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Focus: Living in a perpetual state of need
Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Humans hunger and thirst for a lot of different things…not always righteousness. In my own lifetime, I followed after many different ‘visions’ with my whole heart. I invested myself in a number of businesses, careers, and hobbies that required extensive study, research and commitment. When all was said and done—I had nothing more than I had before I started out—none of those things brought lasting fulfillment or results.
It’s interesting how Jesus used the practical terms of ‘hunger’ and ‘thirst’ to describe what our passion for righteousness should be like. Consider how our bodies crave food and water. Sometimes we may be able to fast and go without eating or drinking for a period of time—but for most people, eating and drinking is done several times everyday. Why? Because we’re hungry and thirsty. It’s the way God made us. He purposely designed our bodies in such a way that they need to be constantly re-fueled. If a person doesn’t eat and drink regularly, they will not live.
People typically favor certain foods and drinks…and sometimes substances. When you prefer certain foods, drinks, and substances, you tend to consume more of your favorites than other foods, drinks, and substances that are not your favorites.
So many aspects of the physical needs of human life can be compared to spiritual needs. For the sake of making some comparisons, let’s use food as an example. When some people have a favorite food, they could eat it very frequently and not get tired of it. On the other hand, if they were forced to eat a food that was not their favorite, they wouldn’t eat as much of that food, nor would they want to eat it as often as one of their favorites.
These thoughts are obvious, but I’m using them to communicate to you the way God wants us to hunger and thirst for more of Him…and His righteousness.
Whether we have come to embrace the reality of our spiritual needs or not, they are, none-the-less, a reality. We were all created with a hunger and thirst for spiritual things…just like we were created to have a natural hunger and thirst for physical food and water. People aren’t always able to identify that the longing of their soul is for more of God, so whenever they are feeling ‘empty’ inside—they try to fill the void with all kinds of things that don’t work.
Think of it this way: what if your car ran out of gas and you decided to fill it with an energy drink. Even though an energy drink promises to provide a ‘fuel’ of sorts—it’s not the right kind of fuel that will actually make your car engine run. When our spirit is ‘dry’ and we try to fill the emptiness with food, or alcohol, drugs, or entertainment—we’re not going to get rid of the void. Whatever we used as an attempt to ‘fix’ the problem was the wrong thing—so it won’t work.
‘Getting more of God’ is the only thing that will fill the emptiness of our soul. He made us in such a way that we would need to frequently feed on his Word and drink from the Living Water that only He can supply.
People live years of their lives unable to find lasting relief from depression and addiction because they are not getting the spiritual nourishment they need for their soul to thrive. They leave their Bible on a shelf from Sunday to Sunday—and then lay the blame on their pastor for not giving them the spiritual food they need to survive. Here’s an interesting question worth contemplating. Could a person live if they only ate one meal at a restaurant on Sunday and ate no other food from one Sunday to the next? Maybe they could, but they sure wouldn’t be healthy!
As we become adults, we don’t expect someone else to spoon-feed us. If someone doesn’t fix us something to eat, we will fix something ourselves or go buy something—but we won’t go without eating if no one takes it upon themselves to provide something for us. We’ll get something to eat one way or another…even if we have to get it ourselves.
The sad thing is that many people just don’t realize how important it is for their soul to be fed and hydrated. They will fill it with all kinds of wrong images, sounds, influences, and substances and then wonder why they are depressed.
The interesting thing about God is that He can become just as attractive to us as anything else we might choose to ‘favor’. The more we seek Him, the more we will want to seek Him. When a person hasn’t been in the habit of seeking more of God—their ‘taste’ for Him is not as fully developed as it could be. What God wants, is for us to live in a perpetual state of hunger and thirst…for Him.
Declaration: I will find new strength by drawing from God’s well and eating at His table. I will stop trying to fill my spiritual needs with physical substances.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.