Vic Rhodes

Always Be Hungry

This phrase was given to me by the Lord during a time of seeking Him for direction and guidance about walking in the spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. It was personal, not for the church. Yet, the ideas it brings up apply to everyone.

Hunger can be negative or positive. It may be a crushing external calamity squeezing the life out of everything for dozens of miles around, or it may be a relentless pulsing force from deep within your soul compelling you to ever greater effort over ever increasing barriers. It could even be that growl in your gut just before you bite into that delicious steak.

The Apostle Paul was instructed to be hungry in Phillippians 4:12.

Philippians 4:12 (KJV) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Anything God tells you to do is positive. It may not be positive going in or going through but all God’s commands produce great blessing when they are obeyed. Paul was commanded by Jesus Christ to be full and to be hungry, to abound and to suffer needs. That tells me God has a plan when we are hungry and needing something. We also must know how to be full and to have an abundance, but that is a story for another time. Paul was expected to hunger for something. He had to go without something for a time to obey what God told him in Philippians 4:12. God was instructing the senior leader of His new Church something we all need to learn. It is possible for you to be hungry yet be in the center of God’s will for your life. It is possible to suffer great need yet God be pleased with your obedience and thankful attitude even when your needs go seemingly unnoticed and unmet.

The Physical Aspect of Hunger

The negative aspect of hunger is usually associated with the external version. Famine and drought affect millions of people every year. Children cannot go to school because they must help their parents search for food, or beg for food, or look for work. Starving and malnourished children are never God’s will! I heard about a family that searched all day for fresh water. If they couldn’t get any they drank seawater. Can you imagine walking barefoot all day in 100⁰ heat with no food or water and come home to a warm glass of seawater?

Hunger is a powerful force. Physical hunger can drive people to eating their own children. There are many stories of cannibalism when people are stranded in impossible situations. The Bible records several famines, some with horrific consequences. This is the extreme of course but it illustrates the overwhelming power of hunger.

2 Kings 6:29 (NASB95) “So we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”

Two women living in the same home were so desperate for food they agreed to eat their own children! My heart aches for the torment they were going through. If you are hungry enough, you will do anything to satisfy that hunger. Death stalks the hungry until life is replenished. Hunger in our bodies was designed by God. Hunger fulfills divine purpose. When our bodies hunger it is a signal that our reserves are dwindling. Hunger prompts us to re-fuel and re-charge to maintain optimum performance. In healthy people it is normal to be hungry every day. And God promises to satiate our hunger every day. Jesus commanded us to ask our Father for life-giving good every day.

Matthew 6:11 (NASB95) Give us this day our daily bread.

Here is another promise God made to you and I about satisfying every possible hunger we could have.

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

There is no doubt in my mind that God is fully committed to satisfying our hunger. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our redemption from sin and death includes erasure of all bondage and abundant provision of all our needs. Even though God has promised to satisfy our hunger He also said it is good to be hungry. I think we need to be careful about how we satisfy our hunger, and what we satisfy it with.

Fear of hunger and lack causes many to overeat. Thinking their supply is inadequate they get as much as they can when they can. Hey, we all enjoy eating food! It becomes an issue in God’s sight when we do not trust Him to provide for us. In my experience the people who rarely hunger for food are among the furthest from God. Could it be they are too full for God?

The Spiritual Aspect of Hunger

Natural patterns point to spiritual reality. Physical things have parallels in the spirit realm. The kingdom of darkness is a twisted perverted version of God’s kingdom. If physical food satisfies physical hunger, what do you think satisfies heart hunger? There is a hunger that has nothing to do with an empty stomach. There is a hunger that originates within that is just as powerful in a positive way as a famine that kills children. Just as one may hunger for many kinds of food in a material sense, there are many things your heart may hunger for. And just like there is a positive and negative application of physical hunger, there are positive and negative hungers of the heart.

1 John 2:16 (NKJV) For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Our carnal desires will bring us into sin if we follow them. Lust (and greed and envy) are, in a sense, perverted forms of hunger. Just because you want something does not mean you should have it. Just because it is important in your heart does not mean it is right in God’s heart. We can choose to do things in a carnal fleshly selfish manner, or we can choose to do things being directed and supported and guided by God. There is a right form of hunger and a wrong form of hunger. Here is a list of things that happen when we follow the wrong type of heart hunger.

Galatians 5:19–21 (NKJV) 19) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

These activities reveal those satisfying themselves selfishly. Lust is all about me and what I want. Love is all about the very best possible outcome for the other person. Jesus Christ dying for you and me-was that lust on His part, or love? Lust spares no expense to get what it wants and tramples on everyone else to get it. Love spares no expense to get what it wants, and gives itself to get it. God doesn’t lust for us! God has no unrighteous unhealthy motivations for any of His actions. God cannot lust anything or anyone! God LOVES. God was so hungry for you He gave Himself to get you.

