Summary: Without the proper intake of water, your body will suffer greatly. The same can be said of your spiritual life if you don’t have a proper intake of righteousness.
We’re in a series focusing on the (8) attitudes Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount we’re to have as His disciples. We are learning that each of these attitudes determines our altitude. Jesus offered these beatitudes to remind us that God isn’t focused on man’s outward performance like going to church, giving, or being good, rather He is concerned with what is on the inside.
The first (3) beatitudes we’ve studied had a negative tone to them calling believers to get rid of the evils that are contrary to the kingdom.
• In being poor in spirit we’re to turn from being self-seeking.
• In mourning we’re to turn from self-satisfaction.
• In meekness we’re to turn from being self-serving.
But in this 4th attitude, Jesus uses a positive tone we can all relate to because the desire for food and water are the strongest cravings we have. So, as we turn from sin, self, and smugness, God gives us an insatiable desire for His righteousness.
”Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
What is Jesus saying? To hunger and thirst seem to speak of the necessities of the physical life. But Jesus isn’t focusing on the physical. He’s focusing on the eternal. His analogy reveals that righteousness is required for spiritual life just as food/water is necessary for physical life – it’s not optional. We can no more live spiritually without righteousness than we can live physically without food or water.
The point is, without the proper intake of water, your body will suffer greatly. The same can be said of your spiritual life if you don’t have a proper intake of righteousness.
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness. . .Hunger refers to the desperate craving a starving man has for food. He is so famished that he becomes desperate for a meal – willing do anything to eat. Thirst means to painfully feel the need for water. This is more than just needing a sip, it means to be parched and dehydrated to the point of pain and death.
But what are we to hunger and thirst for? Righteousness. What’s that? It is that state of rightness – to be in right relationship with God.
As Christians, we’re not to be like the world, engrossed in the pursuit of pleasure, pride, power, prestige, & possessions – instead we’re to seek first God’s kingdom.
If we are going to try to make a change for the eternal, it’ll require a hunger and thirst for righteousness – more of Jesus, less of me. – He must increase and I must decrease. This isn’t easy. We’re the product of our appetites. We are what we eat. The things of the world are enticing to the taste buds even while they’re poison to the soul.
We need the righteousness of God to feed our souls just like we need food to feed our flesh. The problem today is that there is a famine in the church and in the lives of people who call themselves Christians. We have allowed the toxins of the world to dictate the programs of the ministry and we’ve settled for entertainment over discipleship. If the music program doesn’t entertain us, then we’ll just stop going.