Understanding Spiritual Hunger and Thirst

Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we seek to understand the meaning of spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst. 

And now, sit back and listen to today's message. 

Understanding Spiritual Hunger and Thirst

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled."
Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 6. 

" . . . the hunger for truth is a revelation." 

Brothers and sisters, we shall discuss spiritual hunger and thirst. Sometimes we can better grasp
spiritual truth by using material analogies first. So in keeping with this principle, we shall see how
material hunger and thirst operate within the human body. The material body is a living organism
requiring energy and water in which the chemical reactions necessary for the maintenance of life
takes place. It is a well integrated machine and has mechanisms designed to insure that energy and
water are forthcoming. When food leaves the stomach, impulses are sent to the brain telling it that
the stomach is empty. These impulses are rather weak at the onset of the stomach emptying but
become stronger as time passes, when there's no food to refill the stomach. These impulses create
an urge that we know as hunger. When we eat, the urge dissipates until the stomach becomes empty
again, and the process starts all over again. A similar mechanism exists for thirst. When water in the
body becomes low, an impulse is sent to the conscious mind urging us to drink. This urge gets
stronger and stronger until we satisfy it. But even so these urges are not overpowering, and when
they are not heeded, the body uses another way to conserve energy and water, thus preserving the
precious water supply in the body needed for vital reactions. But when these urges to eat and drink
are continually ignored either deliberately or because of the unavailable supply of food and water,
the urges cease and the body loses all desire for food or water, entering into the valley of death. Thus
we see the urge for material hunger and thirst are two vitals impulses necessary for the growth and
maintenance of the body. 

Likewise are there spiritual urges of analogous components that serve a vital role in the spiritual life
of the individual. And like the material analogy, these urges are necessary for the growth and
maintenance of the spiritual life. They unerringly reflect the nutritional status of the soul. The soul
being a living entity also uses energy for its growth. The soul has been commanded by the Father to
be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. The urge of hunger and thirst for righteousness is
for spiritual perfection, which is experienced in the consciousness of man by a relentless drive for
self mastery, for becoming more than he is. It is a drive for growth and causes a certain relentless
restlessness that cannot be satisfied by any means other than to satisfy the urge for spiritual hunger
and thirst just as in the material example. 

Often times this spiritual urge is misplaced, or an attempt is made to substitute it for something else.
This has caused quite a bit of human suffering and confusion. The net result is to further increase the
intensity of this urge. It is usually a matter of trial and error before the self identifies the purpose of
this spiritual urge. And this surfaces because the self has either consciously or unconsciously failed
to satisfy it. Yes, man has free will and cannot be forced to drink. But he can be made thirsty. The
natural thing to do when there is hunger and thirst is to eat and drink. 

There is a certain spiritual malady associated with one who will not eat or drink spiritually. This
failure short-circuits the whole process of growth and development. And this failure has come about
because the individual has turned his back on the reality of his spiritual nature, either through
deliberate rebellion or through ignorance. Ignorance can and will be corrected. It will be overthrown
by the mercy of the Father because of his great love for his children. We know that there are no
atheists in a fox hole. Most individuals will pray if sufficiently stressed, they will utter the salvaging
words, "Lord have mercy." And the Father responds by giving them the living waters of truth and
the bread of life. But concerning rebellion, the deliberate and conscious refusal to drink and eat
spiritual nourishment, the urge to drink and eat gradually fades away, and the person eventually
experiences spiritual death. 

There are two aspects of this urge: the hunger for truth and the thirst for righteousness. The hunger
for truth is the desire to know what the relationship is between us and God, our Father. This urge is
stimulated when the mortal finds himself in certain ambiguous and trying moral situations, when he
is not sure how to proceed in a given situation, when he needs to be reassured of his status with his
Father. This hunger is satisfied through prayer. It is prayer that reveals the truth and sustains him.
Jesus said, "men ought always to pray and not faint." The thirst for righteousness is the desire for a
righteous character. A righteous character is a character formed in the image of the Father's character.
The thirst for righteousness is no more or less than desire for a character like the Father. Jesus says:
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." 

In summary, we see that the hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness are the unified drives for
perfection in obedience to the Father's command to be perfect. We actualized this command by
responding to the urges of hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness, submitting our will to the
Father's will, as Jesus did. Under the unremitting stimulus of growth sponsored by our angels,
especially after the mortal mind submits to the Father's will, the mortal mind satisfies these urges
by prayer and worship. As moral and spiritual decisions become increasingly difficult, more spiritual
energy is utilized in the growth and stabilization process, requiring greater replacement of the energy
thus utilized as reflected by the increasing need and frequency of prayer and worship. This process
continues on in an endless cycle, and it can never stop until our souls stand in the presence of the
Heavenly Father on Paradise and say, "Yes, my Father, you are just and righteous and I have
complied with your command as my presence here before you testifies!" And the Father replies,
"This is a son in whom I am well pleased." 

This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst.
We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.

Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry 

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Understanding Spiritual Hunger and Thirst