What Dulls Spiritual Hunger?
Several things come to mind when I ponder this question. Over eating, sickness, medications, depression and boredom can all diminish our appetites. Is it possible to experience the fullness of a holiday dinner when you are NOT hungry? Have you ever had to eat multiple holiday meals in a single day? At first it sounds appealing but by the second or third dinner you are so sick of food! Appetizers can “kill your appetite” for the meal. You mindlessly munch on food and then you aren’t hungry for the meal and all of its benefits. Are there lesser pleasures killing your spiritual appetite? God gives you a hunger for more of Him; so that when He comes you will want more of Him and more fully enjoy Him.
Sickness can also deaden our appetites. Offense at God, accusation towards God ore even offense towards a brother. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Jesus said if there is “ought between you and your brother…leave your gift at the altar and reconcile with him first and then come back and give your gift.
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
Someone once said, “Injury is what happens TO you. Offense is how YOU respond to it.”
Another thing that can dull our appetite is medication. In the natural medicine can kill or magnify our appetites. Spiritually are there things that we are using to cope with pain or stress that are lessening or spiritual hunger? We often turn to something or someone else when we should turn to God in the midst of anxiety or difficulty.
Boredom has a huge impact on appetite. Did you know that if people are fed the same exact food over and over, even if it is nutrient dense and has sufficient calories, they will eventually chose to stop eating? Though it is hard to imagine scientist say it is true.
Cultivating Spiritual Hunger
Does one go from Couch Potato to Health Guru overnight? Not normally unless they have some external pressure like that threat of disease, sudden death, or a High School reunion.
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
Babies are born hungry. If a baby isn’t hungry something usually isn’t right. The mother cannon produce this hunger within her child, she can only nourish it. The spiritual hunger within each of us is a creative gift from God that comes from Him alone. It cannot be produced or imparted by man; but only by the LORD. God’s given every human a measure of spiritual hunger. Yet just as we can do things to dull it we can also do things to cultivate it and cause it to grow.
Hunger is a great persuader. It is a marvelous mover. Nations and Dictators have learned that you can do almost anything with a populace when they become hungry. When they’re hungry, watch out because there is a certain spirit of desperation that accompanies hunger. It’s been said, “A drowning man has only one thing on his mind, how to get air!” Truly blessed are they which do hunger.
“I will guarantee you that after the crucifixion of Jesus there were 120 might hungry folks in Jerusalem. I do not believe if they had not been mightily hungry the would have gotten so gloriously filled. It was because they were hungry that they were filled. I wish we all had it spiritually. I wish to God we were desperately hungry for God. Wouldn’t it be glorious? It would be a strange thing if all were desperately hungry for God, if only one or two got filled in a service.” John G. Lake