Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
We’ve been half-heartedly trying to diet at my house. Trying to change some of our practices to make ourselves healthier. In that attempt oatmeal is being served in the morning because it’s supposed to be good for you. They talk a lot about how much oatmeal helps to lower your cholesterol and how good it is for you blood pressure. I’ve often wondered, is it really that oatmeal is so good for your body or is it just that if you are eating the oatmeal you are not eating sugared cereal or pancakes or pop tarts? Maybe it’s the tradeoff that’s good for you and not necessarily the oatmeal.
The same can be said for our spiritual bodies. I’ve been leading a group of women in a bible study called “The Frazzled Female.” We seem to be talking a lot about choosing the “better” thing. You know the story of Mary and Martha where Mary sits at the feet of Jesus while Martha, the consummate host, is trying hard to make everything ready. Jesus tells Martha, after her complaint that Mary has chosen the “better” thing and it will not be taken from her. We make those choices everyday in the things that we listen to, the things that we watch, and the things that we read. Consuming is our national pastime. Just as with our bodies what we consume will determine what is produced.
This promise from Matthew’s gospel is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is making a promise to you that if you hunger for Him, He will come and fill you up. How long has it been since you were hungry for God’s word? How long since you were thirsty for time with Him? There is another story that these verses bring to my mind. It’s the story of a young man who thought he didn’t need his father, the story of the prodigal son. Now this story has many parts and many lessons but have you ever noticed this, “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!’” (Luke 15:17) There was never a reason for this young man to go hungry. In his father’s house was plenty…but he had left his father’s house in search of something else to fill him up. He thought he longed for what the world had to offer. The world only offered trouble and despair. “When he came to his senses” he recognized what he once had.
Was there a time in your life when you longed for more? Do you have a heavenly father who you have been ignoring for the things of this world? Are you starving and this world has nothing to offer you that is satisfying? Jesus calls to you and says, Come back to me. I have what you hunger and thirst for. Come to me and I will satisfy your desire. Come to me and I will fill all your needs. Isaiah 55 says “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without costs. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” Before Jesus ever stepped physical foot on this planet, He was calling to you through the prophet Isaiah. He offers without cost to you all that you are able to consume of His righteousness.
I know that it doesn’t feel like it most times but we are in charge of our own schedules. We make choices everyday that determine how much “good” things we put into our lives. The Holy Spirit may be pricking your heart to seek more. From time to time we all go through dry spells…not because God moves away but because we do. We allow worldly things to clog our arteries, to weaken our spiritual eyes, and to fill our guts to excess. What would happen if we just replaced a part of that space with hungering and thirsty for the righteousness of Christ? What if we just spent fifteen minutes at the beginning of our day in deep heart-felt prayer to God?
Jesus promises to fill you with the good things that only He has to offer but it starts with your hunger. I have found that the more I learn…the more I want to know, the more I read…the more I discover the depths of all that He’s done for me, and the more I pray…the more I hear of His love for me. You do not need to starve as the prodigal son in the pigpen…your Father’s house will supply all that you need as you return.
Excellent article. Interesting to me about the Oatmeal. Recently I asked the Lord what was wrong in my situation, why was I feeling the way I was? HE said "eat oatmeal"... Guess there is more good for us in oatmeal than we think. Thanks for sharing this. GOD BLESS YOU