Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Hello readers,

This week we are taking a look at the next beatitude.

Matthew 5:3-10

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

What could it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? We all know how essential food and water are for our earthly bodies, but how can this be compared to righteousness? When we are thirsty or hungry it's all that we can think of, nothing ells with take our minds off it. So Jesus takes that vivid and real example and applies it to righteousness.

Back then in rural Judea people were all to familiar with hunger and thirst. Because of the difficulty of obtaining food it was not common for people to starve for a few days. Back then, food was something people would live their lives for. They would work and sweat to feed themselves. Jesus used this example because it should be the same way for us. We should live our lives to be righteous; and to dedicate our lives to be more like our Creator. It should be something that we try to accomplish every day. That we would thirst for God's holiness to be in our lives.

The second part of that verse shows us the result of our craving for Gods spirit. That we will be filled. God won't let us search for Him and never reveal Himself to us. In His time He will give us the right amount of grace that we need.

This concept of being filled with the righteousness of God is a supernatural thing. Later on in the New Testament the apostles called this "in the spirit." We see multiple times that Apostles were "in the spirit" when they performed miracles. This means that the spirit of God was in complete control of them and their actions. I believe that being "in the spirit" and being righteous are one and the same thing.

Romans 8:8-10

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Because we have accepted the gift of salvation the Spirit of God now lives in us. We are not longer in the flesh, but in the spirit. However, because the Spirit is in us does not mean that we cannot sin. Our flesh battles against the Holy Spirit. We know that Jesus was totally controlled by the Holy Spirit, and He never gave his flesh a chance to gain dominion. The men who wrote the Bible were "filled with the Spirit" when they wrote God's Word.

There is that battle that we need to fight every day. For the Spirit of God to be in control instead of our old flesh. I believe that the want for God to be in control for our lives is what Jesus was talking about when he said those who "hunger and thirst for righteousness." It is all a very tricky thing, and there is such a fine balance, but all over the Bible marvelous things happened to men and women who were "in the spirit."

I have to admit that this is a very complicated and divine topic, and I don't feel totally worthy to talk of it, but if you have any thoughts over this topic I would really love to hear them. :)

-Jerry :)

1 comment:

  1. I really liked when you wrote:

    "God won't let us search for Him and never reveal Himself to us."

    That is so awesome! I also loved the part of being in the Spirit. I'm writing a paper on that and it's been so eye opening. Living in the Spirit is more then just being a Christian and spending a little time in the Word. It's being there, listening to God, reading the Bible and just meditating on it. Being in the Spirit doesn't happen after a 5 minute devotional. It's when you dedicate time to learning His Word that you become wiser and know what it means to live in the Spirit.

    Great post, Jerry! :)