While visiting the beautiful country of Vietnam, I was overwhelmed by the hospitality and friendliness of the people we met. Day after day we were hosted by different families and they showed their love and hospitality by loading tables with the most mouth-watering food you can imagine. The taste and texture variation was quite a culinary adventure and an absolute feast. The only requirement for enjoyment is that you arrive being hungry!
One day, after having been taken out for breakfast, enjoying mid-morning snacks, eating a scrumptious lunch, and having great bites of taste explosions at around 4 pm, I arrived at dinner time looking at another table loaded with great food. I had NO appetite and couldn’t think of putting anything else in my mouth.
How often do we miss the spiritual food God has prepared for us because we do not arrive hungry?
John 7:37 (NKJV) “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:37-39. (TPT) “Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day, Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds—“All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.”
This was spoken in the context of the Holy Spirit who was to be sent after Jesus was glorified. All around the world people thirst for the truth of God, and Jesus made it clear that He will reveal Himself to us if we come to Him and drink. There are 4 actions required to experience this abundance of life in our hearts:
- The first is that we need to admit that we are thirsty. Acknowledging that our own way didn’t turn out as well as we thought it would, acknowledging that we need God.
- To actually turn to Him, to take our eyes off our circumstances, off our unbelief and off our preconceived ideas of who He is. There is a moment of decision, a moment in which we place our trust in Him.
- To drink from Him. This happens through the Word and by His Spirit. The Word teaches us, guides us, renews our minds and the Spirit makes this Word alive by speaking into our specific situation with revelation and insight.
- To believe in Jesus. Quenching your thirst requires faith. Without it, it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 ” And without faith living within us, it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.”
The spiritual food from Jesus fills up, satisfies spiritual hunger and feeds souls. It is a divine work which often happens in a very ordinary setting, as seen in John 4:5-10: “Jesus arrived at the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph, long ago. Wearied by his long journey, he sat on the edge of Jacob’s well. He sent his disciples into the village to buy food, for it was already afternoon. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” Surprised, she said, “Why would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew who I am and the gift that God wants to give you—you’d ask me for a drink, and I would give to you living water.”
The revelation of who Jesus was, filled the spiritual hunger of this woman. She marveled at the fact the He told her everything she ever did. She realized that this was no ordinary man, but the Messiah! Still, there is another unexpected twist to this story: In John 4:34 we find an interesting conversation between Jesus and His disciples. They were obviously concerned that He had not eaten and encouraged Him to eat something. “In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
Have you ever been so focused on something you did that you did not even think of eating? I can imagine that this was such a moment for Jesus. He was talking to the woman at the well, and He knew that she was in the middle of a pointless and confusing life. She had already had 5 husbands and was living with a sixth. This woman had more questions than answers and reading the chapter we can see that she had a hunger to know Truth. Jesus did not only answer her direct question, He saw deep into her heart and identified the spiritual hunger which she had. He did not think about physical food, as He was confronted with an opportunity to deal with one person’s problems and show them the way to abundant life, fulfillment, and meaning. This woman was one of millions of people who need God and at that very moment, Jesus knew He could change her life. She was spiritually hungry and wanted answers and He focused on making a difference for that woman and satisfying her hunger.
He answered his disciples that He had food that they did not know of. This experience so filled Him that physical hunger paled in comparison. If changing the life of one woman could bring satisfaction and fulfillment to Jesus, how much more will we be fulfilled when we do that which God calls us to do? When we embrace our calling as co-workers of Christ and live to make a difference in other people’s lives, fulfillment is the by-product. Even if you live in great luxury, life becomes mundane and pointless when you only live to survive another day, focusing on your own needs, comforts, and desires.
This story reminds me of one stone killing two birds: Not only was the woman at the well satisfied and her spiritual thirst quenched, but Jesus also experienced fulfillment and satisfaction in doing the work of His Father.
John 6:35 (NLT): “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Matt 5:6. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. “
No if’s or but’s: “they SHALL be filled.”