Hunger for God

Studies suggests that 65 to 75 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. In some ways, this is very surprising. Christianity is rooted in a deep and abiding devotion to God. This devotion is expressed in a person’s daily life by following the loving example of the Lord Jesus Christ. There’s no escaping the fact that a number of troubling issues persist in modern society. They stem from hate, violence, and division, and this suggests that the opposite of the example of Jesus Christ is being followed. These issues plague the hearts and minds of many of us at an alarming rate, and we’re blinded to the reality of how devastating they are to the peace and love of Christ. People have an insatiable need to be right at all costs, and we’ve become legalistic to a fault. Given our current state of affairs, we have to wonder if the many who identify themselves as Christian are hungering more for the label or religion than they hunger for God.

Our whole reason for being is to have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 8:29(NLT) states, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Again, the life and ministry of Jesus Christ is our example for life and living. He is the blueprint of our design, and when our hearts are in the right place, his love is the motivation for all that we do.

There are many who’ve made a habit of lip service and say that they follow Christ, but they really don’t have a passion for the things of God. In other words, their hearts aren’t in it, and this is not how Jesus Christ lived. His passion was to do the Will of God. It was to come to earth and accomplish what Heavenly Father sent him here to achieve. Jesus said in John 6:38(NLT), “For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” Jesus Christ remained close to God, and he preserved this closeness by praying continually and talking to Heavenly Father often. The Gospels tell us that he’d awaken in the early morning hours and go to a place where he could be alone with the Father in prayer. This was his practice, and surely if Jesus Christ made such close communion with the Father his chief priority, we must do the same.

Jesus Christ demonstrated that we have a duty and responsibility to walk closely with God, but this shouldn’t be done out of a sense of routine, it should be done out of a deep and abiding love for who God is and who we are through Him. Human beings like sameness. We gravitate towards the expected and familiar, and we’re not big fans of change. So, it’s easy to trap ourselves in the mundane. After a while, we just go through the motions without thinking carefully about what we’re doing. It’s easy to get to a place of not responding to God with gratitude and adoration, but just performing. He doesn’t deserve this.

Many people that identify as Christian really don’t know who God is because they haven’t taken the time to know Him. Relationships are built by the commitment of time, trust, and loyalty. Two individuals become friends because they’ve taken the time to get to know one another. They invest the time because they value one another and find they have things in common. If we will do this for another person, how much more should we do it for God?

We demonstrate how much we value and honor God by the quality and quantity of time we spend with Him. If you are not as motivated to spend time with Heavenly Father as you think you should be, pray earnestly, with a heart that wants to please Him. Ask the Lord Jesus for a hunger and passion for God. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:6(NIV), “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Many believers today are flat lining in their lives, and it is because they lack an enthusiasm for the Father. We are allowing our faith that He will do, and is doing, the extraordinary in our lives to diminish. We can and should do something about this. In fact, it is our responsibility to do something about this.

The focus of our prayer lives may need to change. In Ephesians 6:19 (NLT), the Apostle Paul instructed the church, “And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.” Examine the heart behind Paul’s request. It wasn’t about materialism, finances, or personal gain. Paul’s prayer was to increase in the things of God so that he could better complete God’s mission. We are all called to tell others about Jesus Christ, and this was Paul’s focus and desire. He asked God to give him the right words to speak to those who desperately need to hear the Good News about salvation through Jesus Christ. How many of us have prayed to do this? If we haven’t, we ought to start. We should pray to increase to the point of uplifting others through Christ. We should do it because it’s very important to God, and He desires that it be important to us.

David, the psalmist, said in Psalm 19:7(NLT), “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.” Our souls need to be revived in a huge way. Through David, God makes it known to us that His Word is perfect, and His Word revives us. His Word quickens us and pumps life into every aspect of our existences. If we miss this, we will have missed a whole lot.

In Psalm 19:12-14(NLT), David prayed, “12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” We don’t know all the things that are in our hearts, but we must understand that some of those things are causing us to feel sad and apathetic to the liveliness we should have in Christ. We must take a cue from David and pray that God will help us to reroute ourselves, so that the words of our mouth and target of our hearts is to please God. When this becomes a hunger for us, we will understand that being a follower of Christ is infinitely more than a label or religion. It’s understanding that Christ is our identity. As we walk in the reality of all that he is, we will be fulfilled in an undeniable way, and we will be guided by God’s love in everything we do.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Hunger for God”, written for Copyright© 2023. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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