No sugar, low-fat, low sugar, fat-free, low cal, low carb. Does that make you hungry? Not me. What about apple pie, Coca-Cola, filet mignon, bacon and eggs, homemade spaghetti with garlic bread. Mmmmmm! Now are you hungry? I know I am. We settle for mere crumbs; artificial sweeteners and “butter” made in a science lab; rather than feasting on what is real, authentic, what makes us shout “YUM!”
So the question becomes: Do you feed it or do you fill it? Sometimes when I am dieting, I fill my stomach with diet soda. Zero calories, zero nutritional value, but it makes me feel full, it eases the discomfort of an empty stomach. When I feel far from God, do I feed that hunger for Him or do I choose to fill it with other things, other relationships with zero calories, zero nutritional value for my eternal soul? When I am dieting, I can survive on diet soda. I can fill up, I can ignore the fact that it doesn’t taste real, but every once in awhile something will remind me of the real thing. When I drive past a McDonald’s, I can almost taste the joy of drinking a real Coca-Cola, ice cold and bubbly with none of that sharp edge that comes along with the artificial sweetener in diet cola. That edge that says…this is not real. This can’t truly nourish you. This will fill you up, but it can never feed you. You know that sharp edge that you taste when you try to fill that hunger for God with work, or with sex, or with TV, or even with serving others – but for the wrong reasons, or keeping all the rules, or being good enough? There is that sharp edge in your gut that tells you this is not authentic. You may be full – but you are not fed. You may be able to survive that way for awhile, but you’ll become malnourished. Your HUNGER for God will drive you crazy, that deep innate desire, that longing for the euphoria of feeding on what is true, real and authentic; gulping in the sweet, ice cold, bubbly love of Christ, savoring its flavor and enjoying being truly fed by Him….THAT is what it is all about.
We choose to fill ourselves rather than feed ourselves. In our zeal to be “beautiful” we settle for substitutes. In our quest for “success” we compromise. In the midst of the discomfort that comes with the hunger, we reach for whatever is closest to fill us up. The world tells us that the path to success is to mask the hunger, to fill up on diet soda, but that sharp edge is always there to remind us…we were made for so much more. God wants to feed us, not just fill us up on counterfeits and forgeries. He wants to nourish us, to give us abundant life. The longing inside you for food, God put that there. We need food to sustain our physical body. The ache inside you for something more, God put that there too. We need Him to sustain our soul.
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