Are you hungry? I am not talking about physical food that satisfies our taste buds and bellies. I am talking about what wakes you up in the morning. Is there something in your life, a dream, a desire, a longing, and hope that motivates you? Is there something that you have to do which causes you not to do something you really like to do?
For example, let's say you love to get together with one of your closest friends or spouse for a coffee or smoothie to simply be together. But, instead of doing what you love to do, you have this passionate hunger, passionate ambition that is more important then connection time with a loved one.
Some people have this hunger, motivation, drive, ambition to make more money. Others, it is success, power, climbing some corporate ladder, or experiencing some entertainment. For others, it is to do something great for Jesus.
Jesus declared, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matt 5:6
Hunger and thirst are some powerful words Jesus used to describe ambition, motivation or drive.
Many think ambition is not good. It leads to competition, greed, or getting ahead at all cost. Jesus explains that He loves to bless those who have this inner ambition, motivation, drive or "hunger and thirst." But, what is that inner ambition fighting for...selfish things or "righteous" things?
What are the right things of Jesus? What are the right things to prioritize your life around? What are the right things that wake you up in the morning? What are the right things that will cause you to cancel what you love to do, like coffee with a loved one?
Paul proclaimed his hunger and thirst in Rom 15:20 "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known."
Jesus declared His hunger and thirst was "to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10
My wife and I never liked the taste of coffee. But, at age 40, my wife decided to try something new and for her it was coffee. There was a reason behind it. Many women, both Christian and those far from God, love to go to a coffee shop to connect. So, Jude learned to acquire the taste of coffee in order to join Paul's and Jesus' hunger and thirst, to lovingly befriend, serve, and offer Jesus to friends who are far from God in a natural environment: drinking coffee together.
Some thoughts on how to catch Jesus' hunger...
What are you hungering and thirsting for? How is Jesus blessing and satisfying that hunger and thirst in you? Do you need to adjust your hunger and thirst? Do you need to adopt Jesus' hunger and thirst?
Praying for a holy fire to consume us in order that Jesus would unleash His blessings,
The daily decisions and the daily habits we make reveal the answers to these foundational and important questions. As we debrief about the daily decisions we make and the daily habits we have formed, do they reflect that we are a follower of Jesus or a follower of our culture?
Moses can relate to the evaluation of our lives, because he had an identity crisis at the age of 40 ("When Moses was forty years old..." Acts 7:23). You might call it a mid-life crisis. Heb 11:24 says, "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter."
You remember the story, Moses was born as a Hebrew child during the time Pharaoh had commanded that the male Hebrew babies be killed because of Pharaoh's fear of the over-population of God's people. God had divine plans for Moses to be floated down the river and be raised by Pharaoh's daughter. He still had the influence of his biological, Hebrew mother due to God's providence; Moses' sister offered Pharaoh's daughter to get a Hebrew woman to nurse him.
So, Moses was born a Hebrew and grew up in the palace of Egypt with the influence of his biological Hebrew mother and his adopted Egyptian stepmother. Growing up as a Prince of Egypt, he had all the privileges of the most wealthy and powerful nation in the world at that time; the best clothes, food, education, training and more. Let's not forget the power of a praying biological mother, unleashing God's character on Moses during his childhood.
God reveals in Acts 7 that these two identities finally collided at the age of forty for Moses. We see in Heb 11:24 that finally Moses made the well-thought out, intelligent and willful decision to chose his birth identity over his cultural identity. He chose to be a child of God, not a child of his secular culture. This identity crisis decision dramatically changed his life.
How are you doing with the clash that you face every day with your identity battle? Do your daily decisions and habits reveal you are following Jesus or following our American/Minnesota culture? Are we truly following Jesus' still small voice every day or are we subtly following the culture's plan for you? Do your daily decisions and habits clearly show that you follow Jesus or the culture that you live in?
Here are three great questions to regularly ask yourself and discuss with your spouse, brother, sister, parent or close friend.
1. What do I prioritize?
2. What energizes me?
3. What gives me purpose?
Set up a time to write the answers to these questions down. Discuss them with Jesus. Reflect on them with someone you trust.
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter."
What changes to your daily decisions and habits do you need to make?
Praying God's Word meddles with us,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.