One Sunday, during one of his sermons, my husband challenged the congregation to participate in spiritual disciplines that will help them grow in their walk with God. One of the disciplines is fasting, which for me is one of the most difficult to do on a regular basis.
Why is it so difficult to fast? Because it’s uncomfortable.
One of my fasts a couple of weeks ago was particularly hard. Not only was I starving by noon, I was craving certain foods. There is nothing worse than knowing you can’t have food, and wanting nothing more than to sink your teeth into a double cheeseburger smothered in cheese, ketchup, lettuce and tomatoes (is your mouth watering yet?) By the time 3 pm came and my kids came home from school, opening the pantry and ripping into their afternoon snacks, I had had it. When my husband asked “When do you want t have dinner?” I quickly replied, “As soon as possible.” When He asked what I wanted, I didn’t hesitate, “A double cheeseburger, please.”
Fasting takes us out of my comfort zone. The physical effects of the discipline—headache, fatigue, weakness, and pain when hungry) puts us in a position where we have to rely on God fully to get through it. Sometimes the physical effects overpower the spiritual effects of focusing on the Lord. Over the years I have done this, I have learned one important lesson:
If you want to grow, you have to be hungry.
Physical hunger is much like spiritual hunger. The less hunger we experience in our spiritual lives, the less likely we will want to hunger after God. The same goes for physical hunger—the less “full” we feel physically, the more we desire the food that nourishes our bodies. Perhaps that’s why the psalmist wrote “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
God wants us to taste and see that he is good. This requires us to hunger after Him. To hunger after Him means to be uncomfortable. Are you wiling to hunger after God?
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