Friday, July 15, 2011

Physical vs Spiritual Hunger

Hunger.  You hear about it all the time.  There are millions of people around the world who don't eat on a daily basis.  There are numerous organizations out there whose sole mission is to help stamp out hunger.  This is great and the efforts of many to feed those in need of physical nourishment should be rewarded.  However, the same effort that we see to feed the physical body, should be multiplied in order to stimulate and feed spiritual hunger.

According to, hunger is defined as "[a] strong desire or need for food; [t]he discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food." or "[a] strong desire or craving".  I think this captures the meaning of hunger both spiritually and physically, but going further is where the two diverge. Your body is designed so that when it needs energy, nutrients, and/or fluids your body sends signals which alert you to eat or drink something.  The longer you go without nurishment, the weaker the body becomes.  However, once you find food, you consume it until you are no longer hungry and the body becomes satisfied until the next hunger episode hits.  In this case, you are continuously driven to consume by your body's needs.

When we look at spiritual hunger, something different occurs.  The longer you go without spiritual nourishment, the less hungry you become.  It is the moment that we start to read and learn more about Jesus, the more our appetite for a walk with Him grows.  It is like watching a child grow.  For example, yesterday, I went into an auto parts store and my son was overwhelmed with all the stuff in there.  He asked, "Daddy, what's this?".  I answered him and then he would ask another question based on my answer.  Then he would move to another item and ask what that was.  His hunger for knowledge of his surroundings grew as I fed him the answers to his questions.  This is how your walk with Christ should be.  As you grow, you should want to know more about "him that is able to keep you from falling" (see Jude 1:24).  In this case, your hunger is stimulated by the more "spiritual food" you eat instead of a long drought of spiritual consumption.

You see, the moment we become content with all that we know about Jesus and the Word of God, is the moment we start to lose hunger.  We start to lose that aching and nagging feeling to consume all that God has for us to know (which is endless).  As for many who read the Bible, they have different meanings revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, even if it is the same passages.  In that vain, the Bible never grows old or irrelevant which means you can never stop learning and receiving revelations.  

As a normal person in the world, you never know it all and we continue learning until we leave this earth.  Don't fall into the trap of believing you have gotten all that you can get from your walk with Christ.  Always seek more knowledge in Him, and never allow your spiritual hunger to be yanked from your life.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  -- Matthew 5:6

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