My mom took my sister-in-law and I to a fun and feminine sweets shop called The Crave Factory a couple months ago. Decorated in pink and white, it is one of the cutest “girl” shops I have ever seen. Glass show cases display delectable pastries, cakes, and brownies. Displayed on the counter top are three-tiered cakes, meticulously and ornately decorated – sure to wow any reception guest. You can sit at little round tables and chairs and simply bask in the aroma of sugar while treating your palate to amazing delicacies. This is not the place for those on a diet or a low-sugar regimen. This shop was designed to completely satisfy – or create – any sugar craving.
It’s amazing how our bodies work. We can trigger a desire for sweets, carbs, or fried food in a few moments by simply smelling or tasting it. Once we’ve had that first tempting bite, we desire more. From then on, our body remembers the pleasure we received from it and craves it until we’re satisfied again. That would be all well and good should our craving be for vegetables, but unfortunately our bodies often grow accustomed to indulging in what’s not good for us. The end result? One giant, unhealthy crave!
To train our bodies to want something healthy, we have to first starve the desire for sugar or whatever pesky food item demanding our attention. It’s a battle of the wills between the good and the bad, the veggies or the sweets. Self-discipline and bossiness are necessary attributes. Like it or not, the taste buds must be told “No!”
Sugar overindulgence is one of the best examples used when describing a craving. But our flesh can very easily learn to crave many other things. Television, Internet, shopping, sports, and hobbies are just a few things that can demand our desire. Once we’ve done it enough, it becomes a habit, leading to a desire for more until it’s our top priority. We all have our cravings, but what God desires that we crave the most is Him.
Psalm 63:1 says, “God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirst for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
David, a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), used some strong words to describe his desire for God. “Thirst” and “long for” are not complacent words. He had reason to use these terms because at the time he was in the wilderness of Judah. When a person is in a wilderness, resources are low, and the tendency to crave water is much higher than for someone living in a city! Yet he wasn’t referring to the cravings of his physical body; he was expressing his spiritual desire for His God.
Such a strong craving for God can only be developed by pursuing Him like we would pursue tingling our taste buds with a candy bar, or gratifying our desire for entertainment. Like Matthew 6:33 says, we’re to “seek first” His kingdom and the things that pertain to Him. This may not be easy at first when our flesh has been pampered and coddled every time it desires something. But the more we starve the things that are replacing Him, the more the desire for Him will have room to grow. It means laying aside the “weights” (Hebrews 12:1) that hinder us from keeping Him our priority. While indulging in a hobby or enjoying sweet delicacies could hardly be classified as sins, if that desire is higher than our desire for God, an adjustment needs to be made. It should become less of “that” and more of “Him.”
Like our flesh is made happy when we’ve given into a craving, so our spirit is overjoyed by a true taste of God. He doesn’t tantalize us as we draw close, and then walk away without satisfying our hearts. He fills us with Himself, changing us and ministering to us in a way no one else could. That peace and joy is lasting and will not fade as an earthly desire would: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures evermore.” (Psalm 16:11, italics added)
No matter how delectable the cupcake, or how divine the chocolate cake, developing a crave for Jesus is definitely worth the pursuit! Unlike a dessert at The Crave Factory, He is 100% free and is guaranteed not to make your blood sugars spike. A simple sign overhead says it all: “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8)