Inspirational Thought of the Day:
Hungering after God is the one hunger that is perhaps the least attended to, but ironically our greatest hunger of all.
Scripture of the Day:
“O God, you are my God! I long for you! My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
I don’t think many of us know real hunger – you know, that hunger that aches in the pit of your stomach and makes you feel like you could just about die. But we are all acquainted with the hunger of our flesh in one degree or another. We long for things, positions, power and relationships to name a few. And when we don’t get what we want, well sometimes it isn’t pretty.
But hungering after God – this is the one hunger that is perhaps the least attended to, but ironically our greatest hunger of all. We just don’t always recognize it.
I was asked to write about how to cultivate this hunger for God. Perhaps a little exploration of hunger, in general, would be a good place to start.
The other “hungers” are satisfied temporarily, but Jesus promised that those who hungered and thirsted after God – oh, they will be satisfied – forever!
The woman at the well thought Jesus described a limitless source of water, which would give her a reprieve from the need to be on a quest to satiate her thirst all the time. She wanted comfort and ease. Jesus knew she just did not get it. Right in front of her was the greatest satisfaction she could ever get and He patiently listened to her as she tried to convey how she fed her spiritual hunger – methodology and religious duty.
In our humanity, we crave after so many things and miss the sweetness of a genuine hungering after God. Why?
We are deceived about what this hungering after God is supposed to look like. We consider it dry religious duty when it is the sweetest relationship we could ever have. We become deceived because we aren’t in our word enough and permit the other “hungers” to dominate.
We allow busyness to crowd out the one thing that is needful because simply, we do not see our need of God or do not recognize all that He has done and is doing for us. The one thing our souls need so desperately is to worship our Maker. It’s what we were made for. When we allow the busyness of life to crowd our time with God, our hungering for God is replaced with temporary things that could never possibly fill that void – and then we wander.
We don’t often see who is actually in control. We have good intentions (sometimes, lol), but our flesh overrules and we wonder how we ended up pigging out on a chocolate dessert instead of sticking to our diet or maybe sleeping in instead of rising to seek His face. This is the flesh’s desire – we all have that flesh, but there is hope. Yay!
So here is where we get to the part about cultivating this hunger for God. Sometimes hardship brings us to our knees, but often in the buzz of the mundanity of life we just won’t seek God. (Remember Romans 3 tells us that no one does). But if we cry out to God and ask Him to help us seek Him, He will always faithfully answer a request like that. He loves us. He walked in a tent of flesh, too, but He chose what mattered most and can give us grace to do so, too.
Discipline is an ugly word to our flesh and sometimes we need to have many “helps” in place to stick to seeking God first and fully. In order to have our hunger in the right place.
The enemy of our souls discourages us because of our past failures in attempting to faithfully seek God, but there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We cry out to God to make us faithful and we rise up again to seek Him. He’s seen the same pattern before in His children and is not surprised. His grace is sufficient for those who will seek it.
So when our flesh is not a willing partner in our quest to seek and hunger after God there are some tricks up our sleeve to counter the pull of our flesh.
Find someone who is serious about their walk with God. Encourage one another to seek God and don’t allow excuses. We’re not talking legalism here, but encouraging one another to draw near to the Lover of our souls.
Bible Reading Plan.
Just like we need food in order to live, we have got to be in God’s Word for our inner man to thrive. Group bible studies, mentoring, going to church – these are all a necessary part of our walk with God and contribute to sparking our love for God, but there is nothing like feasting on His word. Ligonier Ministries has wonderful plans to choose from. Click here to pick one that is right for you. Please don’t allow the enemy to deceive you and tell you it is just too hard. Really?! Too hard to read 15-30 minutes a day? Too hard to write a love note in our journal to the One Who loved us so much He laid down His life for us? Read, friend. Drink in God’s promises – they are our life!
Time spent with God is never wasted. If you are in a situation where you are married to an unbeliever or surrounded by people who discourage you from hungering after God, seek out people who will encourage you to search God’s word daily and cry out to God to help you to see your need. He will fill you, friend, with the greatest joy of your life.
Lord, draw each one who reads this blog closer to You. Don’t let anything keep us away from You and Your precious word. Fill us to overflowing that we may proclaim Your goodness to the world around us.