Getting Hungry for God

by Tad Lindley

Did you know that God has been thinking about you all day today? Whether you are a preacher or a prostitute, a deacon or a drug dealer, a lover of God or a lover of pleasure, he has been thinking about you all day. When pondering this, the writer of Psalm 8 asked, What is man that thou are mindful of him? In other words, how can we, who are so small in the universe, be on the mind of the Lord? And yet we are. Regardless of who we are or what we do, we are on his mind. He knew us while we were growing in our mother’s womb, For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

But has he been on your mind?

I study my Bible every morning and then pray. Too many times though, I go out into my day, and my focus is off of Jesus and onto the situations around me. And all the while, he is thinking about me. Do you ever struggle with that? He has called us to be his children and his servants. Unto every one of us he has given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). This means that we have both the capacity to hunger for him and the ability to answer his call on our lives. But have we hungered? Have we answered?

Your calling

Wherever any of us is at this exact moment in our lives the Lord has a calling for us. Regardless of your past or your present, he has a vision for your life. John the Baptist was called by God. He had a major role in the early ministry of Jesus. John’s life was a fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah where it says, Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! (Isaiah 40:3 NLT) John the Baptist was that voice shouting in the wilderness. Very few of us can claim to have been called by God in the way that John was. Often it is a gentle tug of God upon our hearts, or the conviction we feel after we have sinned; a soft whisper over our lives.

Answering the call

John the Baptist answered the call. If you study his life, you will see that he actually gave his life for the call, murdered by Herods soldiers in his early 30’s. That’s how devoted to the Lord’s calling he was. And yet like you and I, he still struggled with it. In John 3:30 he gives his recipe for serving God: He must increase, but I must decrease. Think about that for a moment. It goes back to the fact that the Lord has been thinking about us all day, but too often we are also thinking about ourselves all day and not about him. In order to be successful in answering his call, I have to expand God in my life.

How do I decrease myself?

Did you ever sit down at some sort of electronic entertainment like Facebook, or a television show, or Netflix, or a video game, only to realize that hours of your day just got wasted feeding your eyes? And yet I have never sat down to read my Bible and looked at the clock and realized I just read 35 chapters and spent all afternoon carried away in the Word. I think that the Lord would like for that to happen sometimes. How do we get to that point? We have to decrease ourselves.

The power of fasting

Fasting is when we stop eating entirely for a period of time. There is nothing like prayer and fasting to bring ourselves into a closer walk with God. Fasting calls us to lay aside the desires of our stomach and our body. It creates a greater sensitivity to the direction that Jesus would have us go. I will write more about fasting next week, but for now, if you want to get hungry for God in your spirit, let yourself get hungry for food in your body. In doing so, you will see that you are able to become more and more mindful of him.

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

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