Ladies, have you ever been starving, but not hungry?
Yes, I really just asked that question. (And no, it is not as crazy of a question as you might think — at least not in the way that I mean it.)
You see, recently I was hit between the eyes with this very question. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I realized that at some point in each of our lives, we are starving but not hungry. Reading but not retaining. Thirsting but refusing to drink.
We all have times and seasons in life where we struggle in our daily, spiritual walks. It is easy, in the chaos of everyday life, to become so consumed with the temporal that we neglect the spiritual. We live in a world that lives for the here and now. Sometimes we as christians fall into the trap of being swept up in the tidal wave of it all.
We begin to spend a little less quiet time with God, because we have a lot to accomplish for the day — after all, it won’t hurt to cut quiet time a little short today, will it? Maybe I just won’t pray quite as long today. Or maybe I can kind of skim through this chapter today instead of actually meditating on it. I mean, life is busy and God will understand if I cut our time a little short today, won’t he?
Before we realize what is happening, quiet time becomes just one more thing we have to check off the list for the day so that we can move on with the day without a ‘guilty conscience’. The days never go the way we plan though, and if we are honest with ourselves we can tell that something is missing. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit won’t let us be at ease, but we just keep going with our day. We read our Bible for the day, right? Yup, it’s checked off on our list, so we did our duty for the day.
Spiritually we are starving and waisting away to nothing. We are living for the temporal. Our priorities are out of place. Every day is just another day to live through. Reading our Bible becomes just one more thing we have to do. Serving others? Just another thing that is expected of us, so we do it out of duty. There is no joy, because we have starved ourselves of the only thing that can bring joy to our lives — a daily walk with Jesus Christ.
We are so stupid that we don’t even realize that we are starving! There is no hunger for God’s Word, because we have stopped feeding our spiritual needs. No thirst to walk beside Him daily, because we have stopped drinking in the wonder of who he is. There is no longing to use every breath in our lungs to praise our Master, because we have forgotten what it is to praise him.
What kind of morons are we that we can’t even see ourselves waisting away because we are starving ourselves of God’s Word? Why are we so blind that we can’t see how parched we are for just a taste of the beauty of walking beside Him every moment of our day?
Don’t look at me like this has never happened to you before, because I know that it has. I know that I have struggled with this and, I am sure, still will in the future. We are humans. It is part of the awful sin nature that we carry with us. It is something that we will wrestle with everyday of our lives until we are called out of this world.
We get to this point and spiritually, our souls are longing for what we once had. They are crying out to us for the bread of God’s Word, but our ears are deaf to the plea because we have allowed our quiet time to become a ritual. Something we just do everyday out of duty and not out of love.
Let me ask you though — what if God did things that way? I am sure glad he doesn’t.
I am glad that when he was scourged and beaten so mercilessly for me, it wasn’t simply out of duty.
I am glad that when he was walking the grueling road to Golgatha, it wasn’t out of duty.
I am glad that it was love and not duty that held the crown of thorns on my Savior’s head as the thorns were driven into his temples.
I am glad that it was love for me that made him endure the endless mocking and jeering that rightfully should have been mine.
I am glad that love pierced his side and layed him in a grave, not duty.
And I am so, so glad that it wasn’t out of a sense of duty that my Lord washed me and forgave me of my every sin that had caused him so much pain, but that it was out of love — a love so pure and vast that I cannot begin to understand it.
After all of that, how can we ever look at our walk with God as just a duty instead of the privilege that it is? Have we become so ungrateful for what our Jesus did for us that we no longer even consider it incredible that he would allow us to walk beside him?
If that is the case then we are truly starving. But we don’t have to stay that way. God is ready and waiting for us to come to him, confess our sin before him and then move forward with a renewed passion and fervor to serve him.
Ladies, stop being starving but not hungry. Stop being thirsty and refusing to drink.
A song that I can’t seem to get out of my mind goes something like this:
I apologize for this being so long everybody. This is something that God has been working on my heart about recently, and to be honest it hurt a lot to write this post because I know that I have been struggling with these things. Sometimes it hurts to see ourselves the way we are, but God is always there to pick us back up and give us his mercies that are new every morning.
I don’t know who will read this. I don’t know how God will use it. But my prayer is that if you are reading this, that it will have encouraged you and blessed you in some way.
Maybe you are starving but not hungry. Thirsting but refusing to drink.
I don’t know, but I don’t have to, because He does and that is all that should matter to you.