This is the second part of a blog (Hunger) that I wrote several years ago. I had the bulk of this written back in May 2016 but never finished or posted. So let’s dive back in!
This is very timely in light of the Lenten season. People all across the globe are fasting and seeking for more of God.
I actually scrapped most of my previous draft on this subject. I over complicated things (as I tend to do). So let’s see if I can simply my complex thoughts!
We hunger for things that we have a taste for.
I hunger after pasta, chocolate, coffee, new cultures, intimate community, authentic relationships, the deeper things of God. I can actually have an appetite for these things because I’ve tasted them before.
At some point I was exposed to them. I was offered the experience. I took a risk, stepped outside of my comfort zone. I gave up something in exchange. I made room for them in my life and engaged in the experience.
We’re not always physically hungry, and we don’t always feel spiritually hungry. So how can we cultivate spiritual hunger in our lives?
I think first we have to look at what is already filling us.
Are we fat on earthly things? Is there realistically any space for us to crave and hunger after the deeper things of the Spirit?
Netflix numbs and provides an escape from reality.
Social media can distracts us and fill our thoughts with lies, nonsense, comparison, despair, jealousy and the idea that our lives are not as Instagram worthy as everyone else’s.
I’ve found that the more I back away from filling my time with these things, the more space I create for God to move. The less obese and unfulfilled I feel and the more stirred I am for the things that actually matter.
We must cultivate space in our lives in order for a hunger to grow.
Get a taste.
I believe that we can only love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We have the option to respond to His initiation. Once we respond and accept His love and give our love to Him in return we can then experience what it is to have communion with Him, to actually sit at the table with our Father and taste the things of heaven.
Get alone with God. Meditate on the Word. Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Give generously of your time and money. Cut out what’s slowing you down and fill your time with the eternal.
Take a step back from the rat race. Cut out unhealthy relationships. Stop making excuses for yourself.
Do what is right, not just what’s easy.
Elevate God’s truth to be higher than your circumstances.
Friend, you WILL see the Lord. You WILL be stirred.
We need to detox and retrain our appetites.
As we continue to encounter God, as we continue to know Him and deepen our relationship with Him our perspectives and priorities will surely change. Our motivations will be altered. When we encounter the supernatural the natural will no longer hold sway over us as it once did.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
You see, the ways of God’s Kingdom, the ways of heaven, are pretty much nothing like our ways. We must shift our gaze heavenward and stop bowing down to cultural expectations.
We’re constipated, jaded, complacent and lukewarm. Not because God has failed us, but because we naturally shy away from pain, rejection and the unknown. We’re nominal and passive. We must take an active role in our faith life.
We’re not victims. We’re more than conquerors in Christ!
So let’s start actually doing what Jesus did.
Just look at His life.
He was a radical of His day. He refused to submit to the expectations of culture and lived up to a higher standard.
He knew His Father. He knew His purpose. His gaze was fixed. His eye was single. He knew truth. He had His priorities in order. He knew how to submit to authority as well as the authority that He carried.
So friend, create space for Jesus to move in your life. Cut out those things slowing and weighing you down. Realign yourself with truth. Return to your first Love. Step out in faith. Get a taste of the supernatural!
I know one thing. He will not disappoint.
“For the Scriptures encourage us with these words: ‘Everyone who believes in Him will never be disappointed.'” Romans 10:11
Make space for Him this Lenten season.
It’ll be worth it.