Three Major Spiritual Distractions Are Now Behind Us!
1) Our spiritual pride restraining us from truly comprehending the greatness of God, 2) The burdens we carry and the emotions they produce must be released to Our Lord, 3) Allowing our “mighty “me” to dominate the driver’s seat.
When these three major spiritual distractions are cast aside, there is only one major focus in our life—God! Our Lord Jesus Christ, God Our Father, and the Holy Spirit each desire to make themselves more fully known to us. The fourth Beatitude is all about allowing God to fill us with Himself and coming to a greater and growing knowledge of Who He is, what He has done for us, andwhy He had to resort to such a painful price for His only Son.
Righteousness is God’s Word
We are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. How do we define righteousness?—it is difficult in English; however in Spanish it is translated as “justice” making it much easier to understand. This Beatitude leads us to God’s “wavelength” about His exacting standard of holiness and justice. Justice is getting what we DESERVE as sinners. God’s Word also reveals His Mercy—NOT getting what we deserve as sinners. Yet God even exceeds His own mercy to give us grace—giving us what we DO NOT deserve. And He voluntarily decided to do to make this possible! Jesus is the face of grace!
How do we come to this deep knowledge about God? –from His Word. God opens up our heart and our mind with His Word.
The Written Word
God’s written Word is the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah portrays a salivating picture of the Word: “I did find his Word, and I ate them, and found it sweet as honey. Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” (Jeremiah 15:16) We must truly and deeply digest the Word of God to find spiritual and emotional nourishment through the “sweetest” investigation. Thus we will fathom the depth and perfection of his holy righteousness and the magnificent treasures freely endowed to us by Jesus Christ.
On the eve of his betrayal, Jesus shared with his disciples in John 14:21, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will disclose myself to him.” You can’t really come to really know God and Jesus intimately without knowing His Word. The submission of our hearts to God’s commandments is our primary expression of love to him. And a humble and meek heart is the most responsive to the transforming power of the Word.
Shortly after feeding the multitude, Jesus proclaimed in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” As we saturate ourselves in God’s Written Word, and the very Word himself, Jesus Christ, it is revealed even further to us! The more we discover about righteousness, the more our souls will become enlightened and enlarged to a greater realization of all that Christ has accomplished for us!
There are giant treasure troves of righteousness in God’s written Word and in the Living Christ. From the written Word, lead by the Holy Spirit, we will absorb great spiritual truths. Yet righteousness is also dynamically attained in our daily relationship with Jesus Christ who reveals significant spiritual realities to us in our everyday experiences. We must hunger and thirst after both Words!
Both Words becomes our world from this point forward in our quest through the remaining Beatitudes. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to know God’s justice—those who possess an insatiable appetite for God, not just as he is revealed in the Scriptures, but also to experience him in a deeply personal way each and every day.
Maintain a Stay Hungry Diet
Jesus promises that this passionate hunger and thirst for goodness and for holiness will be filled. We will not be left disappointed, distraught, or deprived. The result of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is not just being filled, but it is experiencing an overflowing fattening from God’s holiness and goodness.
In the Bible, Jesus declared that his true believers must eat his flesh and drink his blood, signifying the sacrificial price he had to pay for our sin. He desires that we comprehend this great mystery, which will become the principal driving force in our spiritual pilgrimage. Our understanding of Christ’s sacrifice is inextricably linked to the depth of our passion, purpose, and path of life here on earth.
We are as baby birds in a nest, straining upward with hearts stretched wide open, starving for heavenly knowledge. Behold, the Word of God comes and fills us, more satisfyingly than we ever dreamed possible. We feast upon his Word with an earnest desire and effort to digest each morsel and passage. “He loves those who pursue righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9b).
In the Land of Beatitudes, after having “submitted “ ourselves to the peaks of the Mirrored Mountains, we now encounter a ridge leading up to even higher ground. We proceed upward along the Ridge of Righteousness where a virtual smorgasbord of spiritual fruits lines our path. We discover that each delicacy is an already familiar verse, but we have never tasted and experienced it to its true fullness and meaning. Towering trees also abound, heavily laden and inviting our indulgence. A crystal-clear stream runs through as well, offering eternal refreshment.
Be constant in your desire to understand the Word. Blessed are those who daily delve into it with a desperate desire to know him more deeply. They will!
Thoughts for meditation:
- What attribute of God’s righteousness has He revealed to you today?
- How has God’s Word changed your life today?