Hunger and Thirst?

Hi folks-

For this week I wanted to share something with you from one of my heroes of the faith – AW Tozer.

The following is a thought provoking statement:

“if your soul cries out to God, for the living God, and your dry and empty heart despairs of living a normal Christian life… Then I ask you: Is your desire all absorbing? Is it the biggest thing in your life? If your heart cries ‘yes’ to the questions you may be on your way to a spiritual breakthrough that will transform your whole life…”

As a young man of 24 years old – I was confronted with an ugly truth. I remember I was reading Psalm 63 where it says “my soul thirsts after you like a dry weary land”…. I wrote those words in my journal then paused. The truth was that my soul did not thirst after God. Or at least I didn’t feel that thirst. My flesh was firmly in control I suppose. I didn’t feel that thirst for God nor could I say I wanted the things of God in my life. In that moment I began to get honest with God: “Lord I don’t thirst for You, and while that is a scary thought, I have to believe that You love me even though I am not hungering for You. Oh God – please change my heart towards You. I don’t know how to change it on my own… I don’t think I can. I need You to help me… Please Lord.”

This was one of those moments where I believe I sensed God communicating to me very clearly: “Now you are ready for Me to love you.” Since then God has steadily built a hunger in me for Him. What’s interesting is how He has done it. I think He has done 2 major things to help build a hunger in me:

1) He has caused me to question the benefits of hungering for things this world has to offer me. Does the world really have something to offer me that is better than what God offers me? When I could truly sit down and contemplate this question, I have continually come up with the answer: “No!”

Pleasure, the praise and adoration of others, wealth, health, influence, comfort; none of this gives me eternal hope, meaning and purpose. Much of this stuff is here today and gone within a flash. Basically put – God caused me to have doubts – in the greatness and the most brilliantly flashing treasures this world has to offer. This has literally changed my life and my posture towards God. All the things I put my hope in and in the end I often arrive to the same place that Solomon arrives in Ecclesiastes: “All of it is meaningless.”

2) God slowly began to show me the riches I am offered in Him. True peace; true laughter and joy; deep meaningful relationships; living in the wonder of God’s grace and mercy; being forgiven; having an eternal meaning and purpose. ALL OF IT IS ETERNAL!!! NO MAN CAN GIVE YOU THIS AND NO MAN CAN TAKE IT AWAY!!!! The more I find that this world has nothing to offer me that even holds a candle to what God offers me; the more I find I thirst for God because; true life is really found in His presence!!!

Maybe this weekend in the service – you were wrestling in prayer. Maybe you are where I have been in my journey – no thirst for God. Let me ask you to consider the two things I listed above. I am daring to agree with AW Tozer – because it seems like a brazen promise and yet God told us we will find Him when we seek for Him with all of our hearts.

I hope, dream and pray for spiritual breakthroughs for us as individuals and as a church. May God’s kingdom come mightily in our midst. May His Holy Spirit lead us to hunger and then lead us to breakthroughs that transform our whole lives!!!

Pastor Ryan

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?!?

What are you hungering for?
     This is the question we were left with on Sunday. In reflection on the sermon I realized I put more energy into discussing how we need to be intentional to battle against the things that hinder us and our ability to follow God. Bu there is another side to the story when it comes to pursuing righteousness. How do we grasp a hold of those things that are righteous? How do we pursue them?
     Remember that righteousness, as we discussed on Sunday, is Whatever isright or just in itself, whatever conforms to the revealed will of God.
 How do we chase hard after these things? How do we hunger for the best things God has to offer in a world that seems to hunger for the exact opposite?

     I want to give you a few questions to ponder this week in your time with the Lord.

  1. What are some righteous things or opportunities in my life? Take some time to list them.
  2. How can you “go where the righteousness is?” How can you intentionally choose to make this righteous behavior or opportunity a priority?
  3. What are some things that might be battling against that?

     Any movement of righteousness in your life is going to be battled against. Just count on it.
     The truth is sometimes we need God’s hep to simply desire or hunger and thirst for righteousness. What do we do if we don’t have that hunger? The first thing is – to ask for it. Ask for this hunger from God and trust that over time – He will give it to you more and more. From there – the idea is to simply follow His leading. It may not be easy but true blessing follows when we follow God.
     I pray this week God will give you a deeper hunger and thirst for righteousness as you walk in the light of His love; grace and mercy for you . . . have a great week everyone!
Pastor Ryan