“For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”
Hunger is essential. Not only for practical day to day living, but especially in our relationship with Christ. It’s the hungry ones that seem to excel in the things of God. Apathy is defined as the “absence or suppression of passion…” It’s definitely not helpful to have a church full of apathetic Christians who are indifferent towards the Lord! Passion and hunger are pre-built inside of every person - it just needs to be unearthed and/or redirected towards the One who truly satisfies.
When I first got saved I was inundated with God stories. An older couple took me in and shared all kinds of things with me - their own encounters with God, testimonies of how God used them, what God had taught them, and they introduced me to the generals of the past like Smith Wigglesworth and Kathryn Kuhlman. As a new believer it stirred something in me for more!
I am naturally a driven person who’s committed to going all the way with whatever I’m into. So not long after I began following Jesus, I said, “If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do this!” I was going all in.
As time progressed, I’ve experienced ups and downs just like everyone else, but hunger has always been a core value. It’s one of those non-negotiables. Simply put, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it is to know Christ so if I get satisfied with where I’m at - to me, that’s just plain out compromise...and I really want nothing to do with compromise.
I have to know Him!
And I have to have all that He has for me!
It’s honestly hard for me to put in words “how to stir up hunger.” This is the type of thing that is caught. So I’m praying you’d catch hunger as you read.
…and also here’s some keys that will help:
1. The testimony
Like I said earlier the testimonies I heard stirred me up for more.
The man in the couple shared with me how he was seeking God to make Himself real, and in a dream he was taken up to heaven and was worshiping the Lord. Prior to this, he didn’t have experience with worshipping the Lord, but when he woke up his hands were lifted and he was declaring the praise of God out of his mouth. He learned how to worship in heaven!
He told me he had prayed for 3 weeks straight asking God to make Himself real before he had this encounter. So I did the same thing.
I prayed every night for an encounter.
Honestly, it took longer than 3 weeks to have the encounter I was seeking! But at a worship event in San Diego, I fully let go in worship and what felt like liquid electricity came through my entire body and I was filled with the power of God. It radically changed my relationship with God.
It all started because of a testimony!
Testimonies tell us what’s available to us! If God did it for them, He’ll do it for you!
It’s been the same with all kinds of other testimonies - healings, miracles, signs, wonders, souls saved, financial breakthrough, sowing and reaping, supernatural dreams, and all kinds of God stuff!
I heard the testimony and then put a claim out to God! “Lord, I want that too!”
And then I went after it.
2. Get in touch with need and deep desire
One of the basic ways to access hunger is to realize you have a need!
It’s what blind Bartimaeus did! (Mark 10:47-48)
It’s what the woman with the issue of blood did! (Mark 5:25-27)
It’s what the Syro-Phoenician woman did! (Mark 7:25)
And the writers of the Psalms!
“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.”
They all realized there was a need in them that could only be met by the Savior!
They got in touch with their deep desire for the One who created them!
It’s placed deep within every human being.
A deep desire to know God.
After all, He is called the “Desire of all Nations.” (Hag. 2:7).
He really is the only One who can satisfy.
Borrow the words of the Psalms above and pray them!
Awaken your hunger by riding the coattails of someone who's already cultivated hunger!
Ask God to give you the gift of hunger! It’s a prayer He won’t deny!
Here’s a couple more Psalms of desire: Ps. 27, 84.
Put words to your hunger.
Also, pray in tongues as much as you can! Let your spirit commune with His. It’s one of the ways that we participate in Ps. 42:7 - “deep calls unto deep.”
Apostle Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift of God that was in him. Praying in the Spirit is definitely one of the ways that happens! (2 Tim. 1:6).
4. Deal with issues
In the story of Blind Bartimaeus, one of the things he did before he made his way to Jesus was throw off his beggar's cloak (Mark 10:50). It was a government issued garment that proved he was a legitimate beggar.
You should throw off your “beggar’s cloak” too.
Repent of known sin.
Forgive those who’ve hurt you.
Honor your leaders.
Refrain from gossip.
Bartimaeus had identified with being blind for so long...even the bible calls him “blind”! Maybe you’ve identified with your past lifestyle, wounds, bad choices, sickness, etc. for quite some time.
What we don’t realize is that those things can stifle our hunger for the Lord. They serve as hindrances to hunger - like a cap on a well.
Throw those things off - and run to Jesus!
5. Taste and See
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good…”
Simply put, once you’ve tasted of the Presence of Jesus you want more!
It’s the paradox of being content but never satisfied.
He’s so satisfying...but there’s so much more!
He is inexhaustible!
Lord, we want more!
There’s so much more to share, so stay tuned for Part 2 coming out next week!
In the meantime:
How do you stir up your hunger for God? Talk to me in the comments below!