Both for the physical body, and for the spiritual man that lives within us, loss of appetite is, in a word, disastrous. For all practical purposes a complete lack of or prolonged loss of appetite is a death sentence. Without hunger, we will die. We are creatures incapable of living, begetting, or just being without the aide of hunger to push the drive toward nourishment.

The field of medicine is wrought with case studies regarding loss of appetite, apparent causes, and all too often the sad outcomes. In it’s most basic sense, organisms’ appetite alerts and hunger signals propel all higher life forms towards the consumption of energy sources for the sustainment of metabolic functions. Without hunger, without appetite, we do not eat, and when we do not eat, we die.

There are many causes for loss of appetite both physically and spiritually. Let us, for the moment, consider the spiritual aspects of each analogy. It is common to see the condition at end of life or old age. But it is heartbreaking to see the same loss of appetite in a young one, in one whose life is just beginning to take shape, those just launching out into their spiritual journey with the Lord, as though the time for death had come all too early. Loss of appetite is also commonly associated with disease, psychologically traumatizing events, loss or death, or injury. Each of these circumstances can play out in a powerfully transcendent and emotional sense to the point that, the spiritual food that was once craved is now pushed to the side.

Perhaps just as devastating are the emotions and spiritual pangs of desire for those watching a loved one’s hunger wane. It is frightening to bystanders and spiritual caregivers as they watch one fully capable of eating, who NEEDS to eat, simply push back the plate that God has prepared. There is a supreme feeling of helplessness when we are forced look on in agony as one we love begins to wither and diminish because of a lack of hunger.

As a pastor, as a saint of God, it is distressing and tragic beyond words when we have more appetite, more desire, for another’s walk with God than they have for themselves.

It was common for the Lord Jesus to teach in analogy, “the kingdom of Heaven is like…” Indeed it is His most prolific and powerful New Testament tool at reaching into the heart and understanding of mankind. Perhaps for this reason He answered that Old Serpent in the way He did; when tempted with the driving force that is hunger, Jesus answered Satan,

It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 KJV

It must come as no surprise to us that, without the hunger for the “bread of life” (John 6:35 KJV) our spiritual man CANNOT survive.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 KJV

We CAN live victoriously in Him. We CAN survive AND thrive in Him. But the prerequisite is hunger.God is eager to satisfy desire. God is eager to fill us up. But He will not force us. He will not push us. He will not choose for us. Without hunger, we will die.

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