BY: MEGAN GILMORE
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Many people have an understanding of what fasting is: giving up food for a set period of time, typically related to a spiritual discipline. There are health benefits to fasting as well; however, most people know it as practice done to draw closer to the Lord through prayer and fasting.
My church does a fast each January as a time to collectively seek God’s face as we start a new year. Personally, I have partaken in a variety of fasts. I have completed a social media fast, a fast from a particular meal, and even a half-day fast, but never a full liquid fast without any food over an extended period of time. When it was recommended to me by my doctor to do a detox, I decided not only would I be trying this for the first time for health benefits, but more for the spiritual benefits.
As I started the fast I felt very strong during the first part of day one. However, as the day went on I found myself thinking about food. As I became hungry I had to work to focus my mind on whatever task I had in front of me and not on food. By the end of the day, I was certainly hungry. Now day two, again started strong and I felt great. Yet again as the day went on my physical body began to hunger and that hunger began to occupy my mind.
Hungry. Hunger can change us. Some people become hangry; they get moody and grouchy. Hunger can alter how we see the world around us. As I sat on my couch trying to occupy myself and forget about being hungry, I felt God start to speak to me deeply.
Was I hungry for God the same way my body was hungry for food? Matthew 5:6 reminds us that, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” I sat there thinking about the way being hungry affects us. We focus solely on food until that need is filled. Was I hungering for God, His word, and obeying Him, the same way I was hungering for food?
God’s word is the word of life and brings so much more fulfillment that any food ever could. I started to assess my life. Was I grabbing Him first thing in the morning to fullfil my hunger? Was I letting His word fill me full? What difference would I see in my life if I was really hungry and thirsty for Him and His righteousness?
As I move forward from that experience, I am daily assessing my hunger and thirst for God and His righteousness in my life.
Take the time to assess yourself...are you hungry for God? What can you do to begin to hunger and thirst for Him?