Do you ever ask yourself this question, “how hungry am I for God?” How do we measure our hunger? A few days ago, the Lord spoke to my heart and said “thousands will flock to hear a man speak, but few will come to hear me speak to them. “. I knew immediately, He was speaking of a time of prayer. He continued on and again said “Prayer is the indicator of our hunger.” When we are hungry for God we will pursue Him in prayer.
The Scriptures tell us in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first His kingdom or His ways of being righteous. But for some reason this seems so difficult for us. We spend so much time seeking after things that have disguised themselves as the true longing of our souls and we do not recognize that these things are not the innate longing that God placed within us when we were created, i.e., the longing for Him alone. For Christians, it is often difficult to recognize that we are pursuing the wrong thing because the things we often pursue are not evil things, but actually the very blessings God has given to us. So instead of being overcome with blessing because we have diligently pursued God (Deut 28), we become the pursuer of the blessing and God is removed from the throne of our heart as first priority. So we find ourselves always searching for that thing, that moment, that experience and we are never fully satisfied because God is the only One who can satisfy our hunger.
Why don’t we hunger more for God? There are parallels in our natural life that give us some answers and there are many reasons why we may have lost our hunger. Here are just three of the potential hunger thieves:
First, we are feeding ourselves on junk food. Junk food is food that is empty in true nutrition, but provides a quick curbing of our appetite. Junk food is fast, attractively packaged, and easy to find. It’s on every corner in most cities and the children especially love to visit the places that provide junk food because there is usually a “toy” in every package that is designed just for them and the fact that the food is not healthy is not as important as the child getting the “toy” in their “kid’s pack”. Also, with junk food, you can “have it your way” and we become Burger King Christians who demand it our way or complain if we don’t get it. And if we don’t, we move around to find another place that will make it the way we want it. Junk Food Christianity is simply any diet of ministry that is outside of the truth of God’s Word. It’s the watered down message that is provided so as not to offend. Unfortunately the gospel will offend and thank God it does. It will offend us out of hell, poverty, sickness, bondage and misery. Junk food Christianity is the busy activities that are packaged in a way to attract but really do nothing to promote health and growth. Junk food Christianity is the powerless gospel that entertains and never changes lives and is more concerned about appearance than substance.
Secondly, distractions in life cause us to lose our hunger for God. Distraction is the divided attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction and is caused by the inability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; and the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention. Distractions come from both external sources, and internal sources. (wikipedia) In Luke 10 Jesus told Martha she was very distracted with many things, but Mary who was resting at the feet of Jesus, had found the best thing and it would not be taken from her. Distractions are the cares and anxieties of life that choke the life out of us (Mark 4:19) and we find ourselves running around busy, like Martha, and not taking the time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Instead of giving Him first place in our life, we give Him what is left over, if anything.
Thirdly, a cause of lack of hunger is complacency, or just being satisfied with the way things are. A.W. Tozer said: “Religious complacency is encountered almost everywhere among Christians these days. Among the many who profess the Christian faith, scarcely one in a thousand reveals any passionate thirst for God.” Complacency will deceive us into thinking that all is well when actually we are lost in our very hearts. Five of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 found themselves without oil and not ready to meet the bridegroom. In Matthew 7, there were many who were deceived in thinking they were pleasing God because of the great works they were doing in Jesus name, yet they were not doing the will of God. And Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 that the very elect would be deceived. All because of complacency and thinking all was well when in essence they had fallen asleep and did not have hunger enough for God to hear His voice and follow His will and way. God will always whisper before He roars and if we are complacent in our attitude toward Him, we will not hear the whisper and have to experience the roar as our lives become devastated because we missed all the signals that could have precluded disaster or destruction in many areas.
So what is your hunger level? How passionate are you in your pursuit of God? An indicator is your prayer life? How much time do you spend with Him and not in just giving Him your grocery list of “do this for me” but of actually spending time with Him, loving Him, adoring Him, honoring Him?
If you admit that you are not hungry, then find someone who is and get a whiff of the aroma of hunger for God and see how it affects you. Begin to eliminate distractions in your life that interfere with time with Him. Begin to eliminate junk food from your diet and get into the real meat of the Word of God and not just those quickie fast food meal packages that only satisfy temporarily and put on the fat. And finally, pray for a renewed first love. God will answer you because He is full of mercy and grace and wants to have relationship with you and He desires to “sup with you” on a daily basis. Let’s get hungry for Him!