Governing Spiritual Hunger

Spiritual hunger is a good thing. It’s a sign that someone is alive in Christ, and Jesus promises to satisfy the hunger.

However, just like appetite naturally needs to be governed for maximum benefit, so it is in the Spirit. There’s a tendency among believers, especially the newborn and the young, to want to feed on the equivalent of spiritual junk food: tasty, full of calories, but void of long-lasting, beneficial, nutritional substance.

If ungoverned, spiritual appetite will inevitably lead down the road of pursuing spiritual novelties, fads, and passing winds of doctrines rather than experiencing the depths that are in Jesus Christ. The empty calories of faddish spiritual whimsies promise themselves to be on the “cutting edge” of “revelation,” or recovering some heretofore “lost” truth. They are in reality, alluring but distracting, and potentially divisive, empty calories.

The issue of spiritual hunger is not so much about discovering “new truth,” or recovering “lost truth” as it is going deeper into the Truth that has already been given and known. Christ, His cross, His resurrection, and His outpoured/indwelling Spirit can’t be improved upon. These are nutritional essentials.  These can be infinitely mined for treasure, but the treasure is not new.

The restless gerbil-wheel of “hungering” after the “latest word” is not a quality of Jesus’s kingdom. It is the itching of carnal ears. If we have been serving the Lord for more than five years, we probably have already heard enough to last us a life time and to occupy us for the rest of our days.

Mark Twain said that he was not troubled by the parts of the Bible that were difficult for him to understand. He was troubled by the parts he understood.

Fascination with spiritual novelty is like adolescent love: high thrills and low commitment. Let’s skip the junk food aisle of the kingdom and turn our spiritual shopping cart into the meat and produce section where nutrition abounds: “Christ is my meat and my drink.”


Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact

8 comments on “Governing Spiritual Hunger

  1. Yes, right on. A sad thing to see is when someone has been born again for 30+ years, and still chasing fads, new teachings, and head knowledge. A carnal desire for deeper revelation is the equivalent of Gnosticism; chasing the carrot that says: the more we know in our minds, the more free we will become. Always looking for that new teaching that will finally set us free from the pain. I have been there, and I could still go there in an instant if not for the grace and love of Jesus. Good word Steve!

  2. “Fascination with spiritual novelty is like adolescent love: high thrills and low commitment.”

    I laughed a little when I read that. Not because it is funny, as in ‘ha-ha’, but that because I see it in so many believers under the age of 30. It was a dry, humorless laugh.

    I don’t need nor want whatever is being touted this month as the newest “Move of God”, or “HOLY SPIRIT EXPLOSION!” or the latest “MISSIONAL/INCARNATIONAL/SENSATIONAL Tribal Gathering of Yaweh’s Children”. Yikes.

    Maybe it’s my natural age, or maybe it’s spiritual wisdom through years of taking notes and making mistakes myself, but I see very little steadfast maturing going on today within the local mega-churches of “Tomorrow’s Generations”. They like the flash, to be sure, but their attention span is all of 35 seconds, at best. Once they have exhausted Twitter with tweets about their newest move of God, they create a new one to keep things interesting for them.

  3. Hi Steve, This article raises a great sadness that we can so easily be hungry for what is not ‘best’. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” I believe that this ‘hunger’ will only be satisfied when leadership in the church directs folk to the teachings and priorities of Jesus who commanded us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Then we will be satisfied – not hungry any more.

  4. Yes, my brother. May we get passed the fascination of demonstrating the ascension gifts in Ephesians 4 and get to the actual equipping of the saints so that EVERY JOINT can give supply and the Body can build itself up in love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *