When God’s people were being particularly stubborn and self-reliant, the Lord would allow a foreign army to lay siege to important cities (2 Kings 25:1-3). By cutting off supplies and preventing traffic from moving in or out, the enemy hoped to bend the city to its will. By allowing the city’s resources to be cut off, God hoped the city’s people would turn to Him for what they needed. However, it was often a long time before either of these things happened. To find relief from famine, many resorted to cannibalism (2 Kings 6:25, 29).
There are times when the Spirit of the Lord must lay siege to us as well. How He does this varies: He may permit the enemy to be a thorn in our flesh; extra responsibilities may be thrust on us, depleting time for taking care of ourselves; God may even limit the time we can spend with Him. Whatever the case, God sees the self-reliance of our sinful nature and desires to free us from it. The flesh is a stubborn enemy. It will resort to spiritual cannibalism and feed on itself before it depends on God. But we will not turn or rely on Him as long as the sinful nature is allowed the resources it needs to thrive. Only under siege will we realize the famine that self is and turn to the One who promises, “Whoever believes in me will never hunger” (John 6:35).