1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-19, 22; 2 TIMOTHY 2:22; HEBREWS 12:14 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. Do not quench the Spirit. Abstain from every form of evil. Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
THEME OF THE DAY. FULFILLING SPIRITUAL HUNGER. Do we want an intimate walk with the Lord Jesus? Is the desire of our hearts to enjoy fellowship with Him on a consistent, even continual basis? Are the yearnings deep inside of our very being focused on Christ – to enjoy Him more, to be used mightily by Him, and to be more and more changed into His image? If so, these are healthy “spiritual hunger pains” in the child of God. In fact, these are implanted by God Himself at new birth. When we became Christians, the Holy Spirit created these spiritual cravings in God’s children and they are always centered on Jesus Christ. We may get an accurate “spiritual wellness check” by simply asking ourselves, “Do I have this insatiable passion to know and obey the Lord Jesus?” If we may confidently, sincerely, and humbly answer, “Yes, praise God, I do desire Christ above all things in life”, we are not only in the faith, but giving evidence of hunger to grow in the faith. However . . . and this takes us into today’s nugget theme; fulfilling spiritual hunger. There is something we must do.
Many Christians will profess a desire to know Christ, be used by Christ, and become like Christ, but perhaps many of those same Christians are lamenting that they don’t seem to be making much progress in fulfilling their professed desire. They lack joy, live stressed, and find life, even their spiritual life, boring and routine. Jesus’ words to them, “I come that they might have life and that more abundantly” are words they know, may even have memorized, but are quite foreign in their spiritual experience (John 10:10). They might confess “Oh, I have abundant life alright; abundantly full of spiritual discouragement, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction.”
Perhaps that might describe some of us? It has described me at times. I’ve cried out that I want to be closer to Christ, but there seemed to be a disconnect between my desire for Him and my walk with Him. “My want to” and “My reality” were miles apart and the reason was that for spiritual hunger to be fulfilled, spiritual food must be digested. This means a personal responsibility lies upon me, you and every Christian to “go after” Christ to get that hunger satisfied. The Spirit of God will create the hunger, but we must seek to satisfy it. The illustration in the physical world holds true in the spiritual. I may hunger for food, have my wife cook a fine meal and set the table for the feast, but if I don’t “come and get it”, then my hunger remains. And if we don’t “come and get it” when it comes to drawing near and enjoying Christ, two things are revealed. First, we really aren’t that hungry for Him. Our words betray us. And secondly, we fail to take the necessary steps to satisfy the hunger. Friends, we are as close to Christ right now as our desire turned effort puts us. He promised to draw near to all those who draw near to Him (James 4:8). It is a drawing near in the Word, prayer, and obedience. And God will not do the drawing near for us.
In today’s scripture, there are seven verses from three separate portions of New Testament books. Count how many “actions” we are commanded to perform. There are eight; rejoice, pray, give thanks, do not quench, abstain, flee, pursue, and strive. This is just a sampler of the whole Bible. We cannot overstate our responsibility when it comes to fellowship and being close to the Lord Jesus. We will be as close to Him as our desire turned effort takes us. Thank God for giving us a spiritual hunger for Him and then thank Him for enabling us to satisfy the hunger by our Spirit-empowered efforts.
PRAYER: “Father, grant me a discerning spirit that I may choose Your will over my will – always.”
QUOTE: “We will be as close to the Lord Jesus as we choose to be”