Loss of appetite in the natural realm is an indicator that there is an underlying physical or mental health issue that needs to be addressed. The same principle applies in the spiritual realm when there is the absence or a diminished desire to feed on the Word of God.
Physical activity of the body will stimulate a hearty appetite to satisfy the developing need to replenish natural water and food.
Spiritual activity will stimulate a hearty appetite to be continuously fed on the Word of God. Such feeding is necessary to maintain one’s present level of spiritual maturity (2John 1: 8), and to move forward in the plan of God.
An advancing disciple moves forward by frequently assessing his/her present status (2Cor. 13: 5); by continuing to grow in the knowledge (2Pet. 3: 18) of the Lord; by applying (James 1: 22) the doctrine that one has secured; and by using the power (John 15: 5) that God supplies.
Jesus taught that those who thirst and hunger (have an appetite) for righteousness will be satisfied (Matt. 5: 6).
We often pray by rote to receive our daily bread (Matt. 6: 11), but do we really have an appetite for it? Is it bread for our stomach or bread for our soul that we seek?
An empty canteen and an empty back pack can satisfy no one. Having a canteen full of water and/or a back pack full of food will be of no use if we don’t fill them up and later make use of the contents.
In the spiritual realm, one’s canteen and back pack is his/her Matt. 7: 24-27 soul structure. One builds and maintains an edified soul stricture through the intake of the Word of God.
How “empty” or “full” our soul structure will be is an ongoing choice that we make every day.
We can satisfy our hunger with junk food, or with food that has nutritional value.
The main ingredients in spiritual junk food are human viewpoint (Matt. 16: 23/1Sam. 16:7/1Cor. 2: 11) and the religious teachings of men (Matt. 15: 9).
Spiritual junk food produced by human viewpoint and/or the religious teachings of men will satisfy the appetite of an untaught (2Pet. 3: 16) believer, but will not produce the desired end result.
Amos 8: 11 speak of a famine, not of bread or water, but rather for hearing the Word of God.
Establishing an appetite for solid spiritual food (1Cor. 3: 2) requires a compatible level of spiritual maturity. (Heb. 5: 12/Heb. 6: 1).
Jesus (John 4: 32, 34) spoke of a food source about which His disciples (at the time) knew nothing. This food (source of energy) did not involve taking in, but rather doing what God desired.
Spiritual food satisfies the present need and prepares one for future activity.
Spiritual exercise (the application of the Word of God) will generate the need for rest (Psalms 23: 2) and the need to restore one’s soul (Psalms 23: 3) to maintain the motivation it takes to continue on (Psalms 23: 6) with the plan of God.
Like starvation in the natural realm, it can involve a long process. The human body can sustain natural life for only a matter of minutes without oxygen, a few days without water, but months without solid food.
Starvation in the spiritual realm usually takes place over an extended period of time. It can last for decades and even scores of time, but begins with the loss of an appetite for the Word of God.
The devil has all kinds of means to spoil the appetite that advancing disciples will develop.
The good news is that as long as one is still alive, spiritual starvation can be treated and cured.
We all have hunger for something. It is good to have a hunger for the right things, for those who hunger after righteousness will be satisfied (Matt. 5: 6/Psalms 107: 9).
In order to make the best of our visit to the doctor's office, we are told to have a list of issues that we want addressed or included in our physical assessment.
Scripture (2Cor 13: 5) commands disciples to make regular self-examinations of their post salvation spiritual lives. An assessment of our appetite for the Word of God should be at the top of one’s list when doing so.
This article was originally posted as a "Writing Challenge" article on my profile at faithwriters.com.