Eat Until You Are Hungry
by Pastor Dan Delzell
Every child of God can experience a strong hunger for the Word of God. Just as healthy people have a natural appetite for food, healthy Christians have a spiritual hunger for Scripture.
But what if you find yourself lacking any real hunger for God’s Word? The solution to this problem is actually quite simple. Eat until you are hungry.
When it comes to our physical body, the stomach begins to feel full after eating. But when consuming spiritual food, eating actually increases the hunger within our soul.
In 1995 Chick-fil-A introduced the advertising slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin.” For a growing Christian, the best approach is simply, “Eat More Scripture.”
The prophet Jeremiah stated it beautifully: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” (Jeremiah 15:16) And the psalmist expressed, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)
Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4) How so? Well, Scripture is food for the soul. Without it, we are at best spiritually sick, and at worst spiritually dead. You don’t have to tell a healthy infant to crave milk. Likewise, you don’t have to tell a healthy Christian to crave God’s Word.
But regular reminders are certainly not a bad idea. The apostle Peter gave this instruction to believers: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2)
The Holy Spirit produces an appetite for God’s Word in the hearts of believers. When God’s power is flowing freely within us, we cannot seem to get enough of God’s Word. And this craving runs deeper than merely an intellectual longing. It is a holy yearning that begins the moment you are spiritually reborn through trusting Christ as your Savior.
After meeting the Messiah the apostle Paul was able to say, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.” (Romans 7:22) Like the psalmist who expressed a love for God’s law, a healthy Christian finds great joy in knowing God’s will and filling his heart and mind with God’s Word. When the Holy Spirit is filling our soul, we truly delight in “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
A believer is someone who knows that his salvation comes through faith in Christ’s death on the cross. Once you place your faith in the Lord, you begin to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) because God now lives within you. (1 Cor. 6:19) A hunger for God’s Word is the supernatural byproduct of becoming a Christian.
If you ever find yourself having little or no hunger for the Bible, then just remember the way to fix that problem. Eat until you are hungry.
In other words, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Colossians 3:16) Over time, you will see how the vitality of your spiritual life corresponds directly to the amount of time you spend in God’s Word.
Once you begin to experience a hunger for Scripture, your family will be the first to know. And your church family will be the next to know. It will be obvious to those around you as you make the most of opportunities to be in the Word at home, and to hear the Word being taught at your church.
One sign that you are growing in your faith is that rather than attending church mainly to hear a particular preacher or teacher, you now gather for worship with other Christians to have God speak to you directly through His Word. And you are eager to hear what God wants to tell you. “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.'” (Psalm 122:1)
A common mistake is to view Scripture only as a source of knowledge, but not as a source of food. Someone might say, “Why would I read that particular chapter of the Bible again? I already know what it says.” That’s like looking at a steak and saying, “Why would I eat that steak? I already know what it tastes like.” Well, if you want to meet your hunger today, you will eat today. Knowledge alone does not feed the body or the soul. Eating is what feeds the body and the soul.
A hunger for God and a hunger for the Word is a supernatural reality. And since “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16) and is “living and active,” (Hebrews 4:12) the Word of God itself has the power to increase your appetite for more spiritual food.
The next time you find yourself lacking motivation to read your Bible, don’t despair. It happens to all of us at times. But you now know the way out of such spiritual lethargy. Simply begin to eat, and a holy hunger for God’s Word will begin to rise up within your soul.