Coming down off a sugar-high
Twix. M&Ms. Heath. Kit Kat. Snickers. I bought the Halloween candy much too early. A fun-size here and a fun-size there adds up to way too much sugar for me and not enough candy left to meet the need when the neighborhood kids came knocking.
I told myself I could stop with just one piece. Ha! One piece only created a desire for more. One bite was so good, it lead to another. Two bites dictated a third. Once that indulgent taste was in mouth, I just couldn’t get enough.
I know from experience that best way to develop my sweet tooth is to keep slurping up the sugary treats and the quickest way to shut down my sugar cravings is to stop eating sugar. When I deny myself, I forget how truly great the treats taste. My desire for sugar continues to lessen with time. But if I have a taste – say, even just one small Hershey Kiss – then I want more. And the more I consume, the more I long to experience the creamy sweetness on the roof of my mouth.
Longing for God
In a similar way, I can either fuel or smother my passion for God. If I want my faith to remain dull and lifeless, then I limit the time I spend with Him. I will keep God at arm’s length. But if I want to increase my desire for Him I will position myself to experience Him over and over.
David’s desire for God consumed him. In the sixty-third psalm, He compared his longing for His maker to the need for water in the desert.
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1, NLT
David longed for God like a thirsty body aches for water. Or like a sweet-tooth craves more sugar. However, one drink of God did not satisfy David. The more David experienced God, the more deeply he longed for Him.
God created within us a passionate desire for something beyond ourselves – an intense longing that only a passionate pursuit of Him can ultimately satisfy. Unfortunately, we too often try to satisfy our God-given, passionate craving with something else like money, a career, children, or other relationships. But, no substitute will ever permanently quench our spiritual longing for God. Only an intimate, passionate relationship with our Creator can fully and completely fill us up to overflowing.
Developing a Desire for God
And like my craving for candy, the more we partake or experience God the more we will desire Him. We won’t be able to get enough of Him. Experience with Him fuels our passion. Someone with a fiery passion for God will be satisfied in Him yet always seeking more of Him. Theologian A.W. Tozer calls this the “soul’s paradox of love.” (By the way, Tozer wrote this long before the Newsboys sang it.)
King David is the ultimate biblical example of this kind of unquenchable longing for God. Although David had found God he continued to relentlessly pursue Him.
How strong is your desire for God? If it’s weak, the best way to develop it is to get a taste. If you don’t spend time with Him regularly, start small. If you do, take it to a new level. Spend a day in prayer and fasting or take a spiritual retreat. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in even some small way. Listen for His voice. Watch for His activity. Experience His goodness and love. You won’t be able to get enough.
What are some things you can do to strengthen your craving for God?