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Restoring Divine Hunger

Wouldn’t it funny to hear your child (or any child) boasting about his appetite?

“I get hungry in the morning and midday and evening. Sometimes I’m even hungry in between.”

“Of course, you’re hungry, child,” you would say. “Your body is made to tell you these things.”

Still, you may hear this one or that one (or possibly yourself) making a big deal about how much they read the Bible or pray or worship or fast. Hunger in the spiritual sense happens because God made us to hunger and we are healthy enough to pursue Him.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. “No man can come to me,” said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. –A.W. Tozer, Chapter 1 of the Pursuit of God 

If we go long stretches without hunger in the physical, we rightfully recognize ourselves as sick. We would seek treatment because we aren’t getting the nutrients we need to sustain a productive life.

Slothfulness casts one into a deep sleep, and the idle person shall suffer hunger. –Proverbs 19:15 (Amplified)

In the spiritual sense though, we may not even recognize it as a problem, but lack of hunger is a huge disease facing the Church. Instead of growing and flourishing, we become weak and anemic. We are told that it’s just a season we’re going through, but the season just seems to stretch on endlessly.

We have to recognize there is a problem and seek healing. He will give us the hunger that we lack and of course, we won’t have one moment to boast about it and it will be to His glory.

I have believed lies that it’s not the right timing or it’s not my season. I have believed those who said “you can’t be greedy” when the Father was desperately longing to reveal Himself to a seeking heart. I’ve tolerated a weakness and lack of nutrition before in my life, but I’m saying here and now that I want more and I know God wants me to have more of Him.

How about you? What do you say?


Welcome to week 1 of our book club discussion of the Pursuit of God (disclosure) by A.W. Tozer. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for the widget and another great take. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.

14 Comments

  1. I think we go through periods where the hunger is palpable, it is THERE. Other times it is dormant. I am going through one of those palpable periods where the hunger is a longing for Him. Good words Jason. Thanks.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..MilkMy Profile

    • True. Our exercise level determines how hungry we’ll be. I’m with though. Right now, I’m so hungry for Him and what He wants to do! Thanks Bill.

  2. I recently had a conversation with a friend about how there seems to be something lacking from our worship. Regardless of whether the music is traditional or contemporary, there seems to be a pervasive boredom that has infected our fellowship. As you described it, a lack of hunger.

    In the physical realm we need food in order to survive. Our body recognizes the need and sends signal indicating the tank is empty.

    I wonder if our lack of hunger/boredom results from our not recognizing the true extent of our need for God in order to exist as His own.

    If that is the case, we are desperate need of healing and drawing.

    Lord, may we always be aware our life depends upon you. May we hunger for more of you in every aspect of our living.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Mechanical And Spiritless Is Not IntimateMy Profile

    • It’s a sad thing to witness. It amazes me how some in our own congregation are excited and hungry for God’s presence while others are oblivious to what’s happening right in front of them. Some of blown away and in awe of God while others are bored and tuned out. We don’t come to the table without the hunger. I hear your heart, Dusty, and I’m standing with you. Lord, heal us as you draw and we draw near to Him.

      Thanks.

  3. I’ve heard it said that when you go without food long enough the hunger pains leave. I’ve never gone without food long enough to verify this.

    However, I can attest to it in my spiritual life. Sadly there have been times I haven’t felt hunger pains.
    I am so thankful for family and friends who prayed for me and encouraged me in those times. I am so thankful God knows what I need better than I do. I am so thankful I hunger for Him now!

    • You’re right. We can get used to having little to nothing of Him though it’s not what He would intend for us. We have a culture that in a lot of ways lives to eat--so much is centered around food and meals. What would happen if our lives were truly centered around our hunger for God? Wow, what a different place our world would be. Thanks TC.

  4. We go so long without any spiritual nutrition that we’re dead spiritually. That’s what’s wrong with our world… Walking spiritual dead…

    My book I ordered hasn’t showed up yet!

    • It would certainly be interesting to truly see people as their spirit man is. Could be scary though. Lord, help us stay hungry and passionately seeking after you! Thanks Floyd.

      And if you want, as soon as you get your book just catch up with us; otherwise, we’re doing each chapter for 2 weeks and you can just jump in there (didn’t know if you were planning on writing posts along with us or not). Thanks again.

  5. I WANT to be there — at that place where I’m so hungry and desperate for Him that everything else pales in comparison. But I have to admit that I’m not there. Too often, I live my life in “cruise control” and focus on only handling each day’s responsibilities and obligations. At the end of the day, I fall into bed, exhausted, and only want to sleep. But there ARE nights, I fall into bed and I have this deep awareness that I NEED Him and that I MISS Him. Those are good nights…
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Thoughts on Tozer, Manning, and LoveMy Profile

    • I definitely understand. There are lots of things to sort through sometimes, but I know He’ll help us every time we turn to Him. I know our honesty is huge! Jesus said He didn’t come for the well but the sick. When we recognize something is off we are in a good spot because Jesus longs to come and heal us. I wish I could say this happened once for me, but it has happened over and over again--not that I think He’s disappointed. He just wants to satisfy our deepest hunger that can only be met in Him. Thanks Sarah.

  6. This is exactly where my heart is at bro’…wanting so much more…hungry for more! Looking forward to reading the posts ahead!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Lost in TranslationMy Profile

    • I’m finding a lot of people feeling this way, Jay. It’s exciting because I know God is bringing a true awakening to our land! The more hungry people there are, the more His glory will rise to meet us. Exciting times. Thanks so much.

  7. Without a lot of focus and conscious effort, we can easily become distracted by the things of this world. Life is much more complicated, and busy than it used to be. Plus we live in a land of plenty, and don’t have near the persecutions and struggles that Christians of the past had. That’s both good and bad. Good that we don’t have to suffer what many have in the past, but bad that our lack of persecution and trials can leave us less dependent on God. I believe the hunger that A. W. Tozer talks about can only come from God, not something we can muster on our own. It’s a struggle for me, but the more I divest myself of the things of the world, the more I feel the hunger pains for God.
    Mike recently posted..AppreciationMy Profile

    • I agree, Mike. God gives us the hunger and we have to cultivate it. Our circumstances and culture play a part, but we can cry out for and receive that hunger. Thanks so much.