Spiritual Appetite (John 4:31-34)
John 4:31-34, In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
We all have cravings. For many its java (coffee), for some it is a job done successfully, for others its Jesus. We were all creative with cravings. These cravings we were given are a desire to worship the LORD. When a person fails to satisfy the craving for the LORD they become dissatisfied and eventually miserable until that void is filled. One can attempt to gratify these passions with earthly possessions however, there will never be satisfaction until Jesus has the preeminence. For Jesus, He sought the Father every day for direction and purpose.
Jesus enjoyed meals. Throughout the Gospels, He made many significant statements and worked many miracles in the context of a shared table. Whether it was the feeding of the five thousand or the Last Supper, we can see Jesus liked sitting down to a satisfying meal of food and fellowship. However, eating wasn’t the central motivating factor in His life. Sometimes He went without food for extended periods like His fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4).
In the passage today, Jesus chose not to eat while the disciples took time for a meal in town. They left Him by the watering hole and returned later. Meanwhile, Jesus had an extended, life-transforming conversation with the woman at the well.
Apparently, the disciples brought back something for Him and were encouraging Jesus to eat. “But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” His answer caught them by surprise. “Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?’” They could not conceive He had not gratified His hunger for food. They must have thought when we’re hungry we ate! How can He not be hungry?
Knowing their thoughts, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” His priorities put obeying His Father far above satisfying mere physical hunger. Jesus hungered most for His Father’s pleasure. Here, as elsewhere, His view of His role was, “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42).” He had a task to finish for God and skipping a few meals wasn’t going to be a problem. In life, some things are more important than food.
By far, the most satisfying times in life are when we sense we have done as the Lord wanted us to do and served as He wanted us to serve. Those moments remind us that any attempt to satisfy self apart from doing the will of God is inevitably not only a frustrating and empty pursuit, but also creates a very discouraging result.
God is not interested in being our casual interest or an occasional appetite. If we know Him at all, He provokes a craving in us for Himself that should be apparent in our lives. So where does desire for God’s will and work fit into your list of priorities? It’s easy to let our earthly appetites distract us from what really satisfies. Hunger for God is the best kind of hunger, and doing God’s will brings the truest satisfaction.
Sometimes we forget that. We fixate on satisfying ourselves and not on the will of God. The most lasting satisfaction in life comes from knowing we have done as the Lord wanted us to do. Any attempt to substitute anything other than God’s will only leave us feeling empty, frustrated, or discouraged—and hungry again soon.
Questions to Consider:
What is your first craving in the morning?
What do you depend on to get you through the day?
What are some ways in which you communicate and/or demonstrate your craving for the LORD?
Points to Ponder:
Jesus’ greatest craving was to please the Father.
Doing God’s will satisfy your greatest craving.
Prayer, Heavenly Father, teach me each day to rightly value Your will above anything else, particularly my own. Remind me that doing my will can’t satisfy me or please You. Lord, I want to trust You by honoring Your desire throughout my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.