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is true and righteous heart hunger. If you lust someone or something, you take it. You take it at any cost and without regard for the effects of your behavior. But if you love someone, truly and genuinely love them, you will give yourself to win them. God loves every person but He will not make them love Him. Lust makes people do things they do not want to do (think of rape victims, abusive spouses or bosses, bullies).

The correct and best type of hunger is the hunger for God Himself. Not for His blessings, not for His mercy. Not for His wisdom, or miracles, or healing, or anything else He may provide. The purest and most profitable hunger is the passion for Him. There are many good things our heart can hunger for, but careful thought will divulge the secret that all those good things can be obtained by seeking the Lord, not those good things. Seeking God first ensures you are grounded and anchored firmly. You get God, and all God can give you, when you put Him first in your life.  If you do pursue the good things without pursuing Him first, you will find yourself in the negative side because your motivations are wrong.

Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Hunger for God brings you the things you hunger for. Not only is God gracious to fulfill your desires, He is the author of them! He wired you for His purposes before He made the world (2 Timothy 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, Ephesians 1:3-12) Only by seeking Him can you receive what He planned for you.

Realize He is the source and author of all good things. Anything worth hungering for comes from God. Anything not from God is not worth hungering for.

James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

When you seek the gift, the good thing you hunger for, you are putting the gift before the giver. On Christmas morning children tear into packages without regard to the giver. Many Christians do God the same way. By seeking His hand you miss His heart. Be sure your hunger is centered in Him. You do this by spending time with Him, in His Word, in fellowship, in prayer, in worship.

Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

Righteousness is God’s personal state of being. He is perfectly right. All His thoughts are right, true, pure, and absolutely accurate. So are His plans and dreams. And so are all His actions. That is the state of being He calls us to. We can only get there by hungering for Him, and then obeying everything He shows us to do. Did you notice the first word of that verse? BLESSED becomes our state of being when we embark on this exciting and fulfilling adventure. God doesn’t just upgrade our heart. He upgrades our entire life!

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

What things are added when we seek Him first? Read the few verses before this one. ALL THE THINGS THE WORLD SEEKS are added to you, when you learn to put Him first in your hunger. That takes care of anything and everything, natural or spiritual, that you could ever hunger for!

Luke 1:53 (NKJV) He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.

Psalm 107:9 (NKJV) For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Always Be Hungry

For me, this meant I should eat only enough to satisfy the hunger. I believe God has a personal care plan for everyone. This plan covers our physical and mental health, our spiritual health, our social health, and our financial health. In response to this word from the Lord I have adopted intermittent fasting as one way to be hungry for food longer. That is one way I am working on “keeping my body under” (1 Corinthians 9:27). I am cutting things from my diet, walking more, being more aware of my physical condition.

On the spiritual portion I have ramped up my Bible reading and study. I meditate regularly on selected verses. I use a long list of scriptures for a “calling-those-things-that-be-not-(yet)-as-though-they-were” declaration of what I believe and am believing for. I am more determined than ever to walk by faith. I am learning the love walk. I pray in tongues every morning and throughout the day. I fellowship with our Father daily. I say these things not to impress anyone, but to be accountable to God and to my readers. If God did tell me to “always be hungry”, and I share that publicly, then you have a right to hold me accountable to “always be hungry”.

I love you all. I pray for you often. I believe what God has planned for you will amaze you, humble you, and overwhelm you. He is SO good to us!

May the BLESSING of the Lord pursue you and overtake you as you develop in hunger for Him first in all things.

Always be hungry!

Vic Rhodes

Prayer for Repentance and Salvation.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Saviour, I invite you to ask Him into your heart. If you knew the Lord but have not been hungering for Him I invite you to consider your ways and repent. He is faithful and righteous to wipe your slate clean when you confess your sin to Him! (1 John 1:9)

1 John 1:9 (NASB95) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He gave His life for you, and you honour Him when you give your life for Him. It is the right thing to do!

1 Corinthians 6:20 (AV) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

You must give yourself to God for Him to come into your life and help you change. He will not force you! Ever. But oh! The joy and peace and hope He gives you!

Romans 12:1–2 (NKJV) 1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

You must acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord, and you must believe He was resurrected from the dead by the Father.

Say this prayer out loud.

Heavenly Father I turn to you and acknowledge You as the Almighty God, eternal and sovereign over all. I have been rebellious, selfish, and deceived trying to live without You. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died on the cross to redeem me from death and sin, and that He rose from the dead, alive forever with You. I ask you to forgive me of all my sin, known and unknown. Please come into my life as my Lord and my Saviour. Thank you for forgiving me, and redeeming me from sin. I choose to trust You and put You first in every area of my life. I will love You and serve You with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my resources, for the rest of my life, beginning right now. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!

If you prayed this to the Lord, please let me know! I have some resources to share with you, and will help you on your journey with the Lord.