How Do You Know You Are Hungry?

(given during the night of prayer at 2:00 AM)

What tells you that you are hungry? Why are you hungry? We become hungry either by habit or by exertion. Brother Zack Johnson encourages the listener to make a connection between physical hunger and spiritual hunger, drawing lessons from his recent discharge from the Army as a conscientious objector. Just as physical energy exertion is needed for physical hunger we need to be spiritually exerting ourselves to increase our spiritual hunger. A lack of spiritual hunger is a symptom of spiritual health problems. How does your life prove you are hungry?

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In the words of Francis of Assisi when he met Brother Dominic on the road to Umbria, “Hi.” It’s one of my favorites.

So in order for a member of the US Military to become a contentious objector, they have to prove three things.

  • The first thing they have to prove is that they have a stance; that they believe in something.
  • The second thing that they have to prove is that they are sane, that they are not crazy; basically, mentally healthy.
  • And the third things that they have to prove is that they are sincere, that they are not using a loophole in contentious objection to leave the military.

And so it was 2017, and I was a second lieutenant in the Air Force, and I had been convinced through reading the Bible – I can talk a lot about this – that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was the constitution of the Christian life. So I decided: you know what? I’m crazy. I’m gonna turn in this package, and I’m gonna see what happens to me. So I decided to leave the Air Force and so I went through step one and I had to meet with a chaplain to prove that I had a stance, to prove that Christians couldn’t use violence. And so the chaplain looked at me and said, “You’re crazy; you really think you can’t take an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth?”

And I said “Man, that’s what I believed my whole life, I promise you. That’s why I was a Christian my whole life, but now somebody just walked me through the Bible and showed me some truth.”

He said, “Nah, I get where you’re coming from, but at the end of the day, I’m gonna take teeth and I’m gonna take bones to protect my brothers.”

I said, “I hope you don’t take my teeth.”

He said, “I understand.” Alright, so I passed the first test. I was religious.

And then came the second test, which I think was the more intimidating test of the two. I had to prove my sanity in front of a mental health specialist. Has anybody ever – has anybody ever been to a psyche ward or something like that? I’m kidding. And so, it was a three-hour long interview and the question that stood out to me most – this man, he wouldn’t shake my hand. He looked at me and said, “You have fifteen minutes to answer the following question: ‘How do you know that you are hungry?’ Take fifteen minutes to answer that question, and I’m not going to interject.”

So I want all of you – I know it’s a little bit late – turn to the person next to you and tell them the thing that came to your mind. How do you know that you are hungry?

Did anyone hear anything interesting? Shout out if you heard something interesting or if you came up with something interesting.

“My stomach hurts.”

“When sardines start tasting good.” Ok, I haven’t heard that one yet.

Any other ones? How do you know that you are hungry? It’s an interesting question. Sardines… hunger… alright, so I remember exactly what I said, and I really didn’t know if there was a right answer to this. I could have been put on the stop and this guy could have deemed me crazy based on what I was saying, and so I was pretty nervous. So I said, “I know I’m hungry because I eat food.” That’s pretty good, right? That’s pretty basic. I said, “I know I’m hungry, because if I haven’t eaten in a certain amount of time that you know, there’s a certain component in that hunger equals time since I last ate. So internally, we kinda have this concept of hunger. You check in with yourself and you say, it’s been a while since you last ate. And I said, “My stomach sends electrical signals to my brain.” I know that. And the last one was, I use the bathroom, that’s how I know that I’m hungry; it’s been a certain amount time.

