We love food and drink. We love to prepare them, smell them, eat them, and talk about them. We love to have good conversation around them, tie memories to them, and self medicate by consuming them. We have deep hungers and thirsts that are momentarily quenched by them. Wouldn’t be nice to never feel hungry again? To never experience the parched feeling after some time has passed between drinks. Maybe these natural occurrences serve as a spiritual reminder that we have a deeper hunger and thirst to be filled. What does Jesus say about our spiritual hungers and our thirsts? Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35
Jesus used this metaphor on a number of occasions. The time that incapsulates the theme of His teachings is when He sat down with his disciples at the last supper and expressed to them that He is their food and drink. In other words, He is their nourishment. So lets tie this truth into Matthew 5:6 as Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Jesus is beginning to teach His followers that their hungers and thirsts will only be satisfied in and through Himself.
If you are anything like me, I get hungry a lot. I get thirsty even more. No matter how much I consume, or how bad my stomach fills after I overfill it I always seem to find myself back at square one, hungry and thirsty. So I start eating and drinking, keep eating and drinking, and never stop eating and drinking. It’s the only way to survive.
Our spiritual appetite is very similar.
WE START EATING AND DRINKING
When we become Christians we are born with a hunger and thirst to know God. Just like our physical life, if we spiritually starve ourselves we’ll die. We are filled by consuming prayer, reading scriptures, joining in biblical community, sharing our God journey, and learning how to be a representative of Jesus in all we do. Starving Jesus doesn’t cause natural hunger pains or deep thirst, rather it manifests itself through character that contrasts the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control) causing mental, emotional, and (if unaddressed) physical pain.
WE KEEP EATING AND DRINKING
As we grow in knowledge and understanding our appetites change. We begin to long for deeper truths and more dependance on God to lead our lives. Christians need to allow their appetite for knowing Jesus to grow. This is a natural progression as we begin to satisfy our hungers and quench our thirsts, but the propensity to feed our natural cravings and thirsts is always their. Mentally deciding to starve self is essential to being spiritually filled.
WE NEVER STOP EATING AND DRINKING
It’s been said that when we stop learning we die. This principle is true of our spiritual growth. If we stop seeking God we begin to seek whatever is right in our own eyes. This suppresses the Spirit’s ability to lead, guide, and direct our lives. Christlikeness is a race with no breaks, a road trip that never ends, a conversation that doesn’t stop, and a life long feast that always satisfies. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. Find your satisfaction, appetite, and cravings in the Lord and he will faithfully fill them each new day.
THINK IT THROUGH
In what way are you starving Jesus?
What can you do to quench your spiritual appetite?