Read: Proverbs 16
Key Verses: Proverbs 16:26. “A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on.”
Devotional: Hopefully you haven’t yet noticed the pattern of me connecting Scripture to the topic of food. It’s really not my fault, the Bible is full of references to various types of food and drink. Spices and herbs, fruits and nuts, veggies, grains, fish, fowl, animal meats, dairy, wine, cheese. It’s as if God was fully aware that we would become literally and figuratively consumed with all things food and drink. Perhaps He knew He needed to speak to us in a way that we could understand. It’s unlikely that any of us wouldn’t understand this particular Proverb found in 16:26. Most of us have been trained since childhood to understand that once you grow up you’ll need to get a job in order to pay the bills. You’ll pay for shelter, for some sort of transportation, clothes, and all of the other necessities’ not the least of which is, you guessed it: food.
Growing up in a house with two older brothers, my mom and dad experienced first hand what it took to keep food on the table. My dad worked as a butcher, volunteer fireman and eventually served for 27 years as a police officer trying to make ends meet and keep his three growing son’s bellies full. It was understood around our table that if you expected to eat then you should expect to work. You had to keep your room clean, help with the grass, take out the trash, do the dishes and whatever other random chore popped up along the way. My parents loved and always provided for us but it wasn’t a free ride. It’s safe to say at least for me that at an early age I was motivated by food. I wanted some of those off brand chocolate cookies my mom always bought and I knew that if I didn’t do the work I wasn’t going to get the cookies.
Proverbs 16:26 tells us that the worker’s appetite works for him, it urges him on. In other words, that’s what motivates the worker to actually work. As I read this verse I began to wonder what other appetites I have in life. If my physical appetite motivates me to physically work, what does my spiritual appetite motivate me to do? Do I have a spiritual appetite? Am I hungry for more of my relationship with Jesus? Am I hungry to be a better husband, father, son, brother, pastor and friend?
I don’t know about you but it’s clear when I’m hungry. I get cranky, my stomach rumbles, I may feel weak. When I notice those signs it’s a clear indication that I need to satisfy my hunger. Likewise there are signs that our spiritual and relational appetites are needing food.
When we notice these signs it’s vital to push pause and evaluate whether or not we are meeting the needs of our spiritual and relational appetites. Consider feeding your relationship with Jesus in the same way you would strive to feel hydrated: if you’re thirsty, it’s too late. We need to be in the habit of not only meeting the needs of our spiritual appetite but we should work towards increasing our spiritual appetite. What if we had an insatiable appetite for God?
Take Action: How often are you in the habit of evaluating your spiritual appetite? Do you partake only when you feel cranky or weak? Do you partake daily, weekly, monthly? What’s your motivation? Do you feel an ever increasing huger for the things of God?
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