And so hunger – it’s one of these analogies that’s so useful to us in the Christian walk because it’s something we experience so often. How many of you have ever experienced hunger in your lives? Hope everybody raises your hands; you’re all human. Perfect. And this is why Jesus is such a genius when He starts teaching us about the most valuable things in life. He pins them to the things we most often experience. So in Matthew 5:6, does anybody remember what Matthew 5:6 says? It’s a beatitude. It says:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

So Jesus, you know, He’s linking our physical world to our spiritual world in a very powerful way here, and He’s saying, “Hey, you have to hunger for the spiritual things as you do for the physical things.” So we get from Jesus that hunger is actually a spiritual thing. A longing for something that no food or drink will ever satisfy.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

In a sermon series through the book of Matthew, a man named Finny Kuruvilla, he fellowships with me out in Boston, he defines righteousness in that verse as this: “righteousness: a covenant faithfulness that displays itself through attitude and action.” “A covenant faithfulness that displays itself through attitude and action.”

So let me ask you a question: Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness in the same way that you do a delicious meal? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness the same way that you do when you get in line for the cafeteria? How many of us have our daily schedules built around our feeding schedule? I would say most of us. It is something we are deeply attached to, and it drives our life.

So, this mental health specialist; it rings so clear in my mind. I gave my answer and I spent three hours with him, and he looked at me and he said, he said, “Alright, I’ll see you later.” And I tried to shake his hand, and he said, “I don’t shake people’s hands.” And I was like, “Ok.” I thought it was kinda strange. And I said “Did I pass?” He said, “You’re an anxious person, but I know you’re not crazy.” I said, “What did I say?” And he said, “I’m not going to tell you.

So I come up here stamped by the government as sane. So you can believe everything I tell you moving forward here.

So, if Christ were to appear to you right now in front of you, and He were to ask you, checking on your spiritual sanity, and He ask, “Hey Clark, hey Peter, how do you know you’re hungry? How do you know you’re hungry?” What would you say to Him? You had fifteen minutes to answer this question before Christ. I know that all of you did it with food. Could you say to Christ in the spiritual realm the same things that you could do with food? Could you look Him in the face and say, “My King, I know I’m hungry because I had an insatiable appetite to serve You and to fill my purpose.” Could you point to your life and tell Him what you did, what you did that displayed your hunger, or would you be caught speechless, speechless in the moment if Jesus were to ask you that same question, “How do you know you’re hungry? How does your life prove it?”

So my question for you this night is, “Are you hungry?” And if you are hungry, “Why are you hungry, and how are you spending your calories? How are you spending your calories?”

Another interesting thing about hunger is that it can be driven by two things. It can be driven by habit, and it can be driven by what types of activities you choose to participate in. So your decisions actually influence your hunger. So, let me get at these two types of hunger.

Hunger by habit: How many of you, when you wake up, feel like you’re hungry? Most of us, if we’re used to a regular breakfast, we feel like we’re hungry out of habit? How many of you feel hungry around noon, around lunch or dinner time? Right? How many of you feel hungry around dinner time? So, we’re hungry because we’ve been trained to be hungry at certain times. And this is a type of hunger that I feel is very dangerous. Because you’re body doesn’t actually need the calories. Your body is telling yourself, it’s basically an existence of hunger. You can eat a buffet at night, and wake up starving the next morning. You don’t need any of the food. So you can have a hunger that’s driven just by your existence, by just trying to keep you alive and keep you there.

The other type of hunger is driven by your exertion, by your exertion. So let me explain myself. How many of you have worked really, really hard, just physically, and been so hungry because your body is craving the energy that it’s expelled? Did anyone ever experience that type of hunger? Exactly. Which one is more rewarding? Obviously, the second one is more rewarding, the hunger that is driven by exertion. The hunger that is not driven just by existence, but the hunger that is driven by exertion.

When I was quite young, I heard someone give a talk about brushing your teeth, and their point was this: I’m going to try to link a spiritual thought in your mind in something you do every day for the rest of your life. So they said, “Every time you pick up a toothbrush and you brush your teeth, I want you to picture the sin that you participated in, and I want you to picture yourself wiping it as you brush your teeth.” And I kid you not, every time I pick up my toothbrush, I think of this self-examination. And I don’t know how they did it, but I think twice a day just because of a toothbrush, that I need to confess my sins before God.

