Posted in Faith

Spiritual Starvation

Have you ever come out of an especially dark season and been surprised by joy? Or been released from an extended period of fear and tension, to finally collapse into the warmth and rest of safety? Has a load ever been lifted, that left you feeling lighter and freer than you ever thought you could feel?

Or, on the other end of the spectrum – have you gone without something for so long, that you acclimatized to the gnawing pains of hunger within you?

Have you become accustomed to starvation?

This is the question that has been winding around my brain over the past couple of weeks – ever since I participated in a three-day food fast along with my church. Now, I really suck at fasting. I’ve never been able to do the full three days, as many people are able to do. This time around, I fasted from breakfast and lunch for two days, and that was as far as I got.

But it always amazes me, even with the partial fast, how I notice such an intense difference in my body as soon as I begin to eat normally again. With my first meal, I can literally feel my energy being renewed. Minute by minute, my alertness and strength return in fuller and fuller measure. It is as if I am a depleted gas tank, and fuel is being poured into me – from my head, to my stomach, and into my limbs, fingertips, and toes.

The first day after my most recent fast, when I again ate a full three meals, I felt almost euphoric. That afternoon, I went out skating with my boys in the crisp air for a good hour and a half. Then as I was in the kitchen making supper after returning home, I felt positively light, awake, and even…bouncy! I asked myself, “My goodness, why do I feel so good?” And then I remembered: I had eaten that day!

It was as if, even in that very short amount of time, I had forgotten what it felt like to be full.

And it caused me to ask myself another question: How am I doing spiritually? Am I walking around full of the Holy Spirit? Or am I hungry? Depleted? Wasting away, and trying to fill the emptiness with all kinds of silly things that have no nutrition – no staying power?

How many of us – even Christians, in the Church, are bored? Tired? Longing? Famished?

And if so, are we even aware of our state? Or have we become accustomed to spiritual starvation?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

If I reflect on my years of following Jesus, there have been a few precious times when He has jolted me awake with a shock of His love. For example – an unexpected affirmation, deep in my spirit, that comes out of nowhere and leaves me amazed at His goodness. Or a precise and immediate snipping of some kind of tie that had kept me bound for years. Or an overflowing of love for God and other people that I’m not capable of on my own.

But let me be honest – these moments are the exception, not the rule.

And though they leave me feeling full when they happen – sometimes, for days; the effect generally does wear off.

I get hungry.

And that is when I need to return and let His Spirit fill me again. Like having three square meals a day: if I don’t keep up the habit, I run out of steam.

No, it’s not always a feast that I can live off of for days to come. (Maybe this is intentional, because He wants us to keep coming back!) But it’s regular, solid nutrition, that keeps me grounded in Him and gives me the stamina to persevere from day to day.

And as I get into the habit of filling my spiritual stomach with what it needs – the Word, meditation, and conversing with God – it becomes the thing I reach for, without even a second thought.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Matthew 5:6 NIV

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8 NIV

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Psalm 34:10 NIV

Dear Lord:

It saddens and surprises me that I could be starving spiritually, without even knowing it. Help us, as your Church, to learn what it means to be full. To not grow so accustomed to pangs of hunger that we fail to acknowledge they’re even there, or attribute them to something else. We need you, Lord – like water, like food. Fill us anew and give us grace to face what you have for us today, and in the coming days.

Thank you, Jesus. We love you, Lord.

Amen.

Are you hungry for more of God? Can I pray for you? Leave any prayer requests you may have in the comments.

Warm wishes,

Lisa

(Featured image is a photo by Monstera from Pexels)

Author:

Hi, I'm Lisa, a born-and-bred-in-Manitoba mom of 2 boys. Having lived in 7 different Manitoba towns or cities, I've managed to stay warm in them all 😜❄. I am trained as a music therapist but currently work as a fulltime stay-at-home-mom by day, and a piano teacher in the evenings. By night, well...I sleep. Usually.

22 thoughts on “Spiritual Starvation

  1. Hi Lisa.

    The question you ask your readers, “have we become accustomed to spiritual starvation?” is an invitation to take serious inventory of our lives in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. I pray for those who have read your post (and will) that they will in turn invite the Holy Spirit to address this subject with them. These are days when God’s people should be anything but spiritually starved. Thank you for this post, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What strikes me so much is that you didn’t know how hungry and thirsty you were and how good that wholesome food truly is. The starving was needed to awaken a hunger and thirst for pure food and drink. And isn’t that just like our walk with Jesus? He shuts off the avenues we have been finding our value, worth and identity in (filling with unhealthy, sickening food and drink) to draw us back into pure communion with Him. We can’t even keep ourselves from feeding off bad stuff: we need Him to teach us like little kids. He uncovers our hunger and thirst by starving us of what we think we “need” to show us what we really need: Him alone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think it’s a one-time affair, that uncovering and drawing unto Him: but a life-long, deeper awakening to Him and His life breath for us. He’s done what you speak of in me too – but hasn’t stopped taking me deeper and deeper. I have kept thinking I “get it” and He’s like: “oh no, sweety, we’ve only gotten started.” It’s quite the adventure with Jesus, isn’t it?!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t think of it…long story behind it, but it began playing at random yesterday (I had never heard it), as God was showing me that He was uncovering a thirst for Him in those I am interceding for through the awful hard and hopelessness I could see (He saw the fruit coming – what I needed to see, to see with faith, hope and joy). But He showed me that that thirstiness in them is being uncovered as He uncovers that same thirst in me – to bring us all to Him. He ALWAYS works in humility and withness – never through pedestals of pride. So that we come to Him together, as One.

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      2. BTW I don’t know if you know, but my husband isn’t a believer (married him as a Prodigal). But of all people it is my husband who has drawn me to Christ the most. He is God’s sanctifying tool in my life so much. Deeply humbling and so upside down, breaking my religious boxes of who He is. He’s teaching me to live by faith and that faith (Jesus) tells me:

        1 Corinthians 7:14 ESV
        For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

        And I have watched Jesus uncovering other loved ones’ childhood faith, as He’s been lifting the horror of abuse and trauma they went through. He’s revealing Himself in them and my husband is watching and it is just SO incredible.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Amazing, Anna! Dear Lord, please continue to give Anna strength as she bears witness in her husband’s life! Please draw him nearer and nearer, as only you can do. Amen.

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      4. Amen. My greatest desire as a little girl was to really really really know God’s grace intimately and in its depth. He’s taking me there. As He heals me from spiritual abuse and trauma, pouring out mercy and grace in abundance, I am watching Him heal others through me. He’s bringing His Prodigals home…but in the most uncanny ways. Since leaving physical “church”, His Spirit has been poured out in greater and greater measure upon me and in my midst. He’s surrounded me with His Body locally and the world over.

        It’s like with Elijah – there were so many other faithful followers but at first he thought he was all alone – but Jesus only set Him apart to prepare Him: as He has me unto Him: to see Him and love Him in the lost sheep He is even now picking up in my midst to carry home (as He picks me up and carries me home too).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LORD I ask You to increase our hunger and thirst that we might be SO filled with You that Your lost sheep and lambs will come running home into that love they see overshadowing us and healing us and knowing us inside and out. Pour out Your oil of mercy in our midst. Let Your lost see You in us and open our eyes to see You in them that we might offer them that drink, clothe and feed them, visit them in their prison and in so doing offer You that drink, visit You and feed and clothe You. Humble us, I pray Papa – to not do what we think is right and good but to pick up our Cross and follow You into being of no reputation, even to our brothers and sisters, that we might glorify You in each other and in the lost who You are bringing HOME!

        Liked by 1 person

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