In my post yesterday, Gathering and Scattering, I spoke about the growth of the church in China, and into our need to be obedient to sharing Jesus. I referenced Jesus’ words, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matt 12:30) It speaks into our choice daily to choose if we are for Jesus and share his Gospel, or remain silent. I am still at the Prayer Summit, and n my time of prayer I was meditating on how I can help instill in ODC’s DNA a desire and a hunger for sharing the Gospel. During a prayer session this afternoon the Beatitudes were read and the Lord spoke to me in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Jesus speaks into this hunger and thirst for him and his righteousness I was mediating on.
As I meditated on this it struck me, “How do I instill a DNA of a hunger and thirst for Jesus into a community that has never hungered or thirst before?” This illustration worked great for Jesus in his context, because almost all of those he was speaking to knew and had experienced many times true hunger and thirst. It was part of their daily lives. They had experienced the true desperation for something to eat or drink, like their life depended on it. How many reading this post have experienced long periods of true hunger and thirst. I never have. Yes, on my mission trip to Southern Darfur there were days we did not eat, and I was hungry and thirsty, but I knew it was temporary. And I have have fasted for many times for various lengths of days and was hungry (like now), but it was intentional, food was available around me if I chose to eat it. There was no desperation, life-threatening drive in me to seek out food and water. Again, most of those reading this letter, have never felt this true desperation in hunger and thirst. We do not know how to relate to it.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” But what would that mean if he was speaking to a crowd who were already blessed materialistically and satisfied, like us? We in our comfort and materialism are already satisfied! We don’t know how hunger and thirst for food, so we sure don’t know how to hunger and thirst for Jesus! And then to go another step further and to hunger and thirst for others to know Jesus. We lack true desperation and true urgency.
So How do I lead and instill a hunger and thirst for Jesus in a community that has never experienced hungered and thirsted? Lead them the to experience the authentic Jesus. Lead them into a place where through the interaction of the Holy Spirit with their Spirit they will Like Saul, have a Road to Damascus experience and encounter Jesus. That experienced changed the identity of Saul to Paul. It is actual holy, paradigm shattering, identity changing encounters with Jesus that create a hunger and a thirst for more of him. More Jesus, more righteousness, more of a heart that breaks for the lost. Where they “Taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8) and experience “Our God is a consuming fire. (12:29). Where hear Jesus and experience Jesus calling out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)
Leading people to experience the actual, living Jesus in a real tangible way so that the good news of Christ is not just “The Gospel story” but “their Gospel story” is my calling. And everyone of you who have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”
I have not done this before, but I want to invite you and your friends to two events this week that I hope will lead you to encounter Jesus.
Prayer Walking tonight 6:30pm
The Gathering Friday night 7:00pm.
Please share your reflections in the comment box below.