I’m sure we are all familiar with cravings of some sort, especially when it comes to craving food. I remember when Kelly was pregnant with Katelyn I came home from work one day to find her in the kitchen eating whole kernel corn out of the can. When I looked at her rather surprised she said, in a rather scary voice I might add, “What? The baby wants corn.” I slowly backed out of the kitchen. When Kelly tells the story, she says that the corn was in a plastic bowl and had been heated up in the microwave. No, it was cold corn straight from the can. Oh, and if I want her to know I told this story, I’ll tell her.
Cravings are not uncommon in our lives, though we mostly associate them with physical cravings. What about spiritual cravings? Are there spiritual things that we should have cravings for? The answer to that is yes. The Bible speaks often about God’s people craving spiritual things. Look at just a few examples of this.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV)
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2 NKJV)
“My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Psalm 84:2 NKJV)
From this small sampling, we can see that the clear testimony of Scripture is there are spiritual cravings that Christians have. One of the things that we do see from this sampling is that the Christian’s cravings center on God. The ultimate spiritual craving is for God, for His righteousness, His glory, His presence and His goodness. One of the ways we satisfy this desire for the Lord is through His Word.
“as newborn babes, 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 (NKJV)
Since we have tasted the goodness of God we are to desire the Word of God. The word desire means to have an intense longing for or to crave. It not only implies a desire but it also pictures a willingness to do whatever is necessary to acquire this desire. The wording in the Greek also implies that this desire is active and objective. In other words, this is a continual desire and not just anything will satisfy it. In this case, there we will have a continual desire that can only be satisfied by the Word of God.
One of the things we would have to recognize about this is that it would include the preaching of the Word as well as your personal reading of the Word. Chances are every one of us has multiple Bibles that we own. So when we see a Scriptural reference like this we automatically apply it to reading our Bible. We have to remember that at the time this was written personal copies of the Bible did not exist. The way they were able to study the Bible was to gather together for worship and study it through the preaching and teaching of the Word.
While this desire for God’s Word would certainly apply to personal study of the Bible, it cannot be limited to that. A desire for the Word of God is a hunger to study it personally AND a hunger to hear it preached. That is why preaching is a part of worship. Remember that to worship God is to declare His worth. God Himself is worth so much to us that we gladly invest time to hear His Word read and explained to us. We declare His “worth” when we desire to hear and gain a better understanding of His Word.
This is something I see missing in the American Church today. This is why it is so hard to get people to be faithful to come to church. This is why so many come out of a sense of obligation instead of desire. This is why for so many any little thing that comes up is a good reason to miss church. Why make going to church a priority when all that’s going to happen is singing and preaching.
Do you see this sort of desire for God’s Word reflected in your life? Think about these questions.
Do you consistently read your Bible every day?
When it comes time to read your Bible what is your attitude like? Do you have an attitude that says, “Hooray it’s time to read my Bible” or do you have an attitude that says, “I need to get this over with so I can do something else”?
What is your attitude about going to church to hear the Bible preached? Do you have an attitude that says, “Hooray it’s time to go to church and study the Bible” or do you have an attitude that says, “Well I guess I better go”?
Our attitude about our personal study time and the opportunities to hear the Word preached are very revealing about our desire for God’s Word.