Is there something you’re craving right now? (At this moment, I admit I’m longing for coffee and chocolate.) What we crave can give us big clues about ourselves, both out bodies and our hearts. A number of years ago, in casual conversation, a doctor told me to pay attention to when I’m craving a certain food and to give into it. (Unfortunately, she didn’t mean things like tacos and pizza on a daily basis.) What she meant was sometimes we crave things because our body needs it. For example, if I’m craving orange juice, there’s a good chance I need extra vitamin C. I often crave it a day or two before I get sick. I couldn’t figure out why I was craving my favorite childhood chicken soup in the middle of summer, then I remembered I crave salt when I’m dehydrated. Salt and water will take care of that problem. (Stick with me, I promise a spiritual connection is coming.)
Other times food cravings aren’t exactly for health reasons, and food isn’t the only thing we crave. Can you think of something you long for and “have” to have? Maybe it’s new a new gadget, music, make up, a bigger house, or clothes. (I seem to have fallen prey to a craze for certain leggings right now. I know some of you ladies are with me!) Sometimes we’re not obsessed with things, but people. We may be obsessed with having lots of friends or a romantic relationship.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting or even having any of the things we crave, provided it’s not covering up a bigger issue and it’s not something that goes against the Word of God. I’ve had to check myself many times, for instance is my desire for my hair to look a certain way just for fun, or because I’m insecure about something else. If I am insecure, why am I insecure?
God doesn’t want us to be afraid to come to Him with our wounds or insecurities. He wants to heal us, and He is the only one who can. So, how do we let God heal us? Often we say a quick prayer and try to move on hoping to simply change our behavior, but it goes deeper than that. It takes work and may be uncomfortable, but it’s also freeing.
Here are 3 steps to controlling those crazy cravings. These are things I have to do in my own life on a regular basis.
- Identify what you’re craving.
The apostle Paul struggled with the same internal war we do.
“For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want—instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (NET)
Identifying what we’re craving is fairly easy, but sometimes it’s hard to admit it to ourselves because we know it’s not the real issue. Is it a thing, such as food, is it a relationship, is it an experience such as gambling or sex, or something such as drugs or alcohol?
- Ask God why you’re craving something.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 (NIV)
So often we get caught up in what we’re craving that we don’t go to God to figure out why we crave it. We often try to figure it out ourselves, but God wants us to bring our shortcomings to Him so He can heal us. Why are you craving what you want? Is it for comfort? Do you feel lonely? Do you want a thrill to escape stress?
This is where we often stop, but one more step makes the biggest difference and brings lasting freedom
- Ask God what need you’re trying to meet on your own.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
God wants to change us from the inside out, but He can’t do that if we don’t allow Him deep into our heart, into those places we try to hide from even ourselves.
Are you craving comfort because you don’t think God loves you enough to give you His peace? Do you feel lonely because you’re not spending time in His presence, or you’ve written off relationships with Godly friends because you’re afraid of being hurt again? Is your stress from you trying to make things work on your own and not believing God can and will take care of you?
Those are some hard questions to ask, but ask them. God already knows they’re in your heart and mind. When you bring those out into the open with yourself and God, true transformation will happen.
It can feel overwhelming to think about overcoming deeply rooted wounds and fears, but God doesn’t expect change overnight. No he doesn’t want us to continue to sin, but He’s more concerned with our hearts than actions alone. He knows changing your heart is a process that takes time. Continue to go to Him as often as necessary, (multiple times a day if you have to) and let Him know your doubts and fears. When you do that, He can set you free.
This is His promise to you:
“This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:1-3 (NLT)
When you put your heart in God’s hands, He can give you grace and peace you cannot find anywhere else. Ask Him for A Jesus Moment, something good that reminds you just how much He loves you. Let Him meet even your deepest longing and heal your carefully hidden fears. He is more powerful than any craving you have. He promises He has everything you need to find freedom, and He wants to give it to you.
Will you let God heal your hidden wounds today?
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