We all love to sit down to a good meal. Whatever our favorite food, we really look forward to enjoying the things we love. After our appetite is satisfied, it doesn't take but a few hours and we are hungry again, but we seldom consider that our spiritual life functions in much the same way.
For those who follow God, they have been given a new spirit which loves to spend time reading, praying, meditating, praising, and enjoying his presence as this is how we absorb our spiritual nourishment. However, when we are busy and neglect our relationship with God, we become weak and lethargic just as we would if we went a long time without eating.
My wife and I watch a reality series called "Alone" where a group of individuals are trying to survive in the wilderness and one of the main challenges is finding food. After a couple of weeks without nourishment, the body begins to suffer physically and mentally and likewise, when we go long periods without acknowledging God, we become spiritually weak and miserable.
With all the foods we prefer, it's common to use the term crave when it comes to what taste good.
Likewise, our new spirit craves to dwell and fellowship with our Creator. In Psalm 42:1-2, the writer emphasizes an intense desire and longing to be with God. "As the hart (deer) pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with Him?"
There is very good news today. If you want to be with the one who made you and who loves you more than anything, you can reach out to him right now and ask him to surround you with his love and mercy. I'm convinced when we are going through a difficult situation and feeling down, that many times we have simply drifted away from the peaceful harbor of his grace. When life becomes heavy with discouragement, maybe we are simply experiencing the consequences of neglecting him.
If we are not craving his presence, this could very well be an indicator of just how far we have drifted away from him. His mercy can forgive any mistake we have made and our past is never too damaged or dark that the light and compassion of God cannot restore us. This life was never intended to be free from problems or distractions, but we were promised we can have hope and joy in the journey when we choose to hold his hand.
Some individuals can remember a time when they were involved with God in some way. Maybe as a child, their parents took them to Sunday school and church or maybe someone read them Bible stories. These are good memories especially if this led us into a personal relationship with God and we are truly grateful someone loved us and cared about our soul. Unfortunately, there are others who have allowed the cares of the world to pull them far away from the Lord. A few may even believe that our past experiences (as good as they might be) will carry them through the rest of their life and supply them with a continuous flow of peace and faith, but this deception is causing many to ignore a critical spiritual principle. The Christian life is not empowered by a yearly, monthly, or even a weekly visitation with God, it's all about a constant awareness of his presence as a lifestyle.
A wonderful passage that pertains to our subject is found in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." This is an assurance from Jesus that for those who desire more of God, they can certainly have all they want, whenever they want him. Christ is saying the spiritual life can be very much like an endless buffet, but the question for all of us is do we really have a passion and craving to be filled with him? It's important to remember that our mind and conscience has everything to do with how close we will walk with God. Yes, we can live in denial and depend on false securities, but the truth is we cannot live however we want and still be on good terms with him. Come to think of it, maybe this was the reason we drifted away in the first place.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian minister, author and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com or email him at email@example.com.