As mortals, we have been wired to desire suitable things— food, fancy materials, recognition.
So many things we desire; at times, we crave for them desperately.
But as re-created, Spirit-filled beings, we are to to desire what would fill (nourish) our Spirit man. We are to desire God. If we don’t, then, our gaze would be shifted thereby, denying us the opportunity of reaching the utmost goal— reigning with Christ.
Really, God desires that we have so tight relationship with Him but we also have to reciprocate the intention by desiring Him— even, more.
But the bulk of work lies on the latter— we. We are the ones who are to forfeit everything that would hinder us from accessing God in His fullness.
If we really want— desire God, then, we must hunger for Him and everything that concerns Him; the same way we get hungry for the physical meal.
If there is a space in us that yearns for God, then, we have a prepared ground to receive God.
It’s actually the lack of hunger for God that makes so many Christians remain redundant in Spiritual growth.
When do we hunger for God?
“Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” Matthew 9:14-15
In those verses, we see Jesus telling the disciples (John’s) the times when the disciples— you and I would fast— hunger— in the times when the bridegroom— Jesus would be taken away— now.
So, we are to hunger for God now!
If we don’t hunger for God now, then, we would be missing out on a sensitive plan of God.
God needs us now. He needs us to hunger for Him now!
How do we hunger for God?
To answer that, I’ll love that we examine this analogy from the physical.
We get to eat breakfast because the dinner of last night has gone down (performed its function for the moment) and, we have to consume something else to provide strength for the morning.
Sometimes around mid-day or earlier than then, we eat lunch. Why? We need something that can provide the energy required for the tasks which lie ahead of us.
We don’t say (in the ordinary sense) that, the breakfast of today is enough to push us for the next three days. We conclude that, we need energy
almost every hour.
Same thing with our hunger for God.
First, we (on a personal note) have to realise that, we need help which we can only get from God— observing critically at what the world — flesh, and God— the Spirit, we come to a conclusion that, the world has nothing to offer us.
So, we choose to go with God.
The situation I am explaining here is not one that is abstract. It’s totally practical (personal encounters actually do well to convince us).
Having realised the need to depend on God, we start to develop attractions towards God and His concerns. This happens in stages.
The more we do the things of the Kingdom, the more we get to realise that, we need more.
Yes! Everyday of our walk with God ought to create a space which God alone can fill.
And, that’s why we are blessed as those who “are the poor in spirit: for ours is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
“Why should we remain poor if we are grow in Christ?” You might want to ask.
We keep remaining poor people in the Spirit because poor people are always in need. And, as Spiritual people, we would always be in need of God— the hunger for God.
To be able to measure up to the stature God desires, we start by acting in faith and sincerity.
One mistake many Christians make which prevents them from getting God in His deep measures is that, they want to act “official” or “standardised”. Many Christians think that they have to go before God in some pre-prescribed formats.
All those won’t help much.
Instead, we are to come before God in all seriousness and sincerity— putting aside every loftiness of the heart, shoving our prides away, talking to God the way we would talk to our closet human friend— plainly.
Our hunger for God would come into place and even increase if we can deliberately study (and meditate) on His word, pray to Him from our hearts, obey His word and relate His love (in words and deeds) to others.
Meanwhile, another way we get to hunger for God is by fasting.
You have to understand the true meaning of fasting.
In contrast to the popular assertion that fasting has to do with refraining from eating, fasting to please God involves we refraining from anything that might want to take the place of God in our lives. This means that, we can fast from some certain persons, habits or activities that compete with God in our lives. When we fast (sincerely) from such things, we are directly seeking God to fill up the space in our lives.
Although, we must understand fasting from such things (like the internet) might not be easy but, it is possible because “with God all things are possible” (Mathew 19:26).
That’s why the God-factor must be present in the equation. If we try to be righteous in our own strength, we would fail but if we put God before, in centre and after the whole process, we are sure to succeed.
Why do we hunger for God?
Our hunger for God ought to create a space which only God can fill. And, in the process of getting filled with Him, we are to get better not only for ourselves but for others.
The more we hunger and thirst for God, the more we get to stages where we realise the urgency of the fulfillment of Christ’s command to us: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mathew 5:16
Our aim in hungering for God is to get nourished in the secret place (You can read my article on the secret place here) and to triumph in the outside world.
In the whole essence of it, we fast so as to hasten the soon-coming kingdom of God.
But, in the meantime, we have to hunger for God and, because it is not what we can achieve in our strength, it’s my sincere prayer that the Lord Himself would awaken a hunger for Him and Him alone in our lives and more importantly, fill us up in the name of Jesus.
And, with that, I review the book, “A hunger for God” by John Piper.
It’s a book we all should endeavour to read. It reveals, demystifies and teaches what we need to know and understand about what our lives should be filled with— our hunger for God.
You can download A hunger for God here.