(A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah)

Psalm 63:1-5-”O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

1.0 Spiritual Hunger is a Good Thing (Psalm 63:1-5)!

1.1 God makes amazing promises!

  1. They move us from good to great.
  2. God’s promises invite us to seek a higher peak on which to live.

God’s promises guide us how to pray, how to respond to crises, and how to live no matter the situation.

The Backstory of Psalm 63

(1) This title tells us that this beautiful psalm was penned by King David. He wrote it when his son Absalom was trying to kill him, having formed a coup. David ran away to Edom. Edom is east of Jerusalem where David lived.

(2) To get to Edom David went through a wilderness, or a wild place in Judah. There was not much water and it was very dry. It made David realize how dry and hungry his soul really was towards God.

(3) This was not because he was thirsty for water but thirsty for God! He could not go to the Temple in Jerusalem and speak to God. So he declared his hunger for God right there in the desert.

If you were riding next to David, would you be one of The Hungry Ones-one who’s hungering for God?

There are 3 questions that’ll help us better understand Spiritual Hunger:

(1) What is spiritual hunger?

(2) What are the benefits of spiritual hunger?

(3) How do I develop spiritual hunger?

I will offer two answers for each question.

2.0 How to Become One of the ”Hungry Ones”!

Q1. What is spiritual hunger?

A1. It is a longing after God.

David’s opening verse was, ”God-you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!” [The Message Bible]

”God” here is the Hebrew word ”Elohim”, which means the Strong One. David cried, ”My Strong-God”.

It is a deep feeling that a more intimate, satisfying relationship with God must be pursued no matter what it takes or what it demands.

David’s Longing for God

(1) David missed the Ark of the Covenant-the physical symbol of the presence of God. There he found strength, courage, and faith to go on.

(2) The worst has brought out the best in David as he traveled through the wilderness of Judah. The coup brought on by Absalom made David realize how much he missed God…how he longed for God.

Note: The Bible uses the metaphor of food, drink and natural hunger to describe a spiritual reality.

John 6:35-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.”

2 Peter 2:2-”Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”

Q1. What is spiritual hunger?

A1. It is a longing after God.

Q1. What is spiritual hunger?

A2. It’s feeling an absence of God.

Psalm 63:1-”O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

David shares that his thirst for God has not been quenched. As if to say, ”God has been absent to me.” I have been without God.

Story: Bill Wisth, 6′-6” tall and 350 lbs. was asked to leave a fish fry restaurant, Chuck’s Place. When he tried to take them up on their ”all-you-can-eat” fried fish special, they cut him off after they ran out of fish. The Wisconsin restaurant says they fed Bill some 20 pieces, but Bill felt he had not truly eaten all he could eat. Now he’s the lone protester, standing outside Chuck’s with a sign reading ”False Advertising.”

Source:http://thestir.cafemom.com/food_party/137757/man_gets_banned_from_allyoucaneat Accessed: 10/15/2016.

This feeling of an absence of God occurred from David’s introspecting and self-analyzing. He saw the dryness of his soul and compared it with the dryness of the wilderness of Judah. Water had been absent in the wilderness…as God has been absent in his soul.

Q2. What are the benefits of spiritual hunger?

A1. Spiritual hunger keeps me connected to God.

This connection causes you to explore new promises. When the hunger for God is so pure He opens your eyes to promises that are obscure to a full soul.

Matt. 5:6-”Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Jeremiah 29:13-14a-”You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”

My spiritual hunger deepens my connection, which according to these two promises provides the benefit of my getting more of God in my life.

Q2. What are the benefits of spiritual hunger?

A2. Spiritual hunger keeps me expectant on God.

My hunger for God causes me to experience His power and blessings in unique ways.

Matthew 6:33-”But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

2 Chronicles 26:5-”He [Uzziah] sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”

Uzziah discovered that a benefit of spiritual hunger is that he can be expectant of God’s blessings.

Psalm 63:1-5-”O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

Q3. How do I develop spiritual hunger?

A1. Pursue God and pursue holiness.

  1. Make time for God. I adjust my schedule so that I can spend private and public moments with God in prayer and Bible reading.

(1) I’m calling for three days of fasting over the next week in order to see God move in our nation, our cities, and our lives. Join me!

(2) Prayerfest allows me to fuel my spiritual hunger by learning more about God through a day of fasting, prayer, and extended times in the presence of God.

(3) It’s time to become one of ”The Hungry Ones!”

If you don’t have a hunger for God, something is wrong. The loss of appetite is a sign of illness.

John Piper said, ”If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”

The real hungry ones are punctual in worship. The ones who are constantly late to their appointment with the King of Kings are often dry and lukewarm. That’s why David wrote in verse two:

Psalm 63:2-”I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”

Eugene Peterson believes that, ”Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God; it whets our appetite.”

Q3. How do I develop spiritual hunger?

A1. Pursue God and pursue holiness.

  1. Decide to live Holy before God.
  2. Unholy living suppresses an appetite for God and the things of God.
  3. Sin craves more sin.
  4. W. Tozer said: ”The only Christian you want to listen to is the one who gives you more of a hunger for God.”

iii. Spiritual hunger grows when you vow to live holy because your heavenly Father is holy.

Job 31:1-”I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.”

Our Culture: When you live holy your ”locker room” talk is holy too. And, your definition of lying is also holy. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and most of the culture don’t understand this.

Q3. How do I develop spiritual hunger?

A2. Pursue souls and pursue justice. You make time to win souls. You make it your business to become an expert in soul-winning. This happens as you learn how to engage others in spiritual conversations.

Mark 1:17-”’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.”

Catching fish starts by following Jesus. The more you pursue souls the more your hunger for God grows; and vice versa.

The word ”come” is always active and present. It means come and keep on coming. Don’t stop walking with Jesus when you become born again!

iii. You must want to be a fisher of men. Spiritual hunger motivates you to win souls.

Charles Spurgeon said: ”Winners of souls must first be weepers of souls.”

Q3. How do I develop spiritual hunger?

A2. Pursue souls and pursue justice.

God is a God of justice. When I pursue justice I’m pursuing God.

James 1:26-27 (The Message)-”Anyone who sets himself up as ‘religious’ by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”

  1. Human suffering must affect me. I must feel for others and feel with others.
  2. My pursuit of God must translate to practical ways that I help people in need.

Mother Teresa said: ”A life not lived for others is not a life.”

iii. My pursuit of God must translate into practical ways that I help people in need.

  1. Advocate for others: Elevate their voice; inform others of their need-their circumstance.
  2. We must call our leaders and representatives to practice social justice, which is to:
  3. Represent the people;
  4. Protect the people;
  5. Overthrow the people’s enemies; and,
  6. Provide opportunities for the people.

 


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About The Author

David Ireland is the lead pastor of Christ Church, a multi-site multiracial congregation in New Jersey. Ireland serves as a diversity consultant to the NBA and also leads chapel services for the New York Giants, New York Jets, and the U.S. Pentagon. He has written over twenty books and appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, CBS Evening News, and The 700 Club. He began his career in civil engineering with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Farleigh Dickinson University) and a graduate degree in civil engineering (Stevens Institute of Technology). Later he attended seminary, earning a master’s degree in theology (Alliance Theological Seminary) and a doctorate in organizational leadership (Regent University). He and his wife Marlinda married in 1984 and have two daughters.

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