Jesus, when He gives us the Sermon on the Mount, He’s telling us every time you experience physical hunger, I want you to examine your spiritual state. So He’s doing it even more, and I don’t know what I can say to you to make you do that, what I can say to myself that every time I think about food, I should be thinking about my hunger and thirst for righteousness. And if we can’t think about that more than we think about food, I think we have things backwards.

Ok, so now I’m going to try to link your physical hunger to you thinking about your spiritual state of hunger. And it’s a high bar to hit, but I hope you can spend your time if I miss it, if I miss the mark, and I can’t do it, and I can’t convince you that every time you think about hunger, you should be thinking about righteousness, that you should be spending some more time there.

So are you hungry, and do you have an appetite?

So here we are at 2:00 AM on a Saturday. I have a hunch that many of you are hungry, spiritually hungry, and if not, there’s no way you would be here, so good on you. This is all good. Having an appetite is a sign of spiritual health and vitality.

How many of you have ever watched someone lose their physical appetite? Has anyone ever seen that? A couple people out here. So I always tell this story, it’s near and dear to my heart. Just over two years ago my family found out that my mom was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. And the months preceding that she had lost her appetite, she wasn’t eating. And all of us intrinsically know that if we don’t have an appetite, something is horribly, horribly wrong. So this is a question that you have to ask yourself every day: are you hungry, and are you hungry for the spiritual things? And if not, it’s a sign that something is horribly wrong and not having an appetite – what does it lead to? At the end of the day, it will lead to death. And so if you look around you and you saw someone with a fire before, you saw someone enjoying food, and all of a sudden there’s a marked difference, or even a gradual change, what will your reaction be? Will you roll along with it, or will you diagnose it? My family, unfortunately, we weren’t paying attention, and it was too late. The appetite was gone, and the cancer took over as many types of these cancers do, and my mom was gone within twenty-seven days of diagnosis.

So are you paying attention to your spiritual appetite? And if you don’t have a spiritual appetite, what steps are you going to take to increase your spiritual appetite? So, all of you I asked “Have you been hungry before?” and most of you raised your hand. So you’re affirmed to me that you’re human, congratulations. I hope you feel good about yourself; I’ll hand out trophies later for that one. But the next question worth exploring is, once you determine that you have an appetite, what are the reasons are there for hunger? Why is it that you’re hungry?

Number 1: you haven’t eaten. This year I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with fasting. I don’t know if any of you have endeavored in the fasting world. I’d highly recommend it. My roommate and I in Boston set goals for ourselves. We said, alright first time we’re gonna go one day. I was really hungry at the end of one day. No eating. Second time we’re gonna go two days. Third time we’re gonna go three days. And then, we went up to five days on a water fast. And I’m telling you, at the end of that fifth day, I ate the biggest grilled cheese sandwich the world has ever seen. I was very, very hungry. But it’s a very basic point. If you’re hungry and you’re not feeding yourself your maintenance, it’s no surprise that you’re going to continue to be hungry for substance. So, that’s a good check: are you maintaining your spiritual life every day to feed yourself? At a minimum, at a minimum, have you opened your Bible and read one verse and have you spent one minute in prayer with the Lord every day? If you’re not, you’re gonna be hungry.

Another reason why you might be hungry, you’re not eating things of substance. How many of you have ever gone on a celery diet? That’s not a thing of substance. But my one story that sorta breaks my heart: I spent two years at a place called the Air Force Academy, and I quit that and spent a year in Mozambique, Africa, that’s southeast Africa. And one of my just was to go and do a nutritional assessment on a famine zone. The World Health Organization, they have all these guidelines to determine if there’s a famine somewhere and malnourishment, and so I took a team of people and we went around to an area of famine. And there’s nothing more heartbreaking that actually seeing a mother who can’t feed her children out of sheer lack of resources. So what I saw was, in these areas was the moms were scraping tree bark off the trees and into a bowl to feed to her kids so that their hunger would go away. Can you imagine not having food out of choice? I think some of us – I put myself through fasting, and these people don’t have any food. So if we aren’t feeding ourselves foods of substance, we’re gonna get hungrier and hungrier.

