Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
What does it mean to be filled by God? It begins with hunger.
I’ve been praying before, and suddenly, everything disappeared. All that mattered was what he said, what he promised. All that mattered was what he did, what he was doing. All that mattered was God.
I was at once like the dark, barren world before it was made, still formless and empty and void. Then slowly and surely there was activity, wind swooshing over water, the Spirit of God. Then a voice and then light and the judgment of goodness; not empty anymore. God filled me, and I could breathe.
I came into a sacred closeness with God and needed to discover him although I had already known him for quite some time. It seemed to be a period of open heavens, and I wanted to swim in it and savor it. Oh how sweet it was, the sweet presence of God. (adapted from Made to Pray)
I let my hunger lead me.
Hunger for God is the longing for God’s presence so that:
- the hunger’s effects on you are noticeable
- you act in order to satisfy the hunger
- the hunger is satisfied in God alone
There were some very hungry people in the Bible:
Moses. While leading the million-or-so Israelites to the Promised Land, Moses insisted on God’s presence. He said to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here…What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15). The distinguishing mark of God’s people would be the presence of God. For this reason, Moses would have rather stayed in the desert with God than gone to the Promised Land without God.
What about you? Are you pursuing your future with God or without him?
Sons of Korah. The Korahites were one of the primary families in the leadership of Jerusalem. Like Moses, they led with a deep and palpable hunger for God. The Sons of Korah wrote, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:1-2,10). Their hunger for God was so remarkable that they could feel it in their deep places, and they would have rather been in the presence of God than anywhere else.
Is there no place you’d rather be? (Watch video of worship song)
Anna. Anna was married to her husband for maybe seven years, then became a widow. She lived the rest of her life in the Temple, where “she worshipped night and day, fasting and praying” (Luke 2:37). She didn’t go anywhere else. When Jesus was brought there at eight days old, Anna recognized him as the Messiah. The presence of God created an awareness of God, and she could see what God was up to. She saw by faith rather than by sight (a goo-goo baby?) because she was saturated with God.
Can you recognize when God is up to something?
Watch Josh Falstead read an excerpt about Anna from Made to Pray.
Moses, the Sons of Korah, and Anna all craved the presence of God. For them, that meant dwelling in the physical house of God, the place where God dwelled. But here’s the thing.
Times have changed. God’s presence isn’t limited to a building. God’s presence is available to each of us, right here, right now. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
If you’ve received Christ, then you are God’s temple and his Spirit lives in you. You are meant to inhabit God’s presence. You can experience God whenever you want to. You don’t have to go anywhere. So let your hunger for God lead you…
And you will be filled.
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