What’s Your Hunger Level?
WHAT’S YOUR HUNGER LEVEL?
by Eddie Lawrence
Introduction: Every human being knows what hunger is. The craving of the body to be nourished is innate within us all. Another truth is that most of us are well adept at rallying to this cry of our body to be fed and getting our fill as quickly as possible. This is not to be seen as a bad thing for in fact, if you do not eat, eventually, you will not live. God made us to experience hunger physically and He also made us to experience hunger spiritually.
Ah! Now here is the question: Are you as adept as filling your spiritual hunger as you are filling your physical hunger? Yes, this preacher has started probing in your business.
Let me share something Jesus said about this:
Text: Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Transition: This short precise little verse we find in the Beatitudes is within itself filled with wondrous truth (yes, pun intended). Let’s pry into it a bit now by examining three statements I would like to share with you:
1. THE PROMISE OF BLESSING TO THOSE WHO HUNGER
Illustration: When you eat a “Big Mac” your body sends the full message. The hunger is gone. There is a satisfaction of desire being met. Although, the after result of a Big Mac is not necessarily healthy nor a carrier of long term benefits.
-Jesus said the hunger are blessed! A more full idea of this that people who hunger and thirst after righteousness will experience the favor, joy, peace and security that come from being filled with that which has been desired.
-What is interesting here, is that Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God explicitly states to us a promise of blessing for hungering and thirsting after righteousness. It is one of those things that brings a delivery of the good and holy into your life. Wow! What a promise. Let me ask you. “Do you want to be blessed?” Then hunger for God.
-It is one thing to know there is a promise for this kind of hunger but the question arises, “How can I become hungry and thirsty for righteousness?” This brings us to the next statement to consider:
2. THE POWER TO CHOOSE WHAT ONE DESIRES
Without it sounding too uncaring let me say that you can choose to be hungry!
Quote: I heard it once said, “You make your choices and then your choices will make you.”
-This certainly true in life and in our walk with God. Why is it sometimes so hard to make the right choice? How does desire form within us? It forms based on what we choose to desire to a large extend. I am convinced there are many things in life we have not experienced that we would desire to do again and again if we chose to experience them for the first time. This is true in both the arenas of good and evil.
-In the physical sense, you can simply ignore food and drink and you will begin to become hungry and thirsty. In other words, when food and drink are absent, they began being missed. I understand, however, that there is a point of hunger and thirst where the pain of the desires vacates the body and it is basically downhill from there.
-Spiritually, within us all, there is the need to be full of what we were created to be full of. Man was created in righteousness. He was right with God. He thought rightly. He acted rightly. He worked rightly. He related rightly. He was fully righteous before God because he fully reflected the image of God through His life. Then sin came because he acted wrongly in response to a desire. He and woman fell into the trap and sinned. As a result, desire for God became diluted and desire for the ungodly began its climb into the nature of man.
-Thank God that Christ came to redeem us and give to us his righteousness. We receive this by faith. Through the work of the Holy Spirit making known to us who Christ is and who we can be recreated to be in Him, we come alive once again to righteousness.
-When we began desiring to be all we have been recreated to be in him, we arise into our destiny. We experience God’s purpose for our lives. When we began desiring the righteousness that is now ours in Christ, then it begins to manifest from our lives. The great news is that the Holy Spirit is there to help these desires find their fulfillment in your life fulfilling Christ’s promise to you. This is not a solo act fueled by self. It is all orchestrated by God the Great Conductor who is bringing you into destiny.
-Dear believer, do not see yourself attempting to reach a state of righteousness through your own works, but rather see yourself righteous in Christ’s finished work, and then base all your thoughts and decisions on who He says you already are. This is a choice to live from righteousness which results in thinking, behaving, and relating righteously. You will be filled with it, because you already are in it. Open your mouth and drink. Eat from the abundance provided for you through the redemption of Christ.
-Think of it this way, the disciples that surrounded Jesus who hungered and thirsted to be like him, received those desires fulfilled when he died on the cross, rose from the dead, and they received His spirit in to their lives and were made alive and full of power. It is the same for us today. Therefore, choose to hunger and thirst after the righteousness that Christ has set on the table before you.
3. THE CONDITION MET THAT RELEASES FULLNESS TO ONE’S LIFE
-“For they shall be filled!” Yes filled with righteousness. This is what Christ gives to us. This is the gift of God to us through Christ. Not by works of righteousness which we have done….. It is imparted to us through the Holy Spirit because of Christ’s redemption. What brings it to you? Why, your faith of course. For by grace are you saved…how?….through faith, not of yourself, it is God’s gift. (ref. Eph. 2:8-9)
Illustration: I once read a story of a seasoned believer known for his deep walk with God. As I remember, it went something like this. He was walking along the seashore with a younger man who asked him what the secret to his powerful life in Christ was? The older man walked the younger man out into the ocean and then proceeded to plunge him underneath the water. He held him there until the young man began to thrash about. Then he let him up. The young man was frightened and angry and said, “What are you doing? Why did you do that?” The old saint then answered, “When you want God as much as you wanted that next breath of air, then you will become full of Him in your life.”
-Everyone is full of something. Of self or God.
-Everyone is empty. Of self of God.
-Do you want God in your life as much as you want your next breath?
-The condition of this verse is that you hunger and that the hunger is for the right thing. Because of the strength of the promise attached and the simplicity of the condition set forth, then you can be as full of God as you choose to be.
-This is one of those verses that shows us that God has already stated He would respond to what we do. If we hunger and thirst after righteousness, then we will be filled and blessed because of it.
-It boils down to a matter of desire, choice, and faith.
-How much of Christ do you want filling your life? He is your righteousness!
-Will you now choose Christ and his fullness for your life?
-There is no counter offer from God. Choose Christ or choose self. There is no concession to the work of the cross. It is there alone that the One is met that brings the righteousness and fullness of God into your life? And when you meet Christ, there is the continued submitted of all other desires to Him because He alone can truly fill and satisfy the hungry and thirsty soul of men. Do not be fooled by the abundant substitutes that will be placed on life’s table before you. Eat from the table that has been prepared for you in the presence of all your enemies. Let him fill your cup to overflowing!
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