A common occurrence around our home is asking each other “what are you hungry for” or “what are you in the mood for”? We are blessed to live in a bountiful country. More variety of foods are easily obtainable now than in any time in history. Even exotic foods shipped from the far corners of the world can be picked up at a reasonable price at our local grocery store. With so many choices it is easy to ask “what are you hungry for?” If you are like us sometimes it is an easy answer, and other times we go back and forth as we really don’t have a specific craving and therefore don’t really know what we want to eat. In some strange twist of creation (that I will one day no doubt take up face to face with our creator) for some reason unhealthy food options tend to be the most pleasing to our human pallets. Though the family dog isn’t far behind on our rationale. Developing an appetite for healthy and nutritional foods isn’t always the easiest of things to do. I especially know this to be true as my wife has a masters degree in nutrition. Most people have the perception that it would be incredibly easy for us to eat healthy. My favorite reply is to simply state “would you like to guess how many flavors of ice cream the dietitian has in the freezer?” The most intriguing part of it all is that we know that eating healthy is good for us. All at the same time knowing the poor food choices have an adverse affect on our health and quality of life. No one with sound thinking would argue that reality.
So where are we headed with all of this. You are thinking, “if I wanted a health talk I would listen to your wife’s radio talk”. It is amazing to see how so many natural principles can be transferred to spiritual lessons. See we know that what we have an appetite for will ultimately affect what sort of spiritual life we will have. If we never feed our spirit man and instead only gorge our flesh then it is easy to see that we will have a weak and puny spirit man, inept to deal with even the most simple of problems in life. As Christ followers we know that spending time with God in payer, bible reading, worship, serving, and in Christian fellowship are key ingredients to a relationship with God that will thrive. When we feed our spirit man we are able to face life issues, and we all know that life can throw more than a few sucker punches.
Why then is it so hard to develop an appetite for spiritual disciplines. Not an attitude that I “have to”, but I “want to”. Just like the unhealthy food options it becomes so easy to develop and appetite for those things that consume our lives in such a way that we have no time for God. I think Jesus said it best in Matthew 5:6 “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.”
When we begin to physical eat healthy we are enabling our body to function better. We provide it with the basic nutrition we need to live, fight off disease and infection, and live longer fuller lives. In addition to a wealth of other health benefits. In the very same way when we develop an appetite for godly things it equips our spirit man to thrive. We are able to grow deeper in our faith. We are less shaken by the calamity that befalls us. We become “healthier” Christ followers. It is time to evaluate your spiritual diet. Are you starving your spiritual man by filling your days with other passions and desires. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the occasional dessert and sweet as much if not more than the next guy. Don’t even get me started on dark chocolate. Manna from heaven…. Okay focus Brian. In the same manner it is okay to have other passions. We can have other interests and spend our time on things we enjoy. However when these things take the place of a regular healthy spiritual appetite then it becomes a problem. Grandma probably knew best when she wouldn’t let you eat the cookies before dinner, why? “You’ll ruin your appetite!” When we get our fill of everything the world has to offer us we have little room or desire to consume healthy spiritual options. So what are you hungry for?