Frontline Warriors – The Word Part 5

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Spiritual Hunger

As I was looking at the topic of Spiritual Hunger, it brought a question to mind, “What is spiritual hunger?”

If we compare physical hunger and draw parallels we can see that there is a need to feed our physical body to continue living. We go to the refrigerator several times a day because we are hungry and looking for something to eat.

But how does that translate for spiritual hunger? What should we be hungry for? What is the minimal spiritual food that I need to keep my spirit alive and healthy? Is it even necessary?

Jesus said that we must be born again… born of the water and the Spirit. Each is a part of us, both body and spirit. Each needs nourishment to live. But just being alive is not our purpose. It is the starting point to move on to your purpose and to your destiny.

God has created us for relationships. The greatest command is to love God with everything you have and to love your neighbor as yourself. He wants a relationship with you that is personal, eternal, and that will fulfill His purpose. The story of our life fits into the overarching story of God’s creation.

So, what should we be hungry for? Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the Father. The word of God brings life to our spirit. What should our spirit be hungry for? Answer: The Word of God.

Feeding on the word builds our spiritual person up. God reveals Himself to us through His word. So by taking the time to get into the Word, the Word starts getting into us and we get to know who God is. This is the starting point, but not the end. Our life starts to change because we see that God has a way for us to walk that is very different from how culture might define things. We are to walk in His ways.

Reading Scripture is necessary for our spiritual growth. But as I said before we were created for relationships. You can’t have a relationship with another without having conversation. We have conversation with God through prayer. There are different types of prayers. Prayer and petitions with thanksgiving we make our requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Through the word of God and prayer to God, we begin to know what He is like and who He is. But I would say that there is another level in our growth and maturity and it gives us insight into the hunger of our heart and spirit. What should we be hungry for? Our Father, His very presence. What if our prayers turned from our list of wants and needs and began to shift into asking God what He wants of us? A place where we sit in His presence listening and wait for Him to answer.

We see this in the word of God in the psalms, the prophets, and in the very life of Jesus. God still reveals Himself to people. He still speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. The question is are we hungry for Him?

Questions

The following are questions from the Purple Book on spiritual hunger.

1. What was David’s greatest desire? Psalm 119:81

(81) I long for your salvation; I put my hope in your word. – Psalm 119:81 CSB

David’s greatest desire was the salvation of God. He put his hope in the word of the Lord.

2. How did the sons of Korah describe the condition of their souls? Psalm 42:1–2

(1) As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. (2) I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? – Psalm 42:1-2 CSB

The sons of Korah compared their longing for God to a deer longing for flowing streams of water. They thirsted for the living God.

3. What was the psalmist’s attitude toward God’s presence? Psalm 84:1–2, 10

(1) How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD of Armies. (2) I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. … (10) Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than live in the tents of wicked people. – Psalm 84:1-2, 10 CSB

The attitude of the psalmist to the presence of God was one of preference. He would rather be with the Lord one day than anywhere else for a thousand years. Better to be at the doorway of God‘s house than to live in a house of the wicked. Because the Lord’s dwelling is lovely. And the heart cries out for the living God.

4. Who did Jesus say will be “filled”? Matthew 5:6

(6) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matthew 5:6 CSB

Jesus said those that hunger and thirst for righteousness would be filled.

5. What do you think it means to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”?

What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Look, the days are coming — this is the declaration of the Lord GOD — when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. – Amos 8:11 (CSB)

I think it is connected to Amos 8:11. We should be hungering and thirsting for the word of the Lord. We should pursue Him to get in His presence

6. What did David say about God’s word and its importance in his life?

Here is what David had to say about God’s word and its importance.

Psalm 119: 72 Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. … God’s word has value far beyond gold and silver.

119:103 How sweet your word is to my taste — sweeter than honey in my mouth. … God’s word is sweet to hear and speak.

119:127 Since I love your commands more than gold, even the purest gold, … He loves God’s word more than riches.

7. Describe Job’s hunger for God’s word. Job 23:12

(12) I have not departed from the commands from his lips; I have treasured the words from his mouth more than my daily food. – Job 23:12 CSB

How important were God’s words to Job? They were more important than his daily food. Notice how Job was receiving God’s word, they were words from His mouth. Job was having conversations with God. We see this throughout the psalms as well. David makes plain his heart to the Lord. And we see God answer.

8. What did Jeremiah say about God’s word? Jeremiah 15:16

(16) Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear your name, LORD God of Armies. – Jeremiah 15:16 CSB

He was eating God’s word. They were delightful and gave him joy. Then there is this statement, for I bear your name. He wasn’t just eating them, he was believing them and they were changing him. Belief drives behavior. We bear God’s name by not just hearing but obeying his word. Shema

This puts a different light on what it means to take the Lord’s name in vain… We can actually bear his name in vain by not walking in His ways.

Wrap Up

What do you learn about God? What has He done?

God is our salvation
His dwelling place is lovely
Jesus is our righteousness
His words are like bread and water

God has made a way for us to be in His presence
God’s word is valuable
God speaks to His people
God’s words are a joy and delight.

What do you learn about people? Yourself?

We can put our hope in the Lord
He is our Salvation
There is a longing, a thirst within the human soul for God
The heart cries out for the living God, to be in His presence
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled
We should hunger and thirst for the word of the Lord. Not just the written word, but the living Word
God’s word is sweet to the hearer and should be shared
We should love God’s word more than riches
We should have conversations with the living God.
We should treasure His words more than food
We should take God’s word in and allow it to change us. It should be our delight and our joy

How are you going to obey this passage (“I will…”)?
I will read the word of God
I will pray to the Lord
I will spend time in His presence and listen to His voice

Who will you share this with?

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