Saturday, April 23, 2011

The best meal ever

6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat."
(Matthew 5:6)

There are various types of hunger and desire.  We have "appetites" for different things at different times in our day.  We don't necessarily want a bag of M&Ms for breakfast, but by our two-o'clock slump we might fancy them.  There are times we eat just because the clock says it is time to eat, or the opportunity is before us.  There are other times when we work so intently, caught up in the task at hand, only breaking to find nourishment when we finally realize an intense sense of hunger and fatigue in our bodies.

APPETITE:  An inherent craving.  A preference.  A taste for something.  That which we strive after.

HUNGER:  A craving, or urgent need, for that which satisfies.  A longing.

THIRST:  An ardent desire.  To crave urgently.

CRAVING:  Something that you earnestly desire.  That which you yearn for.  A strong inward desire.

DESIRE:  A longing or hope.  A conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction once attained.

All these words have something in common - the urgency of attaining that which will satisfy.  They focus on what it is that we desire - what we believe will provide us with a sense of reward.  We all know that we can be "hungry" for all the wrong things.  We also know that changing our mindset (and out "heart-set") to desire things that are good for us is a little more difficult at times.

There are several things that we need to ask God to give us a true "desire" for in our lives:
  1. Discipline - we need to begin to ask for the desire to have our lives trained in such a way that we see correction of negative behavior and attitudes.  We need the "mold" to be changed - only comes through discipline.
  2. Equipping - we need to learn how to find our own nourishment from God's Word instead of always having to be fed from the hand of another.  This is really the desire to be pursue both God's provisions and his promises - in order that we would be "fit" for service and action.
  3. Satisfaction - we all want to realize a place of satisfaction in our lives, but we seldom realize that the greatest satisfaction is found in the place of our lives being sanctified (made holy) by our God.  As we desire to grow in the grace of God, truly being set apart as an example of his grace, we develop an intense longing to be free of the sin that clutters our lives.
  4. Intimacy - we want a sense of closeness with our Savior.  This desire is for "contact" with our Lord - there is a need to know him, but also to be known by him.
  5. Renewal - we all need times of inner renewal or a refreshing of our spirit man.  The desire is to be vitally connected with God - so that we are renewed (made fresh) each day.
  6. Enlightenment - we all want to "be in the know" as it comes to the things God is doing and showing us.  With illumination comes exposure - this is the rub.  We want to know much more than we are willing to expose ourselves - we need to have this desire expanded in our lives.
We may not know the true value of our hunger until we experience the results of having that hunger truly satisfied.  I know from personal experience, I can eat and eat in the physical sense, all the while just not having whatever it was that I was craving satisfied.  The problem is that I have failed to recognize the specific craving - it was probably not really for chocolate, but for an apple!  We need God to begin to show us what it is that we really are craving in our lives and then begin to trust him to meet those cravings out of the storehouse of his love and goodness.