Hunger and Passion
I’ve posted this blog for Sunday on Saturday night before retiring for bed. It will serve as my Sunday post. Contained below are some lists that I read during my ministry this weekend in our services at Victory. Apply them to your spiritual life and take inventory of where you are in God.
I’ll be leaving on vacation after I minister on Sunday, and will post blogs during my vacation, hopefully daily, as I’m able to connect to the internet. I’ll miss my church family, and will be back in services on the 25th.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Years ago the Lord spoke to me and said: You are filled with what you’re hungry for. Our appetites cause us to gravitate towards them. The things we give attention to fill us with desire or hunger for them. Be careful as to what you give your attention!
Demas was a close companion of the Apostle Paul. Demas traveled with one of the most anointed, faithful men of God of the new Testament Era. No doubt Paul was one of the most godly men in the history of Christendom. Paul was one of best teachers in the church, and had signs, wonders and miracles following his ministry. Yet we still have Demas, one of his companions in labor who fell away from God.
For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world (2 Timothy 4:10). Wuest translation reads: For Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age, and thus has come to love it.
If Demas, a man close to perhaps the greatest Apostle of the Christian age could fall away from God, then it shows us the importance of checking up on ourselves and making sure that we don’t become lukewarm, leave out first love with Jesus, and likewise become cold and complacent.
We all must guard ourselves from becoming complacent in spiritual things. If we do, we could lose ground spiritually. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent, to develop complacency, or to allow spiritual things to become commonplace. Notice the definitions of these words:
Complacency Quiet satisfaction, contentment, the quality or state of being satisfied: a calm sense of well being and security; self satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.
Complacent Marked by satisfaction and pleasure at one’s own personality, accomplishments, or situation; satisfaction about the security of one’s own position; careless acceptance of events around one; disinclined to act, to change, or to guard.
Commonplace Anything common or ordinary; neither new nor interesting; obvious or trite.
It’s a wise thing for all of us at times to take a spiritual inventory. Here we are in the middle of summer, many taking vacations and relaxing. In fact, I’m leaving for vacation after preaching our 2nd service tomorrow. But we must NEVER let up in or take a vacation from spiritual things. Here are 10 symptoms of complacency setting into a life. Take an inventory of your own life as you look at them:
1. Lack of spiritual hunger. 2. Little concern for the unsaved. 3. Lack of intimate fellowship with believers. 4. Prayerlessness. 5. Slack attendance and involvement in a local church. 6. Legitimate activities consume time needed for spiritual nourishment. 7. Stinginess. 8. Little spiritual growth in the last 6 months. 9. A general feeling of self-satisfaction. 10. Nonchalant and tolerant attitude toward personal sin.
In contrast, here are 9 signs of signs of spiritual hunger and passion (first love status – See Revelation 2:1-5) that should be found in your life:
Signs of First Love
1. You can’t wait to have some time to read the word. 2. You long for a place to pray alone during the day. 3. Worship is a passion. 4. Church services are crucial to your walk with God. 5. You long for fellowship with other believers. 6. You look for opportunities to witness about Jesus. 7. You draw back from anything that would compromise your closeness with Jesus. 8. Nothing is more important to you than spending time with the Lord. 9. Joy is a daily response to the Father.
I read an excerpt in our weekend services from George Whitfield’s amazing life during the 18th century Great Awakening in America. TO keep himself spiritually sharp, Mr. Whitfield would judge his actions for each day at night before he retired. Here is the list of his 15 criteria for judging himself*:
1. Been fervent in private prayer? 2. Used stated hours of prayer? 3. Used [spontaneous vocal prayer] each hour? 4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s Glory? 5. After each pleasure, immediately given thanks? 6. Planned business for the day? 7. Been simple and self-controlled in everything? 8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could? 9. Been meek, cheerful, and affable in everything I said or did? 10. Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others? 11. Been self-controlled in eating or drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep? 12. Taken time for giving thanks according to William Law’s rules? 13. Been diligent in studies? 14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone? 15. Confessed all sins?
* Taken from the book How Saved Are We? By Michael Brown, p. 109
Let’s continue to nurture our hunger and passion for Jesus each day. Let’s make sure we love Him now as much as we did when we first met Him. And let’s be careful that we not become lukewarm and complacent, treating spirtual things as commonplace. Jesus deserves our ALL!