“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. Matthew 5:6
This is one of those weeks where I’m doing my best to stay positive and find the good in everything but I’d rather stay in bed and wait for next week to come. Unfortunately (fortunately) staying is bed is a luxury I can’t afford so I will keep pushing on despite how I’m feeling.
Even in my dark moments, I love how my heavenly father continues to speak to me. As I started off the week craving sweets and junk food I somehow had the presence of mind to formulate this thought, ‘A FOOD CRAVING IS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER CALLING OUT TO YOU’, “Say what?” I heard myself say. What the heck does that mean?
So I spent some time asking God to show me what that meant as I went about my day. Here’s what I heard in my spirit:
When your car is running low on fuel, the orange light comes on in the car to let you know that you need to stop and fill up your gas tank. Cravings act much in the same way, they are your warning signal that your body is running low (on fuel) and needs a fill up.
Sometimes we physically need to fill up on food but if you’re an emotional eater then what we need is a spiritual fill up and that is what I heard God telling me on that cold and dark Monday morning. The trouble is that many of us don’t distinguish our physical hunger from emotional hunger so when the pangs hit we automatically eat (or some other vice) instead of recognizing that our hunger is spiritual and we need to run to the loving arms of our father for sustenance.
How to distinguish Physical from Spiritual Hunger
The next time you feel a craving coming on take the ‘apple test’. Ask yourself if you would eat an apple (or some other fruit or vegetable that you can’t really overeat). If the answer is ‘yes’ then go ahead and eat the apple and your hunger should subside. If your answer is ‘no’, an apple would not satisfy you then your hunger is spiritual. A spiritual hunger is a craving or a feeling deep down inside that feels like hunger pangs. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the feeling is but you know that you want and need something. It’s a feeling of yearning, wanting, desiring, needing to feel full; needing to feel content and satisfied. So it’s easy to see why we would want to eat to satisfy the feeling but we all quickly learn that no amount of food will fill this need.
I’m understanding that cravings were given to us by God so that we would always yearn for him and stay in communion with Him. It may seem frustrating and almost torturous at times but it’s His way of calling out to us. Think of a baby crying for milk…as the baby cries, the loving mother instinctively know what her child needs and provides for it. Our heavenly father does the same for us. Just like the baby, we would not be able to survive without our spiritual food that our father provides us; we need it on a daily basis and when we don’t have it, we experience hunger.
So the next time you experience a craving, try the apple test. If you would not eat an apple then take it as a signal that your spiritual tank is running on empty and you need to spend more time with God. It’s the only way this hunger can be filled and the sooner we understand the difference, the sooner we can experience the joy, peace and rest He is longing to give us and the sooner we can stop filling our mouths and bodies with food that can never satisfy us.
Additional Bible Reading:
Look at some of these scriptures that teach us of our spiritual hunger that God promises to fill.
He has filled the hungry with good things…~ Luke 1:53a
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness~Psalm 107:9
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.~Psalm 81:10
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh~Luke 6:21