Crave: 1. To feel a powerful desire for something. 2. To need urgently. 3. To beg earnestly for.
Empowered: 1. To have the power or authority to do something. 2. To be enabled.
“Blessed (fortunate, happy and spiritually prosperous) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (right standing with God) for they will be filled and completely satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
As soon as I made the decision to read the book “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst as part of the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies I should have known it would be inevitable that I would be tempted to crave all the ‘wrong’ things as soon as I turned the first page. Monday morning came and went and I was doing fine. I was fine at lunchtime. I even passed the 3pm “slump” where I usually either want to sleep or eat something sweet. I was fine until after dinner. Then I had it. I had it bad. The case of the “I-need-something-sweet-after-dinner” munchies. Now. I needed chocolate. Or ice cream. Or chocolate ice cream. Preferably Ben & Jerry’s. Which is an issue because Ben & Jerry’s is not sold in many places here in Australia. I could have reached for a piece of fruit but….yeah right! As if fruit will satisfy my cravings for ice cream!
Then I started thinking that maybe my “tower of impossibility” was bigger than Lysa TerKeurst’s and I berated myself because Lysa must be so much more spiritual than me if she could choose to pray instead of eat.
And I heard it. That little whisper.
God: You’re doing it again.
Me: Doing what?
God: Trying to fill the void, the gap, the ‘lack’ in your life by craving something other than Me.
And I heard it again. Louder this time. Like a mantra playing on repeat inside my head: “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Seek God. Seek God first. Crave God.
The problem is, I’ve discovered I’m up against an enemy. Right from the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden the enemy tried to lure women away from God. When Satan tempted Eve he used the one thing he knew would get her attention. Food. And nothing has changed since then. Like Eve, when I see food, I see that it is good, it is pleasing to my eye and it is desirable. And I
want crave it. But rather than taking a moment to consider whether I actually need it, I focus on the food, thinking about it until it becomes the object of my desire and ultimately an obsession. And so I indulge. I give in to the cravings. And then I feel guilty for having these cravings in the first place.
One of the best sentences I read this week was this: “I was made to crave”. As I read these words and allowed the reality of them to wash over me I realised it’s okay to crave. God wants me to crave. He designed me to crave. The issue is however, not what I was made to crave, but Who. Rather than using food to fill the empty spaces in my life, I need to hunger and thirst after God. First. Not food.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16)
As I ponder the first week of this study, I wonder if I have come to that place where Jesus is truly all I want and all I need. If all the chocolate ice cream in the world was taken away, would He be enough to satisfy my cravings?
I have to believe the answer is “yes”. I know He promised that if I crave Him first I will be completely filled and satisfied and just like that, the consuming cycle of cravings can be broken. It just takes step after step of faith.
So this week I pray for more faith! I pray that I develop a craving for Him like never before so that He becomes the object of my desire, not food. And more than anything I pray that He would meet me right here, right now where I stand, and empower me, equip me and enable me by the Holy Spirit to be an overcomer in this area of my life once and for all.
My heart cries out: Oh God, may I never leave Your presence hungry or thirsty again.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory…because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
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