“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 NIV).
We all have cravings. A craving is a deep desire that implies something stronger than a mere want or desire. Often our cravings are for unhealthy food or drink, which is ok occasionally, but excess consumption increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Junk food and drinks feeds the flesh but not the soul.
Our spiritual health is also important and must be properly fed. 1 Peter 2:2 teaches, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” We can feed ourselves spiritually through prayer and time spent in Scripture. However, lifeis full of temptations and urgent problems which all serve as distractions from our spiritual cravings. So, how can we be expected to sustain a spiritual appetite? Below are five steps to consider.
God loves YOU always and forever
Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). His grace is infinitely stronger than our sin. A life lived in Him and for Him means that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Stand firm on His promises.
Stop filling up on junk food
We all have free will to choose how we feed ourselves. Some of us will try to complete themselves with work, promotions, status, salary, power, possessions, etc. These things feed the ego “flesh” but not the soul “spirit.” If you feed the flesh, you will never be satiated. Proverbs 15:14 teaches, “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
Put God first in all things
As Christian men we need to have a hunger for God and His word. There is nothing more important than Him and our relationship with Him. The First Commandment is to have no other gods before Him. Everything else (family, work, house, hobbies, etc.) will all fall into place when we maintain a spiritual hunger for God. The hunger for God must be sincere and must be a natural product of prayer and submission to the Holy Spirit.
Get into God’s Word every day
The Bible is God’s word and nourishment for our souls. Eating one healthy meal a week won’t keep your body healthy. The same is true for our spiritual health. We need to feed on His word every day. 1 Peter 2:2 teaches us, “You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.”
Appetite is influenced by association
We influence each other. Our thoughts, opinions, accents, etc. are influenced by those close to us. Men need a band of brothers for the battle. We need others seeking God’s face in our foxhole. My weekly small group of men helps me to hunger for God. Proverbs 27:17 teaches us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Prayer: Dear God: We pray the prayer of Psalmist in Psalm 51:10. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.
Gulf South Men is a regional ministry coming along side churches and men’s ministries by offering Education, Training, Resources, Men’s Events and Mentoring to help churches build effective men’s ministry and make disciples for Christ.
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