterious, unfathomable longing in the very core of our being when He made each one of us.

If Spiritual hunger is the most important to each of us, why then do we seemingly have no appetite for the presence of God?

Have you ever thought why we are Spiritually Hungry? Simply put the answer is malnourishment. We stuff ourselves with Spiritual substitutes, things that look satisfying, but turn sour within. Most of the time we feel this Spiritual Hunger, but are unaware of what it really is. There is pain and discomfort, so we look to soothe the pain. We often look to other things to feel the void, that pain, from, from drugs, alcohol, destructive habits, obsessive compulsions, eating disorders, sex, pornography, excessive T.V. watching, and the list goes on.

Many times we also use positive things, filling our lives with busyness, people, family, friends, spouse, sports or any kind of shopping, reading, work, the list is endless. Not that all these things are bad, but could we be using these things to fill Spiritual Hunger? I would encourage you to think about where you tend to turn when you sense those feelings? What are those areas of escape in your life? Are you one of the ones who have been wounded and have simply lost the ability to feel at all, masking everything with numbness and denial? Is there a desire for more and more material possessions?

It is no wonder that a lot of us sometimes feel a little bit lost among all the busyness we create for ourselves. Yet we find ourselves searching for something to bring us some peace, joy or just something we can look forward too. Instead we look at secular things to fill that void, when we should be looking to God reading the Bible, spending time searching out His Word, His ways. Letting Him give us that inner peace and joy that can come from Him.

Hunger is a wonderful thing, it is a built in alarm for when it is time to eat. When we hunger, we actually are enjoying our food. Most of us only think about food at mealtime. Hunger can be filled with a good diet. Food diets aim at healthier physical bodies. Our water comes from a faucet, we buy breads already baked. Much of the food we purchase is heat and serve. Many families sit and eat in front of the T.V.; food is a simple means to satisfy an appetite.

About fifty yrs. ago, things were different; a meal was more than eating. It was a coming together of family, and acknowledgment of God, a time to exchange news and make plans.

Attitudes towards Spiritual food has changed as well. In Bible times the word bread would bring thoughts of grinding, kneading, baking, harvest...of life itself. Spiritual Food involved preparations and was the outworking of a person's life. It was an invitation for God to take His rightful place. Spiritual diets look to fill a person from within with peace, joy and love. Spiritual hunger arises from our need to have answers to our deepest questions, and to be in a relationship with the Divine One. Like food diets, spiritual quick fixes fail to deliver.

Back of the loaf, the snowy flour.
Back of the flour, the mill.
Back of the mill, the grain and the shower, the sun, and the Father's will
.
- Old Spiritual-

This gently reminds us that God is the source of all we need. He is the One whom sustains and nourishes us, both physically and spiritually.

Today we go to church to receive Spiritual food; we sit in rows of chairs, as if at a meal, and expect the Pastor to have prepared a feast for us. Some think our Spiritual Food should be prepackaged, so we can take it on the run with minimal interruption in our life. Spiritual Food cannot be cheaply made in heated containers or drive through windows. There is Only One source for this kind of Spiritual nourishment and Only One way to receive it. Spiritual nourishment comes from the hand of God. We must learn to discipline ourselves to eat of the Word of God. Too truly live we must learn to discover that Only God can satisfy our deepest hunger.

The Bible teaches us to desire God and to have joy in God, or delight in God. It illustrates both. Godly people are seen longing, hungering, thirsting and fainting for God. They are also seen enjoying and delighting in and being satisfied in God.”
-John Piper-

This is a powerful paradox. A wonderful mystery. Being found, yet waiting. Being complete yet desiring greater depths. It is a mystery that man would rather sweep under the carpet, but for mystics it is the world they live in. French mystic Jean Guyon said that she tasted the sweet and powerful wine of the heavens, which consumed her with a desire for more. (God will truly know if she was saved.) This is a desire for more. There is a desire that satisfies but also makes you thirst.

John G Lake is another who saw the extraordinary power of God move in his generation. He was hungry! John G lake cried out for nine months for miracle working power, all the while seeing miracles, but that wasn’t enough, he wanted more. One day he was struck with what he called the lightings of God, after which the raw power of God went through him. The world felt an impact, and God left His mark in history through a man who was spiritually hungry.

