Unfortunately, there are many people who wake up and/or go to bed hungry. This is a terrible reality and it’s something that is not limited to just a few parts of the country or world but is everywhere you go. Physical hunger is a real issue that many have devoted their time and lives to stamping out but another type of hunger is spiritual hunger. Many people are passionate about feeding those who are physically hungry but fewer and fewer people are worried and/or concerned about ending spiritual hunger.
There are some differences between the two, obviously, but if someone goes too long without being fed than they can lose their lives whether physically or eternally. There have been a few times in my life when I was hungry for an extended period of time and this is very uncomfortable. There have been different hospital stays that required me not to eat or I did not have the appetite and there have been different moments in my life when I was spiritually starved. Both of these situations involve pain and from personal experience, I can attest that being spiritually hungry is worse than physical hunger.
Most people reading this either thinks I am totally crazy and have no idea what I am talking about or they have never faced any type of hunger particularly spiritual hunger. Spiritual hunger is often self-inflicted especially if you live within the United States as we are free to worship as we wish but many Christians have become shamed for their belief in Christ. When this happens and we choose to hide our admiration and love for Christ, we become weak as we must nourish ourselves in the Word of God.
Christ tells us in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The strength and fight that we have comes from our knowledge of Him, the creator, rather than knowledge of anything of this world. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:.”
When we are physically hungry, our body begins to act differently. At first, things may not seem too bad but then our mind begins to really play tricks with us. Our knees become rubbery, we begin to shake and quiver, we do not remember things and cannot process things, and if we go longer without nourishment, we begin to feel what is known as hunger pains. The same thing is true if we go without God as our lives are much different regardless of our physical abilities, condition, and/or status.
For a long time, relationships with women did not work out for different reasons but one reason was the spiritual hunger that I felt. Unknowing to me at the time, I would feel the desire and the urge for God but He was not a part of the relationship or if He was, He was on the back burner. At the time, I did not know that I was spiritual starving but as I look back now, I am able to see that I needed God and He was reaching out to me but I was not accepting His invitation.
My life began to change. Things that used to matter did not matter as much. Although I weighed the same, I was not nourished as I was spiritually starving. The need for God’s word was great and the movement in my life was not there. God tells us that we must humble ourselves in front of Him and to be a Christian and this is what we see with the Israelites in the wilderness for so long. Scripture tells us in Deuteronomy 8 that God made times hard for Israel and He did this not to punish the Israelites but rather, so they’d know the importance of spirituality as we are to sacrifice ourselves.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led—Deuteronomy 8:2-3
thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove
thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep
his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee
to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither
did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not
live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of the LORD doth man live.”
John 6:32 reads “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” We see here, just like with all things that man has, it is God that provides. The bread that was given was not given by chance but rather, but Christ. The importance of remembering is significant as many people, myself included, have a bad habit of forgetting about God and all that He has done.
This is not always done on purpose as our lives get busy. We have responsibilities to tend to and family to care for. Things get out of hand and while Jesus understands this, He also wants us to love Him the way He loves us and one way of doing this is never forgetting the things He has done for us. This is one step and I do not want to get off track but when we forget about God and the things that He has done, we lose track of what’s really important. As mentioned earlier, when we are hungry, the mind plays tricks on us and one trick is making us think one thing when we feel another and if we go too long without God, we may feel like we are on good ground when in reality, we are on shaky ground as the saddest fate is not death but death without Christ.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.”–John 6:32