Humans should strive to fill their emptiness with the Holy Spirit, rather than resorting to other outlets (such as food) to fill a void.
In her book, Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst focuses on the way we should combat our cravings. TerKeurst uses the book to help her reader reshape the way they fill their feelings of emptiness. TerKeurst describes the way that we try to fill our spiritual emptiness with habits such as shopping, drinking, etc., however, TerKeurst focuses on the idea of food being used as a “drug of choice.”
TerKeurst gives insightful advice to her reader as she describes her own struggles of combatting the feeling of emptiness with delicious sweets and treats. TerKeurst describes that humans were made to crave; we were made to crave God. TerKeurst says that the devil has used our feelings of emptiness to displace the craving for God with the craving for things of the world; status, perfection, alcohol, sex, money, power, possessions, drugs, food etc.
TerKeurst talks about the way we can fight away our cravings when we realized that God is enough. TerKeurst gives insight for ways to overcome our cravings, and how we can transfer the cravings for food (or any other worldly idol) for a craving for God.
TerKeurst challenges, encourages, and guides her readers, citing examples from scripture to back up her points, and attempting to make her words applicable to anyone who picks up the book.
I was challenged and encouraged by TerKeurst’s words. I know that a lot of the time, I turn to food to soothe my wounds or guide my celebration. I think it is easy to justify our habits, but TerKeurst challenged me to examine my rationale. TerKeurst made me think about the way that cravings (in this sense, craving food when one is not hungry, or even when one is full) serve as a symbol of spiritual famine. When I need to turn to an ice cream sundae after a bad day, I am replacing a role that God is eager to fill. Instead of stuffing my face with delicious treats, I could be turning to God, asking Him to fill my feelings of emptiness or sadness.
I felt incredibly convicted by this book, because it made me think about the many ways that I fill feelings of emptiness with an array of worldly desires. Sometimes when I am upset, I will comfort myself by purchasing a new dress. Sometimes when I am feeling alone, I will eat an unholy amount of baked goods. Sometimes when I feel bored, I will fill my time through perusing various forms of social media.
Humans were made to crave, but they were not made to crave the things of this world. Humans were made to crave their Father in Heaven, because it is through Him that we become whole. Without God’s presence in our lives, we feel empty, and we grasp at the air with frantic fists, hoping to capture material possessions, affirmation, or status in our weary palms; anything that will fill the void of emptiness we are experiencing.
When we start to feel the overwhelming and overbearing cravings of worldly desires, we must stop and think of it as a warning sign. We must think of this like the troubling chime our cars make when they are running low on gas, and will need some gasoline.
Cravings are like the little gas light that alert us we are running low on spiritual fuel. If we ignore this little gas light, our cars will stop. We could try to pour something other than gas in the tank; even though it would fill the empty space, it wouldn’t take us anywhere. The car would not be able to journey on until it was filled with the gasoline necessary for its operation.
When we sense the cravings of worldly desires, we must call on God to fill our emptiness. Asking God to be our fuel may not always feel like the most immediate, or the most enjoyable response, but it will give us what we need. Resisting the cravings of this world is an act of spiritual discipline, and as we lean on God in our weakness, He will draw us closer to His side, providing us with a little bit more strength every time we turn to Him.
If we turn to earthly desires, they will only satisfy us momentarily; they are fleeting. Though we may fill our stomachs with treats, we will never fill our souls. Though we may fill our time with social media, we will never fill our hearts. Though we may fill our homes with possessions, our need for the peace and presence of Christ will never be met.
As an act of obedience, we must turn to God when we are facing the cravings of the flesh. Is it bad to eat when we are hungry? Of course not! Is it bad to shop when we need clothing? Nonsense! It is the times when our flesh cries for the comforts of the world to fill the longings of our heart. When we use materials or habits as a substitute for the emptiness we feel in our lives, we are attempting to shove square pegs into a space that can only be filled by a perfect circle.
We were made to crave as a method of developing closeness to Christ. One day we will no longer crave, because we will be permanently filled with his all encompassing power and peace, but until then, we must turn to Christ to fill our longings.