“For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”
God never moves in an atmosphere of ambivalence. In other words, if you can take it or leave it, where the things of God are concerned, then you’ll most likely do without it. This is true whether one is talking about a church or the individual’s life. God is drawn to hunger.
Perhaps you’ve had the experience of sharing things that are precious to you with those who do not appreciate them. Whether it’s a confidence you shared or some precious truth you learned that changed your life, entrusting them to one who fails to see their value is frustrating at lease and dangerous at worst. Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matthew 7:6). God keeps His own counsel, and that is why He doesn’t entrust His precious things to just anyone.
The things we value are the things for which we hunger. We pursue things for which we have an appetite, thus hunger indicates our preferences, our priorities, and our values. If you’ve ever seen true hunger, as it is often demonstrated in third world countries where food is scarce, you know that hunger creates desperation. It is the same with spiritual hunger. We will do anything, and pay any price, for that for which we are truly hungry. Those who are hungry for God will easily forego the things of this world to save their appetite for the things that truly satisfy. The truly hungry disciple will spend time with God because He values His presence, or drive hour upon hour to be in the company and enjoy the fellowship of those who are likewise hungry for God and His Word. When one loses that hunger it is as much a sign of declining spiritual health as any natural loss of appetite is the first sign to the doctor that something is wrong with the body.
One reason many believers are not hungry for heavenly things is that they routinely fill their belly with the husks of this world. Though they do not nourish, tasting at first sweet to the tongue but later bitter and unsatisfying to the soul, they dull our appetite for heavenly things. If our time and attention is filled with only natural pursuits; social media, entertainments, and other distractions, our appetite for spiritual things will never develop. Instead we will be emaciated believers, unable to overcome even the smallest obstacles to our faith walk; defeated in life by the same challenges year in and year out.
To develop a hunger for the things of God and grow strong in faith, we must determine to change what we eat, with whom we eat, and how often we eat. Feed selectively, saving your appetite for “things above” (see Colossians 3:1-2), enjoying them often with others who likewise value heavenly things, and it won’t be long until your tastes have changed in favor of the food that truly feeds the spirit and satisfies the soul. As Jesus Himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).