I heard once that spiritual hunger is directly the opposite of physical hunger. If someone was to go a long period of time without physical food they would get hungrier and eventually they would eat. Spiritual hunger, on the other hand, is not this way. When you go long periods of time without eating spiritually you will become progressively less desirous of eating. It seems that spiritual hunger is driven by spiritual eating whereas physical hunger is driven by going without. So when eating physical food you will, at some point, become full, but as you eat spiritually you will become hungrier and hungrier.
When I was first born-again no one had to tell me “Now, Louie you need to read your bible.” The Spirit of God within me led me to the scriptures. I didn’t really know how to go about studying the scriptures, mind you, but I knew intuitively that I wanted to study them. There was an indescribable hunger within me to grow as close to God as I could.
Peter wrote in his first letter “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” That described me perfectly. My inner man, or should I say child at this point, was crying out to be fed the milk of the word. Absolutely no one was going to keep me from it.
I went to the library to find books to help me understand the scriptures. I read my bible for hours in the evenings after work. In fact this was during the two years Tracey and I were divorced and she had taken the kitchen table with her. I would literally stand in my kitchen for hours with two versions of the bible and read. I would read a chapter in the KJV and then turn to the Living Bible and read the same chapter again. I would be so wrapped up in the scriptures that I wouldn’t eat or even notice it had gotten dark outside.
Jesus told us in Matthew 5 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” My mom would come to my house and find me sprawled out with two or three different translations of the Bible and a notepad. She would say, “What are doing, rewriting the whole Bible? I was a man obsessed! I had spent most of my life chasing after peace and joy in a bottle or pill, and finally in Christ I had discovered what real peace and joy was. I had found that food Jesus told his disciples “they knew not of” and that well that was promised to the woman in Samaria and boy was it bubbling up life in me.
As I attended Sunday school and talked with Tracey about the Bible I quickly discovered there weren’t many who shared my new-found intensity for the scriptures. Oh, everyone seemed genuinely happy for me and my excitement but it was as if the shine had worn off for some of them. As I grew hungrier and hungrier for the Word no one was with me except Tracey.
After Tracey and I were reunited, which is nothing short of a miracle itself, I would read the Bible to her and tell her what I thought it meant. At first she wasn’t buying it she would say, “That’s not true or that isn’t what it says!” Then I would say, “I’m just telling you what the Bible says.” She had grown up going to church but she said she never heard most of what I shared with her before. Slowly but surely she started to come around and embrace what I was telling her. That was over 11yrs ago and even now I follow her around with the Bible or some other book and read to her and we discuss it. The hunger for the Spirit of God hasn’t faded in me yet, and I pray it never does.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good!”
Written by Louie