Why do we feel hungry? The obvious answer is that our body needs nutrients to survive and hunger is reminding us of this need. There are all sorts of ideas about why we physically feel hunger, but there is a psychological component to hunger as well.
We teach ourselves to feel hungry so that our body can get what it needs. It may be a routine. It could be that at 12.30pm every day, you start to feel hungry because that’s when you normally have lunch. There is a routine you have developed which triggers your body to feel hunger. There may be other external factors as well. The smell of coffee or french fries, an ad for ice-cream or chocolate may all be triggers for your feelings of hunger.
These triggers are important. They help us make sure our body gets what it needs.
In Matthew 4 we have this story where Jesus is tempted by Satan, and he is playing on the physical hunger, Jesus must have felt after fasting for 40 days. Matthew writes, “The tempter came to Him (Jesus) and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus would have known physical hunger, but He knew there was something which He desired more. Connection with his Father in heaven. He knew how important feeding on His word was, to this.
How would you have responded? The physical most likely would have been at the forefront of our minds, yet Jesus had an entirely different perspective. What is more sobering is that even when our physical hunger is met, we all too often don’t give any thought to feeding our soul; whether it be through reading Scripture, praying or serving God in some way.
If you aren’t hungering after God the way you know you ought, have you thought about creating triggers to remind your body to hunger for God? Create a routine where you meet with God the same time every day. Come to church each week, meet with other Christians or commit to serve in some way. All these can be triggers to remind you of your need for God.
We cannot live by bread alone. We need God. Maybe it’s time we started reminding ourselves of this.