Do you feel stuck craving the wrong things? The wrong things for your body, your time, your soul?
Did you know that you can train your body, mind and soul what to crave? You actually train yourself day in and day out. And if, like me, you misdirect your cravings to learn to crave some pretty empty, destructive things, there is good news. You can actually turn it around and teach yourself to crave the best alternative to that.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said:
The Greek word for “seek” is “Zeteo.” One of the words to define this is “to crave.”
We are to crave first the stuff of God- of His work, His kingdom, His glory.
There is good, good news in this. The stuff of sheer delight.
If we currently crave the stuff of self- our glory, our satisfaction, our ease, our respect, our success, our performance, our achievement, our reputation, our popularity- that can be turned around. These leave a gaping hole- an incredible empty that we can’t manipulate, control, or whoa-is-me our way to eeking out of others or our circumstances enough to fill. We can teach ourselves to crave well.
We Can Teach Ourselves To Crave Him Who Satisfies
The more we enjoy Him, the more we will crave Him.
The more we experience Him and take in His truth, the more we will be able to face our day fully prepared and strong.
Taste and see how very good He is…Jesus the bread of life.
Jesus the Bread of Life
In John 6, we see Jesus miraculously feeding a group of 5,000 men plus some uncalculated number of women and children. Then, a crowd hunted him down later in another town, looking to him to give them physical food. He declared to them that He was the bread of life, but that they did not seek Him in truth. They began to grumble, and He went on:
47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.
He is the only one who can satisfy the soul. He can satiate the incredible empty, put our pieces back together, and make us whole. We often seek other bread.
- the bread of achievement
- the bread of success
- the bread of attention
- the bread of performance
- the bread of money
- the bread of stuff
- the bread of numbing addictions
- the bread of entertainment
What bread are you seeking? Is it the bread that truly satisfies?
What We Feed, We Desire
The great news is that if you are craving something other than the bread of life, you can train yourself to crave Him!
“What we feed, we desire.
What we eat, we learn to crave”
Have you ever heard the studies indicating that children may need to taste a new food up to 15 times before they acquire a taste for it?
I’ve put this to the test in my own life and in my kids’ lives, and found it to be quite true. I realized that if we eat fake sugar that is 2000 times more sweet than natural sugars, our body will crave that bogus level of sweetness. Honey and dates in tea and yogurt will never be enough. However, if I train my kids to taste honey as sweet, it will be sweet to them (by training I mean- not telling them- but feeding it to them day in and day out).
I’m really not a terrible mom, but bear with me here- if I teach them that kefir and berries is a “milkshake,” they will enjoy it as a milkshake. And they do! If I eat something good for me enough times, I find myself craving it- even if I didn’t really like it very well previously. (Quinoa and asparagus both count here for me).
I’m not saying this to urge you to drink dairy kefir (though it is incredibly good for you). I’m saying this for a bigger, more important perspective.
We can train ourselves to crave things that are not good for us. Things like artificial sugars that leave our body signalling that we are hungry when we are really full, compelling us not only to have an exaggerated requirement to taste “sweetness” but also to feel an exaggerated form of hunger when our bodies are really full. Similarly, we can train ourselves to crave a drug to get ourselves going or calm ourselves down. We can train ourselves to crave a sexual experience that could never exist in real life with a real person.
Alternatively, we can train ourselves to crave real, down-home goodness. The natural goodness of a glass of kefir. The down-to-earth honey of an honest smile. The taste of God’s love through a human heart. We can learn to crave long-lingered, whole-hearted prayer. We can yearn for time meditating on Scripture and praying it slow and deliberate-like.
How Do We Re-train our Cravings?
By tasting it. Again and again. More than fifteen times.
And we learn that it truly satisfies.
Some things we crave leave us yearning for more and more of something that temporarily and partially quells the longing in our soul. Something that ultimately harms us. But we just. can’t. stop.
Other things satisfy, and yet leave us with a reverential awe and longing more for God. More for heaven. They satisfy on a deep level. They leave us more whole, more full, more real and honest ourselves. These longings linger not because they don’t satisfy, but because they do. They satisfy now and more completely in heaven. And we need them satisfied on a moment by moment basis. They are real soul needs. They are what our souls were made for. Therefore, they can truly satisfy.
Sip Life Slowly and Enjoy It
This blog is written with you in mind. To nudge you a little closer to the One who made you. To challenge you to engage in your life more fully. To inspire you to pursue your priorities more wholly and holy. And to experience sheer delight along the way.
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Photo adapted from Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash
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