Cravings

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Gang Addiction, Gangs, Gangs and God, Inspiration, Ron's Thoughts

Cravings

Ever drive by the local White Castle restaurant and see the sign reading “Crave Pack?” It refers, of course, to a pack of sliders that’s meant to satisfy your late night craving for a burger. A craving is, as you know, an insatiable desire for something that we don’t have; something that we just can’t get enough of, that we can’t get along without.

What are your cravings? I have them.  Gangbangers have them too. Gangbanger cravings, however, can be dangerous, if not lethal. Those include a craving for drugs, a craving for sex, a craving for blood, a craving for power, a craving for thrills, and a craving for respect.  We could add more. These are cravings that you will do anything to satisfy. They’re also called addictions.

Cravings and addictions don’t spring out of nowhere and just appear one day. They are rooted in our normal needs for things such as love, safety, respect and accomplishment.  God’s original plan was that he would meet our needs as part of a two-way relationship between him and us. That plan, unfortunately, is often thwarted by the individual’s rejection of God and his role in our lives life.  When that relationship is broken and our pride spins out of control, it actually encourages our basic needs to become addictive and controlling. Since we can’t meet those needs ourselves, and we don’t allow God to meet them, we look or a third party to meet those needs. Satan subtlety moves in with his alternatives and the perversion of normal need into an addictive behavior begins.

 So, acknowledging that we do have needs, how do we address the normal needs that are built into our lives without allowing those needs to become addictive and all-consuming?  God tells us that there is a higher craving that can free us from the desires and addictions of this life. Want to be free from the craving for drugs? Want to be free from the addiction to sex? Want to be free from the lust for power? Want to be free from the need for the things of this world? What if we have allowed ourselves to become addicted to thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs that we were never meant to be enslaved to? What if we develop cravings for things that will ultimately destroy us?  What do we do?

As we noted above, we all have built-in needs in our lives, but Satan works hard to turn those needs into addictions that control our lives. God admonishes us for letting these needs become addictions because he desires to provide for our legitimate needs in a healthy productive way. How does that work? Here’s a verse from the Bible that may get you thinking.  Matthew 6:33 reads:  

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 This is an interesting verse in many ways. In the first place, it’s a promise from God to meet the needs that we as people in this world may require in order to survive and prosper. I find it interesting, however, that the words “Seek first his kingdom” really don’t do  justice to the verse. They do not get at the real root of what Jesus is talking about. The Greek word that underlies the English word “seek” in this passage really means “crave,” so the verse in its original really means:

“Crave after his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

I think this understanding gives our relationship with God a whole new perspective.  And its not the only place in the Bible where this idea is found. In Psalm 63:1-3, for instance, King David wrote:

You, God, are my God,  earnestly I seek you;  I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you  as one who longs to quench his thirst in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

Now that’s a craving! And it’s also an example for us. May our prayer be that, like King David, that we will crave after God. May our heart and mind be addicted to his love and purpose to the extent that I would be willing to do anything humanly possible to satisfy that craving for the one person who can give my soul peace, satisfaction, and rest from the addictions of this present life. So, the next time you see the White Castle “crave” sign, think of it as a reminder to keep craving after God!

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