One night at prayer meeting, an impression came into my mind. I saw many people kneeling at the altar crying out to God with a deep hunger and desire. The Spirit spoke into my heart saying, “These are hungering for the things of God.” Then the Spirit spoke again, “And these will be different from those who merely hunger for the things of God.” The message hit home immediately and I understood the significance of what God was showing me.
There are those who simply love the things of God – promises, prosperity, provision and possessions. It is not difficult to walk into any church today and hear a sermon that emphasises the entitlement of believers. Similarly, Christian bookshops carry many attractive titles containing the buzzwords of success, blessing, abundance, breakthrough and victory. Is this necessarily wrong? Well, not exactly. After all, Scripture does attest to the abundance of these for the one who comes to God. When God called Abram, He promised to bless him that he would be a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:1-3). Standing on this, armed with the understanding that we “who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Gal 3:9) and “heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29), should we expect any less? What a wonderful promise to the glory of God, and yet, when viewed with the wrong perspective, this has led to many who come to God only for the things He can give to them. Like the children of Israel, these keep the law not because they love God, but only that they would not miss out on His blessings. A sister was so burdened with the need to tithe that she felt trapped and condemned. When I told her that God is not going to club her over the head should she give one-cent less than the “mandated” 10%, she asked in fear, “What if I lose my blessings?”
Are we hungry for the things of God, or are we hungry for the things of God? Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day, saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.” (Matt 23:23) I believe that in these final days, God is looking for those who are hungry for Him and everything He stands for – righteousness, justice, mercy, holiness and godliness. Not many like to talk about these things of God. We acknowledge them, yes, but are also quick to avoid them. We rationalise that Jesus has done it all and righteousness has been imputed upon each of us. As such, these things are not important anymore. Instead, since these have all been taken care of, we might as well focus on the other things of God and be blessed, blessed and blessed!
Make no mistake, God is calling and rallying His people, and these are those who are hungry for the things of God and His Kingdom. These are ones who are exercising towards godliness (1 Tim 4:7) that they might be raised up as trees of righteousness (Isa 61:3). These are not afraid of the testing by fire that the genuineness of their faith might be proven (1 Peter 1:7). These will do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God (Mic 6:8). Are these short-changed in any way then given the high cost of living in Singapore and the present economic uncertainty? Not at all! Matt 6:33 boldy declares, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”
May you be one who will be hungry for the things of God and not just the things of God.