Hungry and thirsty for God

SERMON TOPIC: Hungry and thirsty for God

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 2 May 2021

Topic Groups: COMMITMENT

Sermon synopsis: Psalm 63:1-5. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
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Psalm 63:1-5. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

The Psalmist wrote about thirsting for God.

Psalm 42:1-2.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalm 107:9.

Hungry and thirsty for God.

Isaiah 55:1-11. Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live.

Isaiah 55 is an invitation and a reminder of the futility of life without God.

It states the inability of the things men typically put their trust in, to provide for meaning and satisfaction in life. Things like money, professions, possessions, position, praise, and pleasure.

Deuteronomy 8:3. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the lord.

Are you hungry for God?

Luke 1:53.

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

We have a natural hunger for food that God used to demonstrate a spiritual truth in the desert to the Israelites (that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God)

We have a natural hunger for food that God used to demonstrate a spiritual truth in the desert to the Israelites (that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God)

The Lord used the rock in the wilderness as a type of Christ, struck for us to give us life giving water.

Hunger & Thirst for God.

I Corinthians 10:3-13.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.

Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written:

The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 

The lesson of the wilderness.

Hunger & Thirst for God.

I Corinthians 10:3-13.

They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 

The lesson of the wilderness.

Our typical ways of wickedness are really the product of seeking to quench our thirst by our own man-made cisterns

Jeremiah 2:13.

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

John 4:7-14.

John 4:7-14.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink?..... The Samaritan woman said to him, You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?.... Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.

Only Jesus can satisfy our thirst.

John 4:7-14.

Only Jesus can satisfy our thirst.

John 4:7-14.

Sir, the woman said, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep…. Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. 

Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Note the words of the wonderful song, “Fill my cup Lord” by Richard Blanchard.

Like the woman at the well I was seeking For things that could not satisfy; And then I heard my Saviour speaking: “Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord, Come and quench this thirsting of my soul, Bread of heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more, Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

The woman at the well wasn’t worthy, God is not looking for worthy people, he is looking for thirsty people, hungry people.

The woman at the well wasn’t worthy, God is not looking for worthy people, he is looking for thirsty people, hungry people.

A hunger and a thirst for God.

Amid this great coldness toward God there are some, I rejoice to acknowledge, who will not be content with shallow logic. They will admit the force of the argument, and then turn away with tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, “O God, show me your glory.” They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God.

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted.

In a world hot in pursuit of quenching its thirst with everything but God, Tozer wrote:

Do you have a hunger for God’s word?

1 Peter 2:2-3.

Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Colossians 3:16.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Charisma magazine (hunger for God)

The truth is, God has a banquet prepared for us, a feast of His presence, but we won't have the appetite for it if we have been satisfied with something else.

Many of us make the mistake of filling up on junk food, immoral TV programs, movies and other forms of entertainment, for example. But even seemingly good things, such as certain spiritual activities or disciplines, can diminish our hunger for the best.

Matthew. 6:33. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Often we fail to do this because we get our eyes on something else, something that seems more pressing, or more appealing, than the meal set before us.

But the ideal is for our hearts to burn with unquenchable desire for God in all circumstances. Is this the kind of believer you are, one who is hungry for God no matter what? Or have you allowed something other than Him to become the focal point of your desire?


Hungry and thirsty for God.

Luke 14:16-20.

Then He said to him, A certain man gave a great supper and invited many and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come, for all things are now ready.

But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.

And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.

Still another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.


All three of these men made excuses instead of coming to the banquet. Possessions, work and family even good things can distract us from seeking God.

Are you hungry for God or does religious activity satisfy you?

Are the Church meetings and the singing and the ministry an end in themselves to you, are they satisfying a need you have to do something good or worthwhile, or are they part of you pursuit of God.

Luke 9:57-62.

Luke 9:57-62.

Along the way someone said to Jesus, I’ll go anywhere with you! Jesus said,

Foxes have dens, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man doesn’t have a place to call his own.

Today’s Gospel is cheap and costs nothing and requires no sacrifice.

Jesus never made it easy to follow him.

Luke 9:57-62.

Luke 9:57-62.

.. Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.  Jesus answered,

Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God’s kingdom.

Jesus never made it easy to follow him.

Luke 9:57-62.

Luke 9:57-62.