God’s purpose comes to pass when your heart and mind get the real God-cry, and the real God-prayer comes into your Spirit and the real God-yearning gets a hold of our nature. Something is going to happen.” -John G lake-

Once we have encountered the love of the Father, up close and personal we become addicted, for we can’t get enough of Him!

Is hunger a blessing? Yes! For hunger will cause us to turn to the nourishment that is needed in order to bring life to our souls. God, Our Creator, made every person with a need within our souls that Only He can fill. Our Spiritual food is life itself. Feeding Spiritually only on what is heard from the pulpit is not nourishment enough. We should never assume that others are to fill our Spiritual needs. We must have food for Spiritual growth as well as food for maintenance.

Do you sit at the Father’s banqueting table only to push away the plate to digest the food of this world?

Sugar and cookies are good for immediate energy. Reading and quoting scripture and promises from the Bible may help for the moment, but for steady growth we need to discipline ourselves to read daily. It is by meditating on these deeper realities, through that God given faith that we begin to absorb the meat from Bible Study.

"Many things good for us You do, Heavenly Father we Thank You."
- An Old English Grace -

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life, he that comes to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes on Me shall never thirst." John 6:35

Scripture call us to action; too change the priorities in our lives. We should never assume that the loss of Spiritual appetite happens only to other people. Starvation of the Spirit is less obvious on the outside because the Spirit starves much more slowly. It is a slow fade, when you give your life away. There are times when our own Spiritual Life maybe at a low and the Bible seems lifeless and dull. Loss of appetite is a gradual thing.

This does not mean that it is time to stop, but time for discipline, daily reading, meditating, prayer, and fellowship in God's house will get us through. We must learn to push ourselves, instead of letting what is really important be put on the back burner. The Lord knew where we would go for nourishment. He wasn’t saying we would only need to eat once. The promise is that Christ would never fail to have a fresh supply for the one who would come to Him for sustenance/or nourishment.

If you don't quit, one day God's Word will become strong, and you will realize that you have broken through.

The Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord.
Who giveth me,
The things I need.
The sun and the rain,
and the apple seed...
The Lord is good to me
.

God wants to feed our souls, to satisfy the cravings of our heart, to give us peace, confidence, understanding and security. God humbles us to drive out the pride of self sufficiency away from us. when things go well, it is easy to forget God, and lean on natural abilities, or learned skills. But, when the body is not fed, it begins to weaken noticeably, and it soon begins to feel the pain. The Spirit seems to weaken and die so slowly that it is as noticeable. As we Spiritually deteriorate, we may even feel blessed, so He will discipline with pain to warn us, that
all is not well, as our excessive pride is leading the way. By means of trials, God seeks to help us see that our need and dependence is on Him and Him alone.

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds to men, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:4

We eat food in the naturally every day, our need for food Spiritually is daily also.

Let it be to your care to get the approval of God as a workman who has no cause for shame, giving the True Word in the right way.” 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

Do we feed our Spirits daily? If not, then what are we eating, and whom do we look or go to for our daily bread?

I believe God is stirring up hunger even in our supreme happiness and satisfaction in Jesus. His work on the cross is finished, but our work here is only just begun. He wants to work through us, to prepare us for the work that He has for us to do. J He is feeding the Hunger. He is calling us into new dimensions of experience and encounter with Him. The Lord will be even more personal and intimate with His people. Believers will be continually in awe each day the great things that they shall see.

When we strive for more knowledge of Christ’s way of life and desire to have His way working in and through us we are exhibiting spiritual Hunger. When we are really hungry or thirsty, we are desperate to eat or drink, and nothing else matters. We can think of nothing else. We as Christians need to be that desperate to drink in God’s Word and obey God like nothing else matters! Where does the urging of His Spirit fall within the list of your priorities?

Lead me in Thy truth and teach Me, for Thou art the God of My salvation; For Thee I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5

Make your way clear to me, O Lord; I will go on my way in your faith: let my heart be glad in the fear of your name. I will give you praise, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will give glory to Your name forever.” Psalm 86:10-11