In my experience leading up to meeting a faithful church community, I visited sixteen different churches in the Boston area. I was in grad school, and I would go from church to church to church to church, just looking for consistency and substance. And that drove me at one point – is anyone familiar with the LDS church? I was so curious about the LDS church, ’cause the people there said they believe one thing and they actually carried through with it. If they said they didn’t believe in alcohol, and they didn’t drink alcohol. Wow, that’s a mind-blowing idea to me in the churches that I had seen. And at the end of the day I was sitting there thinking, I know their doctrine’s off, but is this the only group of people that will teach things of substance? And I was looking everywhere. In the liberal cities of the world, you will find people throw the Bible under the table and just stomp on it, and intrinsically I knew that was wrong, but there was nothing, there was no other place I knew where to go. I was literally going from church to church, not getting anything of substance, and I was begging God like, “Please give me something I can chew on that will satisfy my hunger.”

Alright, and then this third type of hunger. I touched on: “you’re not eating” and “you’re not eating foods of substance.” The third one is, “You’re eating out of habit, to stay alive, and to exist.” This in my mind is a dangerous place to be, spiritually, because all of us know that we have to maintain our spiritual walk, our spiritual hunger in order to just get our daily existence. But how many of you are coming here not to go do something afterwards? Is there anyone here that is just coming to sorta satisfy yourself, and then to leave and not let it reach into other lives? I hope nobody. I hope nobody is here just be fed out of habit, and not to go on after that.

Because the fourth one is “You’re hungry because you’re exerting energy.” “You’re hungry because you’re exerting energy.” When I was in the Air Force, we went through something called SERE training, which is also known as survival training. And what they do is they stick a group of soldiers in the forest for about four weeks, and they give you one meal. They give you one meal to survive on and they make you hike around twelve miles every day throughout those four weeks. And, let me tell you, I was 200 pounds going into the training, and we examined our bodies every once in a while, and you could see our ribs protruding week by week as the training went on. And we were starving. I remember in these little meal packages, they were wrapped in plastic, they had little condiment packages we were saving, and it was toward the end of the training, and all of us were sitting there exhausted, and I remember having a package of ketchup. It was my last piece of food, and I was leaning against this tree, and I remember opening this ketchup and just squeezing it out into my mouth and just saying, “Oh, this tastes so good. It’s the best tasting food I ever had.” But it was also the last thing I had. And why were we hungry? It’s because we were exerting ourselves daily. It’s because we wanted food because of our exertion, not because of our habits.

So each one of us, we have to examine our own hunger. Is your hunger from existence, or is your hunger driven by exertion? There’s a certain amount of spiritual hunger that we need to chase down truth, but at some point, what’s it worth if we’re not exerting ourselves to go on a mission? And not just any mission, but the greatest mission of all time. This mission is given to us by Jesus Himself: “Go make disciples of all nations.” “…of all nations.”

So has anybody here helped somebody move a house, or move from one place to another? And have you been promised some sort of food compensation? Yeah, “Come help me move, I’ll buy you pizza” – it’s classic. If you were the person in charge of the move, would you buy that person the pizza before the move or after? Right? Isn’t that an interesting point that if we’re going to increase our spiritual hunger, we actually should be exerting ourselves before if we want to increase our appetite. If we want to not increase our appetite, we should eat the pizza first, and then the move will never happen. You see what I’m getting at? If we’re not exerting ourselves, we can’t expect our mission for the mission to be accomplished.

