Hunger and Thirst
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” ~ Matthew 5:6
This is just going to be a short post. (That’s unusual, I know…) My church has just started doing a study through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Tonight we just focused in on the first few verses of Chapter 5 – the “beatitudes”. They are all so good to meditate on. But one in particular caught my attention. And, if you haven’t guessed it already, it’s the one I quoted above.
I guess I was firstly just a bit (okay…a LOT) convicted by it, because, this past week, I’ve been making so many other things a priority before my relationship with Christ. And it’s not just my lack of prioritizing that bothers me. It’s the fact that I haven’t been hungering and thirsting after Christ. I haven’t been living as if He were my very source of life…as if I cannot fully function without Him. I am slowly dying inside without Him.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” What is hungering and thirsting? It’s first of all, recognizing your need. Instead of wondering why you’re feeling dizzy, or why you have a cramp, or why you can’t talk, you have to recognize that it’s because you need more food – more water. When you recognize that, your desire for it grows, because you know that you need something, and what it is you need. I know when I’ve been super hungry or so thirsty that I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think about anything else…and the only thing that really caught my attention was the object of my longing. When we are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, it becomes the only thing that really matters to us. The all consuming passion of our heart. So…hungering and thirsting is essentially “groaning” after something (I have to use that phrasing, because it makes the following quote sound cooler. ). Charles Spurgeon said, “You may judge a man by what he groans after.” What do you “groan” after…or “hunger and thirst” after? Would people be able to tell that you are a Christian if they looked at your “menu”?
And it’s here that the second part of the verse sunk in: “…for they shall be satisfied.” There’s so many things that we can chase after in this world that we can think will fill us up, and satisfy us…and like I said earlier, I have been chasing things that may look delightful on the surface, but can’t quench my thirst, or fill me up. You might compare it to giving a starving child in Africa a bag of cotton candy, and then walking away. It’s a very sad picture, but it’s what we do to ourselves over and over again. None of these things can satisfy us. And when I pursue other things before God in my day, thinking they’re somehow more important (which is absurd to step back and think about; writing a book is somehow more important than the Author of life, and the creator of speech??), I don’t find the satisfaction and joy I think they should be bringing me…because that can only come from spending time with Christ.
So to sum this up (and I’m sorry for lying at the beginning…haha…this didn’t end up as “short” as I had planned – and I hope it’s made some kind of sense, since it is almost 2:30am here…), we essentially have a promise from Jesus here. IF we “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, THEN we “shall be satisfied”. And God always keeps his side of the deal. We can’t keep “our side” on our own. You’ve probably already figured that out the hard way. We are weak creatures…and we need help. Praise God that He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us, and He is always alert when we cry out for help! At any time, we can ask the Holy Spirit to renew our hunger for the Word and deepen our Thirst for the Living Waters, and He will. But…don’t use your weakness as an excuse to keep chasing after the wrong things.
Hungry? Do something about it.
The Dearest Place On Earth
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Dearest Place on Earth