When we think of “hunger” and “thirst”, we usually think about missing a meal or feeling dehydrated. The picture of “hunger” and “thirst” in Matthew 5:6 is a picture of desperation, of starvation, and being parched and exhausted. J.N. Darby, an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, said, “To be hungry is not enough; I must really be starving to know what is in His heart towards me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed upon husks, but when he was starving he turned to his father.” Are you hungering and thirsting for God, or are you living on husks?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
What is it that means more to you than anything else?
Read Matthew 5:6. How do you define “righteousness”? Do you have a biblical basis for that definition?
In Luke 18:18-23, you read about the young ruler who obeyed the Law on a daily basis. However, Jesus told him that he lacked “one thing”. What was the “one thing”? Why do you think it was so difficult for this man to do as Jesus asked?
David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), proclaims his “one thing” in Psalm 27:4, and further described his passion for knowing God in Psalm 42:1-2. Do you feel an intense desire to know God? How do you satisfy that desire?
What role does the Bible and prayer have in your desire to know God better?
If you are filled when you “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, why is “hunger” and “thirst” in the present tense, meaning it is a continual process?
If you “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, choose to practice one of the following spiritual disciplines this week:
- Solitude: Refraining from interacting with other people in order to be alone with God and be found by Him. (Solitude is completed by silence.)
- Silence: Not speaking in a quiet place in order to quiet our minds and whole self and attend to God’s presence. Also, not speaking so that we can listen to others and bless them.
- Fasting: Going without food (or something else like media) for a period of intensive prayer — the fast may be complete or partial.
- Sabbath: Doing no work to rest in God’s person and provision. (God designed this for one day a week. We can practice it for shorter periods too.)
- Secrecy: Not making our good deeds known to let God or others receive attention and to find our sufficiency in God alone (e.g., see Matthew 6).
- Submission: Not asserting ourselves in order to come under the authority, wisdom, and power of Jesus Christ as our Lord, King, and Master.
- Bible Reading: Trusting the Holy Spirit-inspired words of Scripture as our guide, wisdom, and strength for life. (Related disciplines include Bible study, Scripture meditation, and praying God’s Word.)
- Worship: Praising God’s greatness, goodness, and beauty in words, music, ritual, or silence. (We can worship God privately or in community.)
- Prayer: Conversing with God about what we’re experiencing and doing together. (As we see in the Lord’s Prayer the main thing we do in prayer is to make requests or intercessions to our Father for one another.)
- Soul Friendship: Engaging fellow disciples of Jesus in prayerful conversation or other spiritual practices. (Related spiritual disciplines or practices include small groups, spiritual direction, and mentoring relationships.)
- Personal Reflection: Paying attention to our inner self in order to grow in love for God, others, and self. (The Psalms model this.)
- Service: Humbly serving God by overflowing with His love and compassion to others, especially those in need.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
When we snack before a meal, many times we are no longer hungry for the meal. The same can be true spiritually. What are some of the things that take away your appetite for God? What are practical steps you can take to stop yourself from “snacking”?
In Philippians 3:7-14, the Apostle Paul communicates his continual hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness (his “one thing”). Beside each verse, write how Paul expresses this desire:
- Verse 7: ________________________________________________________________________
- Verse 8: ________________________________________________________________________
- Verse 9: ________________________________________________________________________
- Verse 10: _______________________________________________________________________
- Verse 11: _______________________________________________________________________
- Verse 12: _______________________________________________________________________
- Verse 13: _______________________________________________________________________
- Verse 14: _______________________________________________________________________
If you truly believed that only God can satisfy, what changes do you think you would see in your life?