“Is anybody hungry?” I remember hearing those words when I was a child before the women in my family served a meal. It was a welcomed question, signaling that it was time to eat.
Humans and animals alike share the common experience of hunger. We may not all feel it to the same degree, but we recognize that our bodies need regular nourishment to survive and grow.
We, who are privileged to be well-fed, take for granted that we will have another meal soon. We may not experience true hunger that comes from severe deprivation, and yet we know the craving and gnawing from some specific nutritional need.
When I’ve eaten the wrong things that don’t meet the requirements of a balanced diet, I might crave protein or green vegetables. But then there are those times that I want something, but I don’t know what it is. I look through the pantry or refrigerator and don’t see anything that might satisfy this hankering. I try several foods, but nothing seems to relieve my craving. Junk food seems to beget more junk food. When I can avoid unhealthy foods and eat properly, the desire for non-nutritious things is not as strong.
We have spiritual conditions like this as well. The soul has its appetites that can be very demanding. If we don’t tend to what we read or watch or how we spend our time, the old nature is rewarded and reinforced.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (NIV 84)
As we grow in our walk with the Lord, we learn to deny ourselves the cravings of both body and soul. Instead, we begin to desire the things of God that bring a depth of satisfaction that nothing in the world can give. We feed on those things you would expect: prayer, Bible study, service to others, Christian fellowship, music, and worship. But they are not an end in themselves.
They are all good, but they should transform us by the power of the Holy Spirit and transport us into the presence of the Living God. This is the living water that Jesus spoke of in John chapters 4: 10-11 and 7:38. This is the living water that satisfies. This is heavenly food, our manna. These meals should empower us to live a righteous and sanctified life – still not perfect, but heading in the right direction in this journey.
Is anybody hungry? Come to the table that the Lord has prepared for his family.
Father, we have desired the wrong things. We have yielded to carnal appetites that cannot satisfy. Make us hungry for more of you. Feed us from your banqueting table so our enemies know we belong to you. Feed us so we acquire a taste for spiritual things. Strengthen us and satisfy us until our heart’s desire is only for you. In the Name of your Son Yeshua, the Messiah, Amen.