Hunger for God
I remember the first time I felt real hunger for God. I was sixteen. It was at summer camp. I stood on a rock after the evening service and gave my life to God. And I still couldn’t get enough of Him. I woke up the next day with a deep sense of urgency to get into His Word. The more I read the more I wanted to read. The more I saw the more I wanted to see.
I wanted my life to count for God. And I still do.
I know you’ve been there before. You’ve felt the tension between being fully satisfied by God and wanting more of Him. But as you honestly consider your life, you can’t truly say that that hunger has always remained quite as deep. You can’t honestly say that your thirst for God has kept the same fervency it once did.
But you want it back. You’ll do anything to have it back. You’re like a beggar, waiting for God, hungry for more.
If you find your heart resonating with these words, consider these principles to help renew your hunger for God.
1. Don’t fill yourself with lesser things. The greatest reason your hunger for God has waned is that you have filled yourself with less satisfying foods. John Piper says it this way: “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great.” Perhaps it may be time for you to change entire restaurants, or it may simply be time to make better choices. It’s not too late to start.
2. Learn to identify your hunger for God. Have you ever stood in front of the open fridge without knowing exactly what you were in the mood for? You know you’re hungry, but you can’t put your finger on what you’re hungry for. I believe hunger for God can be misinterpreted in the same way. You may feel lonely and think that a relationship will fill that hunger, when God is simply using that loneliness to draw you to Him. You may feel needy and think that what you need is a raise, while God may simply be trying to get you to lean on Him as your provider. When going through a difficult time or feeling down, ask yourself this question: Is God using this circumstance to draw me to Him?
3. Increase your hunger by increasing your capacity. When I was a kid, someone told me that the more you eat the more your stomach stretches and the more you are then able to eat. Well, you can increase your capacity to know God by stretching your spiritual stomach. Spend more time in the Word and in prayer. Don’t skip another week of church. By discipline increase your capacity for God, and you’ll see your hunger for God expand.
4. Expect to be filled. Have you ever been to the Old Country Buffet and left hungry? Um, no! No one comes expecting to leave hungry. It’s the same way with God. As you come to His table daily, expect to be filled. When you tell Him you’re hungry, He will fill you. He longs to fill your deepest longings. Psalms 107:9 says “for he satisfies the longing soul and the hungry he fills with good things.” Take Him up on it!
So how’s your spiritual appetite these days?