Summary: speaking of the hunger in our lives-we develop an increasing hunger for whatever we feed upon-directed by our deepest desire.
Iï¿½m Not As Full As I Like To Be
EOLS: We control the things that we hunger for, and we can be filled with hunger for God.
Itï¿½s funny how God can birth a sermon within our hearts through the simple, daily things in our lives. This one was birthed in my heart around the family table a number of years ago.
From time to time, our whole family will go through periods of dieting, and following all the wonderful treats of Christmas, it was time to get serious about our eating once again! Pull out the vitamins, and throw away the candy and treats! Fire up the treadmill and break out the dumbbells. Forget about the fast food and make a big spinach salad with a side of raw broccoli!
One night well into our diets, we had just finished a wonderful supper of greens veggies, baked chicken and Sweet n Low Tea, when my oldest daughter rose, and took her plate as if she were heading to the sink. She paused for a moment with a concerned look on her face. "Whatï¿½s the matter honey?" I said. She studied her words for a moment, kept the concerned look on her face and said simply: ï¿½Iï¿½m not as full as I like to be.ï¿½
Well something about that was funny, and we laughed and laughed. It is now a stock phrase at our house. Yet that quote from my precious starving daughter who was having junk food withdrawals rang deep in my soul. Iï¿½ve heard it resonating ever since that night around the family table and tonight I say
"Lord, Iï¿½m not as full as I like to be."
Is that the cry of your heart ? Do you remember a time in your life when you were completely immersed in God, when He was your sole passion in life? Do you remember when you met Him in the morning upon rising and when the last thing on your mind was to tell Him how you love him before sleep? Do you remember when even your dreams were of following and serving Him? Do you remember what it was like to sit at his table and feast upon His Word and His Promises each and every day of your life? Do you remember what it was like to eat from His table, rather than the junk food houses of this world?
I doï¿½and Iï¿½m not as full as I like to be.
Iï¿½ll never forget the Spring of 1987 when the Lord began working so powerfully in my own life. Itï¿½s when the Lord captured my heart in a way that I had not experienced before. I had this intense hunger that would only get stronger as I pursued Him with everything in me. I remember when for the first time I would rise in the morning seeking his face. I would take opportunities to steal away to be with Him during the day. I would lay down at night speaking His name and asking Him to reveal himself to me. I remember the intense filling, and the insatiable hunger that would grow-the more I ate the hungrier I became. It was in this season that I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Often I have longed for that special time and place, only to be frustrated with the cares of this world taking precedence over the fullness of God.
DL Moody, the great nineteenth century evangelist who shook America with his powerful crusades tells about a foundational moment in his life when his ministry took on a new element of power and hunger for God. Moody tells of two godly elderly women who attended Moodyï¿½s services in Chicago. He was already a well-known preacher, yet something distinct was missing, and Moody knew it.
"When I began to preach, I could tell by the expression of their faces they were praying for me," Moody later recalled. "At the close of the Sabbath evening services they would say to me, ï¿½We have been praying for you.ï¿½ I said, ï¿½Why donï¿½t you pray for the people?ï¿½ They answered. ï¿½You need power,ï¿½ ï¿½I need power,ï¿½ I said to myself. ï¿½Why? I thought I had power.
Those incidents left Moody with a great hunger for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. After the Chicago fire that destroyed Moodyï¿½s lecture hall and several institutions he had founded, he traveled to New York to raise funds for rebuilding. God had something else in mind.
"My heart was not in the work of begging," Moody recollected. "I could not appeal. I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York (on Wall Street) - oh, what a day! I cannot describe it. I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand."