We get hungry quite a lot - it’s not exactly a once-in-a-life-time occurrence. It happens on a frequent basis in our lives - usually several times a day, if you're a normal person. Have you ever noticed that whenever your stomach starts to rumble and you begin to feel hungry, you seem to have this innate, instinctive ability to feed yourself?
Once I went surfing for 7.5 hours straight. I have never been so fatigued, sunburnt, or HUNGRY in my entire life to this day. The worst part was, as soon as my friend and I dragged ourselves out of the water, we had an 8km walk ahead of us to get food! However - my instinct to feed myself kicked in - and we walked those 8km, in the heat of the summer noonday sun, surfboards under arm and searing hot footpath beneath our feet - all because we knew there was chicken and pasta waiting for us in the kitchen…
Here’s the thing: if we’re hungry enough, we’ll go to extra lengths and inconveniences to get fed. We’re never really too tired, distracted, or busy to eat when we’re truly hungry. And it’s not actually a bad thing - God designed us to get hungry. He created you and me to get physically hungry on a consistent basis, and as a result, we’re not really willing to go very long without food.
The way we’re physically designed is a reflection of how we’re spiritually designed.
God has built inside of you a spiritual hunger that needs to be fed on a regular basis. Basically, He’s fashioned you with an appetite that only the Word of God can satisfy.
/// Jeremiah 15 : 16 ///
"When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
They are my joy and my heart’s delight"
Why is it that we’re so diligent at feeding ourselves breakfast, lunch and dinner, yet we starve ourselves of God’s word? We're not willing to go very long without feeding our bodies a decent meal - but we're content to give our soul one snack a week, or even less!
I love coffee. In fact, I'm what you'd call a coffee snob. I love the smell, I love the taste, I love the colour, I love the patterns my barista makes with the milk … However, as much as I adore it, I’m also aware that it's an appetite suppressant. It tricks your body into thinking it’s fed. There have been days where I've gulped a flat white for "breakfast" and the caffeine has kept me going until noon before I realise I haven't eaten. I haven’t ingested any nutrition or good stuff my body needs - just a bit of foamy milk and caffeine sloshing around in my system.
Coffee is a counterfeit - a counterfeit is something that looks really similar, feels really similar, seems really similar, but… isn’t the real deal. Coffee is almost breakfast, but it’s not. It feels like I’m fed (because I’m not hungry anymore, right?) but I’m not. Similar to nailing a latte instead of a nourishing breakfast,
We can consume so much stuff that tricks our soul into thinking it’s fed
It’s called spiritual junk food. TV, social media, Netflix - they instantly feel good, but there's no lasting effect. Our soul simply can’t live off these things. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things any more than consuming a flat white or a piccolo is. These things only become counterfeit soul food when you substitute it for what you actually need.
As soon as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram or Snap replace the word of God in your life - it has become a counterfeit and you’re meeting your soul’s needs with suppressants. (For more on how to counteract this, read THE 2 ENEMIES OF YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS )
/// Isaiah 55:2-3 MSG ///
Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.”
When we consume this "junk food" and don’t fill up on God’s word, we are literally starving our spirit. Do you know what happens when you starve your spirit? You become spiritually malnourished and weak. If you’re spiritually weak, your faith is weak. And a Christian with weak faith is, well…a weak Christian - because your faith determines how you live out your Christian life. The Word of God is what FEEDS that faith!
A funny thing happens when you stop drinking coffee. When you don't suppress your appetite with caffeine, you begin to crave actual food. Like real, live, healthy, nourishing, chew-it-and-swallow-it FOOD. If we reach for our bible instead of our phone as soon as our eyes open in the morning, we'll actually grow our appetites for God's Word. It's not a sin to watch MKR or scroll through the Gram.
It's when Facebook REPLACES God's Book that it becomes a problem.
As daily as you devour your lunch - you also need to swallow scripture. A bit of junk food here and there is fine - relax. But quit overfeeding your soul with the McDonalds version of what it needs - and give it the real deal. Your heart will thank you for it.
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