Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

6 Beatitude Blessing – Part 6

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Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”

As Jesus continues to communicate the blessings that come from beatitude living, He uses a metaphor we can all relate to, food and water because it’s something we all need. Have you ever been so dry and dehydrated that all you cared about was something to drink, or so famished that all you could focus on was food. The Message paraphrase puts it this way: “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” This beatitude starts first with the:

  • Requirement

The word Jesus uses here for hunger, describes the desperate craving of someone that is starving, and the thirst that He speaks of involves more than just a desire to drink, it means being painfully parched. Hungering and thirsting involves not only a desire for something more but also a dissatisfied with our present situation. Before there can be spiritual satisfaction we have to admit that we are starving, this means coming to grips with our current condition and being honest about our hunger. Jesus is saying that true change will only come when we have a hunger for Him, which means we have to develop an appetite for the Almighty. Developing a good diet involves first watching what you eat. One of the reasons that we don’t crave God and His Word is because there’s too much of the world in us. Instead of feasting on the Savior and being full we are snacking on substitutes and getting fat. Is your life being filled by Jesus or by junk? You will never cultivate a craving for Jesus while you are cramming yourself full of junk. One of the biggest reasons that we don’t have a hunger for holiness is because we are full of junk food. Proverbs 27:7 says: “He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.” Are you snacking on substitutes or feasting on the Father? Are you craving Christ or are you junk food addict? When we end up eat the junk food we feel bloated and while we are no longer hungry for healthy food we are not satisfied with the substitute, and it’s not long before we feel hungry again. One of the biggest growth blockers for Christians is that they are feasting on fillers instead of food. Many of us are consuming things that will not satisfy because they were never designed by God to bring us fulfillment. What are you eating? Have you been consuming the comfort food, that may feel good at first, but later on leaves you dissatisfied? The sooner we realize that our longings can only be filled by the Lord, the lover of our souls, the sooner we will be motivated to change. In Isaiah 55:2-3 God askes us why we fill our lives with things that do not fulfill: “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Today there are many Christians munching on material things in the hopes that they will fill them up. Some are snacking on sin thinking that it will somehow satisfy. Others are consuming their careers in the hope of filling that hole in the hearts. For some they are substituting sports, or trying to fill their hunger through hobbies. Some are trying to dull their heart hunger and despair through drinking. But the only way to truly satisfy your heart is to gorge yourself on God. Second we need to weigh what we eat, when it comes to eating right we have to pay attention to our portions. Most of us don’t super-size our spiritual meals; instead we are malnutrition spiritually because we are consuming the bare minimums. Instead of feasting, we are   snack on spiritual appetizers. If you were to count Christ calories, how much of Him would you say you are consuming? Many of us are apathetic toward the Almighty because we are spiritually anemic. Are you letting your desires drive you to God, Proverbs 16:26 says: “The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.” The only one who can satisfy our soul is the Savior but if we turn from Him He may let us face the famine of our folly, Amos 8:11-12 says: “The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘when I will send a famine through the land- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. In that day the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst.’” Some of us are facing the famine of our foolish choice to feast on substitutes instead of the Father. Do you feel like God is far away right now, maybe He is allowing this time of barrenness so that you will hunger and ache for Him and return. Many of us hate diet plans because we have to watch and weigh what we eat, but Jesus tells us that we are also to welcome what we eat. Not only does He tell us to eat and drink but He says to enjoy it. In the Greek this is in the present tense, meaning that we should continuously hunger and thirst. We need to continually crave God, not just every day, but throughout the day. It’s the picture that is painted for us in Psalm 42:1-2: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Just as the physical body needs to eat several times a day so it can stay physically healthy, so too, must we consume spiritual food on a regular basis if we are to grow spiritually. In Matthew 6:11 Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God’s plan is for us to receive daily food, not all the food for the entire year so that we can fill our fridges and forget about Him. Just as the Israelites received manna every morning so that they would learn that God meets their daily needs so must we. He provides the meal but we have to take the time to dine. What are you filling your life with, is it His Word or the world? Today take some time and read through the following verses in Psalms and ask yourself what your soul is seeking:

Psalm 63:1: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.”

Psalm 84:2: “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

Psalm 143:6: “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”

 

 

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