If you have walked with Christ for some time, you know that there are times where you might feel closer to Him than you do at other times. It may just be one “off” day, or it may be a season where the passion of your commitment wanes in light of the trials of life. There are all sorts of proposed remedies for these ebbs and flows, from taking a sabbatical, to reading more books, to just waiting until the passion returns. And although some of may found some renewed sense of commitment after following one or more of these prescriptions, none of them explicitly employ Christ’s diagnostic for the problem. Christ turns the attention away from us, and onto the One Who should rightly be our source of satisfaction. Instead of focusing on our feelings, Christ said that if we want to be filled, if we want to consumed with God, then the remedy is to do what God has asked of us. Obedience, in other words, is what drives us into a deeper (and steady) relationship with Him.
In delivering this lesson, Jesus uses the analogy of food, saying that doing God’s will is the nourishment that our soul desires (See John 4:34). Now, I know that there are people who say that they “forget to eat”, but I’m not one of those people. In fact, if I go too long without food, I have a pronounced physical reaction. Not only does my stomach make all sorts of growling noises, but I get what a friend jokingly nicknamed the “hangries” = hungry+angry. I have this reaction because my body is without what it desires. It needs sustenance, and it will continue to act out of sorts until it gets it.
The same is true with our souls. The ebbs and flows come because our souls are without what it needs. If we want to be filled, if we want to eschew the feelings of hunger and craving, then we need to quickly get about doing whatever it is that God is asking of us to do. And just as when our stomachs are filled with food, we experience a feeling of satisfaction and contentment, so our souls will be at rest when we are doing that which God commands. When we are consumed with doing what God requires of us, than He will be our satisfaction and desire. And He will be our nourishment and our strength.
Then we will be filled….with Him.