For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
- Psalm 107:9
There is a desire within the human that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God. Despite the Bible being the most popular book ever written, people still search elsewhere, remaining unsatisfied. That yearning is still within them. Some ignore it, locking it behind a door in their hearts, while others spend their lives searching for meaning.
Inside our being, we long for something but find it difficult to describe. When we are hungry for food or thirsty for a drink, our bodies give clear signals. From an early age, we know and bow to those two powerful indicators. Even as a baby, we cry when not satisfied. But what of the hungry soul? What do we do for that?
Identifying the craving for spiritual food is a lot more difficult than for hunger or thirst. It's almost a dull pain, an unclassified internal urge, but for what?
We are made in the image of God, and that pain is a built-in need to reconnect with our creator. Many adopted children have a desire to find their birth parent/s. They feel a strange sense that something is missing, but they can't put their finger on it. It is the same with us and God. That strange sense that something is missing is our need to find our Saviour.
I had a friend from the beach, long passed away now, who, for years, trekked through Europe, Tibet and other Asian countries searching to satisfy that longing within his soul. He soaked himself in the religions on offer, he bought books to educate himself, he practised daily rituals and even dressed like the adherents of those beliefs thinking that would help. He was searching for God. My friend spent almost a third of his life trying to fill the hole in his heart, and nothing fully worked. Some gave him feelings of peace and a closeness to his spiritual side, yet he returned home unsatisfied. The yearning was still there.
Then he spoke to a Christian friend about his journey. The friend shared what Jesus had done in his own heart and invited him to church. In that first meeting, the need was met. After all the lost years and thousands of wasted dollars, of not getting married or having children, he found his Saviour two kilometres from the house he left.
Why didn't he save himself all that anxiety, trouble, and expense? He wrote-off church as a group of people who just followed rules. Such was his bias, he didn't even go down there to enquire.
When I met him, he said, "Niv, if I'd only listened to the people that told me about Jesus before I left, I could've saved myself a lot of wasted life. I spent years wandering across the globe in search of what I found right here, but I ignored it"
Feeding the soul
We can try and feed the soul in self-absorbed ways but it won't work. There are plenty of readers following writers into their self-centred world, but we will never be satisfied until we realise this is God's world and the deeper our connection with God the more satiated we will be. The more we focus on him and less on ourselves, the more satisfied and rested our life will become. Jesus is the vine. When people become the branches, after giving their lives to him, they are fed. That is the only way our souls will ever be content.
Five ways to help fill the hungry soul
1. Be still and know that I amGod.(Psalm 46:10). For a soul to be fed properly it must be at peace. This Psalm was written to give hope to believers when the wicked seemed to gain power. Yet, it applies across all aspects of a believers life. Our Lord brings such peace and stillness to our lives the world cannot match it.
2. Smile more. This physical phenomenon goes deeper than just the upturning of our lips. It pleases our internal senses and feeds us deep within. Become aware of it. God loves a cheerful heart.
3. Read the books of Moses: Genesis-Deuteronomy holds secrets. Dad told me to do that as a foundation for the rest of my Bible reading. Once I did that, so many other readings were immediately put into perspective. From here, your bewilderment with much of scripture will be removed, and the thirst of your soul will be quenched as you find many events and dialogue fitting into place.
4. Close your eyes and praise God to yourself. Let praises rise up within, in silence. There are plenty of times you can do it aloud, but here just let your mind and heart praise and thank him, not your mouth. let your entire body rise up in silent joyful praise.
5. Weep for others' dilemmas.
Until we weep in prayer over someone else's problems, we are not yet on their 'front line' of offence. We are still marching within the safety of the ranks. If God has called us to love our neighbour, this is one way we do it. Move to the front and take up the real charge of prayer.
As our bodies cry out for a range of elements, such as food, drink, vegetables, fruit, vitamins and minerals, so the soul needs various ingredients to satisfy its cravings. Let the Lord fill your hungry soul with his goodness, the only means of satisfaction.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for my hungry soul, and thank you for the provisions you make to satisfy it. Please help me be more aware of my spiritual needs, and those ingredients that satisfy them.
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