From a very young age, God gently cupped my face with His hands and turned my gaze toward heaven. Undone by the love He showed me, I have lived my life since then with arms thrown back in imperfect but wholehearted surrender. Knowing Him from a young age has been the best gifts I have every been given.
One of the most formative things I learned during those early years was the power of spiritual hunger. The trajectory for my life was formed by such hunger and resulted in more fullness than I know how to express.
When I speak of spiritual desire, I don’t mean being shamed into a bunch of religious SHOULDS: I should have my quiet time, I should go to church, I should read my Bible, or I should share my faith. Believe me- I have been there, done that, and definitely don’t want any more of that. I am talking about having an undeniable hunger for more of God.
A DESIRE for God that releases heaven’s fullness to overflow into your life.
The best memories of my youth are the countless hours I spent with God. Most afternoons after my sports practices I drove a few blocks from school and parked my worn out, beat up and much loved 4-Runner in this exact spot at the local town dock. This is where I met with God almost everyday during high school.
I was hungry and He filled me. Day after day after day. This is my testimony with God. My life has been marked by Him showing Himself to me, teaching me, and winning my heart over and over again with His unfailing love.
Spiritual hunger led me into the deep places of His heart, and He is drawing me deeper still. God LOVES to meet the hungry with abundance that in turn produces an even deeper hunger.
God honors and blesses spiritual hunger.
In an effort to encourage you, below I humbly offer three keys to understanding spiritual hunger:
1. Hunger is a gift. I regularly thank God for the gift of hunger in my life. Spiritual hunger is not something that you can make up or take credit for. It is a gift not of ourselves, but of God, as He draws us near to Himself. It all starts with Him. (John 6:44) The good news is that if you are even interested in reading this post, He is drawing you! He is looking for hearts that are open in order to stir up a hunger that will lead them to satisfaction of the soul.
When we sense a burning sensation in our hearts, a tugging to get away and be with Him, to know Him more, to read the Bible, to ask questions about Him, to just be near people who know Him… it is not a random emotion or a passing phase. It is the drawing of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:32)
2. Hunger must be acted upon or it will fade. An identifiable desire for God is the work of the Holy Spirit drawing you closer to heaven’s banqueting table, to deeper relationship with God. (Song of Sol. 2:4) It’s an invitation to feast on the things that truly satisfy the heart. (Isaiah 55:2) He’s stirring a hunger and awareness of your need so that you will come to Him to be filled. We must, however, RSVP to that invitation. If there is no action on our part in response to that hunger, it usually fades. It’s a pretty simple spiritual law: If you feed the hunger, it will grow. If you ignore the hunger, it will fade. This leads to the next point…
3. Hunger begets hunger. As a mom of three youngins’, I am told by the experts that sleep begets sleep for the little ones. The more sleep they get, the more sleep they will continue to have. The same is true with spiritual hunger. The more you get, the more you will continue to have. The more you taste, the more you want. (Psalm 34:8) It’s a cycle of spiritual life and growth.
The opposite is true as well. The less spiritually hungry we are, the less we will desire of God, the less we will be filled. That is a cycle, not of spiritual growth, but of spiritual apathy.
God loves to stir within us a desire that takes us past a faint awareness of Him, and into a life-style of walking with Him as our source of fulfillment.
This is my prayer for you, that your hunger for HIM would abound. That your awareness of Him would increase. That your heart would be consumed with spiritual hunger. That you would seize the moment, come to Him and be filled. Again and again and again.
Come back tomorrow for practical ways to ACTIVATE spiritual hunger in your daily life.
“Blessed are those who HUNGER and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Please consider adding to this conversation with your comment…
What are ways/places that you experience closeness with God?
We are all on this journey towards more fullness in Him and we benefit from hearing other’s experiences in God. It’d truly be my privilege to hear some of yours!!