Summary: Hunger . . . we avoid it. We refuse to indure it. We have allowed this fight to stomp out hunger to seep into our spiritual lives!
The Hunger Games – Pt. 1
Demand and Supply
Text: Mark 8:1-8
At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, "This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance." His disciples responded, "What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?" He asked, "How much bread do you have?""Seven loaves," they said. So Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. After giving thanks, he took the seven bread loaves, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples so they could hand them out to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He pronounced a blessing over the fish and told his disciples to hand them out as well. The crowd ate its fill. Seven sacks of leftovers were collected. There were well over four thousand at the meal.
A. We are trained to avoid hunger!
4th meals . . . 24 hour drive thrus . . . delivery services that even use remote control blimps to bring you tacos at any hour of the day. Most of us have never really been hungry. We have never been days without food but mere hours and we start looking for in between meal snacks. I am thankful for the fact that in our nation we are provided for and don’t really have to worry, except in severe cases, about being really hungry. However, I am concerned that our lack of physical hunger has now seeped over into our spiritual walk and life. I watch as people go weeks, months, years and even decades without having a new or fresh experience with God and there is no panic or even the slightest bit of concern. When the reality is that if we go one minute without experiencing Him we should be falling apart, panicked, and desperate to get back to Him!
B. They had a supply issue . . . we have a demand issue.
These folks that were following Jesus had a supply issue. They lacked anything to fill their hunger need! They didn’t have any means by which to deal with the hunger. Their issue was supply. Our issue isn’t supply. We have more praise, more preaching, more resources, more learning, and more teaching than any generation to walk the planet. Our issue is not supply. We like to claim that it is. If we could just get more Word. If we could just find an anointed praise team. If we could just find a cooler church. I am here to inform you that there is still as much God as there has always been and Grace is still sufficient. Presence still accessible. Our issue isn’t supply . . . our issue is that we don’t place a demand on the supply of God. We simply have not because we ask not. The Bible puts the demand on us. The supply is sure. The supply isn’t diminished or taxed beyond its ability to meet the need. We are told that those that hunger and thirst after righteousness that they will be filled! So I am convinced that we don’t have a lack of righteousness available. What we have lack of is hunger. These folks were so hungry for time with Jesus, an encounter with Jesus, a moment with Jesus, a touch with Jesus that they followed for three days giving no thought to their physical needs! Yet we can’t stay in a worship service 15 minutes past our normal lunch schedule because we start getting the shakes and we become controlled by our physical bellies.
Our physical need overpowers our spiritual need. Our schedules are no longer controlled or set by encounters with God but instead we allow physical needs (food, activities, trips) to dictate our life, our calendar, our spending and so our hunger level has gone down. The demand is so low that the supply that is available goes untapped! We were warned this would happen . . .
15-16So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.