Sunday, March 8, 2009

Satisfaction for the Hungry and Thirsty

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Food and water are necessities, not luxuries. Our physical life depends on food and water, our spiritual life depends on righteousness. First, we are what we eat. This is not only true of the body but also of the soul. We are basically spiritual beings. We are created in the spiritual likeness of our Creator. The outer man depends upon food and water, the inner man depends on righteousness. The inner man has spiritual appetites that must be satisfied. How many spiritual meals do you miss per week? The inner man has a sense of sight. Paul prayed for the Ephesians that the “eyes of their understanding might be enlightened.” Our Lord lamented that His disciples had eyes, but the saw not. God’s counsel to the church at Laodica was that they anoint their eyes with eye-salve that they might see. For us “salve” is the Word of God applied by the Holy Spirit. The inner man also has a spiritual sense of hearing. “Who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Christ’s sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. They will not follow the voice of a stranger. Immature Christians are “dull of hearing,” because they do not exercise their spiritual senses. There is a spiritual sense of taste. “O taste and see that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:3). The soul has its hunger and thirst; these desires were built into man at creation. God has put eternity in our hearts, and the temporal cannot satisfy the spiritual. Christ is the answer to the hidden thirst in ones life; Jesus Christ is the bread of life. “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Christ came to give life and that in abundance. “Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” (John 4:13-14). The presence of hunger and thirst is a good thing. Hunger and thirst are evidences of life. Dead people have no appetites. The kind of appetite we have is an indication of the kind of heart we have. The believer who hungers and thirst after righteousness is giving evidence not only of life but of health. One of the first signs of sickness is loss of appetite. When the infection of unconfessed sin is at work in the life of the disobedient Christian, he loses his appetite for spiritual things. 1 John 2:15-17 warns that our spiritual appetite can never be satisfied by the world (It takes a lot to feed an ego). Christ said “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Jesus fed on the will of His Father, this is what satisfied Him. If we love the will of God then fulfilling the will of God will bring great pleasure. What are the hungers in your life? If the fleshly appetites are stronger than the spiritual you are a carnal Christian. Second, Jesus tells us that the way to be satisfied is to hunger and thirst. It is a hunger for holiness that fills the soul and satisfies the appetite of the inner man. The people of Israel “lusted exceedingly in the wilderness… and God gave them their request but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalm 106:14, 15). Some became sick and other died as a result of their lusting. We learn in Psalm 81:16 that had Israel listened to God’s word and cultivated an appetite for His will, God would have “fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock.” What is holiness? To the Pharisees, holiness was conformity to rules; it was an external thing that completely overlooked the needs of the inner man. A mere external piety, born of pride and nurtured by the praise of men, is not holiness. If the beatitudes teach us anything, it is that holiness begins in the heart. The words holy and whole belong to the same family. To be holy involves wholeness. Sin divides and destroys. Holiness unites and builds. Holiness is the basic attribute of God. As God’s children we should desire holiness in our lives (1 John 5:1-2). What have you been eating and drinking, spiritually? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings

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