.. Then someone said to Jesus, I want to go with you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home. Jesus answered,

Anyone who starts ploughing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!

Jesus never made it easy to follow him.

Hunger for God (John Piper).

There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast:

“This much, O God, I want you.”

Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives, whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits for God.

But for the Christian, the hunger for anything besides God can be an arch-enemy. While our hunger for God, and Him alone, is the only thing that will bring victory.

Hunger for God.

Do you have that hunger for Him? As John Piper puts it: "If we don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied.

It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world.

Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great."

Hunger for God

Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is this path of pleasant pain called fasting.

For when God is the supreme hunger of your heart, He will be supreme in everything. And when you are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in you.

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.

The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable. . . .

Therefore, when I say that the root of Christian fasting is the hunger of homesickness for God, I mean that we will do anything and go without anything if, by any means, we might protect ourselves from the deadening effects of innocent delights and preserve the sweet longings of our homesickness for God.

Hungry& Thirsty

The good news is that the longing for God can be awakened if we are willing to change our priorities and pursuits. Although cultivating a desire for the Lord takes time, the joy we’ll experience is lasting, and the rewards are eternal.

You’ll always get more out of a relationship with God than you put in. In fact, as your hunger for Him comes to life, He will open your heart and mind to understand and desire Him even more.

When we yearn for the Lord, He will satisfy us with contentment and a sense of completeness, while awakening an even deeper longing in our soul.

Unlike physical hunger, a craving for Him is filled but paradoxically leaves us hungry. The more we are satisfied in Christ, the more we want of Him.

For God

The rich young ruler wasn’t hungry enough for god?

He was more hungry for worldly wealth.

Mark 10:17-22.

 And he said to Him, Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up. Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him.

One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

Martha complained that Mary was sitting at Jesus feet and not helping with the housework. Luke 10:38-42.

Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!

Are you too busy to be hungry for God?

Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

The desperate were healed.

Mark 10:46-52.

A blind man, Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!  Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me! 

Mark 10:46-52.

Mark 10:46-52.

Jesus stopped and said, Call him. So they called to the blind man, Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you. Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked him. The blind man said, Rabbi, I want to see. Go, said Jesus, your faith has healed you. Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The desperate were healed.

The woman with the issue of blood desperate.

Mark 5:24-34.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  because she thought, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 

The Syrophonecian woman was desperate.

Mark 7:24-30.

 As soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet.

The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia.

She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 

Mark 7:24-30.

 First let the children eat all they want, he told her, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. Then he told her, For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter. She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Remember Jonah

Jonah 2:1-2.

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said:

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry

There is an ancient tale from India about a young man who was seeking God.

He went to a wise old sage for help. “How can I find God?” he asked the old man. The old man took him to a nearby river. Out they waded into the deep water. Soon the water was up just under their chins.

Suddenly the old man seized the young man by the neck and pushed him under the water. He held the young man down until the young man was flailing the water in desperation.

Another minute and he may well have drowned. Up out of the water the two of them came.

There is an ancient tale from India about a young man who was seeking God.

The young man was coughing water from his lungs and still gasping for air. Reaching the bank he asked the man indignantly,

“What did that have to do with my finding God?”

The old man asked him quietly, “While you were under the water, what did you want more than anything else?”

The young man thought for a minute and then answered, “I wanted air. I wanted air more than anything else?” The old man replied, “When you want God as much as you wanted air, you will find him.”

Impediments to hunger

The condition I found myself in is not an uncommon one. All of us have been guilty of not being hungry when Jesus lays a banquet of His presence before us, and it's usually because either we're sick--or we've been snacking on something else.

We know how this works in the natural. Our bodies were designed to require nourishment, so it is normal for us to feel hungry when it is time to eat, unless our appetites have been suppressed by illness or satisfied by something we ate before we got up to the table. It works the same way in the spiritual realm.

We were created for fellowship with God, but if we don't desire it, then either we are in sin or we have allowed other things to take the place of God in our lives. The result in both cases is that our appetites become dulled, and we don't pursue God with the same passion we normally would.

Much time is spent on people who aren't hungry for God?

They may be hungry for physical bread or hungry for acceptance and recognition, but they have no appetite for the Lord or the holiness he requires of us.

Jesus is our source.

John 6:25-29.

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, Rabbi, when did you get here? Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. 

Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires?  Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.

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