The prerequisite to spiritual discovery and growth is the hunger of the heart and a determination to seek God. Pastor Rick Warren writes that, “You are as close to God as you choose to be.” Indeed, the Lord speaks through His prophet Jeremiah and tells us, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jesus affirmed the same thing when He taught us to, “ask, seek and knock.” The one who asks, will receive. Whoever seeks, will find. The person who persistently knocks, will discover an open door. How deeply do you desire to know God?
I have a friend who is under hospice care. His lungs are not functioning well. After a bout with lung cancer, COPD is threatening to rob him of the oxygen he desperately needs to breathe. He knows his days on earth are numbered. His time is likely short. Yet he maintains a remarkable faith in God. He is assured of his eternal destiny. He knows that to be absent from his body will mean he is present with the Lord. He continues to cling to and nurture his earthly life, but God has given him peace. His relationship with Jesus has become his most prized possession.
If you want a living faith deeply rooted in the soil of God’s love, you need to pursue it. No wonder Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be satisfied.” In other words, when your spiritual appetite takes over, you can expect a feast of heavenly manna. However, if you have no hunger there will be no satisfaction.
So how do I get hungry? How do I shake off my spiritual complacency? Tell God where you are at. He loves honesty. Ask Him to increase your longing for spiritual discovery. Request your Creator to show you how much He really loves you. God is actually “in the business” of bringing you closer to Himself. He wants your life to be blessed and your soul to come alive. He can even use what we consider “bad” circumstances to draw us in. Rick Warren tells us that “The greatest tragedy of life is not death, but life without purpose.” One of my favorite Bible verses is God’s promise to “work in all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” What is His purpose? That you and I might experience His love and be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
Many folks are chasing after everything but God. They think that more stuff, new toys, the right relationship, the perfect job, success, approval, or good times will fill their hungry heart. But it never does. The search just goes on. King Solomon had everything a man could want. His knowledge was deep and wide. He described plant life, taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. He also wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. His wisdom was world famous and his treasure house was full of gold and silver. In case you didn’t know, he also had 700 wives and 300 concubines! Nevertheless, at the end of his life he acknowledged that there is nothing new under the sun. He lamented the meaningless of life, and confessed that no one has power over the day of his death. Yet, he finally affirmed the beauty of life, and that God has planted eternity in every human heart. In the end, he coached us to “remember God”, maintaining a reverent awe of Him, and learning to obey His commands.
Life is profound. Savor it, pursue its meaning, and stay hungry for the bread of life that Jesus promises to give to those who trust in Him.
Roger Kruse endeavors to maintain a hungry heart by reading the Bible daily, conversing with God in prayer and sharing Christ’s love with others.