Have you ever found yourself thinking…“Man, I’m not actually hungry for God anymore…how do I get hungry?”
Mmmhmm…you and me both.
A while back I spoke on this concept at my church. To my surprise, many people humbly admitted to being in this season —which is a place I find myself in fairly often.
It’s far too easy to slip into the comfort of my 9 to 5 job, only to leave work with one goal in mind —seeking whatever pleasurable thing I’m desiring for that specific night. Whether it’s good restaurants, good hangs with good people, Netflix and Hulu, gym classes, or indulging in whatever I’m craving, all these things are beautiful and BLESSED by God; however, when “indulging in whatever I’m craving” becomes what dictates my behavior, I have officially entered into a danger zone of complacency and mediocrity.
And this my friends, IS NOT what we were created for.
God continually brings me back to this verse when Paul says, “their God is their appetite.”
For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. -Philippians 3:18-19
WELL HELLO THERE MODERN DAY SOCIETY ^^^^^apparently worshipping your cravings is not just a 21st century thing.
I’ve heard Bill Johnson say something a few times that continually hits me to my core. “You can always tell when children are sick because they’ve lost their appetite. It is not natural for humanity to live without a hunger.”
We were created with an intrinsic design by God to be hungry.
Hunger is a sign of health —it’s our natural state.
More-often-than-not we are hungering after something.
The question is, what are you hungering for? And what are you feeding off of?
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this…but I’ve increasingly become aware that Jesus talked about food…A LOT. (i.e. I am the bread of life, my food is to do the will of my father, man cannot live off bread alone but off of every word that God speaks, come to me all who are hungry and thirsty, etc..). I’ve always wondered why He would constantly use food as an analogy..that is until one day the Holy Spirit gave me this revelation.
Jesus spoke straight to the appetites of humanity. He had compassion on them because he knew their greatest desire was to be satisfied.
They know what it’s like to be physically hungry, and they know what it's like to be filled after a satisfying meal. They understand what its like to be so famished and willing to do just about anything to have that need met; they’ve also experienced the joy that comes after eating a luxurious (post-starvation) meal.
I believe the Lord intentionally created us with the need for food so we could understand our desperate need for Him and His presence. In the same way we need physical food here on earth, we need spiritual food —OR WE WILL DIE.
"He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” -Deuteronomy 8: 3
My interpretation of this verse….He humbled you and let you have needs that you could not fill on your own. He wanted to take you into a place of recognizing it’s not just the physical bread you are needing —what you’re really needing is Him.
Our hunger, in the natural, gives us a tangible representation of our desperate need for God.
When you read the the bible starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation…you see the constant battle between humanity worshipping their physical desires and substances over their need for God. I.e. Read the story of the Israelites…especially Exodus 16. I die laughing every time. These people and their stubborn selves CLEARLY could not get the fact that God was trying to teach them total dependence upon him. These tangible things that we so desperately seek here on earth are quickly fading and do not satisfy —but we forget ALL THE TIME.
Especially if we are not intentionally stewarding our hunger for God over the things of the earth…
STEWARD YOUR HUNGER
I don’t know if it's specifically with my personality type (yes I’m an 8/Challenger on the Enneagram) but I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to settle for a mediocre life.
We were made for more. We were made for a life that is WILD and would blow our minds if we knew all the dreams God has for us —it’s ours for the taking.
The question is, are you willing to go after it? DAILY?
If your answer is yes, than I’d encourage you to continue reading….
If I am not hungry I intentionally induce a hunger…it's a daily decision that I am going to crave the things of God MORE than I crave the things of the earth. I’ve compiled a list of things that make you hungry (spiritually speaking). This list is a combination of my own personal revelations, but also things I have found in scripture.
This is hands down one of the quickest ways to induce a hunger —physically and spiritually. On earth we make ourselves physically hungry in the natural, but Heaven recognizes this as an act of going towards spiritual hunger. This is us starving the things of the flesh until our appetite for the glory of God outweighs our appetite for a tangible substance (read Luke 4: 2-4). I highly doubt when Luke says “Jesus was hungry” after not eating for forty days that he was only referring to a physical hunger…just sayin’!
2. DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER
I’ll probably write an entire blog on this one. You can also go back and listen to the City Beautiful podcast when I told the story of Heidi Baker and the reality of praying for people with cancer. When you’re “doing the will of the father” and facing the impossible, you quickly recognize your desperate need for Him. The counterfeit version just won’t cut it!
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. --John 4: 31-34
3. FEAST OFF THE WORDS OF GOD
Man cannot live off bread alone, but off every word that God speaks!
Feast off his already written word, but also the words He has spoken —and continues to speak. Personally, I flip through old journals on a regular basis. I meditate upon His promises…and thank Him for all that He has already said and done. ESPECIALLY when I’m not hungry for Him. Thankfulness and remembering is critical when staying hungry for the more of God.
4. DO THE THINGS YOU DID AT FIRST
It’s just like a marriage! Sometimes you need to rekindle what once was and revisit monumental moments and times in your life when you fell in love in hopes it’ll grow into something greater.
You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. --Revelation 2: 4
Personally, I have a few places or things that I know specifically I can go back to and within moments reawaken my love. [It may or may not involve ridiculous dancing and blasting music in my room. Lots of laughing…that turns into crying, etc.]
5. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE PRESENCE OF HUNGRY PEOPLE
If you’re not hungry, go plant yourself in front of someone who is. Hunger spurs on hunger. And if no one is hungry in your life, I’d highly suggest finding out what God is doing in the world, listening to podcasts, and worshipping with people on Youtube. It's pretty hard to be around people who are hungry for God and not catch the fire.
Anyways, I love all you people.
GO GET HUNNGRYYYYY
And heres the link to the podcast when I spoke on Hunger =) https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/form-hunger/id553257807?i=1000378962018&mt=2