“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
“Coffee, I need coffee;” my brain informs me as I slowly re-enter consciousness. The desire for a mug of hot caffeinated goodness, pushes me out of bed and to the kitchen.
As I scoop the coffee into my French press, my brain wakes up a little more. And about the time the water hits the grounds, I hear a whisper in my soul, “how much you desire coffee, is how much you should desire Me.”
For days I had asked God the same question over and over again; “What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness?”
While waiting for my coffee to brew, God answered my question with questions of His own:
“What if you woke up desiring time with Me?”
“What if I was your reason for getting out of bed?”
“What if you turned to Me for strength for your day?”
“What if your morning felt incomplete without Me?”
“What if you hungered and thirsted for me the way you hunger and thirst for coffee?”
In his practical Catechsim, Dr. Hammond helps us understand what Jesus meant by “hunger and thirst” in Matthew 5:6: “Hunger is a desire of food to sustain… Thirst is the desire of drink to refresh.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
The righteousness received through the cross sustains and refreshes us. It sanctifies and justifies us. It is our bread and water; without it, we would truly parish.
“In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” (Proverbs 12:28 ESV)
Yet, how many of us act as if our lives depended on righteousness? Clearly, I’ve failed in this regard. To hunger and thirst for righteousness does not come naturally for me, but I’ve learned something that helps.
Praying for a Passion for Righteousness
In her book Fervent, Priscilla Shirer says: “Passion is the fuel in the engine of purpose. It’s your ‘want-to.’ It’s what keeps you going when mundane tasks bore you or difficult ones dissuade you. Passion is what keeps you moving in the direction your best intentions want you to go.”
As kingdom citizens, we need passion for righteousness.
The good news is, If we are lacking passion for godly things, then we simply need to ask for it. God promises:
“’When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.’ God’s Decree.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13 MSG)
If you desire to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to live a life passionately devoted to God, start today by praying for passion.
A Prayer for More Passion
Oh Lord how grateful I am for your loving kindness which never ceases and for your compassions which never fail. How great is your faithfulness! Father, please forgive me for setting my heart on other things. You know I am prone to wander, to rely on other things to sustain and refresh me, but this is not what I desire anymore. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Make me come alive with a passion for you like I have never known. I want you to be my greatest treasure, for I know, where my treasure is, there my there will be also. God, you promise that if I call you will listen, and if I search with my whole heart I will find you. I am trusting in your powerful word today; bind my heart to you, and give me a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Amen.
(Verses used: Lam 3:22-23, Ps. 51:10, Luke 12:34, Jer. 29:12-13, Matt. 5:6)
When we yearn for righteousness more than we yearn for coffee (or anything else) we will find fulfillment like never before.