By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“(Christians) cannot have righteousness except by hungering and thirsting for it (this applies equally to their own righteousness and to the righteousness of God on Earth), always they look forward to the future righteousness of God, but they cannot establish it for themselves. Those who follow Jesus grow hungry and thirsty on the way.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I feel like I’m always hungry. If you put a piece of food in front of me, chances are, I would eat it. It’s a curse.
But there are times when I can tell you for certain that I am not hungry. After pigging out at a Mexican restaurant, having ten baskets of chips, and an oversize burrito, I always feel like I’m about to explode. It seems like one more grain of rice and I would pop out of existence because this dimension couldn’t withstand my gravitational pull.
But I think that we are called to be continually and consistently hungry, but not for Mexican food (because we know that there is always an end to the number of tacos you can stuff in your face).
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
This was a part of the greatest sermon ever told (And no, it’s not Charles Stanley). Great crowds gathered around Jesus as He preached the Sermon on the Mount.
These crowds had been following Jesus, some of them probably for miles. How many chores were left undone? Fields left untended? Houses lay empty? All because Jesus was on the move and people were hungry for the Truth He was speaking.
I believe that the reason people were so willing to put their lives on pause and follow Jesus was that they were hungry and thirsty for the righteousness of God that was found in Him.
And if we believe what Jesus said–simply because those people were hungry, they always left His presence filled. There wasn’t one person who left the Sermon on the Mount that was disappointed.
It’s like when you used to go to your dad and say, “I’m hungry.” And then your dad responded with the dumb joke, “Hi, Hungry. I’m Dad.”
But, the truth is whenever we come to God and say, “I’m hungry.” God’s response is, “Hi, Hungry. I’m God. Let me fix that!” He fills us up!
The great thing about following Jesus is that it doesn’t take smarts, knowledge, maturity, or experience in order to find righteousness in Him. It simply requires a hunger and a thirst.
We don’t need to have all the answers. We don’t need to have it all together. According to Jesus, all God is looking for is a follower who is hungry for more of His Spirit and thirsty for more of His grace.
May we all be overcome with an unquenchable longing for righteousness.
Be hungry. Be thirsty.