Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hungry yet?

The twins were born early and considered low birth weight.  Because of this, the first several months were consumed with charting feedings and diaper changes, weighing the babies, and doing all we could to ensure they were gaining weight, growing.  I  felt an immense pressure to ensure their nutritional needs were met.  I remember telling the pediatrician that often times I could not get them to nurse.  His profound words changed everything for me, he said, “You can’t make them eat, if they are not hungry.” 

Life lesson:  You have to be hungry!

Tonight we finished our small group studying Greg Ogden’s Discipleship Essentials.  The last lesson is about becoming a disciple with the intent to disciple others.  I had to ponder some of the thoughts for quite a while.  In advising the readers, Ogden referred to 2 Timothy 1:1-18, in which Paul speaks of the importance of looking for a reliable discipleship partner.  The idea is conveyed that some are not suitable for the discipleship process, because they are not trustworthy.  They are not ready.  Why not?  Because they are not hungry enough. 

While contemplating the lack of hunger, I was reminded of how my children love to eat sugary snacks.  We know snacks can ruin an appetite.  We need to carefully discipline ourselves and our kids to choose healthy foods full of nutrients over empty calories.  Consuming only empty calories will cause malnourishment, illness , and eventually death.  Could this be a problem with the American church?  Could we be malnourished because we are filling up on tasty treats rather than nourishing sustenance?  Have we lost our hunger for God’s plan because we fill up on satisfying relationships, good deeds, busyness, and idle words? 

I am once again reminded of  2 Chronicles 7:14, the Amplified Bible says, “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”   Our churches need healing.  We are malnourished. 

How can we get our hunger back?  How can we earnestly crave the nutrient-rich word of God?  We must pray.  We must develop the disciplines of personal prayer and Bible study.  I had the great opportunity to speak with a lady in her 70s a few days ago who talked to me about how she is developing the discipline of a daily, personal quiet time.  It is enriching her life. 

It is never too late to start.  Make the move, get hungry and devour the word.  Not hungry for the word?  Prefer TV, Facebook, or chats with friends?  Pray, ask God to change your appetite.  He made us to crave Him! 

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