God doesn’t work.
This was the heretical-on-a-number-of-levels thought I had the other day.
See, I did everything ‘right’. I spotted the signs of my God-hunger and received the information that maybe I was running on empty, trying to operate in my flesh and looking to those around me to meet needs that are designed to be met by God.
I flung open my Bible and prayerfully and desperately; went as deep as His Spirit would take me. And it was one of those times where, by the grace of God and the power of His Spirit, I was actually able to feel and experience what was true and real. And I felt full. Of Him. And I was able to go back into the world excited to love and free to serve and give and pour out the living water that was running through my veins and brimming in my heart.
Win/win, right? Except, three hours later, disturbingly, all that freedom and peace had fled my soul with no trace. I felt graspy and panicky again. God doesn’t work.
Our Irritating and Awesome Spiritual Appetite
You know what is awesome and irritating about the way God designed our bodies? We have to eat frequently. I say it’s awesome because I love to eat, so the act of eating itself is not simply about functionality for me, it’s also about pleasure. It’s not a burden to do it multiple times a day.
But I say irritating because I actually know people who don’t seem to enjoy eating, (probably because they eat salads). Eating for them is about keeping their bodies working and managing hunger. They wish that God had designed us so we didn’t have to eat at all.
But whichever camp you fall in: irritating or awesome, God made us to need to eat regularly. One meal doesn’t mean you never have to eat again.
God is a great creator and sort of obsessive about the details. Absolutely EVERYTHING He has made, serves to reveal His true character and model for us how we can experience Him. Eating is no exception. He has given us a beautiful roadmap for our spiritual appetite in the physical.
None of us are confused at lunch when we begin to feel hunger. Not a single one of us would be like – WHAT?? I ATE breakfast!! why do I need lunch?? Food doesn’t work!!
And yet, this is precisely what we do with God. We look at our anxiety, our hunger for love, our appetite for glory, and we wonder – why doesn’t God work? If He’s supposed to be all I need, why doesn’t He feel like it?
It may seem irritating but your soul needs God like your body needs water, like your lungs need air. And the symptoms of panic or frustration when our souls are hungry for God – even if we ‘just ate’ – are a gift, reminding us to abide in Him, to consume His promises and His presence through constant communion.
And the more we eat God’s words, the more delicious we will find them and the more we will see that this design is awesome. We don’t just need to eat, but we get to eat words that are sweeter than honey and more precious than gold.
You will never be fully full of God in this life
Your soul is not built to be satisfied with what you have of God. You will always crave more. That’s not a flaw in the design, that is an indicator that the Bible is right about the design.
If it’s true that what we actually crave is God, then doesn’t it make sense that our God-hunger wouldn’t be fully satisfied in this life?
What our souls long for is to enjoy God. But right now, our sin, our doubts, our unbelief, our enemy all sabotage our ability to experience Him fully. When it seems like ‘God doesn’t work‘, it might just be that we are aching for that day when we will experience the consummation of our relationship with Him. Until the day when we stand before Him with no sin or suffering or enemy between us, we will always feel a holy dissatisfaction.
Til that day comes, consume and be consumed by God, stretching your spiritual stomach to embrace more and more of His glory and training your tastebuds to delight in the truth.