Have you ever experienced the physical pain that comes along with being hungry? After not eating for a while you can hear your stomach turning and you start to feel weak and tired. It is not a pleasant feeling but it is our body’s response to tell us that something is off and we need food. Normally, we listen and eat to satisfy our hunger.
From a spiritual perspective, brokenness is a way for us to see that we are hungry and longing for something to fill us up.
Depending on what the brokenness stems from, it shows what you are hungry for. If you fill yourself with things that don’t fully satisfy you, you’ll notice. Just like a stomach growls when it’s hungry, brokenness is our warning sign to fill ourselves up with something that will satisfy.
As a follower of Jesus, hunger for God is one of the most attractive attributes you can possess.
In Isaiah 55:1, God invites us to come to Him in our search for satisfaction: “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” This is God’s gracious invitation for you to seek Him just as you are. He knows that you have absolutely nothing to bring to the table but He desperately wants you to come anyway.
The beauty of our inadequacy is it shows us that God’s affection toward us is unconditional and consistent.
He always pursues us gently yet relentlessly. There is never a question of whether or not God will satisfy us in our places of need. Scripture is very clear that God satisfies anyone who is seeking for His presence.
So how can we be people who are hungry for more of God?
- 1. Look Up // set your eyes on Jesus: As humans, we tend to look at ourselves a lot. We focus on our failures, weaknesses, strengths, successes, etc. No matter what we focus on, the fact is we look to ourselves too much. We can never make it to Jesus by what we do or don’t do, and we can never muster up enough inside ourselves to consistently pursue Him. We must look up toward Jesus and focus on what He did already for us. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). That truth alone should bring us to the throne of grace each day. God is willing and able to pursue you every second of every day. It is possible to be hungry for God because He has been and always will be pursuing our hearts first. That gives us the confidence to come to Him knowing that we will never be turned away!
- 2. Look In // depend on Jesus to meet your needs: Psalm 22:26 says, “the afflicted will eat and be satisfied.” Brokenness is God’s gift to us so that we can see our need for Him. Hebrews 4:15-16 also tells us we can draw near to Him in our weakness and He will give us grace and mercy to help in our time of need. Once you’ve looked toward Jesus, search yourself and find out what areas of your life you need Jesus to satisfy. What parts of you are broken and need God’s grace to fill? When you find these places of your life that are painful and hurt to go to, let Jesus meet you there in them. Physical hunger always comes after being filled; it’s a process. In the same way, having hunger for God always comes after being filled by God. He uses our weaknesses and our brokenness so that in those hard places, He can show us our needs. Like the good Father He is, He comes into those places and gives our souls the satisfaction we can’t find anywhere else. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. Psalm 107:9” Since He continually fills us with what is good (Himself), we can continually seek Him in our disappoint, our brokenness, and our everyday life.
- 3. Look Out // be expectant for God to move: When we look up toward Jesus to realize His relentless pursuit for us, and look in ourselves dependent on Jesus to satisfy our needs, we can look out and expect God to do the same in others’ lives! In Matthew 10:8 Jesus tells His disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons all because they freely received so they can freely give. Jesus doesn’t want us to hoard all His goodness for ourselves. He wants us to operate out of the overflow! He fills us to the point of overflow so that we can freely give away what He has given to people in need. Since we each personally experience God’s satisfaction in our places of need, we can be confident and expectant for God to satisfy other people. That is why we pray for others and go out to evangelize! Being filled to the point of overflow is an everyday thing and it happens naturally when you are hungry for the purposes of God; they never disappoint and only lead to more hunger!
Being hungry is an indicator that you need to fill yourself with something that will satisfy your hunger. Jesus often uses our hurts and brokenness to show us that He alone will satisfy our desires. The more we fill ourselves with God and His purpose for our lives, the more we will want God. It’s a glorious mystery of the Gospel: we are always hungry for God, yet constantly filled by Him!
By Toni Fortunato – Antioch Orlando