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July 6, 2011

Developing a Divine Appetite

What makes us hungry for God?



As leaders, it's so easy to get distracted by the demands on our everyday—the deadlines, the unforeseen circumstances that sap our time and energy. In the midst of our packed schedules, we can find ourselves chasing after that which is most pressing rather than that which is most necessary. We need to be intentional about pursuing God and seeking his voice in our lives. We need to stir up a hunger for God. And as we cultivate a hunger for him in our own lives, those around us will naturally become more spiritually hungry too.

Spiritual hunger points to a sense of discontentment, emptiness, a longing. The phrase "hungering for God" points to a solution—the very hunger and desires are meant to be satisfied in God. But how do we discover God in our everyday as the source of satisfaction and joy in this life?

First, we need to pray for the hunger. Asking, "Lord, please make me hungrier for you," is a prayer God doesn't say no to! God desires for us to long for him more than we could ever long for him.

Spending time in the Scripture and encountering those "aha" moments also stirs up the hunger to know God and seek him in greater depth.

But one of the biggest things we can do to stir our spiritual hunger is to simply talk about what God is doing in our lives and what we want him to do. If someone starts talking about Texas barbeque, the kind with the pulled pork that melts in your mouth, and a big cold tangy glass of lemonade, followed up with fudge covered scoop of homemade ice cream, I start to get hungry—even if I've just eaten! If talking about food makes us physically hungry, how much more does talking about God make us spiritually hungry?

How do you build a hunger for God in your life?

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Margaret Feinberg is the author of several books, including her most recent, Hungry for God. You can follow her on Twitter @mafeinberg.

Related Tags: Distractions, God, Satisfaction, Spiritual Hunger

Comments

We often don't come hungry til we're starving to death, til all the props are gone, and all those that matter have disappeared.

It's at those low points that we realize that the Lover of our soul beckons ... and that He is the only One that will never leave, never change.

Spiritual hunger, I have to admit, is not always there. I have found to stir it up it sometimes has to begin with a simple purposeful intent to lay aside all else and make the Lord my priority. Since I work a secular job during the year it means I say no to some things and set some time to get with Him. Regular habits of spending time with the Lord however has sensitized my Spirit to long for more regular engagement. When other necessities seem to block out some time I must remember to re- engage as soon as possible for if not, (and I have been there at times)one drip at a time so to speak will find me and my appetite waning from the pursuit of God. I did not say anything profound by any means but perhaps we just all need to put ourselves in check weekly to measure our appetites and see what has consumed a lot of our time. God understands full well our schedules but more importantly He knows whether our hearts are panting after Him. This is not to be a works oriented "thing" we do to earn favor, etc..but He so desires that we honor Him as Lord, as preeminent in our lives. Our heads may need to pray at first for a hunger to desire Him more. God can and does answer prayers like there and before we know it we go from head to heart craving. He will fill our cups to overflowing and I believe that we will be vessels of good use for the edifying of others.

Linda and Valerie,

So true! Both of you bring out great points.

I think there are a couple of keys to developing your spiritual hunger. First, consciously recognizing that one can't do anything good without God's grace. When we are conscious of our utter dependence, we become hungry for God. Second is developing a daily time with God. Like a good meal or a good book, we want to come back for more. Third is exposing ourselves to the lives of others where God has done a mighty work. Reading the stories of George Mueller, Andus Buchan, Henry Blackaby - they create a desire to see God work like that in my own life.

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