Philippians 4:8-9, NIV
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things … And the God of peace will be with you.”
Are you hungry? It’s a silly question really, as we all get hungry from time to time. We all need food. Perhaps we’re not particularly hungry, but something we fancy would be nice. Then we eat and are satisfied, until dinner time comes, and we’re hungry again. Thirsty? If we don’t drink we die. It’s food and drink that keep us going.
There’s more to life than just to keep going. We’re not machines that have to be continually refuelled. ‘Is the body not more than food?’ (Matthew 6:25). Is life not more than satisfying a need? But we’re all hungry for something more; searching for something to fulfill a deep seated inner need. Even those who have everything hunger for more. We hear of people with so much wealth they can buy anything they want, yet there’s a longing and an emptiness inside that needs to be filled.
Instead of craving material satisfaction, perhaps we should look elsewhere. Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). We need to ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33).
How do we do this? I remember some years ago, when I was searching for the Holy Spirit, I asked a minister how to go about it. I’ll always remember his reply: “If there’s a hunger and a thirst you will find it”. ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6). I was hungry and thirsty for the things of God.
Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’ (John 6:35). And to the woman at the well, ‘Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14).
Are we hungry for the bread of Christ? Do we thirst for the Water of Life? God supplied the children of Israel with fresh manna every day to sustain them in the wilderness. How much more satisfying is the Living Bread that we can receive continually, so that we might walk by the Spirit with ‘rivers of living water flowing from within’ (John 7:38).
We can’t generate hunger if we’re full. Something has to go. Is there room for Jesus in our lives? Or are we so full of our hopes and ambitions, our doubts and fears, that there’s no room for Him? Are we hungry for the source of life Himself, that He might sustain us and guide us through our own wilderness?
‘Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare’ (Isaiah 55:2).
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the food You provide. Please help me to look beyond my physical hunger to that which satisfies my hungry soul. I come to Your cross now, and receive all You’ve won for me by Your death, so I might never go hungry again, in Jesus’ name. Amen.