Have you ever had this happen?
You are minding your own business and just doing the duties that come with your day and all of a sudden you realize that you need to stop what you are doing and satisfy this strange need that has arisen in your life.
It is called hunger.
Now consider this. Have you been going along in your spiritual life and the duties that go along with it; church attendance, Bible study, prayer, ect. and all of a sudden you are no longer satisfied with the status quo?
You are dissatisfied with your Christian experience and you want more. You my friend, are having a hunger for God.
The dead do not need to eat. When you are spiritually hungry then it means that you still have life left in you.
Bill Johnson writes,
“Hunger for God is one of the greatest signs of life a person can have. It reveals an inner awareness of a greater destiny”.
The fact that you are dissatisfied shows that God has greater things in mind for you than you are experiencing now.
Jesus put it this way.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.
The word righteousness means right standing or right relationship.
When you are spiritually hungry, you are hungering after a better or deeper relationship with God. The promise in this verse is that you will be filled.
However most people read it and think that they will be filled once and for all. But if we go back to the analogy of eating and hunger, we realize that no matter how much we eat at one sitting, we eventually get hungry again because the nutrients and power that we received from our last meal eventually is used up.
So we need to come back and eat again.
Have you ever been really hungry? There have been times when I have fasted where I experienced obsessive hunger. It is all that you can think about. It doesn't matter what you are doing at the moment, your body screams at you to feed it. That hunger motivates you to find food.
The same is true with spiritual hunger. It will motivate you to move forward with God. It causes you to pursue Him in ways you never expected.
When you are physically really hungry, it doesn't matter if the steak is cooked to your liking. It doesn't matter if you do not care for green beans. You are just hungry and you will eat what is put before you.
When you hunger for God it does not matter if the spiritual food is placed before you in the manner you would prefer.
It doesn't matter if the preacher preaches longer than 30 minutes and then doesn't even shake your hand.
It doesn't matter if people see you kneeling and weeping before God crying out for more of Him.
It doesn't matter if you start expressing desperation for more of God. You hunger for God period.
You lose your inhibitions when you are desperate enough and hungry enough.
Have you ever experienced the feeling you get after eating a good meal when you were hungry? Have you ever felt the satisfaction that the need or craving for food had been satisfied?
JOHN PIPER WRITES,
“THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO DESIRE GOD AND TO HAVE JOY IN GOD, OR DELIGHT IN GOD. IT ILLUSTRATES BOTH. GODLY PEOPLE ARE SEEN LONGING, HUNGERING, THIRSTING AND FAINTING FOR GOD. THEY ARE ALSO SEEN ENJOYING, DELIGHTING IN, AND BEING SATISFIED IN GOD.”
There is only one place where you can truly get your spiritual hunger satisfied. It is in God.
However it is like physical hunger. It will only satisfy you for a season. You will have to get another meal in the future.
However every meal is unique, vital, and satisfying. As Jesus put it. It is our daily bread.
So I ask you once again. Have you been going along in your spiritual life and the duties that go along with it; church attendance, Bible study, prayer, ect. and all of a sudden you are no longer satisfied with the status quo?
Maybe it is time for you as it is time for me to start crying out for another spiritual meal from the Lord.
Maybe it is time to hunger for God.
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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