Moving From Survival to Kingdom Living

Part 7-To Fill-up Empty Out

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.                                     Matthew 5:6

If there is any area that the survival thinking robs humanity of the most, it could be in the area of emptiness, hunger and desire.  The end game of the survival instinct is continued existence – survival.  The natural outgrow of this principle is apathy.  When all the thresholds have been met for survival, then the goal becomes to maintain.  The maintenance-mentality soon becomes mindless apathy.  Life has now kicked over into autopilot.  We have our rations, and we can now power down.  Apathy and maintenance are not the pathway to true life.  We must embrace the path of hunger if we are truly going to live.

Emptiness and hunger do not lead to starvation.  Hunger leads to motivation.  You are not motivated to eat until you are hungry.  If a person is not hungry for excellence, then there is no motivation to improve. If they are not hungry for success, then they will not succeed.  If they are not hungry to create, then other things will become a priority. If they are not hungry to solve problems, then they will not solve problems.  If a church is not hungry to grow, or meet needs, or have a community impact, then they will not.

We all know the natural order to this.  The cycle goes like this: hunger leads to eating, eatings leads to being filled.  The sensation of being full wanes which leads to hunger, and the cycles starts again. There are a few variations to this process. When a person eats good things, then their metabolism speeds up, giving them more energy, and making them hungry sooner.  When a person eats bad things, then their metabolism slows down, giving them less energy and making them fat.  The fatter a person gets, the more hungry they become.  The brain tells their stomach that they need to consume enough food to provide energy for the body, but also enough calories to maintain their fat. Ironically, no matter which path a person chooses, they are going to have an increased appetite. Our bodies illustrate this truth to us everyday.   To get full, you must be empty.

The same principle is true on multiple levels mentally and spiritually.  The nature of what you feed yourself, whether good or bad, is going to increase your longing for it.  If you have been feeding on the bad, then you will desire more of the bad.  If you have been eating the good stuff, then your appetite for the good will increase.  This is true, but it is not my main point.

The reality is when you eat mentally and spiritually the more hungry you get.  This cannot happen naturally due to the limitation of our stomach to hold food, but it is true physically over the long term.  Yet mentally and spiritually we do not face these limits.

Due to there being no limits the more one eats the more hungry they become instantaneously. This leads to the bizarre state of being hungry and filled at the same time. The more hungry you are for God, the more filled with God you are.  Being filled with God makes us even more hungry for God.  The more hungry you are for knowledge, the more filled with knowledge you will be, which intensifies the hunger for knowledge.

Hunger leads you to what you are hungry for.  When you are hungry for answers, then you find answers.  Hunger blesses us because it forces us to ask the correct questions.  If you are not hungry, there is no reason to seek.  If you are not seeking, you will not ask the right questions.  The right questions lead you to the right answers.  When you are naturally hungry, you ask, “Where can I get food?”  It is your emptiness that leads you to fullness.  If you are satisfied, then there is no motivation, and without motivation there is no satisfaction.

You never get full until you get empty.  You could paraphrase what Jesus said like this, If one hungers for righteousness, then they are going to ask, “How can I get righteousness?”  When you ask the correct question you will find the correct answer.  Jesus was so confident in this truth and in the hardwiring of humanity; if one asks the right questions, then they will find the right answers.  And in this particular case, Jesus knew that if one asked how they can be righteous, then they would find him. They would find his grace.

Hunger leads to the right questions.  What are the right questions? How do I find what I am looking for? How do I feed my hunger? The right questions improve our life.  Outside of random, but positive accidents, nothing can be improved in life without us asking how each area can be improved.  How can I improve my business?  How can I get a promotion?  How can I increase the quality of my life?  How can I feed all of these kids?  How can I afford to take a vacation? You never get there without hunger.

You pair this with the mind and the spirits ability to never reach capacity, then this leads to a state of being starved and filled simultaneously.  When you think about this you know it to be true.  The most knowledgeable people you know are still the most hungry for learning.  The most spiritual people you know are still the most hungry spiritually.  In the Crazy Kingdom, when you’re full you’re starving and when you’re starving you are full.

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