One of the problems facing the end time Church, as Jesus Christ the Faithful witness reveals, is that of being in an unclothed state, naked. If that wasn’t bad enough the Church is pictured as being totally unaware of this condition.
Christ has instructed His disciples what actions they need to take to address this condition of nakedness. One of these actions, which can be viewed as both preventive and corrective, is summarized in:
Mt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
The white raiment of righteousness is the only thing that will provide the type of covering Jesus will accept. We understand, of course, that our righteous will never fit the bill, but only that which comes from Christ Himself.
Physically, we don’t have to learn how to hunger for anything, that comes naturally. Spiritual hunger, however, doesn’t come naturally. It is a gift that must be nurtured and developed.
Let’s examine the nature of spiritual hunger – what it is and how we can nurture and develop it.
Spiritual hunger is a gift. We received the first installment of that gift when God opened our eyes to the incredible reality that He is working with us now and that this is the time we for us to take action. We have come face to face with the reality that this is our day of salvation.
When you hunger for food, given enough time, you know you have a strong need or intense desire to satisfy that need, it is not something if you ignore it will go away.
The desire of spiritual hunger is no less strong, but on the other hand, this desire will go away if you ignore it or if you try to satisfy it with transitory, physical measures.
Isa. 55:1 ““Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.
The everyone here refers to those God is working with now.
God gives the gift of spiritual hunger and thirst and we come to Him, the only true source, to nurture that gift. We come and we come again and again.
Ver. 2 – Using anything other than spiritual means to nurture this hunger is useless.
Isa. 26:9 (tan) At night I yearn for You with all my being, I seek You with all the spirit within me. For when Your judgments are wrought on earth, The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
This world is in darkness, we are in the night time. As we enter this period of the dark season this must be our yearning, our desire.
These verses describe the intensity of someone with a deep sense of spiritual hunger, that intense desire that can only be satisfied by the One who gave it.
What is it do we desire above all else?
Hunger is satisfied with nothing but food. What did Satan use to tempt Christ after He had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights? Bring a hungry man flowers, music, tell him pleasant stories; nothing will make him content but food.
In like manner, an individual that hungers and thirst after righteousness will be satisfied with nothing but righteousness.
Phil 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;  having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
We can’t afford to settle for anything less that the righteousness of Christ when we have that hunger any more than a hungry man will settle for a bouquet of flowers.
Phil 3:9 Paul fully understood the nature of this righteousness and how it is obtained.
· What can we do to nurture this spiritual hunger?
1. Avoid those things that hinder our spiritual appetite.
One of the ways we loose our appetite for food is to snack on sweet things, things that provide no value to the body but give it a false sense of satiety.
Feeding upon the sweet luscious delights of the world causes us to loose our appetite for Christ and His righteousness.
Num 11:5-6 – While Israel fed with delight upon garlic and onions, they never hungered after manna.
They never hunger after manna because they were not given the gift of that hunger
God has given us the gift to hunger after the True Manna from heaven.
We can’t satisfy spiritual hunger with the leek and garlic of this world. We can’t hunger after the things of this world and hunger after righteousness.
1 Jn 2:15-17
Jas 4:4 (jnt)You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy!
This world has lots of things that hinder our spiritual appetite; we must know what they are and avoid them.
2. Do the things that provoke spiritual appetite.
Physical exercise has a positive effect on the body’s ability to utilize food. Spiritual exercise is even more important when it comes to provoking spiritual appetite.
1 Tim 4:7 “But reject profane and old wives’ fables; rather exercise yourself unto godliness.  For physical exercise is profitable for a short time; but godliness is profitable for everything, having the promise of life – of the life that now is, and of the life that is coming.”
Ver. 8 last part (phi)“…Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit”
We have a responsibility to exercise ourselves unto godliness, train ourselves in godliness, take the time and trouble to keep ourselves spiritually fit. One thing we know for sure is that no one can exercise for us; we have to do it for ourselves.
The benefits physical exercise lasts only for a short time; it is something we must do over and over and over.
2 Cor. 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day”. (nas)
No matter how much we exercise physically, our outer man, the physical is still decaying. Our focus must be on that inner man, the spiritual – making sure it is being renewed day by day.
Mat. 5:6 – Unless we hunger and thirst after righteousness we will not obtain it. God has given us this gift let’s make we avoid at all those cost those things that dull that hunger and do those things that nurture that hunger. Christ promised that we will be filled, but not until He returns.