Craving The Right Food
By Buddy Gosey
What do you hunger for?
And I don’t mean pizza and ice cream as you finish your last week on the whole 30 diet. I’m talking about the thing that gets you up early in the morning and keeps you up late at night. What drives you to do more? This drive to satisfy an appetite deep inside you is a good, God-given trait. The key is making sure we hunger for the right things.
In John chapter 4, after a long morning of travel, a thirsty, weary Jesus rests by a well in Samaria while His disciples go into town to find food. When they come back, they urge Jesus to eat. They figured He was exhausted from all His travel and a quick lunch would restore His energy.
After they pressed Him to eat, Jesus, in typical fashion, gives an unexpected answer. Instead of reaching for a quick lunch and saying, “Thank you,” Jesus utilizes the situation to teach about hunger and satisfaction.
He tells them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” (v.32)
Understandably, His disciples are now very confused. They proceed to ask each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” Jesus quickly responds by telling them that, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (v.34)
Suddenly, the disciples realize Jesus is not talking about actual food for the belly. He’s giving another glimpse into His heart and the motivation that drives Him to labor so hard, day after day. Like a man starving for a morsel, Jesus will do anything to do the will of His Father. Something had to be driving a man to live as relentlessly as Jesus, to walk hundreds of miles a month, to serve thousands of people a year, and ultimately choosing to die for the same people who wanted to kill Him. Clearly, Jesus was deeply motivated, and for the first time, his disciples got a clear glimpse of what drove Him.
Jesus did not gain His strength and satisfaction from bread and water. Refreshment to continue the journey couldn't be found in something that needed to be digested. Jesus both hungered for and was sustained by something more. The sustaining will of His Father and a burning hunger to finish His work was the only thing that would strengthen Him through His journey to Calvary. This better food ultimately satisfied when He finally could exclaim from the cross, “It is finished.” Until then, Jesus always hungered for more.
Ironically, the very thing you believe satisfies is that for which you will continually hunger. We hunger with a God-given appetite, but we too often mistakenly try to satisfy that hunger with things that are not true food. If you seek pleasure, comfort or acceptance outside of the Lord and His will for your life, you will never be full. You will always be settling for something less and be deceived into believing you are satisfying a hunger that merits your efforts. Too often we gorge on special treats or sweets that will never fill us up or keep us nourished. As good as the first piece is, could you live on chocolate pie?
Because we are spiritually malnourished, our improperly motivated hearts don’t see our God-given tasks through to completion. We weaken and falter, eventually giving up. Why? We haven’t hungered for the right thing. We can’t be sustained when the work gets hard, because we don’t see His will as both our incentive and source of sustenance.
The disciples learned a valuable lesson that day. When nothing in this world can provide the motivation necessary to keep you going for a lifetime, a hunger to finish the work God has given you can see you though. He is the one who will provide you with purpose worthy of your sacrifice. He is the one who ultimately will nourish your soul.
For what do you hunger? What nourishment keeps you going? Compliments, comfort and criticism may give you a quick burst of energy, but they will never sustain you when real work is required. True food, good food, not only satisfies you in the moment but sustains you through the grind of life. Ultimately you must ask yourself, “Do you hunger to do the work of God?”
The good news of the Gospel frees us from the burden of work so we can freely work. We no longer hunger to be accepted by God, as we are stuffed with grace. We labor from a position of acceptance. We find satisfaction not in our accomplishments, but in our position as a child. From this position, our hunger now is to work beside our Father. We hunger to be about the work of the One who saved us. The paradox of the Gospel is that we have enough in Christ Jesus, yet we always want more—more of Him in our lives, more of Him in the lives of others. When we hunger for more of Jesus, we realize that He is the only one who is enough.
Want to read more about hungering to do God’s work and allowing him to sustain us during the difficult times? My book, Enough: Someday Starts Today is now avaiable on Amazon.com and Books-A-Million.com. Pick up a copy today!