Physical Cravings Vs. Spiritual Hunger: How to Know the Difference

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2022

You can learn how to tell the difference between physical cravings and hunger for God by learning how to tune into six powerful scriptures. 

It’s late at night.

Everyone else is in bed and you have finally found yourself with something truly rare in your world … peace and quiet. 


The time you have been waiting for all day long … time for you. 

What to do? What to do? 

Scroll through Facebook? 

Get into that book you haven’t had time to read? 

Catch up on your favorite show? 

The possibilities are all so tantalizing. 

In this moment of peace and quiet the kitchen and all that lies within the cabinets and fridge pop into your mind. 

It would be so easy to grab a bag of chips and mindlessly snack while scrolling, reading, or watching tv. 

… and those hunger pains would be satisfied. 

But … what if what you are feeling in that moment of peace and quiet isn’t physical hunger? 

What if that little pull you feel to get your belly satisfied is really the spiritual side of you that desires a refill? 

After all, it’s been a while since you’ve partaken in a spiritual feast. 

Physical Cravings and Spiritual Hunger  

It’s true. 

Your body was designed by God to require physical nutrients to survive and thrive. 

Once the food you have placed within your body begins to wear off, your body will send signals that it’s time for a refill. 

The average person eats three meals a day AND a few snacks in between to fill in the gaps because of these signals. 

Unfortunately, busy schedules and tight budgets don’t always allow for those meals to be the most nutritious of sorts. 

Fast food establishments, dine-in restaurants, and convenience stores are exploding at the rims because of these facts.

What if the hunger pains you are feeling aren’t actually signals your physical body is running low on nutrients? 

The cravings sending signals to your brain that it’s time to eat again may actually be your spirit crying out to receive much needed spiritual nutrients. 

Just like God created your physical body to require food to survive and thrive, He also created your spirit to survive and thrive off food for the soul. 

If you were to go a full day without placing a morsel of food or water in your physical body, you would know it. Your body would be sending signals of hunger and causing fluctuations in your mood, trying to serve as a reminder you haven’t eaten. 

Your spirit does the same when it has been deprived of necessary nutrients. 

So, how can you tell the difference between physical cravings and spiritual hunger? 

There are six powerful scriptures that will help you discern the difference and learn how to respond so you can stop feeding the wrong cravings. 

Hunger Pains

“I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible) 

“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.” Psalm 42:1 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible) 

Have you found yourself standing in front of the refrigerator for the third time, door wide open, and staring at the exact same contents that were there the first two times? 

Your body is telling you that you are hungry, but nothing you see really looks like it will “hit the spot.” 

In that moment it’s important to realize your physical body is not hungry. 

Your spirit is trying to tell you to send some nutrients its way. 

Your spirit longs for soul food that can only be found by getting into the presence of God. Your soul thirsts for water that Aquafina cannot quench. 

Nothing in your refrigerator can fill the spot that only time in Bible reading and prayer can fill. 

Soul Food 

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible) 

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:4 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible)

“Jesus said, "Come and eat!" But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord.” John 21:12 (Contemporary English Version)

In those moments you find yourself alone with that long-awaited quiet time, consider yourself to have received a special invitation from God. 

He is inviting you to spend time with Him in prayer, Bible reading, and reflection. 

You are invited to take part in a feast that will fill you up in a way those Pringles just can’t. 

Scripture says that you were not created to live on bread, or physical food, alone.

Your spirit requires the spiritual bread of the Word of God to survive.

It requires nutrients that can only be attained by spending time in prayer and reflection. 

Get Full 

“Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (Hollman Christian Standard Bible)

The primary way to know the difference between a physical craving and spiritual hunger is to take a look at what happens after you eat. 

Physically, as your body receives food it needs, you will begin to sense you are full and feel satisfied. 

If you have dug into that midnight snack and find yourself heading back to the cabinets and fridge to look for “a little something else,” then you will have found your primary indication that the hunger you are feeling is one that will only be satisfied with some soul food. 

Taking time to spend a few intentional minutes speaking with God and reading the Bible will fill your spiritual tank and leave you feeling full and blessed rather than feeling additional, unquenchable cravings. 

God created the body to be rather amazing and in many ways, the spirit of each person mirrors the physical body. 

Just as you take time to head to the grocery store, stock up on food for your family, and prepare meals for their survival and enjoyment - ensure you are doing the same for your spirit. 

You will find the more you feed your spirit, the fewer cravings you will experience. 

You can learn more about how to respond to physical and spiritual hunger in the upcoming Empowered Challenge. 

The Empowered Challenge will allow you to receive five days of personalized, intentional coaching to help you reclaim power over food and shed unwanted pounds. 

You can learn more about the challenge and RSVP your spot by following the Empowered Challenge Link here. 




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