There is an interesting and sad phenomenon that aid workers serving in famine stricken countries observe. They noted that some of the people, when they realized they were running out of food and left their homes and shelters in search for nourishment and found food depots set up by foreign nations, were eventually saved from starvation. Others waited too long before seeking help. They were so malnourished that when they finally found food when they tried to eat, their bodies rejected nourishment. Their digestive systems had shut down and would no longer process the very thing their bodies needed to stay alive. It was sad that their bodies no longer recognized what they were essentially hungering for in order to survive.
There is a parallel here between physical and spiritual hunger, a parallel expressed by the Psalmist:
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
- Psalm 42:1-2
In this passage the writer establishes the idea that we have a spiritual as well as a physical longing for nourishment.
Just as God has designed us in such a way that the body "feels" the need to eat (we call it hunger), and it can only be satisfied by taking in food (not by exercise, recreation, sex, reading… only food will do!)
Similarly, God has wired us in such a way that we often experience spiritual hunger and no amount of food, exercise or fun can satisfy this particular hunger… only God will do! The sad thing about this is that just like the famine stricken tribes in parts of Africa whose digestive systems shut down because they waited too long, many people die of spiritual hunger because they wait too long before they try to satisfy it with the wrong thing.
In this devotional series entitled "Holy Hunger" (from the similarly titled book by Mike Cope) we will explore the various ways we can recognize and satisfy the hunger that God has placed within the spirit of mankind so that he would search and find Him once again.
- When were you first aware that God existed? Describe your initial impression of Him.
- Who has been a "God-Mentor" to you and what has this person taught you about God?
- Describe the occasion, feeling and insight gained the last time you were "in the Spirit?"
- What part does repentance play in your search for God?
- Name two obstacles and one help in your own search for personal holiness.