By Pastor Mitch Horton | August 2001 | Posted in • Archives | (0) Comments
In last month’s issue, I discussed the need for us to return to our first love with the Lord Jesus, and to “break up the fallow ground” in our lives by ridding ourselves of spiritual complacency. In this issue, I would like to continue the same thought and discuss how hunger can replace complacency in our lives.
A complacent Christian is a Christian who is satisfied with where he is and what he has in God. His life with Jesus has become stale. And complacency is Satan’s playground! A complacent Christian is prone to sin, to worldly living and thinking, and prone to be snared by Satan’s subtle schemes. Like the proverbial frog in the kettle, the complacent believer is unaware of his true spiritual deficiencies, and really needs a good rebuke from the Lord! The lukewarm believers of the church in Laodicea in Revelation, chapter 3, were unaware that to the Lord they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). And regardless of how long a person has been in the Lord, he needs to guard against complacency!
The best way to steer clear of complacency is to keep ourselves in a constant state of spiritual hunger. Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Hunger and thirst are strong motivators in human life. How much more are they in our spiritual lives! Psalm 107:9 further comments, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Jesus said that it is the thirsty person that will come to Him to drink and be filled with “rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
Smith Wigglesworth said, “Spiritual hunger is when nothing in the world fascinates me as much as being near to God.” Do you still feel that way about your Lord? He went on to say, “I’d rather have a man on my platform who is not Spirit-filled but hungry for God than a person who is Spirit-filled but is satisfied with his experience.” So many of us these days are saved, filled, satisfied, and stagnant. And the Lord yearns to help us overcome this stagnation!
Moses exemplifies a tremendous spiritual hunger. His request of the Lord,“Show me Your glory”(Exodus 33:18), reveals his deep-seated hunger for more of God. Understand that Moses had already been in God’s manifest presence for forty days, and his face was glowing with God’s glory! Yet he asks for more of God’s presence! I believe that this reveals the truth that wherever you turn your attention, you will have a desire for more of that same thing in your life. The more you receive, the more of God you want! May I further add: If you have no hunger for God, forcing yourself to place your attention on Him can create it!
David’s life was ablaze with a throbbing desire for God. He reveals his tremendous passion for God in verses such as: “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); “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” (Psalm 42:1-2a); “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:2). The more time you spend with the Lord, the more of Him you want! What would it be like to experience even your rebellious flesh longing for God! What a thought!
Perhaps you are at a place in life where you are “just going through the motions.” Maybe disappointment after disappointment has left you disillusioned spiritually. And honestly, you know that you’re a complacent Christian with little if no zeal and absolutely no hunger for God. Could I encourage you to repent of your spiritual callousness and call out to your Creator, the author and finisher of your faith, to birth a fresh hunger for Him in your heart?
The truth is that any hunger that we have for the Lord originates with Him in the first place! Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). God said of His love for us, “…Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). Spiritual hunger is an indicator of the Holy Spirit at work in you! If you honestly lack a real hunger for God, ask Him to create the desire for Him within you. I believe that is one prayer to which He will gladly and quickly respond!
Sometimes spiritual hunger is hindered because we have filled ourselves with the “candy” of the world, the flesh, and the devil. When a child, who should be naturally hungry at mealtime, sits at the table and exclaims, “I’m really not hungry tonight,” you can probably find the candy wrappers in another room!
At times we allow ourselves to feed on what amounts to spiritual “candy,” which could be anything from clean, wholesome “old movies,” to, novels, magazines, and TV shows that are barren of solid spiritual input. The time we could have sown into spiritual nourishment is wasted on frivolous, nonessential things.
James gives a strong admonition to the church that applies so well to us today, “You are like unfaithful wives having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vows to God. Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The Holy Spirit jealously guards our relationship with Jesus. He becomes quite agitated when we neglect our spiritual life and spend more time with things that gratify our flesh than with things that build us up spiritually!
I again encourage you to repent of any complacency that you have allowed into your life and cry out for a hunger for God that will draw you into a deep and fulfilling relationship with Him.
Sowing to the flesh only creates more desires for the “flesh”, while sowing to the spirit creates lasting fruit that completely satisfies (See Galatians 6:9). Your heavenly Father longs to be wanted by you! He stands at the door of your life asking for a more intimate fellowship with you. Imitate David, who’s hunger caused him to respond to God’s drawing by saying, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said, Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8).
Pray this prayer with me: “Lord, I live in a culture surrounded by so many things that rob me of the time that I could spend with You. I repent for filling myself with activities that pull me away from You. I ask You to create in me a heart hunger that never ceases, and that is only satisfied by my spending time with You. Reveal to me anything that has become an idol in my life that I have allowed to fill the place in my life that only You can fill. Thank You for refreshing my life with Your wonderful presence, and thank You for boldness to be a light to others through my lifestyle and words, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Post a Comment: