Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? (Psalm 14:4 ESV)
Alright guys, time to stop eating up people like we eat food and instead call upon the Lord. I know, I know. You don’t think you eat people, but you do. We all do every single time we use people to fill a need in us that is designed to be met in God alone.
We feel anxiety and panic after that meeting with our boss or conversation with a friend, and instead of calling upon the Lord, we turn to people. We eat up their words, eat up their affirmation seeking to satisfy our hunger for approval.
We feel lonely and we’re tired of singleness but instead of calling on the name of the Lord, we turn to the men around us. We begin to determine their value based on their viability to provide a meal to us. When we meet a guy in church on a sunday, instead of considering how to serve and love our brother in Christ, we check for a ring; his usefulness to us will be determined by that.
You know those cartoon dogs who get hungry and start to see everyone around them as walking pork chops? That’s what we’re like when we’re not calling on the Lord. Every person we see – our spouse, our kids, our friends and even strangers – are potential sources of food to fill our appetite to be known and seen and loved and valued.
Hear this exhortation from your Lord today: call upon me instead of eating people.
Here’s the deal: we know that people can’t satisfy our deepest desires, so why do we keep consuming them as if they can? We do it for two reasons: (1) we aren’t really sure that Jesus is better (2) we can’t tolerate the feeling of hunger.
How sure are you that Jesus is better?
Last week I was driving into Houston to speak at a Church. I knew I was going to be meeting my sister for dinner, but I didn’t know what meal she’d planned. So, I ate a snack on the road. Something delicious. (Sonic fries).
I trust my sister. I know she says she’ll provide food for me. But will that meal be as good and satisfying as a meal I could get for myself?
We all know Jesus is going to feed us. We believe that. But will His provision be as satisfying and rich as any we could get for ourselves? Do we really believe that Jesus can satisfy our hunger for love more fully than a tangible spouse, a child, a friend? When we’re lonely, when we’re anxious and afraid, when we’re feeling rejected and forgotten – we know that Jesus is the ‘right’ answer, but in deep places of our heart, we wonder: is He the best answer?
Are you willing to be hungry?
For many of us, Jesus isn’t satisfying because we aren’t willing to wait on Him. And we’re not willing to wait because we freaking hate the feeling of hunger. And once it’s upon us we want to eat whatever will fill us up fastest.
Most of the time, when I eat, I consider what I’m hungry for and move toward that. But when I’m han-gry, (when I get past the point of reasonable hunger), I just eat anything I can get my hands on.
That’s us and God. We just go about our day, forgetting to eat from His Word and forgetting to pray and then, all of a sudden we are starving and we just don’t have time to go and prepare a meal from His Word. We eat whatever we can find.
Be proactive about consuming Christ. My mom used to send snacks with me to school to keep me from getting ‘han-gry.’ You need to eat His words, proactively, frequently, daily. You need to chew on them, meditate and contemplate and imagine and experience them. And you need to do all this in your strongest moment; don’t just wait for your weakest.
Learn to tolerate hunger and let it drive you to wait on God. When the panic hits, when the hunger is at its greatest, resist the urge to consume people and call on Him and sit and wait. Some of us have waited on the Lord and not felt are needs met in the way we were hoping. But the promise is – He is the satisfaction of all you seek. If you are not satisfied, it’s not because He’s not the answer, it’s because you need more of Him.
And wait and wait, even if you wait this whole life long. Because there will come a day when your hunger in this life culminates in the ultimate satisfaction in the next.