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Feeding a Hunger for God

Hunger and satiety are sensations that exist within human bodies. Hunger pains are caused by strong contractions of the stomach when it’s empty. Satiety is the absence of hunger; the sensation within you that makes you feel full after eating a big meal. While the most common New Year’s resolution annually is losing weight, developing a hunger for God doesn’t crack the top 10 on this 2020 list. Perhaps, if spiritual hungers increased, desires for physical food might level off in 2021.

Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry, Matthew 4:1-2.

Prior to beginning his earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit led Jesus to begin a 40 day fast. Instead of maintaining a normal work week as a carpenter, Jesus withdrew into the wilderness for more than a month. To avoid the temptation of watching others eat food, Jesus invested this time into feeding his hunger for God. Although Matthew provides a brief summary of this fast, the only thing Jesus consumed was water during this time in the desert. As the end drew near, Jesus’ brain triggered the release of a hormone called Ghrelin in response to his empty stomach. This sets the stage for the Devil’s arrival on the scene.

And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God, Matthew 4:3-4.

Sensing his weak physical state, the Devil dares Jesus to turn stones into freshly made bread. As a former archangel, Lucifer was aware of God’s almighty power. However, Jesus quickly changes the topic, reflecting upon the words of the Old Testament. Spiritual hunger comes from meditating and reflecting upon biblical promises, Joshua 1:8. When Christians decide to fast, normal meal times are replaced with Bible Study, prayer and worship. Therefore, if you want to lose weight in 2021, feed your spiritual hunger for God by fasting. Come up with a realistic amount of hours or days and let the Holy Spirit guide you, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

The Key to an Extended Fast

Whenever individuals are inspired or moved to begin a spiritual fast, there is a major obstacle that stands in your way. In response to an empty stomach, the human brain triggers the release of a hormone. This hormone called Ghrelin signals the body to release stomach acids to digest food. When food is not consumed during a fast,  the stomach acids begin to attack the lining of the stomach which results in hunger pains. Thus, ones the ways to mentally overcome this barrier is by meditating on the Bible in place of eating.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success, Joshua 1:8.

While a number of congregations begin each January with a church wide fast, bad news can motivate souls to get serious with God by fasting. The context of the passage below begins with news of Israel’s demise. Surviving Jews who had escaped the exile, brought a devastating report on conditions in Jerusalem. As Nehemiah heard that this city was on fire and the walls broken down, weeping triggered a desire to fast and pray for his country. As Joe Biden takes over as president of the United States, now is as good a time as ever to fast and pray for the future of America.

When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven, And I said, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, Who keeps covenant, loving-kindness, and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments, Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned, Nehemiah 1:4-6.

Since fasting for a week or month may not be possible or realistic for some Christians, there is always the Esther Fast, Esther 4:16. This three day fast is based upon achieving a common goal as believers unite to pray for a specific outcome. Although Ghrelin might cause you to become hungry over this 72 hour period, staying focused on prayer typically helps me overcome this physical distraction. If you like music, spending as much time as possible listening to spontaneous worship montages will take your mind off of the physical and direct your concentration toward the supernatural power of fasting and prayer. May this blog inspire you to push your body to the limits so that an extended fast will become a reality in the future.

by Jay Mankus

The Hunger Pains

 

In the 2012 movie sensation, The Hunger Games features an annual made for television competition for 24 contestants ranging from 12-18 years of age.  If chosen, a boy and girl represent one of 12 districts in the nation of Panem.  These select few are taken to the Capitol for training before taking part in this fight to the death event, with only one survivor.  Set in a futuristic North America, the Hunger Games serve as punishment for a previous rebellion and to control future attempts.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S9a5V9ODuY

In the spiritual world, there is a similar game, To Obey or Not to Obey.  Many individuals suffer from a grass is greener on the other side disillusion.  Not satisfied with their own gifts, life and talents, people hunger for a new identity, hoping the emptiness inside their hearts goes away.  Subsequently, a growing number of participants wander down the highway to hell, Matthew 7:13, unaware of the destruction awaiting each soul.

Over the past few months, my hunger for writing has eased up, resulting in a lower audience at Express Yourself 4Him and fewer readers.  This loss of appetite correlates with a decreasing time of reflecting on the Bible.  Whenever I partake in a full course meal of Bible study, prayer and worship, my hunger pains for the world subsides.  Yet, the more I neglect my spiritual condition, these desires for the world multiple.  Therefore, be careful what you wish for or you might find your heart on the wrong side of the fence, Matthew 6:21-23.

by Jay Mankus

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