Long and caps lock and run-on and on sentences capture you but what I want to capture you is the person behind your actions. Is there a motivation for getting up in the morning. Is the world just surviving? Are Christians more burnt out then ever before? I want to say I don’t know enough to say yes or no, but I do know that hunger has been awakened and you are on this journey with me. I should be working on homework from college but I must mention the season I have been in and where it is taking me. Read, and be encouraged!
Hunger is a gift. Hunger is an involuntary movement in us that is necessary for life to continue. Being hungry for food and thirsty for water are two motivations that will never fade away. Even if you fast you will have to break the fast and respond to the hunger pains. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs caps off at the first and foremost one:Physiological needs. Men and women must eat.
Spiritual hunger, however, I think can get pushed way back in our minds. Because we don’t see God with our physical eyes and because we live in such comfort(mostly in America) then we easily fall out of the happiness formula. Happiness, in Jesus’ terms, comes down to living with a constant need for Him. The beattitudes (Math. 5) tell us to hunger and thirst, so that we may be filled. And it also tells us to live in poverty of spirit, so that we may have the Kingdom of God.
Both physical and spiritual hunger should drive us to feasting on what will satisfy. That classic verse in Jeremiah calls whatever won’t satisfy as a “broken cistern.” A place that won’t carry the water you need to carry you. Jesus says that in order for the wineskin to carry the wine, well, you get the idea; hunger, thirst, and fast. Fasting will help grow and stretch the wineskin.
My caps lock letter effect is saying one thing: I am in need. There is more and more is something that has taken years( about 10 years now) to cultivate. When I first moved to Kansas City in 2004 I had a rude awakening. It was rude because I thought that my upbringing in church=being on fire for God. I also thought that attendance in church=wisdom and revelation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury let me let you in on some secrets to hunger. Begin with the lowest part of you as the starting point. Start out each day recognizing that you are in the early stages of giving your all to Jesus. May I remind myself and everyone that everything matters. Every reach in your heart, every single inclination that reaches out for God, everything that is a part of seeking Him counts as treasures in heaven. Let no one be condemned in reading this. Let us just examine our ways and turn all of ourselves back to God.
Here is what is happening inside of me. I am looking back at the past 10 years and it feels as if I am starting over. I never really think we start over. I think His mercies are new touch us so much that it feels like we start over. It can feel like each day is blank page and God just keeps providing the paper. It is so glorious to run into the arms of His mercy. O, how we need it. I am sure some recent poetry has reflected both the need for His love and His mercy.
But we are starting at a point in time where the past starts to fade away. We look at the successes of our twenties( myself looking back 10 years ago) all the way until now( my full testimony to be shared another time) and I say, wow, I am alive in God. I am at a place where I cannot get enough of teachings( Kris Valloton, Mark Driscoll, my church, IHOP-KC, exc.) and anyone who wants to say something can. I am here and I am ready to live it. I am ready to do more than listening. I am staring at the book of James. Let me not just hear, let me do. It is not works to work for more of God. Let me say it twice: it is not works to work to have more of God. Works, in the negative sense, denotes love and self-righteousness. Works( as a sin) means we are trying to earn from God that which is a free gift. We know that by faith we are:
2. Sanctification has begun( a constant work)
3. Glorification( now the hope of heaven and the resurrection)
4. And hunger and thirst work in and out of all three of these.
I am hungering for the day when there will be no more death, no more sorrow and no more pain. Who wants to stay in this fallen earth forever(the creation groans passage). Who wants to carry this body of death forever? I will miss blogging when I am gone but that is about it. And lets be real, we will still be writing in heaven.
This may feel a little all over the place but there is a burst in me right now. I want to provoke you to a deeper place. Look at what you are doing in the secret place of your heart. Look at your praying, reading of scripture, worship, giving and relationships. Look at where you need a heart expansion.
To quote Todd White: “You can have as much of God as you want!”
Praise God. Let us lay a hold of God. Fill up the Ipod with teachings. Fill up your ears with worship. Fill up your mind with the word. For most of us, what we need is Godly people in our lives. My generation longs for fathers and mothers. Find just one person that will disciple you and find at least one person you can disciple. Start with these small things and work towards a heart expansion. I don’t mean doing more busy work in the name of the Kingdom, or in the name of church growth. I mean serving with a glad heart and all the while expanding yourself to a deeper place of love and hunger.
I look back 11 years ago when I was 17 and my youth pastor(love you Brett!) called us to a violent pursuit of intimacy with Jesus. I did not get it right away and I have had many people tell me to grow up, tell me to give myself and not waste the precious years of our youth. Seasons change. People change.I say that to say that I have no regrets. I have no regret in me for pushing it in those early years. That will produce character and joy in you that can only come from fullness in Jesus.
Not everything goes according to our plans. But the good news is that in and out of season we can be ready for whatever the Lord has. I believe it starts with filling up on Him, seeking first the Kingdom and coming to a place of hunger and thirst.
Let’s do this!