“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” -Matthew 5:6
Hunger affects each of us every day. We can’t escape it. In response to our hunger, we eat and we find that eating is wonderful. For some of us, like National Advisor Dean Tzobanakis, life tends to more or less revolve around food (just read one of his blogs.)
And while eating satisfies our hunger for the moment, the effects of even the choicest meal will eventually wear off in a matter of hours, and we will find ourselves hungry again. Whether we like it or not, this is the reality of physical hunger and, in this world, it will always be that way.
I have four kids, and it is funny to consider how hunger effects each of them. Our four-month old boy will wake up screaming from a dead sleep when it’s time for him to eat. Why? Because he’s painfully hungry. The first words my three-year-old boy says to me each morning when I get him up are, “Daddy, eat?”
One would think that as they grow up a bit their response to hunger might be less dramatic, but it’s not true. My four-year-old and 7-year-old both tend to say when they’re hungry, “Daddy, I’m starving.” Truth be told, I don’t even know where they heard that phrase. I try to give them the old, “You girls have never been close to starving. Children in a lot of places throughout the world don’t have food to eat and you girls ate a couple of hours ago” line, but the revelation of how good they have it hasn’t resolved their feelings of hunger just yet. Maybe one day they’ll get it.
Then again, when I’m hungry I can get a bit crazy myself so I’m not quite sure I get it. All that to say, there isn’t a season in life in which we are exempt from hunger, and while we may not know hunger like most of the world does, it is something that all of us will experience to one degree or another from the cradle to the grave.
While all of us experience physical hunger, the real question is, “How is your spiritual hunger?” Do you, like the psalmist David in Psalm 63:1, cry out.
“O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water?” -Psalm 63:1
Do you, like Jesus, live in the reality that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?” (Matthew 4:4). Do you hunger for God?
In his most famous sermon, Jesus lays out a number of Kingdom principles that fly in the face of the systems of this world. One of those principles deals with spiritual hunger. It is simply this: those who hunger for God, and for the things of God most, will be the most satisfied. That logic doesn’t add up in the natural, but regarding the things of the spirit, it is a promise that you can take to the bank.
So I ask you again, how is your spiritual hunger? Are you hungry for God? Do you yearn for Him? Are you pursuing Jesus, and going after the things of His Kingdom more than anything else in your life?
More than your girlfriend?
More than movies?
More than the gym?
More than video games?
More than school?
More than your earthly family?
The list goes on and on and on. But the reality is, if you are pursuing any of these things more than you are pursuing Christ, then you are simply living a less fulfilling life than you could be.
The promise of Jesus himself, later on in that same sermon, is that if we seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all these other things will be added to you. If we seek Him first and foremost, he alone can and will properly give us all other things in their rightful place in our lives.
So my challenge to each of you is to do embrace hunger. Ask God to increase your longing for Him. Ask Him to stir up your appetite for the things of His Kingdom. Ask Him to increase the spiritual appetite of your chapter so that you, alongside your other brothers, would seek first His Kingdom in your chapter meetings, your cell groups, your social events, your intramural competitions and in everything else you guys do.
As you place the King in His rightful place in your lives and in the life of your chapter, He will surely bless you guys and use you to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world and a city on a hill on each of your campuses.
The more you guys hunger for God, the more you will be satisfied by Him and therefore more satisfied in every other area of your life. So in the most loving why I know how, I bless you with going hungry so that you might experience His filling.