ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR MORE?
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4
2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Sorry, I just realized that I jumped the gun and mixed yesterday and today's scriptures up, but I think God did that for a reason. As we walk through Lent, we are to be challenged to hunger for more. If we were willing to give something up or take something on, the purpose was to cause ourselves to desire to grow closer with God. So now that we have been on this journey together for 10 days, my question truly is, "Are you hungry for more?". Is there something that is inside of you that hungers for the Word of God to fill? I know that many times throughout scriptures we see the reference of Jesus being the Bread of Life. As we take communion we are reminded that the bread represents the body of Christ that was broken for us and that we take it as a remembrance of the sacrifice that Christ endured on the journey to the cross and grave. It is a constant reminder that the body of Christ indwells in ours and reminds us to yearn for more. It reminds us to strive to be better and to be transformed from the inside out. Jesus was willing to give us His physical bread, His body, in order that we would be wiling to consume the spiritual bread, the Word of God, on a daily basis. Just like our physical bodies hunger for food, so too should our spiritual bodies yearn for the Word of God to fill us to overflowing.
I guess maybe I should have asked you if you have ever been hungry. And I don't mean that you skipped lunch and you are ready for supper kind of hungry. I mean the type of hunger that cannot be contained by anything. A desire that consumes our every thought and causes us to crave it more and more. I know people use this illustration when they are in desperation and when they are in search of joy. I have seen people that hunger for a championship and train, prepare and focus as if this goal is the ONLY goal that is in their lives worth living for. I have seen people that have not eaten for weeks that only desire is to have one morsel of
food so that they may be able to make it through the day. I have seen people who are task oriented and they plan out every second of their day because they hunger to complete the task to their specific desires and yet still feel empty because it was not done well. I am talking about that kind of hunger for Jesus. I am asking if you wake up each morning with a desire to have a conversation with your Creator. I mean the type of hunger that you cannot wait to get back to reading the scriptures because it has illuminated your life and you cannot wait to see what the next day may bring. God has placed within each of us a hunger and a desire to connect with Him, but it is not just the physical need. It is a spiritual hunger that can only be quenched by God.
I posted two Scriptures for us to read through today because one cannot be read without the other. As Jesus is 40 days in the desert or wilderness preparing for the beginning of His journey, He has been fasting and praying and satan comes and tries to entice Jesus at His weakest points. Three times satan questions Jesus to attack Him on a physical, mental and spiritual side, and each time Jesus quickly responds with the Word of God. When satan attacks Him with the physical hunger that Jesus is experiencing, Jesus quickly quotes a scripture used by Moses as a reminder to the people of God that were walking out of 40 years of being in the wilderness. Jesus knew that God removed them from entering into the Holy Land because God's people were still not ready to step out in faith and trust that God will deliver them into where He had promised. As they were wandering, and people were dying, God stripped them down to the basics so that all they could do was hunger for God. God provided manna for them to eat each morning, but that was to only give them the basic nourishment they needed. The 40 years in the wilderness was the time that God needed for them to realize that it is not the physical bodies that needed to be filled, but their spiritual bodies that needed to let go of the world and depend only on the Word of God. During His time of preparation, Jesus had not eaten in 40 days, and was at a point where He was mentally, physically and spiritually fatigued, but He quickly reminded satan that God was the one that provides for His needs in the time of preparation, not physical food.
I say all of this to say once again, Are you hungry for more? Have you been able to strip away the things that continue to put a boundary between you and God in such a way that you actually need God to strengthen you. At this point of the journey our bodies should be feeling some type of mental, physical or spiritual fatigue. At this point, satan probably has whispered in our ears that we should just quit and go back to what we were doing. No one would know except you. At this point, we should be watching as our desires are beginning to change and our routines are transforming from something that was so focused on us to something that is refocused on God. And please hear me when I say this in all honesty, this is
a time of preparation for us all. Just like the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years, just like Jesus before He began His ministry for 40 days, and just like our journey to the cross and the grave, we are all on a journey to have a deeper desire to connect with God. We want to see things in a different light and be able to recognize that God wants to strip away everything else that is holding us back so that we can have a deeper hunger and passion for God. As with the Israelites, God provided what they needed so that they would turn their focus away from their stomachs and refocus on Him. So too should we turn our focus away from the desires of the world and start desperately seeking truth through the Words that come from the mouth of God. May we take this challenge today and realize that all God is asking is that we shift our hunger from the physical, which He has already taken care of, to the spiritual renewal that we all so desperately need. Father, Here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.