We have all probably heard and even expressed the following…
“I just need to get more Jesus in my life”
“God, make me hungry for you!”
“Your problem is, you just need to get more hungry for Jesus.”
In fact, much of our modern Christian worship is guided by lyrics that assume that as Christians, we live from a foundation of lack and distance from God that needs to be supplied and remedied by our ardent desires, cries, and petitions for more of Him.
As well-intentioned as these phrases, lyrics and sentiments are, they are actually misguided and unhealthy. The truth is, Christians who feel they are “hungry for more Jesus” in their life are actually speaking from a place of misunderstanding.
Hunger for the Christian isn’t healthy. It’s not a sign of a deeping or developing faith, but rather of a misguided or decreasing trust.
Look at what Jesus said about hunger and thirst…
“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.’” -John 6:35
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” -Matthew 5:6
The result of belief in Christ is not a remaining or continuing in hunger, rather it’s “never thirst,” “never hunger,” and “shall be filled.”
For the non-Christian, hunger is a blessed, good thing. It’s a sign of humbleness and desire. But for the Christian, it can be a sign of spiritual pride or a sure sign that there is a misunderstanding of who one is and what we have in Christ.
As a believer, we have “every spiritual blessing.” The fullness of Jesus lives in us. We have the mind of Christ. We are “partakers of the divine nature.” We are His righteousness. “As He is, so are we in this world.” Is Jesus living now hungry for more of Himself? If not, than why are we? As Christians, we are “as He is in this world.”
On the cross, Jesus has not only satisfied every need in our lives, He has given to us everything needed to supply for them. We are in fact, a new creation. Jesus recreated our entire being, not with remaining areas of lack, but with everything we need to reign in life. As Jesus promised, Christians are “filled.” It is in believing what Jesus promised and delivered that we are awakened to these realities, not the idea that if we pursue God He will give us the “more” of Him that He is believed to be withholding.
So, why do some hunger or believe that hunger is a good and Godly thing? Because either they don’t realize and therefore believe that God has already supplied what they believe they need to pursue from God. Or, they are turning to their flesh (efforts, striving, and trying) to seemingly receive more of God. And no matter how spiritual their doing so may appear, they are turning to their efforts (flesh) to get from God what He has already thoroughly provided, perhaps even taking pride in their “hunger” or the sense that they are able to seemingly perform their way to God or tip the generosity of God further in their direction through their passion.
The truth is, and I don’t mean to burst any spiritual bubbles, for the believer, you can’t get any more Jesus or His presence than you already have. You can’t get any closer than He already is. You can’t be any more “blessed” “loved” or “favored” than you already are. No matter how “hard” you pray, how long you worship, or how desperately you cry out.
When we believe, we enjoy, walk in, and share the blessings we already have. When we turn to the flesh, we try, strive, and perform all kinds of spiritual gymnastics to ignorantly or pridefully try to get or earn from God what He has already graciously and completely supplied, not realizing nor living in what we already have. The very thing we are pursuing is the very thing we miss, because we don’t realize or are satisfied with the reality that we alreay have it.
Being hungry for God is only good for the believer as far as much as it points out areas where we are not believing or trusting that Jesus has already given us all things, and that His supply, His Grace is sufficient for us.
The cross is not just the place where Jesus did something for you in making it possible to get our of hell into heaven, but He also did something to you. He made you into a new creation that has the fullness of Jesus living in you and as you. You are the righteousness of Christ, Holy, and sanctified completely. You lack NO spiritual blessing. You are not just a child of the living God, but a king and priests.
You are not a person living in or from lack, hunger, or thirst. But a person living in and from fullness.
The Bible teaches we “grow in Grace,” not by pursuing things God has already graced us with. If the Christian life is anything, it is not a process of becoming something you a not by getting “more” of God. But a process of becoming who you already are in Him by believing the “more” you already are and have in Him.
Believe it, receive it, and live it today!