Chocolates and sweets. Alcohol and soda. Salty foods like potato chips. Tobacco. Oily/greasy foods like French fries and hamburgers. Coffee. These foods make up the top sources of cravings for many people. And when the craving strikes, the often irresistible and uncontrollable urge to fulfill that craving usually overtakes any existence of willpower. Give in too often to these cravings, and the calories and fat eventually turn into extra pounds. We know this, yet we still find ourselves unable to resist a craving when it hits.
Some experts say that we crave certain foods because they offer comfort or bring back positive memories and also because they calm us and help relieve stress. Other experts believe that food cravings often indicate some sort of deficiency or imbalance. For example, a chocolate craving can indicate a serotonin (feel good hormone) imbalance, and craving salty food can indicate a mineral deficiency.
We all understand the power that cravings can hold over us, and we also usually understand the need to limit giving in to those cravings in order for our bodies to be healthy and strong.
While food cravings carry negative connotations, there exists a craving that not only will benefit our lives in innumerable ways, but giving in to this craving also carries eternal reward and blessing.
“As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)
Almost everyone has seen an infant that is ready to eat, and no one but momma can fulfill that need. This insatiable desire that we see in babies is the same type of craving that we need to have for God.
What does a craving for God look like? A craving for God exists in a desire for growth that shows itself as a relentless passion for God.
Food cravings don’t just happen all by themselves. We train our bodies to desire these foods when we eat them too often and fail to place healthy foods at the core of our diets. We can also train our bodies and spirits to have a craving for God. As we walk with God through all that life hands us and as we expose ourselves to His goodness and to the wisdom of His word, we develop a passion for Him that can turn into a positive obsession. Being obsessed with God and craving the growth He offers through His word leads to a joy that only comes from Him.
Imagine craving morning devotion and prayer time. Consider a life motivated by an obsession for worship and praise, for expressing love to the family of God and for winning the lost. What changes would you need to make in order to deliberately grow this type of craving for the living God?
Someone with an irresistible and uncontrollable craving for God finds comfort not through the temporal but through the eternal blessings offered by the Savior. A life obsessed with God is one that receives positive feelings and a sense of calm like none ever before known. God can relieve stress and make up for any deficiency, and He can balance any imbalance. Food cravings satisfy only temporarily, but the satisfaction that comes through a life obsessed with the Creator of the Universe provides a motivation that involves obeying God’s Word in a way that allows values to change. As values change, choices change and lives change. When this transformation takes place, a person emerges who focuses on building up and encouraging others, who pursues love, mercy and grace, and who seeks to meet needs rather than have needs met. A life obsessed with God is one that learns to trust Him more and more each day.
Just one taste of a life obsessed with God, and the craving starts to grow because in that one taste, a person can “see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) Tasting that goodness begins the only craving that can truly transform a life in a way that will last forever.
DISCUSSION: What are you obsessed with? What do you crave? How would a life obsessed with God change you and those you influence?