May 16, 2020

The other morning, I asked my daughter if she had eaten breakfast. She replied, “I’m not that hungry.” While that may have been true, there was also something else she wanted to do at the time other than eat. She could have chosen what she wanted to eat from a number of things, but there was something more fun than eating on her mind. Putting off eating breakfast from time to time won’t harm you, but if you do it consistently, your body will adjust and you may truly have no appetite for it. 

For Christians, the same is true for our spiritual food. If I don’t get up and spend time in the Bible before work, the chances I take time to do it later in the day decrease. It’s been a struggle for me with all the changes due to working from home during this quarantine. My mornings were turned upside down and I haven’t done the best making the proper adjustments. I’ve seen more late nights than early mornings the past eight weeks.

When my daughter said she wasn’t hungry, I was convicted about lacking hunger for God’s word lately. You see, just like skipping breakfast consistently can turn into a loss of appetite, not getting in the Word consistently will result in a lost appetite. Neglecting food, physical or spiritual, for something else is harmful.

Proverbs 27:7 came to mind when thinking about this. It says, “A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.” Those who are truly hungry aren’t picky about what they eat. We are more likely to start complaining about what’s for dinner when the pantry and refrigerator are full. The same goes for our spiritual walk. The following passage addresses this concern.

“So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!” Deuteronomy 8:6-13

I think it’s safe to say that for a large portion of Christians in America, our plenty has caused us to forget the Lord and disobey His commands. I’ve often said that comfort leads to complacency. When we are full and prosperous, comfort comes easy. When we are full and prosperous, dedication, humility, and a servant’s heart are harder to maintain. 

What are you hungry for? Do you start your day hungry to catch up on social media or to have quiet time? Do you go to work to collect a check or to reflect the love of Christ? Are you content with who you are or do you pray for transormation? If we want a healthy spiritual appetite, we must evaluate the things we consume. We shouldn’t expect spiritual growth when our diet is full of worldly things. 

My daughter didn’t want to eat because she wanted to do something fun. She knew the food would be there later. I think we fall into the same trap spiritually. We tell ourselves that we will do it later because we assume we have plenty of time. We must not let what we conisder to be plenty to cause us to become passive. “Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God."