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Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)
TITLE: Hunger For The Word Of God
By Doug Laird
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Just as the physical body needs to metabolize physical food in order to sustain life and to be productive, so does the soul need spiritual food in order to sustain the post-salvation spiritual life & be spiritually productive. Just as the body needs a functioning digestive system that separates the good elements from the bad and nourishes the body, the soul needs the ministry of the God the Holy Spirit in order to do the same in the spiritual realm.
A healthy body will crave its next supply of food, water, & oxygen. A healthy spirit craves its next feeding of the Word of God. When the desire diminishes, it is an indication that something has infiltrated the body that has taken the appetite away. In the natural realm, it may be a sign that we have taken in a virus resulting in the loss of appetite. In the mental realm, it may be that something has upset us and as a result we have lost the desire to eat and/or the ability to concentrate. In the spiritual realm, this is refers to having “forsaken your first love” (Rev.2: 4 NIV) and consequently a diminished desire for the things of God.
We can satisfy the immediate craving of the body with “junk” food. It has the ability to satisfy our immediate desires, but in the long run it will prove to be counterproductive. Likewise, we can substitute spiritual food with the junk food of “religion”. It may seem to appease our conscience as we go through the motions, but in the end it will leave us with a bloated “stomach” (Phil. 3:19NIV) and lacking the means & energy to execute the true spiritual life.
The one and only source of spiritual food comes from the Written Word of God (The Bible) under the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The Written Word of God is inseparable from the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1). A person can be religious, but he cannot identify & execute the true spiritual life without the daily intake and application of Bible doctrine any more than the natural man can be physically productive by only eating a meal once or twice a week!
When the Lord told Peter to feed His flock (John 21:15-17), it was at a time preceding the completion of the Bible. The Bible was not to be completed for little more than 60 years later with the writing of the Book of Revelation in the approx. year 96 AD & the end of Apostolic Period of the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear to His disciples that there were things that they were not prepared to receive (John 16:12) and that they would be further edified through ministry of God the Holy Spirit that was to come (John 14:26/John 16:15).
This places us in a position of greater advantage than the believers during the Apostolic Period who did not have a completed Bible to refer to (2Tim.3: 16) as we do today. This also places us in a greater position of accountability as to whom much is given, much is required (Luke12: 48). In order for God to hold each one of us accountable, He must make Bible Doctrine available to each one of us, regardless of our personal circumstances, if we truly desire to receive it (Matt.5: 6/Jer.29: 13). Consequently, anyone who is either Biblically ignorant or spiritually arrogant is so because he chooses to be so.
Whenever a person claims to be a Christian and never had a hunger or senses that he is losing his appetite for the Word of God, it is time for a spiritual checkup (2Cor.13: 5)!
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved.