Summary: You are made to hunger for God. May your holy hunger be unleashed. You have a hunger for God so awaken it. Bring it to life and reignite your appetite.
Opening ILLUS: A kindergarten teacher gave an assignment. The assignment was to draw a picture of a celebrity or an important person that had impacted your life. The children got busy drawing pictures, coloring and sticking out their tongues like little kids like to do when they're drawing. The teacher walked around the class and saw some of these little people drawing pictures of the president and others such as sports players, their Mom and their Dad. One little boy seemed very intent in drawing this picture. She looked over his shoulder and said, "Tommy, who are you drawing?" Without missing a beat or looking up, Tommy kept drawing and said, "God." She said, "Well Tommy, you know that no one knows what God looks like." Tommy said, "They will when I am done with this picture."
ILLUS: It is said that the great philosopher and orator of Greek descent named Socrates had a young man approach him one day, and this young man said, "Can I be one of your disciples because I want to know wisdom and increase in my knowledge?" Socrates, who by this time was a wise, old sage, took one look at the young man and said, "Follow me." The young man followed him into the waters of a nearby river. Socrates took the young man's head and submerged it under water for about 15 seconds. When the young man came out of the water dripping wet, Socrates said, "What do you want?" The young man said, "Knowledge, wise man. I want knowledge." Socrates took this young man and put his head under a little bit longer this time which was for 30 seconds like some of your baptisms. When the young man came out, he was gasping for air. Socrates again said, "What do you want, young man?" He again said, "Knowledge. I want knowledge." This time, which was a third time, Socrates dunked him down under the water and kept him down to what the audience seemed like forever. His hands began to fling, and people in the audience began to gasp as they thought he was about to drown him.
When the young man came out of the water, Socrates again said, "What do you want?" This time the young man was saying, "Air, I want air. Give me air." To that, Socrates said, "When you want knowledge like you want air, then you will have it."
I believe that our spiritual hunger is that way, as well. When we desire God desperately with passion, intensity and burning fire than we will experience the fullness of God. So I want you to take your Bibles and turn to Exodus Chapter 33. There are two reasons that I have chosen to speak out of Exodus Chapter 33 on holy hunger.
One of the reasons is that our church just recently ended a 21-day season of fasting and prayer and I have been thinking a lot about hunger. Fasting has a way of causing you to realize how much you depend on food. You dream about burgers when you are supposed to be thinking about God. One woman said that she woke up chewing on her pillow.
During the 21 days it was amazing to hear so many testimonies of breakthroughs for what God was doing as we fasted and prayed at the beginning of this year and a new decade. I have been thinking a lot about physical hunger and spiritual hunger, and throughout the entire fast we were challenged to turn our appetite for food into a hunger for God and seek to desire God the way that our bodies were longing for food.
I also chose to speak out of Exodus Chapter 33 because there is something deeply disconcerting about much of the Christianity that we are living in this nation. I have been to Africa, Asia, South America and have seen a different spiritual atmosphere. When I come back, I scratch my head and wonder, "What is it, Lord, that seems to be missing? If I were to put my finger on it, I think that it would have to be hunger, holy hunger.
We are living in days of the greatest harvest that this world has ever known. There have been more people coming to Jesus Christ in this last decade than centuries before us. There is an explosion of evangelism and church planting, but for some reason it seems to have bypassed this country of ours. This country that for centuries was the nation that sent the missionaries and educated the pastors. Our country has a reputation of being a Christian nation yet something seems to be lacking... holy hunger.
The account of Moses in Exodus Chapter 33 is really an incredible story of a man who walked with God and talked with God in a way that few have. He was on the holy mountain in which he received both instruction from God and received the tablets that we so fondly call the Ten Commandments.