‍If God’s people would only come together and forget about doctrines and leaders whose vision is blurred by building churches and leaders and collecting tithes having only one objective, and that to be filled with all the fullness of God, I know God would answer prayer” - Glenn A. Cook on the Azusa Street Revival

As followers of the man who hung between two criminals, we are called, at conversion, to lead an extraordinary life. Jesus interrupts our modern experience filled with striving, disappointment and failure and brings us into a greater life that is filled with His unfailing love that catapults us into our purpose. 

This is a radical work of the Holy Spirit that brings about sanctification of the human spirit, mind and body. God’s desire is for our whole lives to be completely submerged in His divine power and grace. 

Although this is God’s heart for his children at conversion, it seems as though this is more a pipe dream than a reality for many believers. For most of us, we have an incredible experience with God being born again, but then at some point, our desire for more of God diminishes to a slow and steady halt. 

In your born again story, maybe you were at a youth camp at a young age and God radically touched your life. Or perhaps, you were a drug addict that found God through a sermon and God completely transformed you. Whatever the case may be, if you were honest with yourself, would you say that your heart is still at the same level of fire as it was whenever you were born again? 

Is the Church Hungry for God?

The answer for most of us is a resounding no. Although this should not be, what is even more alarming is that the church overall seems to have the same experience. The flame dies out gradually and the church becomes more a thing to do to keep us feeling good with ourselves. 

What makes this even worse is that this seems to be the most acceptable experience as a Christian! Our churches are full of has been, was a long time ago, remember the good ole days Christians. This saddens God’s heart and is a part of the enemy's strategy to gradually bring our lives out of freedom and into the bondage we once were slaves to. 

What is strange is that we live in an age with seemingly unlimited resources to study the Word of God. The bible is literally in our pockets at all times with the invention of the smartphone. With so many resources, why do believers have such a hard time opening their bibles? Could it be that the issue is not how many resources we have at our disposal, but our willingness to open them? 

The issue is not what we have at our fingertips, it is our spiritual hunger for the fullness of God. 

To help you assess your spiritual hunger, ask yourself the following question: 

What is the most dominating thought you have when your mind is idle? 

When I was young, I remember an old preacher posing a question that has stuck with me my entire life since. He asked the audience, “when you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think about?” 

For many of us, the answer to that question is our careers, children, responsibilities or things along this same string. While these are not bad things to wake up and think about, they do bring up the main issue for most of our spiritual lives. We busy ourselves with doing so many good things, that we don’t have time for the greatest thing. 

The things we wake up thinking about is the overflow of our hearts. If we have set our heart on being a provider for our family first, those emotions and thoughts will dominate our lives. Again, is it wrong to want to be a good provider? Absolutely not. What makes it an issue is when we put being a provider over being a child of God first. That’s the issue. We need to move from being a good provider, to becoming a Godly provider. 

Blessed Are The Hungry

How is this done? How can you change the course of your thought life and release the fire of God in your life? Let’s turn to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:6. 

Matthew 5:6 - “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Jesus declares that the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. This promise extends to us! Our lives will be satisfied when we hunger for doing things God way (righteousness). The word satisfied here implies deep satisfaction and contentment. 

When was the last time you had a really good meal? How did it feel? For me, I am a huge fan of chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and brussel sprouts. I am on the planet happy when I get that into my system. You can ask my wife, I am a different person before and after that meal combination. 

What is amazing is that God has designed our spiritual lives to mirror our physical lives. In the same way that I can get full on a chicken sandwich and feel full, my spirit man can receive complete nourishment and satisfaction when I begin to feed it with spiritual food!

Ruling Over Our Flesh 

One of the main differences between physical hunger and spiritual hunger is that we are trained at a very young age to listen to and understand our physical appetites over our spiritual ones. In fact, one of the first things you will hear from a mother with their children when they wake up is this question, “are you hungry?”

Over time, this trains our minds to put our flesh first before the spirit man and set’s us on a course to depress our spiritual appetites. This shouldn’t be so! According to Romans 8, our flesh is the one thing that should never lead us. 

 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

If our minds are set on fulfilling the desires of the flesh only, then we will never step into a place of spiritual hunger in our lives. We must put the flesh in its proper position behind the spirit. 

Instead of satisfying our physical cravings when we wake up, we should be feeding our spirit man the Word of God. This will allow our spirit man to govern the flesh and to put us into the right position to hear from God. 

Today, change the way you approach your appetite. Start by feeding your spiritual man first before the flesh and see how this changes your day. As we read earlier, blessed are the hungry. When you live a life of hunger, you live a life of blessing. 

In the next part of this series, we will dive into the blessing of hungering for God, ala what the Bible teaches us about spiritual hunger. Later in this series we will discuss the role of the Holy Spirit in aiding us into receiving all that God has for us as believers. 

Jul 24, 2023

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