One of my favorite things to eat is pizza. There are times I long for a deep dish pepperoni pizza. I think about the crisp but soft crust, the ooey gooey melted cheese on top of the just perfect sauce, topped with crispy edged pepperoni. The aroma of that hot pizza permeates the house, mmm mmm! Can't you just taste it? Have I stirred your desires? Perhaps you've been so thirsty, all you could think about is getting a drink of water. Your mouth very dry, parched to the point that the longing was overwhelming. The thought of the cool, wet, thirst quenching water made you salivate.
These are two examples we all have experienced at one time or another when it comes to cravings. Hunger and thirst. Psalms 42:1 says, "As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God." The Psalmist was saying he is desperate for God, just as a deer is for fresh water. We should fiercely pursuit the Lord. Hunger is an active state that is seeking for a specific need to be satisfied. That's why our bodies often crave specific foods. But the only One that can satisfy a spiritual hunger is the Lord! Psalms 63:5 "You satisfy my soul with the richest foods. My mouth will sing your praise with joyful lips." Mat. 5:6 says, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
There are many things that can draw us away from a hunger for the Lord. Daily chores, errands, friends and family that pull on us to come and 'play', not to mention, but I will, our own wants, watching television, going to the movies, playing sports, working out at the gym, shopping, hobbies, etc. All of these are fun and entertaining. There's nothing wrong with doing them, except when they take the place or priority over our relationship with God. The trouble is, on the one hand we want to a live passive life, while on the other, we have a great attraction for thrill. I suppose that's why we place much time and energy into these other things. Since it's clear that God instilled within each of us desire, perhaps we should consider WHAT we are to desire.
In Matt. 22:37 Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect)."
#1) He is saying, Let Him capture your heart! He wants to be the love of your life. After all, Matt. 6:21, "...where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." What we treasure is what we love. (Children, spouse, vacation, money, food, job) And the place of our affection is obvious by where most of our attention is invested.
#2) The soul is the 'core' of a person. It is the inner self or what defines us. Loving the Lord with ALL our soul is expressed in our choices, lifestyle, how we spend our money, or what we do with our time. Remember love is demonstrated not just verbalized. John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love, Me you will obey My commands." We can tell when our heart is captured, because our way of life (soul) becomes God centered.
#3) Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God." Real transformation begins with a renewed mind. When we begin to think differently, we act differently. Allowing the Word of God to permeate our mind brings us into agreement with God. Therefore, we come to know the Truth and recalling His love, goodness, mercy and grace and loving Him with our mind.
In Phil. 3:8 the Apostle Paul stated, "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ". Misplacing our affections cause our desire for God to diminish. Consider what Paul wrote, compared to knowing Christ nothing else matters. Yes, life must be lived, work must be done, but in the essence what surpasses it all, when it comes to the end of life, the only thing we'll have when we meet the Lord is our love for Him. Let your desire for Him prevail over the craving for things.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."