Saturday, June 29, 2013

TO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

One of my favorite worship songs is "Take Me In" (here is a link to a Kutless' version

One of the lines of this song is taken from Matthew 5:6 (which we happen to be studying in our Thursday night group) where Jesus is preaching the sermon on the mount. Jesus tells the crowd, "those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be satisfied."  In the song, it says, "I hunger and thirst for righteousness and that can be found in one place."  Hungering and thirsting for righteousness seems like a nice platitude but in reality it is a very deep and difficult thing to do.  In our flesh, as normal people living normal lives, we hunger for pleasure and comfort.  We want ease, we want to be entertained, we want to be happy.

As I look at the above passage of scripture, I am challenged, and shamed.  I think of what we, the church accepts as entertainment and it is anything but righteousness.  One of the greatest tools of the enemy to neutralize the church is entertainment and media.  As believers we are called to "be in the world, not of the world."  This means that our lives should look different.  We should behave different.  How can we legitimately offer anything to the lost if our lives and activities mirror theirs.

One of the most asked questions I get, especially when ministering to teens, is, "Is it ok to ...." and it will usually be about a show or movie or about certain music.  Our flesh wants to be entertained so we want to justify the fact that much of our entertainment is anything but righteous.  We want permission to pollute our minds and feed our flesh rather than hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of God.

As we understand that God desires us to have lasting joy rather than temporary happiness we can move into a place where we begin the journey of hungering and thirsting for righteousness.  Notice that Jesus says that we will be satisfied if we hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Do you really feel satisfied with life, with who you are, with your relationship with God?  Could it be because we are settling for influences in our life that makes light of or celebrates sinful behavior?  Could it be because we watch sit-coms that normalize  and humorize sexual immorality?  Sin can be portrayed in a funny way but humor does not give something value.

Speaking for myself, my desire is that I come to the point where I am not asking, "is this ok to read, is this ok to watch, is this ok to listen to?"  but instead, "does this bring glory to God, is this beneficial to my spiritual life, does this promote righteousness in my life?"  When we look at our entertainment choices in light of the second set of questions, the first set of questions seem shallow and weak.  As we truly grasp what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness it will change our whole world view and we will be able to view the world the way God does and respond accordingly.

Be satisfied in the Lord!




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