Full

by Tad Lindley

I don’t know how it is for you, but for me, there are some foods where it is very hard for me to get full on, no matter how much I eat. In particular, bird soup and dried pike fall into this category. When I eat bird soup, I can’t feel full unless I eat crackers afterwards. When I eat dried pike, my jaw muscles wear out before my belly gets full.

Get hungry

One time when Jesus was preaching to the people he talked about hunger and being full. Blessed are those who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6) In other words, if we get hungry for the good things of God, we will be filled with the righteousness of God. Sounds like a good deal doesn’t it?

Righteousness, again?

It doesn’t happen at my house, but I suppose there are some people that are so rich in bowhead muktuk that they get tired of eating it and start hankering for something less healthy, like Banquet chicken. I wonder if their kids ever say, “Muktuk again? I’m sick of muktuk!” Some of you reading this may have so much walrus in your freezer that maybe sometimes you get tired of it and wish you had dried pike or frozen pizza for a change.

They got tired of righteousness

Guess what? Same thing happened to Adam and Eve. They got tired of being full on righteousness. The only thing they knew was good. And so when the serpent came and said something like, “Wouldn’t you like to try something different for a change?” He was trying to talk them into eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had the knowledge of good already. They walked with God in the cool of the day. They knew no fear. All they knew was good. Eve had never had to wear sunglasses to cover up where Adam gave her a black eye when he was drunk. They couldn’t even imagine something like that existing. All they knew was good, but they got tired of it and wanted to try something new. You can read about it in Genesis chapter 3. They made the tragic mistake of filling up on evil instead of good, and the rest is human history.

You will be filled one way or the other

Once when I was traveling in Mexico, I saw a starving cow in a desert country eating cardboard. That cow knew one thing, it wasn’t going to die with an empty stomach! In the same way, we will fill our lives one way or the other. We will fill it with righteousness, or we will fill it with unrighteousness. There are no empty lives in the spiritual realm.

Jesus illustrated this in Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV): “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first…” This is why when we quit a sin, whether tobacco, or bingo, or heroin, or marijuana, or alcohol, or pornography, or sexual immorality, unless we get hungry for righteousness, we will find ourselves back at it again and even worse off than before.

Sin is like McDonald’s for me

I don’t know how often I have eaten at McDonald’s in Anchorage and have immensely enjoyed the flavors of the Quarter Cheese and the fries and the Big Mac, only to feel quite full and quite gross a few minutes later, wishing I had eaten a salad instead. In the same way, we have tried to fill our lives with excitement. We have tried to satisfy every craving only to wind up laying down at night wondering what we are missing in life. We become like a cow with a stomach full of cardboard.

Stuffed full of life

That’s why Jesus came preaching that if we would quit hungering for the things of this world and instead hunger and thirst for righteousness that we might be filled. In John 10:10 (KJV 2000) Jesus said, The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Jesus wants us to be stuffed full of life, but that only happens when we get hungry for Him. Blessed are those who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.

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