peinao - (pine); to famish (absolutely or comparatively); figuratively, to crave -- be an hungered. (Greek translation of the word "hunger")
hunger - 1. a feeling of pain, emptiness, or weakness induced by lack of food. 2. an appetite, desire, need, or craving hunger for something.I have never been very fond of New Year's resolutions. But, I do get the desire for change. There's just something about the start of a new year. A blank page upon which to write. A fresh start. A time to move forward with goals that have long been forgotten. So, when this new year rolled around, I was challenged by something I heard on the radio about choosing just one word for the year. One word to live by. One word to strive toward. I like the simplicity of one word.
After going through weeks of prayer and fasting with my church, I felt God speak one word to my heart. It is the word "hunger". It encompasses so much of what I learned through this month-long journey.
Here are some ways that I hope this word will apply to my life this year:
Hunger for God's Word. Fasting taught me that I have lost a hunger for His truth. There is not a feeling of pain, emptiness of weakness that makes me long for the nourishment only the Words of my God can provide. I pray that God gives me this kind of ravenous hunger for reading and hearing Scripture daily. I recognize the need to memorize His Word. So that I can chew on it. Savor it. Be filled by it. Without His Word, I will die a spiritual death. Nothing living can come from me if I am not eating of the Bread of Life. "And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." ~ Deuteronomy 8:3. "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'" ~ John 6:35
Hunger to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD. My daughter and I have been going head to head in a battle over who is in charge. It has been tough. Ever since she confessed Jesus as her LORD a few weeks ago, Satan has tried to get a grip on her heart. I often hear, "Mom, Jesus knows that no one is perfect. I can't be perfect!" I want to shake her and scream that while Jesus knows we're not perfect (sinners, all), He does expect us to strive to live like Him. But, conviction comes to strike my core. This is me. Daily, I make excuses for my unrighteousness. I look Jesus in eye and boldly say, "But, nobody's perfect". Ouch. Jesus calmly, lovingly reminds me, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." ~ Matthew 5:6. If I pursue righteousness, seek it, and long for it, I will be satisfied.
Hunger for God's Voice. To wrap myself in prayer so that I can hear Him when He calls. To know my Master intimately, my prayers intertwined with His. "The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." ~ John 10:3-5. "And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." ~ Isaiah 30:21.
Feed those who hunger spiritually, physically or emotionally. I want it to be said of me that I seek the needs of others before my own. For there are many needs that have to be met. Through prayer. Through a hug. Through a kind word. Through understanding. Through a non-judging attitude. "If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." ~ Isaiah 58:10. "When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'” ~ John 21:15. "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love." ~ Ephesians 4:2
Hunger for God's Kingdom work to be done. In me. In my loved ones. In the lost and dying world around me. "And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" ~ Luke 10:2. "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." ~ Matthew 6:10
And with this hunger, I pray for deep satisfaction. "My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips" ~ Psalm 63:5.
No more longing for the things of this world, but only for a taste of His goodness. "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" ~ Psalm 34:8.
What is your one word for this year?