It has been a prayer of mine recently that all of us would feel a sense of starving. A starving for the God of the Universe, for the Jesus who loved us so much, and for the Spirit who changes lives. It is hard to stay aware of our spiritual hunger. The demands of life keep us from thinking about how hungry we are for the things of God.
C. S. Lewis tells a story of an atheist professor who wandered into an ancient history museum and sat contemplating mortality. He began to wonder what the purpose of everything was when all that was ever left of those ancient men were pieces of clay pots and rain-washed statues. The professor began to consider the possibility of something more than the material world, to the professors surprise he began to take the idea of God seriously. In that moment, Satan, who is so very clever, did not try to convince the man that materialism was best, or that God wasn’t real. Satan simply reminded him of his bodily desire for food. The evil one simply whispered, “How great would a ham sandwich be right now?” The professor got up and went for a sandwich, as he left the museum he laughed at himself for even contemplating the existence of God. He decided that what a man thinks about in a museum surrounded by old relics, doesn’t really have anything to do with real life. The professor went on to live his life, and would even tell the story of his “close encounter,” and laugh at his own foolishness.
The moral of this story is simply that Satan does not have to convince us that God does not exist. He simply must convince us that something else is more important in that moment. That our bodily or emotional hunger is more critical than our spiritual hunger. We miss so many encounters with God and whispers of the Spirit simply by giving into the daily routines of life. We are so hungry for the things in this life; food, success, technology, prestige, a legacy, etc. We don’t even realize how often they get in the way of intimate moments with our loving Father. I am one of the most distracted individuals you will ever meet. I fill my time with audiobooks, podcasts, television, and chores. I miss so many God whispers simply because I have fallen into the trap of needing to be doing something all the time. I hunger to be busy. I hunger to be productive. I hunger to be successful. With all that other hunger, I forget about the hunger that goes so much deeper. Straight into the core of all people. A hunger to know “What am I here for?”
This time at MPC is an exciting one. We are about to embark on a journey together that has the possibility to reveal to us all, in a new way, how much we are starving for God. As we learn how much we hunger for Him we will find that we are not hungry; we are starving. That hunger will grow and grow and we will be drawn deeper into the love of the Father. We will be thankful for what God has provided for us now, but also look toward the future with hope and hunger when God will complete His work.
Until that time brothers and sisters, don’t be distracted from your spiritual hunger; lean into it. You will find yourself in your Father’s house at the banquet.