Christianity 201

June 22, 2012

The Importance of Staying Hungry

Stumbled on a most interesting website the other day, Blessed Economist.  In this recent post Hungry in Christchurch, he summarizes a sermon preached by Bill Johnson in Christchurch, NZ. 

In his sermon of the week, Bill Johnson spoke about hunger. He suggested that we get hungry by eating.

He also spoke of remaining hungry while coming into abundance of blessing. Our challenge is remain hungry while being full of the Spirit.

  • Hunger illustrates humility.
  • Hunger releases a capacity to dream.
  • Hunger cause people to move outside the place of safety.

The Lord is releasing a gift of hunger.

  • The gift of hunger is essential for the next season.
  • The gift of hunger is a gift for people on whom he will pour out a blessing that is bigger than anything has been know before.
  • The gift of hunger allows us to receive the blessing of the Lord, while remaining in the right place.

Bill quoted Ps 107:33-37.

33 He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the springs of water into dry ground;
34 A fruitful land into barrenness,
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

Wickedness causes rivers to run dry and fruitful land becomes a wilderness. The key to understanding this is Luke 1:53.

He has filled the hungry with good things.
but has sent the rich away empty handed.

It is not that God dislikes the rich. He cannot bless those who have become satisfied with what they have and do not remain humble. He takes those who have been blessed and returns them to a place of need, so they can re-discover the source of their blessing, which is hunger. If blessing has caused us to wander he, out of mercy, removes the blessing, so that we will return to the source of our strength.

God blesses those who become hungry. In Psalm 107:35-37 this had happened.

35 He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
36 There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
37 And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
Bill said that Psalm 107:36 is a prophetic decree for this generation.
36 There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place.

The hungry are given the unique privilege of establishing a city.
God is raising up companies of people who cry our constantly, “God, save my city!”

  • The don’t just want individuals saved, they want the systems of the city saved.
  • The want the way people do life to change.
  • They want kingdom values to permeate every aspect of life.
  • They want all interactions, including relationships, business, education impacted by the Spirit.
  • They want everything to be impacted by his divine order.

God will entrust the destiny of the city to the hungry.

  • He wants the hungry to define the DNA of the city.
  • The foundational values will be defined by those who have remained humble, kept connected with the Spirit and the purposes of God.
  • He wants the heart of the city to be shaped by those who have not become complacent and satisfied with what they obtained.
  • He wants the nature of cities defined by hungry people.
  • God will release favour and increase to the hungry.
  • Their voice will impact the destiny of cities.
  • Hungry people change the environment they live in.

The Lord is releasing a grace for remaining hungry while being blessed.

When I heard Bill Johnson’s message, I was stunned, because I remembered a description of the first communion service held when the first English settlers arrived in Christchurch in December 1850. The first ships had arrived at the Port of Lyttleton, but the settlers had not travelled over the hills to the site of the new city. On the Sunday, the settlers met in the second storey of a warehouse on Norwich Quay. The passengers, who had climbed upstairs on a ladder, sat on planks on packing cases. Here is the description of the event recorded in “Canterbury Sketches: Life from Early Days”.

The Psalm for the day, the 22nd, was wonderfully applicable to us. These are the verses I refer to, “And there he setteth the hungry that they may find them a city to dwell in; that they may plant their fruits and increase. He blesseth them so that they multiply exceedingly and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.” It seemed as if the Almighty had given us His blessing on our new life and may we not say on looking back through the long vista of years, that He has blessed many of us abundantly, and made us a prosperous and happy people?

The lectionary reading for that Sunday was Psalm 107 and the reader at the service read the same verses about the hungry establishing the city. So verse 36 is not just a prophecy for our generation, but a prophecy for the city of Christchurch.

The city has been devastated by the earthquake and left empty and barren. God is promising that the future of the city will not be shaped by powerful people who have forgotten him.

The future of the city will be shaped by the hungry. Their voice will have impact on the destiny of the city.

God is promising that the hungry will establish the city. He will bless them and their number will be greatly increased.

He makes the hungry dwell there,
that they may establish a city for a dwelling place.
They sowed.. and planted…
that yielded a fruitful harvest;
he blessed them,
and their numbers greatly increased.

The kingdom of God will be established in Christchurch through people who are hungry for the Spirit and a revelation of the glory of God.