A long time ago, my friend, Leigh Kohler, said this: “In the physical realm, we eat to get full. But in the spiritual realm, we eat to get hungry.” Many times through the years, I’ve thought long and hard about those words.
Sometimes we mistake lack of spiritual appetite for lack of spiritual need. We stop reading our Bibles; we stop spending regular time with God’s people and in God’s Word; time for prayer is given over to to-do lists and activities. And before long, we aren’t even hungry for spiritual things.
When I get that way, I’m tempted to think my activities or to-do lists are more important and necessary for whatever season of life I am in than fostering hunger for God.
But it’s simply not true. It’s not that my kids’ sports, or cleared inbox, or volunteer duties, or even Biblestudies – good things with good people – are more important. It’s that I’ve become full on lesser things.
In Luke 10:41-42, Jesus told Martha this: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Friend, can I suggest something? Everything you can spend time on today, everything, can be taken away from you – however many emails you clear will be back tenfold in your inbox tomorrow. Whatever money you put in your bank account could be here today but gone tomorrow. Whatever time you put into exercise could be null and void in the blink of an eye with an unexpected accident or diagnosis. Whatever errands you run will multiply for the next week.
But can I suggest something else? Whatever time you spend investing in the Word of God will not ever grow null or void in your life. It will be the one thing that is needed to leave your heart full, content, eternally focused and prepared, no matter what your circumstances may be.
But we don’t just develop spiritual appetite overnight – the more we eat, the hungrier we grow. So if you have little to no desire to spend time eating God’s Word and fellowshipping with God through prayer, it’s not that it’s not important or that you don’t need it. It’s that you haven’t been developing a spiritual appetite by hungering for spiritual things.
So this week, here’s my challenge to you and to me: eat the Word of God. Spend focused time in prayer daily. Even if it’s just for five to ten minutes. And by the end of the week, let’s see if our appetite has grown for spiritual tings by eating the one thing that is needed: time at Jesus’ feet, listening to His voice through His Word and prayer.
If you need help getting started in developing spiritual hunger, consider using this devotional book and prayer guide for the month of February. It’s a meal that will leave you fully satisfied at you sit down, hungry, at the Table of the Lord.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.