"Oh my goodness, I just had to have that chocolate. I was soooooo craving it!"
If you're human, you have uttered those words before hahaha. Ok, maybe it wasn't chocolate, but insert your favorite comfort food and, chances are, you've experienced a deep craving for it.
For some people, it's sweets. For others, it's salty foods like chips and pretzels. And others just want to hit the fast food drive-thru. We're human, and it's completely natural for us to crave and want.
We also have deep cravings for things beside food (yup, it's true). We crave approval, love, and (this is so very common these days) praise from others.
We see these types of cravings so clearly on social media. Ever upload a selfie on Facebook and then check it constantly to see how many likes you've gotten? Yup, that's a deep craving for a sense of approval and attention from others. Maybe if others acknowledge us in a positive way, that deep need for love and attention will be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, that need is rarely ever fulfilled by Facebook and Instagram likes, attention from others, or food.
The truth is, the things we often turn toward to bring us fulfillment usually leave us wanting even more.
You may have thought that, once you reached a certain number of friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram, you would feel more connected to people, but it actually left you feeling more alone.
You may have thought eating a bag of chips would fix your frustration after a fight with your husband, but afterwards you felt even hungrier and emptier than before.
Imagine if you took all those cravings and directed that energy and longing toward something much greater?
What if instead of craving praise from others we craved the deep love God has for us just the way we are? Yup, you, just as you are, with all your insecurities and "imperfections."
What if instead of craving approval from others we craved building a stronger relationship with God?
What if instead of craving technology we craved engaging with others and sharing God's word?
It is only through focusing our cravings toward God that we can transform our want of things that don't serve us into a life full of constant love, peaceful stability, and true satisfaction.
We often characterize our cravings through physical hunger, but what this hunger actually represents is our need for so much more than food. Matthew 4:4 says, "People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God." Our deepest cravings come when we are attempting to fill a void or feeling of emptiness within ourselves. Food and technology may provide us with temporary satisfaction to these cravings, but within a few hours we will return to this state of longing once again, most likely with an even deeper yearning than the first time. This is because God is the only thing that can truly satisfy our cravings, and our attempts to use other things that don't serve us will only amount to greater discontent within ourselves.
Psalm 81:10 says, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it with good things." If we make God our greatest craving, He will always give us exactly what we need, no matter what. In life, we will be tempted to use the easy way out to satisfy our cravings, like eating that brownie or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours. But instead of looking to these types of things for satisfaction, God wants us to go to Him to have our deepest needs and desires met by Him. He is calling us to realize that our hunger is not for food, and He is asking us to begin pursuing what we are truly longing for... a relationship with Him.
God is so purposeful in His actions that He creates these yearnings within our hearts with the clear intention of drawing us closer to what can truly fulfill us. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." We will never be able to feel true satisfaction unless we realize that He is what we need. It is only through craving Him that our desire for the things that don't serve us diminish and we are able to truly thrive on the path He has laid out for us.
The next time you have a deep craving for something, try turning all that desire toward God. Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
Let your cravings be met by your appetite for God through studying His word, praying and talking to Him about how you are feeling, and reminiscing on all the blessings and grace He has brought into your life. Because it is through this, and only this, that we can change our cravings and fulfill our life's truest purpose.
Remember, regardless of where your relationship with God has been in the past, you can always turn back to him and shift your cravings toward Him starting now, without fear or judgement. He is there, waiting for you, with open arms.
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