I love discipling and mentoring people. It gives me the greatest joy of anything I do. I enjoy working one on one with someone more than preaching to a large crowd. I would rather see 2 people mature, find their calling, and go on to make a difference than have a large church where I only preach to each week.
But one question has eluded me for years. Why do some people grow in God and some don’t? As a pastor I have tried everything I know to get people to grow in God. I have asked, what is the difference in people that go on to maturity and those than don’t? I think I have finally found the answer.
Hunger is the difference. People do not grow because of genetics, right training, a good home life, or even a good church. People only grow when they are hungry. I have seen people from bad backgrounds hunger for God while those who grew up in church won’t ‘eat’ of God no matter what is served.
It’s the same as in the physical world, without eating you will not grow.
So the next question is, “how do I make people hungry”? How do you make people hungry in the physical world? Short answer – you can’t. You can pass great smelling food under their noses tempting them but in the end you can’t make them hungry. I have been in awesome church services where people left with no desire for God. Good spiritual food was passed under their noses but they still did not grow hungry.
I want so bad to find a way to make people hungry. But I have come to a realization, I can’t make someone hungry no matter how bad I want it and it is a waste of time to try. I still love the person. But all I can do is pray the Holy Spirit will create hunger in them. Since I have come to this conclusion it has freed me up from false responsibility.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6
It has taken responsibility off of me to see people grow. I finally admit I can’t make anybody grow. I can only learn to recognize hungry people and give them some food and water when they ask for it. Those that are not asking are not my responsibility as a discipler and pastor.
The good news is you can cause yourself to become hungry.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
How do I create hunger? Continually, ask God to search you, grow you, bring you closer to Him. Enjoy what God has given to you but always want more of Him. This will produce a great hunger in you which will bring great maturity, wisdom, and intimacy.
Hunger. It’s a good thing for your spirit.
In the natural you get hungry by not eating. In the spiritual realm you get hungry by eating. – Bill Johnson