Our discussion last week about the discipline required to nourish our spirits got me thinking about how we create a craving for Christ.
Crave This, Eat That
I don’t know about you, but sometimes the urge for a piece of chocolate is so overwhelming I have to snatch my keys and purse and head to the store to find just the right combination of sweet and salty and bitter to fill my craving. Other times, I know I’m craving something, but I can’t put my finger on what. That’s when I Eat. All. The. Things. Please tell me I’m not alone?!
The truth is our bodies are programmed to crave what we need. Unfortunately, it can be hard to sort out what we think we want from what we actually need. Have you seen those charts that tell you what your body really needs when you’re craving certain foods? Like if you want to devour a Hersey’s bar, your body really needs magnesium and you should crunch up a handful of raw nuts instead. If you want something fatty, you could be low on calcium and would be better off with a piece of cheese or (ahem) a bit of kale. A desire for bread could clue you in to your need for nitrogen, which is better supplied by fish or meat.
Often we think we desire one thing to satisfy ourselves, but that longing is really just a clue to the nourishment our souls really need. Here are some examples.
Are there any you would add to that list?
All our cravings are cured in Christ.All our cravings are cured in Christ. #5senses #experiencegod #tasteandsee Click To Tweet
Last week, we established that just knowing kale was good for me, didn’t necessarily make me like it. With the exception of my friend Jen at 7Core Fitness, I’m not sure I know anybody who really loves kale (she likes burpees and kettlebells, too, so decide for yourself). All kidding aside, there is no denying kale’s health virtues. A lot of times, the things that are best for us, don’t taste that great. But I discovered I could train my body to crave kale.
There was a time when I did crave kale. I had been very intentional about eating it, and other “superfoods,” often and before long I began to notice the difference it made in the way I felt.
Just like we can train our bodies to crave healthy food, we can train our souls to long for truth. We can create a craving for Christ by consuming the Word and recognizing how knowing Him makes a difference in our circumstances. When we begin to notice the benefits of Christ, we’ll begin to crave Him as the solution for our every faith crisis.
Retrain Our Brains
With the sugar epidemic at an all-time high in America, scientists are researching ways to reverse the damage sweets and processed foods are causing our bodies. They have discovered it is possible to retrain our brains to crave the good stuff.
I came across an article in Redbook that suggests 4 simple steps to re-training your body to crave what it truly needs nutritionally. The popular magazine suggests having a support system, focusing on what you can have instead of what you can’t, challenging yourself to eliminate processed foods, and getting creative will help readers meet fitness goals and revamp their nutritional habits.
I think there is some good spiritual application to be mined from these nutritional practices. Understanding that Jesus was the Living Word and that all God’s promises are fulfilled in His Son, it’s easy to see that we can create a craving for Christ by consuming His Word. Here are
4 Ways We Can Create a Craving for Christ
Gather your support team.
First and most important is to have the proper support in place. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you both as you add people to your team and always before you begin to study the Word. Holy Spirit is Christ’s seal on you as a believer and your greatest asset in helping bring to your heart and mind Christ’s message. Other members you should consider inviting to your party are mentors, Pastors, and friends who have like-minded goals for creating Christ cravings. As a side note, Study Bibles can be helpful for providing necessary context, so consider the notes in a trusted version a part of your team.
Focus on God’s Word.
God’s Word is His gift to us, His love letters, His revelation to His people of His plan, His will, and His character. What He wants us to know about Him is contained in the pages of the Bible. The best thing I ever did for my spiritual formation was to just read the Bible. My friend Rachel Schmoyer encourages us to Read the Hard Parts because, much like the necessity of kale to our bodies, the hard parts of Scripture encourage us to go deeper in our faith and trust God’s truth.
Eliminate the Fluff.
This may sound ironic coming from a Christian blogger, but I want you to eliminate the commentaries, the books about the Bible, and anything that is what someone else thinks the Bible is about. I want you to focus solely on the words contained in the Word, using the Holy Spirit as your guide. If something doesn’t make sense, ask Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. Look for cross-referenced verses that shed more light on that day’s passage.
There are several ways to internalize Scripture. You can meditate on or memorize the Word, draw pictures or play songs that come to mind as you read, or turn to full-on Bible Art Journaling like my friends Jana and Sara. You can even create word art images from your own pictures using apps like typroama or the Bible App to share with your friends.4 Ways to Create a Craving for Christ. #tasteandsee #5senses #experiencegod Click To Tweet
Create a Craving for Christ
They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. I’d like to test that theory with you. I’ve created a 21 day fix for our faith formation. You can join my Facebook support group here. Download the reading plan and free Bible Study Worksheets from the group. The only other tools you’ll need would be a pen, some colored pencils, and a journal. There is no commentary or excursus. I just want you to study the Bible for 21 days. One section a day. Within the group, I’ll post the verses for the day’s reading and encourage us to discuss what we’re learning about God from these passages and how His Word applies to our own lives today. This will be a safe place to share what you’re learning and ask questions about what troubles you in Scripture. We’ll encourage one another and share our creativity, too. We’ll start our 21 Day Faith Fix on October 1st.
*wean yourself off the fluff of philosophical debates about Scripture
*feast our hearts and minds on the truth of God’s Word
*gain confidence in reading Scripture for yourself
*create a craving for Christ in our every circumstance
There are an awful lot of tempting treats out there promising to satisfy your soul, but only one thing provides true spiritual nourishment—the Jesus we meet (experience, encounter, taste) in the pages of the Bible. Together we can create a craving for Him by consuming His Word.Join me on this 21-day challenge to create a craving for Christ! #tasteandsee #experiencegod #5senses Click To Tweet
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope