Happy Hot Pursuit

10 May
I'm food full and cake hungry. Photo by Charles Huff

I’m food full and cake hungry.
Photo by Charles Huff

Hunger and Thirst

“I’m hungry.” What parent has not heard those words at the most inappropriate time—like in the middle of a wedding ceremony as their child focuses on the cake reception to follow? Or, in the case of my sister-in-law, her cat communicates it at 3 o’clock in the morning every day even on her day to sleep in. The companion phrase “I’m thirsty” rarely comes at the same time with children. They wait for a several minutes after they should be asleep to explain why they are still awake. Our granddaughters use this frequently, but they have learned it is effective only once per night.

Granted, we adults use these phrases, too. Maybe even in excess at times. So, we can all say we know what they both mean in their association with food and drink. We know they are two of life’s essential elements—breath being the third. Without any one of these three, we will die. When Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled,” He seems to be saying life in the kingdom plays by the same rules as our physical lives. In other words, if we don’t partake of spiritual nutrients, we die spiritually. Our Christian testimony wanes to a mere shadow cast by rituals and traditions but lacking the Lord’s power and authority.

Breathe

Breathing is the easy part. Background information on it can be found as early as Genesis 2. After forming man from clay, God breathed on him and he became a living soul. In similar fashion, Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” They became new creatures with their spirit made alive. When we confess our sin and receive God’s forgiveness, we breathe in the Holy Spirit like the disciples. Our prayers, our listening, our obeying the Spirit’s promptings are all ways we breathe spiritually to maintain our lives in the kingdom. If we stop breathing this way, we feel our spirit dying. However, we tend to shift the blame should occasion arise in our lives. We cry out, “Where are you God? Why did you let this happen to me?” Remember, His grace is available at all times. Just breathe.

Hunger and thirst advance to being the strongest motivators we have as long as our bodies have breath. Concepts of right and wrong cease to exist for us when we feel we are going to die if we don’t get something to eat or drink. Surviving becomes paramount to all else and overshadows any guilt we might feel for taking whatever steps we can to satisfy our need. Desperate people will take desperate measures and feel none the worse for it as they act out from the fear driving them.

As a Lover

We need to have a motivation strong as that when we hunger and thirst for more of Jesus. We do desperately need Him active in our lives, but this desperation is not the same; we are not to follow Him through hopeless fear. His perfect love casts out fear. Instead, Jesus explains, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJV) In Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman points out that the word used for come after can best be described as hotly pursuing. He likens to what a man might experience as he chases after a relationship with the girl of his dreams. He brushes aside every obstacle that would hinder them from coming together.

Righteous is Right, but Right is not Righteous

Righteousness is not so easily defined. Like holiness, we will know it when we see it, but even our best command of language falls short in explaining it. We tend to think we fulfill righteousness when we do right things. A story in John chapter eight shows how far off the mark that thinking will lead us. The Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in the very act of adultery. They had eye witnesses so their case was irrefutable. The law required she be stoned. They were correct—right—in that. They were right, but not righteous. Jesus told them, in effect, to go ahead if they were without sin. One by one they admitted they were not righteous as they dropped their stones and walked away, leaving the woman alone with Jesus. He exhorted her to go free and sin no more.

Jesus is our righteousness. His obedience to the Father in word and deed, obedient even to the cross, made Him the embodiment of righteousness. As we put our faith in His sacrifice, He becomes our righteousness. That relationship needs consistent nurturing. Rewording Matthew 5:6 results in: deliriously happy are those who are in hot pursuit after Jesus for they shall be filled.

How do you follow Jesus in hot pursuit? What do you do to pump it back up when it starts to mellow and lag?

3 Responses to “Happy Hot Pursuit”

  1. Mimi at 3:42 pm #

    Great post. In today’s church, it greatly saddens me that righteousness and holiness are relegated to the back shelf of importance. Continue sharing the Word while we still have the opportunity to do so!

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Special Recognition | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] impact of sin in our lives and in the lives of those around us, surrendering to the Holy Spirit, hotly pursuing the Lord and his righteousness, showing mercy, developing a pure heart—a heart that can be […]

    Like

  2. America in Bible Prophesy | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] God’s most treasured ones; Christ’s demand for a church that mourns; Happiness in meekness; Happy Hot pursuit; Have Mercy!; Purify your heart for better vision; Special recognition; Jesus, our example—Part […]

    Like

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