It was December 24, 2016, so this was about four months before I decided to turn in my application as a conscientious objector, and I was in my parent’s house in Minnesota surrounded by my family, and all of them had supported me in my military walk. We came from a missionary background. I remember looking at my family and telling them, “I’m leaving the military because I don’t believe that it’s what Jesus has for us in this life. I don’t think you can follow Jesus and be in the military and use violence.” And you can imagine all sorts of questions started being fired at me. And I was very intimidated. And I loved them. Who doesn’t love their family? So I grabbed my Bible. And I remember flipping through it and I remember trying to explain to them all these things, and I ran into the bathroom, and I remember just being in the bathroom trying to consume the Word again, trying to consume it so I could go back and share truth.

And there’s a point of desperation where you jump into sharing God’s Word, that makes you just hungry and ambitious for truth that you would take your Bible in the bathroom so that people won’t see you so you can go back out and share with them. Have any of you been so desperate for truth that you’re take you Bible in the bathroom to memorize it only to go back out and share it? I think about that moment a lot. If we truly love people, our exertion for them will exhibit itself in our spiritual hunger. So which do you think is gonna to cause you to grow more: if you have no one to share the Gospel with, or if you have somebody to share the Gospel with? Which one? If you have someone to share the Gospel with, you’re automatically training, you’re automatically increasing your hunger in order to go share with them. Chasing others puts us into this high gear and it actually forces you to get your personal holiness together at the same time.

I often think about this conundrum about “I’m scare to go share with this person, or anybody, because I don’t know everything.” Has anybody faced that fear? I face it all the time, and I still hang around people, and I think to myself – you know, there’s a paradox there that in order to know truth, you have to be exerting yourself. So at some point in time, all of us are gonna have to take a leap of faith.

We were talking about the Church Planters’ Forum this morning; there’s was a man in Boston – guess what the question he asked the atheist on the street was, in order to share the Gospel with him? Was anyone here? “Are you a Christian?” That led to a man’s baptism, asking a man on the street. “Are you a Christian?” led to a baptism, led to one soul saved. That’s all it took. And in the journey up to that baptism, Clark can affirm this, when you’re interacting with somebody that’s not in the faith, your own appetite gets driven higher and higher and higher.

How many of you have ever debated a topic with a fairly smart person? Any of you? How many of you prepare hours beforehand ‘cause you know that they’re gonna put you on your heels if you don’t, and just destroy you? There’s a similar concept with us going on the mission to make disciples. As we pursue others, our own strength is gonna be increasing higher and higher and higher.

I talked about being part of the Air Force Academy; when I was a freshman around eighteen years old, I weighed 165 pounds, and the average weight of the males at the Air Force was 195 pounds. I felt very small, so I – this isn’t a perfect analogy – so I approached my hallmate, and I said, “Hey, I really want to gain weight. Can you help me put on some weight, and maybe put on some muscle so I can be a little stronger?”

You know his advice to me was? “I want you to eat a jar of peanut butter every day.”

“A jar of peanut…!”

“Not just a small jar of peanut butter, a big jar.” And he said, “I will get you a jar of peanut butter every day, and your task is to eat it and to finish it every day.” So day one, he sets the jar of peanut butter, I take two spoonfuls, and I’m done.

“I can’t do it.”

He said, “Alright, we’ll try again tomorrow, and I’m gonna take you to the gym too, this time, and we’re gonna do some exercise.” Day one.

Alright, next day I tried eating it, I got maybe three spoonfuls. Rinse and repeat that method for a month – guess what, I was eating a jar of peanut butter every day, easily. Easily – no problems asked, because of the calories you’re burning in your physical life.

So as you increase your exertion, you actually increase your appetite, and you get stronger and stronger and stronger. And many people will affirm this. If you want to get stronger, you have to exert yourself. There’s no games. And it’s the same in the Christian walk as we go and exert ourselves to find others.

So one of the – taking it back to the beginning of the story – one of the main things that the military threatened me before I got out was, they said “Alright, let’s say all of this goes through, this whole story. It all goes through and works out, you’re gonna owe the government half a million dollars.”

And I said “Half a million dollars, where am I gonna pull that out?”

