All of us have experienced what it is like to be hungry or thirsty. For example, you may find yourself in a hurry to quench your thirst or satisfy your hunger to the point that you would settle for fast food. Or, you may decide to purchase a snack from a vending machine or a local convenience store. You may even take the time to consume a meal that you yourself have decided to cook. Regardless of what you decide to do, the goal is to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. To be thirsty and or hungry is to experience a normal bodily function which stems from our body telling us that we need to be nourished.
It is important to note that your livelihood and health are dependent upon the type of diet that you have. If you are constantly consuming food that is unhealthy, then your body will pay a price long-term. If you are eating healthy foods, then your body will benefit from the proper nutrition. The key is that our body requires not only food and water so that we can survive, but we must maintain a healthy and balanced diet to enhance the life that we have.
Spiritually speaking, we are all hungry and thirsty for something. Whether we are seeking to fulfill the desires of our fleshly nature or we are seeking to please God through having an intimate relationship with Him through Christ. We are all hungering and thirsting for something. In the book of Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus is speaking to His Disciples as He gives what is known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount.’ Throughout this sermon, Jesus gives God’s truth through various principles designed to be for instruction regarding how to live.
In verses 3-10, Jesus gives what are known as ‘The Beatitudes.’ These are essentially blessings that come to those who exhibit certain traits or actions that line up with one’s commitment unto God. Jesus says in verses 3-5:
(NKJV) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.”
(NKJV) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”
Verse 6 will be the focal verse for this post in order to extract the meaning of hungering and thirsting. In this particular verse, Jesus says that the person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness shall be filled. Another translation says it this way:
(NLV) “Those who are hungry and thirsty to be right with God are happy because they will be filled.”
What this scripture means is that anyone who is hungry and thirsty to be in the right position with God shall be filled. This word ‘filled’ also means to be satisfied. Basically, when you and I are seeking after the righteousness of God then we will find ourselves satisfied rather than longing to be filled by what the world has to give. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?
When it comes to seeking God it means to seek God for His Holy presence with the intent to grow closer to Him and to become more like Him. It means that you are also aware of what God loves and what God hates. To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to seek after the things of God which means to live in holiness, to love God and others around you, to live in peace, to have joy and ultimately pointing the lost to Jesus Christ. It also means to abhor the very appearance of sinfulness.
When you and I are hungry or thirsty, we begin to seek or search for various methods to satisfy our desire. Verse 6 says that when we seek after righteousness or to be in the right position with God then we will be filled. To be filled is to be satisfied. The fact is that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ will bring ultimate satisfaction. The reason is because you and I were created to worship God and to know Him in intimacy.
If you look at the world around us, there are constant examples of those who are seeking worldly pleasures that equate to brokenness. Many celebrities have wasted their lives achieving fame, money and self-gratification only to find emptiness. That is because the pleasures of sin were never meant to satisfy our soul. When God created you and I, He created us to love Him and to be loved by Him. The longing desire to know God is within our soul. Some call it a ‘God-shaped hole’ which is a deep and unfillable hole that can only be filled by the presence of God.
Many are seeking after what this world has to offer. Whether it be the latest gadget, the newest fashion craze, or the abundance of money in your bank account, it is all vanity and it fades. Fulfillment only comes when your life is connected to God through Christ. He gives you purpose and a sense of being. When you are living for God’s righteousness and seeking to please Him, then you will be filled or satisfied.
You can think about the same concept of what occurs when you eat unhealthy food in the spiritual sense. Basically, when we are hungering and thirsting to fulfill our sinful desires we are sowing to the flesh. Galatians 6:8 says,
(ESV) “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
If you are sowing to your flesh or actively participating in unrepentant sin then your flesh will reap corruption which means destruction. Basically, when you choose to have an unhealthy diet your body can no longer function normally. Spiritually speaking, you are operating out of a spiritual death when you are living in sin. The alternative is the eternal life and fulfillment that comes when we sow to the Spirit or seek after God’s righteousness.
The fact is that all of us are engaging in the seeking of either God’s righteousness or our sinful nature. You and I were born into sin which means that the desire to sin is innate within us. However, the remedy is Jesus Christ. We must submit ourselves unto Christ if we are going to break free from the chains of sin. Once Christ has been accepted as your Personal Lord & Savior, you must constantly subject yourself unto the power of the Holy Spirit which means seeking God daily through prayer, worship, and reading God’s Word.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ in the pardon of your sin, you can start a relationship with Christ by confessing your sin and believing in your heart that Jesus is Lord. We all experience hunger and thirst in the spiritual sense, but the question is, ‘What are you hungry and thirsty for?’ If you are hungry and thirsty for the pleasures of the flesh and you are fulfilling those desires then you are contributing to your own spiritual death. However, when you hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness you shall be fulfilled and have eternal life.