Bill Johnson once said, “In the natural world, when we cease to eat, we become hungry. In our spiritual world, it's only when we begin to eat that we become hungry”. Our bodies are built naturally so that a lack of something we need creates a felt response in our bodies. Our spirits, however, are not designed in this same way. We may feel some vague lack, but what we begin feeling more than anything is a spiritual numbness.
Have you ever had a day which you felt like you were constantly flying in and out of the door? Rushing from a meeting to pick up the kids then rushing to the store then stopping by a friend's house on the way home to make dinner, by the time you flop down to eat you're so hungry and exhausted that you only then realize you never ate lunch that day. It's as if those smells and tastes of food awaken a dormant beast that you managed to distract only so long. You may not have particularly felt or noticed the hunger, but there it is in ravenous amounts after the first bite. In the paradox Bill introduces, it reminds me of these moments. Here are a few good truths that will leave you saying, “How hungry am I?”
The word of God is our daily bread. Most Christians know this and would agree. How hungry are you? In our busy world, it's easier and easier to forget our daily readings. Even when we make time, we often don't get the long stints soaking in the word that we wish we had. Or do we even wish we had them? Has it ever gotten so bad it's become one more thing on the “to do” list? This week I want to challenge you. No matter how little time you have, I want you to open the word and read. Pray for a hunger to start. The more you read, the more you will hunger! It's not like our natural hunger in which our time spent away grows a steady longing. This is a desire that is grown during consumption!
I would take it one step further than Bill and propose that missions is like this too. When we taste that first “bite” of sharing the gospel with someone who needs it, the hunger begins. If you don't long anymore for missions, it may be because you haven't tasted enough recently! I don't mean that you need to fly across the world- though that certainly would be a feast! Simply share right where you are, but share with someone who is out of your daily routine. Share beyond your comfort zone. Drive an extra few minutes to a new side of town. Walk to work instead of driving and see who you bump into. Take that little step. In doing so, you'll be taking a bite of the great commission. And- you won't hear this anywhere else- the great commission is like potato chips. Once you take one bite, you won't be able to stop at just one.