And so the mental health specialist, he said – that was one of his questions at the end – he said, “Are you sure you want to go through with this? You will be in poverty for the rest of your life. You won’t want to get married. You won’t want to do any traveling. Do you want to go through with this?”

And I said, “Yeah, of course I do. Jesus is commanding us.”

And so I turned in my application, and I got stationed in LA, and at the end of the summer, about eight months later I was sitting in my office, I get this email that said, “Your application has been approved by the secretary of the Air Force.” The secretary of the Air Force sits in the White House; they’re appointed by the president. So I had been waiting for this email for so long, so I could hardly contain my joy, I printed it off, and was walking into my boss’ office and I was like, “Ma’am, it went through!”

She was very supportive, started crying, “I’m so happy for you.” She was a civilian, there’s some civilians in the military. So she said, “I need to walk you to your military supervisor’s office so he can be in charge of getting you out of the Air Force.”

So she walked me down, and sat me down with the lieutenant colonel; he was a Christian man, he had a Bible on His desk, and he had my application printed out. And he looked at me and he said, “Alright, I know you got approved, but I just want you to know that at the end of the next twelve days you will walk away with half a million dollars in debt, but you won’t have to wear the uniform, and your commitment will be over.

So I said, “Yes, sir, I’ll do whatever you tell me.” And twelve days later I had completed all the checklist to get out, and I walked into his office, and this man’s eyes were red, his hair was all messed up, his Bible was open, and my application was all over, and he looked at me and said, “I tried everything in my power to give you this debt, and I can’t figure it out. I don’t think it’s real.”

So I’m sitting there thinking, I’m like smiling inside, trying not to show it. He said, “You’re free to leave. Call this number if you have any questions about this debt.” And he let me go; I took that number and ripped it in half. I didn’t want to memorize it, never wanted to call it again.

And here I am before you, a free man, with a stance to follow Jesus, deemed sane by the government – I don’t think I’m crazy – and sincere. I seek to make disciples everywhere through any means and I pray that all of you can be doing the same.

But there’s a warning sign that I wanted to give. You have to stay hungry, and you have to stay exerted. It’s not all a one-time thing. When I first started my application to leave the military, I looked at Finny, who is a good friend through the process, and I said, “Hey, like, I’ll come work at Sattler, you don’t even have to pay me. I don’t need money. I’m sold out.”

And I was in front of my family, I was in front of my friends, I had my Bible out, I was Mr. Evangelist. And two years later I think about myself regards my testimony, and I go back home, I’m not in the bathroom anymore studying the Bible for my family. I was just thinking about this tonight. What is it that we have to do to keep our appetites up? And it is this exertion. It doesn’t come naturally, and these questions we’re gonna have to ask ourselves every day of our lives. Life is a grind, and we have to continue to pursue it. I used to stay up, I remember, when I made the decision to leave the military, I stayed up long nights praying, reading, I would even shadow box in my room by myself talking to Jesus. “Jesus, is this real? Is this what you want me to do?” I haven’t done that in a really long time. So I think to myself, what do I have to do to increase my own appetite? And I don’t know what it might be in your lives, but every time that you have a meal, or that you get hungry, I want you to think about your hunger and thirst for righteousness. I want you to think about your hunger and thirst for righteousness.

And then, I’ll just ask two last questions here. “What’s the worst meal…?” – maybe you can turn and ask your neighbor – “what’s the worst food story or the worst meal you’ve ever had, or the worst story you had with food?” Take thirty seconds and tell your neighbor your worst encounter with food.

Alright, any good answers? Worst encounter with food? Let’s hear some.

Eating what? Aparagus? Oh, ok.

Right here: food poisoning. That’s bad.

One more example, right here? Ok.

