Do You Hunger and Thirst for God?

Desiring or longing for God has been on my mind a great deal lately. Jesus referred to it as hungering and thirsting for God and the things of God.

Donald Whitney, in his power-packed little book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, reminds us that such hungering and thirsting is a sign of spiritual health and growth. He adds that God is the only “thing” in this world that can truly satisfy our heart’s deepest yearning. And yet, in an almost contradictory way, the more of God we experience, the more of God we want. Our desire or longing for God is never satiated by “the getting.” In fact, it’s just the opposite… the more of God we get the more deeply we desire him.

Folks will sometimes tell me that they “believe in” God (I assume they tell me this in an effort to convince me that their spiritual state is just fine and that I don’t need to bother them with pastor-type stuff). What’s so interesting is that quite often it comes across as though they think they’re doing God a favor by condescending to believe in his existence. But the real question is not primarily “belief in God.” James reminds us that the demons “believe in God” and shudder and tremble from that belief.

The real questions are: Do you desire God? Do you long for God? Do you hunger and thirst for God? Do you love God and want to love him more? Do you want more of God in your life?

St. Augustine said that we are all restless until we find our rest in God. All other pursuits are insufficient. They will not deliver true fulfillment, peace, joy, etc., because they cannot. They are literally unable to do so.

Do you hunger and thirst for God? Even the recognition that you don’t is a step in the right direction. To pray for the desire to desire God must certainly be pleasing in God’s sight and a sure sign that he is at work in your life.

Truth and Joy,
Dale

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3 thoughts on “Do You Hunger and Thirst for God?

  1. Hello, Dale. I stumbled onto your blog off WordPress.

    Do we hunger for God… I can’t help but feel like you’ve left something off from this post and that question. What if I don’t? It feels like there’s an implied “You should desire God!” but if I fail at that should, then am I in trouble? It feels like maybe so…

    What has brought a person to a place where she doesn’t hunger for God? What does a guy do when he desires to desire, but doesn’t? What if he doesn’t even desire to desire? What is God’s feeling towards us or response to our lack of hunger? What do we do from there, if anything? It feels like there’s more to explore. What do you think?

    1. Matthew,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to both read my post and share your thoughts with me. And they are great thoughts.

      One reason, I suppose, for my omission of such an important aspect of the topic is just my own personal shortcomings as a blogger/writer.

      Another reason would be that it’s just a devotional post, and not a longer treatment such as a full-blown article, book chapter or book. Thus, I just didn’t cover all the angles. Maybe I should have.

      The Whitney book that I referenced does treat the topic of not desiring or hungering for God. Another person whose course I’ve recently listened to online, Joe Coe, also talks about times of consolation and desolation… either of which we experience as God sees fit. And, of course, John Piper wrote a whole book on ‘When I Don’t Desire God.”

      You raise important questions. I suppose there is an implied “You should desire God” because, I guess, I greatly desire that folks do just that. But, of course, as Whitney, Coe, Piper, et al., point out, there are a variety of reasons why folks don’t. That just wasn’t on my radar screen when I wrote my post this morning. Perhaps it should have been.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Maybe the “more to explore” part will be forthcoming in another post.

      ps – I look foward to checking out your blog. Based on the address of it, it looks like it will be great.

      Blessings,
      Dale

      1. Thanks for the reply to the reply. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a simple blog post! I suppose I’m a bit sensitive to things that might quickly turn into a matter of willing oneself to be different, and it feels like that’s a potential response one could have here.

        And if I’ve inspired you to ponder and explore more in another post, maybe that’s a plus. Sounds like you’ve quite a number of resources to draw on.

        Blessings as you write and muse and pray!

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