Smith Wigglesworth once said, "Spiritual hunger is when nothing in the world fascinates me as much as being near to God." The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:6 resemble a similar theme as He declared, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
The basic foundational truth regarding spiritual hunger is that there has always got to be more—more of God's power, more of His love, greater dimensions of His glory and deeper insights to His holiness. The fact is that we never come to the end of God, and even though we are never to embrace anything unbiblical, we must never grow complacent in our religious experiences that are oftentimes unbiblical, not what we actually behold in Scripture or even in recorded church history.
In the kingdom of God, those who God uses are oftentimes ordinary people. God does not deliberately call and commission the gifted, famous or wealthy, even though He can and does use them. Therefore, each of us are prime candidates to be used mightily by God in His divine purposes within our lifetime on this earth.
Throughout history God has used those who were weak, broken, unnoticed, rejected and even despised by others in order to bring His kingdom into view. However, all of those who altered eternity possessed a common factor: They all treasured His presence and embraced a desperate hunger for deeper places of His manifested glory in their lives.
Over the recorded history of mankind, we can clearly see that it has been common for men and women to cry out to God when they were in great need, in a trial or even in danger. But God has always desired those who would seek Him for Himself as the primary goal or great treasure. Matthew 13:45-46 says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
God reminded Abraham in Genesis 15:1 that He was his "shield" and "great reward." Even though God had blessed Abraham with many things and in many ways, He alone was Abraham's greatest treasure and therefore should be his greatest desire and passion.
When we read the Bible, we can clearly see that there are those who possessed a desperation for God, and we behold that they in turn touched God's heart in a deep way as He was thrilled by their hunger and passion. The following verses depict this well. Proverbs 8:17a says, "I love those who love me." And John 15:4a says, "Remain in Me, as I also remain in you." James 4:8a says, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."
Those individuals in the Bible and throughout history who experienced a deep hunger for God broke away from the crowds and the normal cares of life in order to seek His face.
They were marked; they stood apart by the fire that burned within their hearts. They refused to be content with just a little revelation or religion or the gifts that God had promised them.
They were also those who caused the apathetic and religious at heart to be uncomfortable in their dormant state of traditional religion.
Those who have possessed burning hearts greatly desired God in an overwhelming fashion. They longed for His presence and wanted to draw as close to Him as a human could without being consumed by His glory and holiness. They were not content just to hear from God by way of the prophets, pastors or others who declared the Word of God alone; they longed to hear from God for themselves! They were not satisfied by the story of what God had done in the past; they wanted fresh bread daily.
A defining characteristic of those who hungered for God in the Bible, as with Moses who experienced God in so many ways, was that their hunger could not be contained or confined.
The ultimate cry of Moses was therefore, "God show me your glory." This was a cry of epic danger on one level due to the reality of God in His glory and holiness; however, Moses knew that only God's glory would ever satisfy him, and he therefore walked a path that many refuse or are willing to pay the price to walk.
We find ourselves in a time of history where we are in great need of those who will allow their hearts to be set ablaze for Jesus. The days of playing church and walking in learned church behavior patterns will not suffice. America and the nations need to behold a revived church that refuses to compromise the secret place of intimacy with the Lord.
Following are some practical ways to maintain personal revival in our lives.
- Protect and steward your devotion life with fervency.
- Greatly value the gifts and call of God upon your life, and realize that they are for God and His glory.
- Guard your communication.
- Avoid a distracted/meaningless life.
- Embrace the fact that you have been bought with a price (the blood of Jesus) and live accordingly with eternity always in clear view.
Listen to Maintain the Flame on the Charisma Podcast Network here.
Keith Collins is the founder of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry, teaching and writing. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuels Arising: Waking Up to God's Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon, and his podcast, titled Maintain the Flame, can be heard on iTunes and at cpnshows.com. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.
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