We all have really bad examples of food. My least favorite food story, I say this with a little bit of a shamed face, my favorite food in the whole world is pumpkin pie. I live and breathe for pumpkin pie. And I don’t know why. May because it only comes out a couple times a year. But my mom had made me a whole pumpkin pie for myself one Thanksgiving, and do you know what I did? I took that pumpkin pie alone to my room after Thanksgiving meal, and I ate it all. And I was remember sitting there thinking my stomach was going to explode. And I went and I threw up my favorite food. And I was thinking to myself, “What have I done? What have I done?”

But isn’t it the same thing with the spiritual journey that if we are selfish with our own spiritual hunger and we’re hoarding it, there’s no reward in the end. Even with the best food you could possibly imagine, if you’re hoarding it for yourself, there’s no reward in the end.

So take thirty seconds. What’s your best experience with food? Alright, take thirty seconds with your neighbor. What’s your best experience with food? Everyone has to tell your neighbor; you don’t have a choice.

Alright, what’s your three best experiences with food? Just Chinese food? Alright, good enough.

Alright, anybody else, best experience with food? Homemade custard. That sounds really good.

One more? Meatballs and potatoes, and… I don’t know what that is, but I want to.

Ok, my favorite food story, my favorite food moment. I grew up; I was born and raised in Ecuador. I spent eighteen years there. And Ecuador is a country with a lot of mountains. And my friends and I got in a little bit of a season where we’d climb mountains. And have any of you ever hiked and packed food, and when you pull that food out and you make it after exerting yourself, it’s the best feeling eating food after you’ve exerted yourself. So, my friends and I hiked up, I think we were at 16000 feet, which is really high, we were like gasping for breath. This was base camp. And we pulled out dehydrated mashed potatoes and tuna out of a bag; it doesn’t sound super good. But that day had been so grueling. And I remember sitting there with my four friends after just accomplishing what we thought was a great feat, and we were eating, and all of us looked at each other and said, “Food has never tasted so good.” And we were smiling, we were crying, we were patting each other on the back, it was amazing. Best food story.

So the worst food – it’s really interesting – the worst food experienced with a team of people exerting ourselves can turn into the best feeling. Isn’t that interesting? And I think there’s spiritual connections here, too. Did all of you know there’s a Messianic banquet being prepared for us? Did all of you know that? I hope to see all of us there. In this life we’re living to exert ourselves. We’re not here for happiness, unfortunately; it’s nice in the moment but that’s not what we’re here for, it’s not who Jesus is preparing a banquet for. The Messiah is preparing it, and it’s gonna be delivered to the overcomers; the overcomers of this life, the ones who are exerting themselves.

So I’ll read to you in Revelation 19:7-9 it says,

7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

So how do you know you’re hungry, all of you? How do you know you’re hungry? May your hunger be born from your exertion to embark on the greatest mission of all time, to live as a disciple of King Jesus, and for you to do everything you can do to proclaim Him. So go, get some sleep, get hungry, increase your appetite. I pray that your physical hunger will serve as a constant reminder of your hunger and thirst for righteousness. Every time you eat, I want you to ask, “How do I know I am hungry? Am I just existing, or am I exerting myself?” I pray that you will find yourself exhausted, yet clinging to a pack of ketchup, whatever that might be in your life, some form of truth. Smiling to yourself as you long for souls. I pray that you will find yourself clinging to every piece of truth and preparation along the way. May your hunger be contagious, and may Jesus fill you and every soul your hunger spreads to. Amen.

Let me say a prayer: Father, I don’t know how to instill a hunger in us, I just know that we have choice. We have choice tomorrow to go and to find a lost person and to ask them “Are you a Christian? Do you know about Jesus Christ, the Son of God?” I pray that we would make choices in our life which would make us hungry, which would force us to hunger for Your righteousness, Lord, and to thirst for it that we may be filled. Father, you have great promises. Your Son came and gave us so many blessings. Father, don’t let us go another day and trick ourselves into doing spiritual things just for ourselves. Father, we are here to proclaim Your Kingdom. We are here till your Son comes, and prepares the feast which we are promised. Please help us overcome and to be hungry. Not to exist but to exert ourselves. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.