The fourth kingdom attitude that Jesus encourages us to have in Matthew 5 is one of my favorites. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). Those who hunger and thirst for God will be favored and find a sense of spiritual happiness.
One of my favorite things about life right now is being a grandparent. I have the coolest little grandson, Rhett, and soon I will also have a granddaughter. Rhett’s personality has already shown us that he is going to be a leader. Not long ago, at the age of 13 months, he walked through the airport with us and stopped to say hi to everyone he could along the way. Several people tried to ignore this little toddler, but he wouldn’t have it. He would wait for them to acknowledge him, while continuing to say “hi” over and over, before moving to the next person. Rhett also likes to eat. His parents have taught him how to say please in sign language, and I think Rhett associates the “please” of sign language to “I want more food.” When I think about Rhett’s desire for connection with people or food, I ask myself if I have that great a desire for what God has for me.
One of the slogans that our campus pastor, Pastor Christian, and our ministry team use is “Bible before phone, Bible before bed”. I would also add, “Bible before breakfast”. My day doesn’t start well when I haven’t had the right kind of food. Eating in the morning is essential, and spiritual food is vital for starting my day in the right direction. People who effectively prioritize their day will not only accomplish great things in life, but will also generally possess a joyful persona as the Spirit fills them with His words.
For me, distraction is often the cause of losing my spiritual appetite. It’s interesting how quickly I lose my desire for God’s Word, prayer, and quieting my spirit to hear His. My schedule gets full, my day seems to speed by, email stacks up, and there is the ever-calling voice of Instagram. In contrast, the Psalmist said, “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like parched land” (Ps. 143:6). The imagery in this passage encapsulates the writer’s great passion for God. To speak of reaching out one’s hands to ask for something as if one in deep need, or to envision dry ground that has not been watered for many seasons describes how passionate, how desperate for God we must be. A person who hungers for God will desperately and passionately seek Him above all the other “urgent” things. This person will put Him first, over any other priority, schedule, meeting, or assignment, resulting in a life filled with God’s Spirit.
Lord, set my spirit on fire with your love and your goodness. I pray people will witness your goodness in my life through my words, my actions, and my devotion to you. Set my priorities right and help my heart to pursue you passionately. Amen.