Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 9:30 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (in the NASB) on the subject of spiritual hunger and thirst.
For Righteousness (Matt. 5:6)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
To hunger or thirst after something is to long for, yearn for, strongly desire, or to crave it. There is a sense of urgency in this longing, too, as though without it you will not survive, or apart from it you will not be fully satisfied. Yet, we don’t do this just once and we have it, and it is done with. Literally this says that blessed are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, i.e. this involves actively pursuing righteousness, not just once, but continuously, and not because we are not satisfied, but because we are satisfied and we realize that we need to go after it daily, for Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. It needs to be part of our everyday lives, in our conduct, speech, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.
So, what is righteousness? It is “what is deemed right by the Lord (after His examination), i.e. what is approved in His eyes” (1). It is morality, justice, decency, uprightness, honesty, purity and holiness. And, to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed into the image of Christ. So, we are to be continually pursuing purity, honesty, uprightness, holiness and godliness in our lives, and we should not be chasing after what is ungodly, impure, deceitful or wicked.
Yet, many Christians, or professing Christians, especially here in America, seem to be doing just the opposite of this. So many of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are chasing after the pleasures of this world and those things which will satisfy the cravings of their human flesh, rather than hungering and thirsting after righteousness as part of who they are and how they live their lives day by day. And, their relationships with God (with Jesus Christ) are often given minor attention, affection and passion or desire for what God deems right and good, and for what is approved in his eyes. Not only that, but if Christians are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, in today’s culture, they are often tagged as out-of-touch with reality, or too serious, or hyper-religious. And, even others who claim faith in Christ will encourage them away from taking God and his Word so seriously, and will tell them they need to “lighten up,” sit back, relax and enjoy life.
For Jesus Christ (Jn. 6:35, 51, 53-56)
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.’”
But, Jesus Christ wants us to take him very seriously, and those who don’t have no real life of the Spirit in them. Hungering and thirsting after Jesus Christ is not “gospel lite.” It is not “happy hour,” i.e. this is not about having a party and just having a good time (fun). This is not saying we do not have joy, we do, but we don’t take God and his Word lightly or casually. To hunger or thirst after him is to deny ourselves and daily take up our cross and follow him. It is to be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and to be resurrected with Christ in newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. It is sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, too.
When Jesus spoke about us eating his flesh and drinking his blood, he was not speaking literally of eating his physical body, but figuratively of partaking with him in death to sin and living to righteousness, which is what his body and blood symbolize. When he was crucified on a cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. So, when he died, our sin died with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose triumphant over sin, Satan, and death on our behalf. He put sin to death for us so that we would no longer be slaves to sin, but that we might be free to be slaves to righteousness.
So, if we want to have eternal life with God and the hope of heaven when we leave this earth, then we must be crucified with him in death to sin, and be resurrected with him to newness of life. We must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, for if we walk according to the flesh (in sinful practice), we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. So, if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle, practice) in darkness (sin), we are liars, and the truth is not in us (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
For Living Water (Jn. 4:13-14; Jn. 7:37-39; cf. Rev. 21:6-7; 22:17)
“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’”
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, by God’s grace, via death to sin and resurrection to new lives in Christ Jesus, we are indwelt, filled and empowered from on high with God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, thus, empowers, strengthens, encourages, and teaches us to live holy lives pleasing to God. We can die to sin and live to righteousness, not in our own flesh, but in the working of God’s Holy Spirit within us, as we yield to our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will, and as we cooperate with God’s work of grace in our lives.
The Spirit of God teaches us all things regarding Jesus Christ and his righteousness and holiness. When we read the Word of God each day, the Holy Spirit speaks God’s words to our hearts to encourage, counsel, and guide us, or to rebuke, correct and warn us. We don’t live the Christian life in our own strength, or according to our own will and desire, but the Spirit of God provides us with all we need to walk uprightly and in purity and holiness. He gives us spiritual gifts, as well, to be used within the body of Christ to encourage one another, and to strengthen one another in the faith, so that we do not grow weary and lose heart, but so we are built up in the faith, and we mature in our walks of faith.
Because we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, God lives within us, and we are his temple (his church, Christ’s body). We can talk with him at any time, day or night, and he speaks to us, as well. We don’t have a religion, per se, but we have a relationship with our God which is real, personal and intimate. He is our God, and we honor him as such, and we stand in awe of him, and give him our respect, and yet he is our best friend and companion, and our husband and Father, and the more we spend time with him, and follow him wherever he leads us, the sweeter our relationship with him grows. He helps us through all difficulties, and he wraps his loving arms around us when we are hurting and in need of comfort and encouragement, too. He completely satisfies all of our needs both now and forevermore!
Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”