Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hunger and Thirst

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
~ Matthew 5:6

I have quite the sweet tooth. My friends all got a kick out of it the day I posted a Facebook status that said, “Help! I'm craving chocolate and have lost my M&Ms!” I scoured the whole house up and down to find my giant bag of M&Ms that I keep hidden from my children (I do share on occasion—really, I do).

I’m sure you’ll be relieved to hear I found them and my craving was fulfilled, but what’s even better is the way God has used that craving to draw me close to Him. It all started with a question, “When was the last time I craved God enough to search Him out?”

We crave a lot of things: chocolate, steak, a good book. But how often do we crave God or His Word? That’s what the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:6 make me wonder. Do I really hunger and thirst for righteousness? What would that even look (or feel) like?

And those questions led me to the apostle Paul. I think Paul really understood this. He wrote to the Philippians, “I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection, and to share in His sufferings and die even as He died; in the hope that I may attain to the resurrection from among the dead” (3:10-11 WNT).

Paul craved the righteousness by hungering for more of Christ. Earlier in that paragraph he said he counted everything else as a loss. He knew he didn’t have any righteousness of his own, but only what he received by faith in Christ (vs. 7-9).
The knowledge of Christ is there for the taking. His life, death, and resurrection are all recorded in the Bible, all we have to do is open it with the intention of learning more about Him. We can’t deepen our knowledge of Christ when we open God’s Word thinking we already know everything it has to say. We have to be open for God to communicate with us. We have to want to know Him more—to crave Him.

I loved the way one of the women in my Bible study worded this. She said, “God is a gentleman. He waits for us to come to Him.” A.W. Tozer said it this way, “God waits to be wanted.” He doesn’t demand that we sit and eat. He doesn’t stand over us and tell us we can’t start our day until we have spent at least half an hour reading His Word and drinking in His Spirit. He waits patiently until we crave Him, and then He fills us to the full.

When we draw close to God, He fills us with peace, hope, love, joy, and so much more. Paul wrote in the book of Romans that he wanted God to fill them with joy and peace so they could overflow with hope (15:13). When we crave God, He does just that. He blesses us with more of Him so we can live life to the fullest (John 10:10).

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” 

~ Matthew 4:4 (WEB)

The above is an excerpt from my book, "Blessings from Above: A Deeper Look at the Beatitudes"