Truly Blessed, Part 3, Hungry?

Do you ever get a craving for ‘that’ kind of food? A plate of lasagna, a grilled burger, an ice cream sundae? A few days ago I just wanted a hotdog, not any hotdog, but one from that place on Route 46 just outside of Belvidere, NJ called “Hotdog Johnny’s.” I don’t what they do to a hotdog, but every now and then, I just want a couple, served with mustard and pickle.

Let’s talk about soul hunger. It is as real as your body’s hunger. We hunger to know peace, security, meaning, and purpose. People chase after all manner of things to satisfy that inner hunger;  achievement, recognition, admiration, sex, fun, religious devotion … to name a few.  Nothing and no one will satisfy our soul hunger like Jesus Christ!

The Word says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, NIV)  Peterson’s contemporary paraphrase of the Bible 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.” (Matthew 5:6, The Message)

We know that we were made for more than working that job, building a home, falling in love, having kids. Do you realize that? Have you done ‘life’ and still find yourself restless, feeling unfulfilled? Only God, through Jesus Christ, can satisfy that craving. When we receive Christ, by faith, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, making us alive to God, responsive to His will, able to more fully appreciate the world in which we live for what it is. Spirit-filled believers should love better, hear the music of life with greater appreciation, and live in joyful hope.

The life describes is found in Jesus and sustained as we ‘feed’ on His Presence. “Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NIV)  Jesus met a woman who had chased her cravings and made a mess of life. She was at a well in Samaria, midday, drawing water when she met Him. He saw her need, engaged her in conversation (a scandalous choice in that time), and told her this – “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, NIV)  

As we learn to commune with Him, the refreshing, satisfying ‘water of life’ becomes like an artesian well inside of us. We don’t have to run here or there, chasing some new experience, to find satisfaction. We know peace with God and He satisfies our soul thirst.

Are you spiritually hungry today?  You don’t have to go somewhere, find somebody, or do some great thing. He is here now!  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV)  We can come into His Presence, meditate in His truth, experience His love – anywhere, anytime.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can only find dinner spiritually in church or at a Bible study. We can; indeed, we must, learn to sit down with Him each day – to pray, to wait, to know, to be satisfied.

Only Jesus makes us truly ‘righteous,’ which means being right with God, something we want to be. When we are reconciled to Him, forgiven, and restored – we know life to the full.  When we share the things that weigh us down with Him in prayer, it eases the burden, and changes us so we can meet the challenges. When we offer up worshipful adoration, it renews our hope and helps us to remember why we exist. When we meditate on the Scripture, we are made wise and filled up with soul food that keeps us strong for the journey.

This life, full of responsibilities and temptation, will keep us from His Table.  Jesus warns of allowing “your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life. ” (Luke 21:34, KJV) In other words, “Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping.” (The Message)

Soul hunger is universal! Just as our bodies require constant nourishment and develop an appetite daily, our spirits hunger, too. In the same way that we can temporarily satisfy our hunger with empty calories, and some do to such an extent that they lose their taste for meat and vegetables, we can fill up our spirits with endless pursuit of pleasure, games, and even more sensual satisfaction until our spiritual appetite for the true Food of Heaven is gone.

Here is the word from the Word. As you read it, may you turn to the only One who can really satisfy your soul.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
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.
(Isaiah 55:1-3, NIV)
_________________

Satisfied

All my life long I had panted
For a drink from some cool spring
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within

Hallelujah He has found me
The One my soul so long has craved
Jesus satisfies all my longings
Through His blood I now am saved

Feeding on the husks around me
Till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for something better
Only still to hunger on

Well of water ever springing
Bread of Life so rich and free
Untold wealth that never faileth
My Redeemer is to me

Through His blood I now am saved
Through His blood I now am saved

Clara Tear Williams – Public Domain

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