One of the biggest deterrents to hunger is satisfaction. When we feel satisfied, we no longer feel the need to eat. It is when we are unsatisfied that we keep eating. Of course, there is a spiritual application to this.
You see, the world and its pleasures are like candy. We can eat a log of candy and feel “satisfied,” for we become so full of sugary substances that we don’t want to eat anything else. We feel full, and we may think we’re satisfied, yet we have eaten nothing of substance—nothing of lasting value. After all, you know what your parents used to tell you: “Don’t eat that candy before your meal. You’ll spoil your dinner!”
In the same way, the more we eat of the candy this world has to offer, the more it steals our appetites from the things of God. The candy of this world gives us the false feeling of satisfaction, when all that it really leaves us with is nutrition deficiency and a stomachache. We misinterpret this stomachache as meaning that we ate too much; however, that is only partially true.
The reality is that we ate too much of the wrong thing, but not nearly enough of the right thing. Sometimes, we are so sick to our stomach with the things of the world, that we can’t imagine being hungry for anything. It is at those times that we must actually purge ourselves of the worldly foods we’ve been eating, for those foods have become like poison to us. Much like our bodies respond to food poisoning by purging everything out, so we must purge ourselves of the things of the world. The process is not pleasant, but afterwards, we will find ourselves healthy and hungry once again, filled with a desire for real food: the Word, presence, and power of God.
So how do we purge ourselves? We can start by simply asking God to increase our hunger for Him. I believe He loves to respond to that prayer, but we need to be ready for the process He might lead us through. The spiritual purging process requires a death to self—it requires us bowing ourselves to the Lord’s will and becoming willing to do whatever it takes to get our hunger back. The Scriptures put it this way: “I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10). Also, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6).
So the question remains: Will you do it? Will I do it? Will we do whatever it takes to grow in our hunger for God? Or will we stay contented to live on the food of the world, which gives the appearance of satisfaction but carries no substance? The choice is ours. I don’ t know about you, but I’m asking God to increase my hunger for Him, no matter what the cost may be. Let’s get hungry again.