I’m Not Hungry, But I Want to Be
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus Christ throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
I just ate a sub sandwich, whole-wheat chips and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. If you tried to tempt me with something delicious at this moment, no matter how good it smelled, I’d probably turn you down because I’m full.
That’s how it works in the physical realm, right? The more you eat, the fuller you become and the less you want.
Spiritual hunger is the exact opposite. The more you eat, the hungrier you become and the more you want.
A couple of years ago, I found myself in a spiritually dry season.
I sat with my Bible but the words didn’t leap from the page like they once did. I prayed and a hundred other things rolled through my brain. Remember to pick up toilet paper at the grocery store. Did I pay the water bill?
That lack of hunger made me feel a little lost. The temptation was to skip it, or breeze through it and call it a day.
Except this one truth from Ephesians 3:20-21 kept coming to mind: We serve a God who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us.
God longs to work within us.
I can’t tell you why I wasn’t hungry for His Word or for prayer during that time, but I can tell you that it’s not the only time. Whether it was busyness or an attack of the enemy or just a hard place in my faith, I’ve learned that when this happens, it’s time to go "eat" some spiritual food.
Whether I feel hungry or not.
Stormie Omartian, whose books on prayer have reached millions, once battled anxious thoughts. A friend recommended she have a quiet time with God to soothe those thoughts. She read a chapter from the Bible in Psalms and Proverbs each morning, and then again at night. Within weeks she looked forward to her time of reflection and after several months she says, "Gradually it became God’s voice in my ear."
The spiritual hunger principle had kicked in — the more you eat, the hungrier you become.
If you’ve longed to connect with God and your lack of hunger has made you feel guilty or perhaps disconnected, please know that you are not alone.
Don’t wait until you feel hungry to pray or open the Bible. God has work He desires to do within you. Thank goodness, it’s not a task. Nor is it a test that you fail.
It’s an invitation from the God of the Universe, who adores you and desires to spend time with you.
Consider it time with a really close friend. Stop by every day. Don’t worry about the clock. If it’s a few minutes, it’s a sacred few minutes. If those few minutes turn into something deeper, that’s beautiful too.
Turn off distractions. If the grocery list pops into your brain, scrawl it down in your open journal and then keep feasting on your time with God.
That dry season I encountered? It wasn’t forever.
My lack of hunger slowly abated until I looked forward to my time with God every day. If it happens again — and it will — then I’ll take one bite, and then another. I’ll fill myself up with words from the One who can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine.
Heavenly Father, I’m not hungry, but I’m not going to allow my lack of hunger to keep me from Your presence. Thank You for meeting me where I am and for renewing my spirit and filling me up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 2:27, "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him." (NIV)
Psalm 81:10, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." (ESV)
Could your prayer life use a little extra nourishment? You might appreciate Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado.
Our summer Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study is covering Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Contrast spiritual hunger with physical hunger. Have you been treating them the same?
Consider ways you might start feeding your spirit. What does that look like for you?
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