Many of us go through our normal daily routine in a state of dehydration. We simply don’t drink enough liquids. The tricky part is that we may not feel thirsty even though our bodies want a drink. An overlooked sign of dehydration can be hunger. Our appetite increases, and instead of satisfying our true need with water, we treat the symptom with unnecessary food.
As Christians we often do the same thing. We feel some longing for satisfaction, and we aren’t sure how to satisfy it, so we look here and there. We finally try something but still feel the emptiness. All the while what our soul is longing for is God. God himself is what our soul longs for and what it needs. God told the Israelites that their deepest need was for him:
Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
We all have needs, and we expect God to provide for them, but so many of us have not realized that what we need more than God’s provision is God himself. God provided bread for his people so they would trust him for their daily needs. He sent the daily food so they would feed upon his word and place their total dependence upon him. This was their hardest lesson to learn, and it seems to be ours too.
Jesus recognized that the people who had eaten the loaves and fishes were back the next day, not to seek Jesus and feed on him, but for more food. They were there to satisfy the symptom but were completely ignorant of what they really needed.
John 6:26 “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.’”
What they really needed was Jesus, not the bread. Only Jesus could introduce them to God. Only Jesus could save them and give them eternal life.
John 6:32-33 “Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’"
It’s my prayer that this week you will satisfy that need of your soul by spending time with God. May he supply your greatest need—your need of God himself.