We were born with an appetite!
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the tree of life to eat from, and live forever (Gen. 3:22). Food enables us to live. Before Adam and Eve fell into sin, before they were expelled from the garden, while they were still walking with God, it would be perfectly natural for them to experience hunger, eat and get full, and grow hungry again. This was true for them both physically and spiritually.
It was in the arena of hunger and seeking to satisfy that hunger that Adam and Eve fell into sin. The danger that existed for our first parents exists for us as well!
We all know what it is like to get hungry physically; it’s when we experience spiritual hunger that we can get confused. It’s easy to think that when we are restless, unsatisfied, sensing a lack of something in our lives, that something is wrong. But this sense of need may be a sign that something is right with us–and normal–that we are experiencing spiritual hunger.
Our spiritual adversary, wants us to try to satisfy our spiritual hunger by looking at sin, desiring it, taking it and consuming it, as Adam and Eve did. If we do that, the results are always the same–death and destruction!
So how do we satisfy our spiritual hunger? Jesus has a lot to say to His disciples about spiritual food:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63
First we must be willing to hear!
The Greek word translated “words” in our English translations in John 6:63 is the word rhema. This word is used to designate a particular word, not, for example, referring to the whole proclamation of the gospel, but of a specific message. This is the case when God takes a particular portion of His written word and applies it to us in our situation; it is very personal. It is hearing from God. Before we can hear God in this way, we must come to a place of humility; we must become teachable! We are teachable when we come to a place where we realize that our way of doing life has not worked, and will not work! When we come to that place–and sometimes this takes decades–then we are ready to hear–to do the will of God for our lives.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.'” John 4:34
Eat the same food that Jesus eats!
When Jesus spoke these words, He was speaking to His closest disciples! They were with Him, learning from Him. Yet they had not yet learned about this food. It is relatively easy to attend church, be around other disciples of Jesus, do “Christian stuff” and not be doing the will of God. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but it’s true.
So how can we tell if we’re doing the will of God in our lives? The answer is that our lives will start to resemble the life of Jesus!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do…” John 14:12
“By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way as He walked.” 1 John 2:5b-6
We ought to periodically take inventory of our lives and what we are spending our time and energy on, and seek confirmation from the Holy Spirit and the word of God that we are following the example of Jesus in the gospels; that we are keeping His commandments, functioning as a disciple, learning as a disciple, and actively involved in making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). Are we using the spiritual gifts God has given us to serve others? If not, what are those gifts and where does God want us to use them?
Feed upon Jesus!
“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48
“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…” John 6:51a
How do we partake of the Bread of Life? The short answer is: by faith! Not a purely intellectual faith that is invisible to others since it has no works, but true Biblical faith!
“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'” John 6:28-29
Our choice of food is basically the same choice that Adam and Eve had. We have to walk past the tree of the knowledge of good and evil–resist temptation to sin–in order to partake of the tree of life by faith, the Bread of life who is Jesus!