Who's Hungry? - Cooper Williams
Cooper makes an eloquent debut, writing about the difficulties of remaining inspired in our faith. He challenges us to commit to intentional spiritual practices in our lives, reasoning that the more we keep God as a part of our lives, the less we will be able to manage without Him.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Psalm 42:1
As Jesus’ followers we would like to think that spending time with God comes naturally to us. We exist in a community of believers who, together every Sunday, do just that.
But, without a real spark of inspiration every once and awhile, we can find ourselves in need of a ‘push’; usually prompted by that thin film of dust slowly coating our Bibles. In my experience, this gradual decline in zeal for the things we need as Christians will creep up on us time and time again unless we ask God for help.
I would like to suggest that you can develop a sort of hunger for God’s word. A natural hunger and one that can be sated by food to nourish and grow a body.
Jesus says in John 6 that He Himself is the ‘bread of life’.
“Here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die...Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:50 & 53).
Jesus tells us that to fill ourselves with Him is to fill ourselves with life, and that without Him we are bereft of that Spiritual life, just as if we were starving ourselves of that same bread.
By ‘eating the bread of life’ does Jesus mean keeping good spiritual habits, like reading the Bible and praying, perhaps? We can choose to see these practices as both our way of being refreshed and satiated in our faith each day, and a way for us to grow.
God’s Daily Bread
A struggle that I’m sure we have all faced is in consistently making time for God in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes we may read pages and pages of the Bible in a sitting, and yet other times that appetite for God’s word is just not there.
We must note that there are differences between physical and Spiritual food. We need our ‘bread of life’ in some form regardless of whether or not we are hungry for it. We can go days without it and not realise we are in deficit.
On the other hand, the more time we set aside to nourish ourselves with Spiritual food—however we may choose to do it—the more persistent this hunger will become on a day-to-day basis. It’s as if the more bread you eat the more bread you will want to eat in the future. And this is a good hunger to have.
Jesus instructed his disciples to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew chapter 6, verse 11).
Indeed, for me, this spiritual nourishment has to be daily. Taking more time out of my week to familiarise myself with God’s word and establish a stronger bond in prayer has made me want to continue doing just that.
Finally beginning to recognise a need within me for this kind of daily refreshment has helped to prevent my faith from stagnating. I have found that the longer I keep God as part of my routine, the less I can go without Him, and the more I see that things like prayer are essential.
“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.” Psalm 105:4.
I believe that reading scripture and praying should be deliberate actions: ones which we do with purpose. In other words, we make an effort to better our relationship with God each time we do these things, rather than to purely maintain a routine.
The more time we set aside to nourish ourselves with Spiritual food—however we may choose to do it—the more persistent this hunger will become on a day-to-day basis. It’s as if the more bread you eat the more bread you will want to eat in the future. And this is a good hunger to have.
So when we do develop this kind of hunger, we should not only have regular practices that we put in place each day, but alongside it a distinct desire to know God deeper.
Make it your prayer that God may fill you with an eagerness to spend time with Him in your week. Ask for His guidance as you read His word.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Isaiah chapter 55, verse 1
Cooper is a Year 13 student at Rangitoto College. He is a leader in Tribe at Windsor Park and an avid musician. He loves sauerkraut and structuring his thoughts through writing. He would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org // Photo: Kirstyn Paynter
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