A Humble Hunger

It all starts with hunger.
“People often ask me why we see so many more miracles among the poor than among wealthy, comfortable westerners. The answer is simple: The poor know they are in need. They know what it is to be desperate and hungry, and they turn that desperation and hunger towards Him. They stay desperate. They stay hungry, God lifts up the humble and He fills the hungry with good things (Luke 1:52-53)” – Heidi Baker, ‘Birthing the Miraculous’

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6
The reason why there is more going on in poor countries in terms of salvations and miracles is that they are hungry. They are physically hungry which makes them desperate. They have very few options which for many means they turn their hunger and desperation towards God.
It made me think back to before I knew about intimacy with God. Back then I didn’t know about intimacy with God and would never describe my relationship with God as being ‘intimate’. Little did I know…
But my first cry was one of hunger. In fact it was recognition that I wasn’t hungry enough. My simple prayer when I was caught up in a whole load of struggle and frustration was ‘God make me more hungry. I want to want you. I long to long for you.’
 
In fact, I’m going to let you in on my Psalm that I wrote in October 2012. At this point in time I was doing the ‘Redemption Course’ at my Church and one of the assignments we had was to write a Psalm to God. Mine went like this:
I’ve tasted of your goodness, yet still I turn away.
I see you leading me, but still I wander from your sure and steady hand.
I stray this way and that, I lose sight of the purpose of this life.
I feel your heart grieving for the times my ears and eyes have been closed.
I’m frustrated God, I’m frustrated by myself.
The constant battle between my earthly wants and spiritual desires is tiring.
I can see my life as it could be, fully devoted to you, and I want to be there.
But I’m not, and feel like I never will be.
I’m thirsty but I’m not thirsty enough.
I want to want you, I’m hungry for a hunger for you.
Set me free from the guilt of past strivings and set my eyes on you.
Would you unveil your face from me, that I might be forever captivated by you?
Draw my heart closes to yours, my God, my Father, that I would feel your heart beating for me.
Draw me nearer that I might know you like Jesus does.  
This psalm was borne out of a quote by Tozer that resonated so deeply in my heart. He said “I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” – A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
I think this prayer was the right prayer to pray.. and my goodness I have seen how God has answered that prayer in unbelievable ways. 
He loves to come and whet our appetite because he knows when we taste of him there is this interesting dilemma of feeling satisfied and full and yet desperate for more. As you taste of Him He makes you realise your absolute dependence on Him, but also you fall head over heels in love with Him.
It has really puzzled me looking around and seeing so many people not understanding this. I see people who go through day by day with different priorities who will rarely spend time with God, and if they do, it might not even be connecting with God’s heart but rather a failing attempt to do what we know is right. I know that when I was living this way I didn’t spend time with God in this same way. I loved God but I didn’t have that intimate romantic love. I’ve described in previous posts how I felt this constant guilt about being in leadership and yet I just couldn’t keep to my Bible reading plans or I couldn’t maintain regular prayer times as I thought they should be. And yet I loved God and I wanted more of Him, I just didn’t know how to do it. This psalm was like a culmination of a year’s worth of pondering and frustration and it felt like it completely described my heart. But it’s very much true that you don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve seen it and tasted it. Then you wonder how you ever did without.
As I was falling more in love and becoming more desperate for him it changed things. Just a little example would be that in the mornings I would listen to worship music. I’m very music orientated and listening to something will very quickly take me back to memories or moments. On my Impact year we used to drive the minibus from our retreat centre to the church for training, and almost every time the guys were in control of the music… they would put on heavy hip hop beats or classic epic songs. It was good, fun music but this was first thing in the morning – and I literally felt like I was suffocating! My first thing I had to do was connect with God and unless I managed to get up early and go for a walk, that minibus would be the first music I heard. I would have to put on my headphones and turn up the worship music loudly and ignore everyone for that single trip because I was so desperate for God’s presence and to connect with Him because I couldn’t do without.
It can even happen once you have tasted of intimacy with God. Circumstances can knock us and we find ourselves slipping back into old patterns, thinking old thoughts. You do without that time with God and then wonder why things are starting to go wrong or why you are so tired.
The presence of God – intimacy with Him is a lifeline!
Don’t choose to do without. If you have never tasted of this intimacy then ask for that hunger. Ask God that He would make you full of longing for Him. And if you have tasted – ask for more! There is always more. He is a limitless God, endless mysteries to search out.
Don’t stop at anything less than all consuming, dizzying, satisfying, joy-filled love that has you on your face before your lover time after time after time.
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