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How To Avoid Spiritual Starvation

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2019 3:00 am

How To Avoid Spiritual Starvation

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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I don't think that so it will take everybody by surprise to realize that all cultures so obsessed with food and dieting. In fact, unfolded in a given day in the United States.

One third of the population is one third of the population is on some sort of a direct there's always one thing you can be certain of that. There will be more people aren't going to be on the diet tomorrow than they own a diet today. Have you noticed actually how people announce of the going to go on a diet.

After huge meal and is out inflicting on this in the looking at our passage for today.

I I understand that our culture is just so different from biblical culture and our mindset is so different from that of the time of the Lord Jesus Christ and to whom he was speaking and how important it is for us to really try to grasp what Jesus is trying to say when he said blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness. We are in the midst of a series of sermons entitled the Masters manifesto from the Beatitudes. And when Jesus said blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness. His heroes could easily not only relate to physical hunger not only relate to physical first, but they also can relate that same physical feeling to spiritual things. It was much easier for the people in Jesus's day to relate to hunger to relate the first than those of us were living in this abundance in the West them food and water were an absolute necessity not a luxury that could do away with all to class off in biblical times, both food and water was so scarce that they never, never, never wasted them, nor taken for granted as we do so when Jesus said blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness. His heroes immediately understood that the righteousness is not at all actually, but a necessity that holiness and that seeking what pleases God and of going after God's heart is an absolute necessity for spiritual life as the food and the drink for the physical life now going up on a diet back rent would be as strange as you wake up one morning and have no phones, no cars, no computers, no electricity. None of these things that are necessities of life.

They could not relate to it. Righteousness is not an optional spiritual supplement, but an absolute necessity hungering for righteousness thirsting for righteousness is as important for every believer in Jesus Christ as the food and the water you can know more spiritually live or even survive without righteousness, spiritually speaking, that you can without food and without water near the ancient world was playing with famines and they understood the value of food. They understood the value of water back then. If you own a well you are the most blessed man in the whole world. Rome itself experienced a famine in the year for 36 BC. It was so severe that thousands of people literally threw themselves into the Tiber River in order to ground rather than die of starvation and I dare say none of us understand what it is to suffer starvation. We don't know what it's like I fast for spiritual discipline.

One day a week 24 hours a day, but that's nothing. Just a discipline is an exercise in discipline, but I've never been completely deprived of food, none of us have the poorest of the poor can go into a soup kitchen and get a meal in this country. But what I'm talking about something far greater, something that is beyond our imagination and the people to whom Jesus was speaking understood what it is to be hungry and it can get any food. What is the first to be dying of thirst in your throat as part of me can't even get water to drink. They knew exactly what he is talking about. Now I'm told there are four stages of starvation begins frustration by invitation and then goes to exhaustion so that the depression and fourthly goes to lifelessness in Jesus is saying that if you do hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be satisfied. That's one hunger.

That's one thirsty can be sure of going to receive from God. But if you let yourself spiritually.*Or, if you let your hunger for righteousness be satisfied with fake food and make no mistake about it, you going to go through these four spiritual stages and eventually a spiritually will die. Someone might say, well what you mean by fake food written illustrated this way, native to Central America. There is a plant known as the Nandu plant that plant.

If you eat it, it immediately fills you up. It gives you the sense of satisfaction you don't feel like you want to eat you if you like you want to drink anymore water it fills you up and not many years ago a group of Englishmen going through the jungles of Central America and as it were going through the jungles of Central America.

They relied completely upon the Naboo plan and I died of starvation because they were not aware of the plans deceptive character. Listen to me please very carefully when you and I settle for anything less than the righteousness of God. We could die of spiritual starvation. If you rely on your church membership, you will die of spiritual starvation. If you rely on the preacher or a minister or a counselor, you will die of spiritual starvation. If you rely on rituals and ceremonies, you will die of spiritual starvation. If you rely on your fame and fortune. You will die of spiritual starvation. If you rely on your Christian reputation and think that this is going to carry you through your will die of spiritual starvation. If you apply these four stages of physical starvation to the spiritual realm to the spiritual life you gonna discover the following.

First of all, you gonna become weak and going to become irritable and become susceptible to viruses of temptation are you irritable watch out during the first stage of spiritual starvation. There are some signs of irritation. All the church is not the same as it used to be that preachers not preaching right. The singers are not singing right there ushers or not I should write the deacons. One deacon you can trust the trustee. If this is happening to you. Take notice. You are hungering after the wrong things you are not hungering after righteousness. You are not hungering after Jesus. You are not hungering after the gospel you're not hungering after the kingdom of God.

You are not hungering after the glory of God. What is honoring to God and what brings glory to his name. The next step is going to be the second step you will become spiritually listless in you becoming different is our hope is what happened and then the third stage, you become spiritually depressed and fourthly you spiritually die front of an old farmer who saw in the bulletin. The church bulletin that his pastor was going to a conference for all the preachers in the title of the conference was how to bring people into the church how to get people come to church, will I tell you this, picked up courage and went to the pastor should not pastor that sounds strange to me.

He said I've never heard a single speech in a farmers convention on how to get the cattle to come to the rack. Is it when we get together ASAP. We spend the time discussing the best kind of feed we can learn from this, because unfortunately we are the generation where we see so many churches that are anxious to entertain churches that are anxious to please the ascetics. Churches that are anxious to give fancy food that has no nutritional value in it.

Then many churches that are anxious to serve a feel-good type of food. This only churches that are anxious to serve fake food. But Jesus said, unless you hunger for righteousness unless you thirst for righteousness, you will never be satisfied.

Not so long ago I heard a story about a lady who's a gourmet cook in Miami, Florida in one day just for a laugh decided to serve dog food is hors d'oeuvres and a party at her house is a two-story. She of course worked very hard to make it appealing to make it appetizing and told no one. You guessed it, the people can get enough of the stuff they run out in the first 10 minutes of the party. Please hear me right just as God created us with hunger and thirst, so that we can survive physically.

He also created us with spiritual hunger and thirst for righteousness so we can survive spiritually. God created us with an inner longing to be filled. God created us with a deep felt spiritual hunger God created us with an inner passion inside our souls. God created us with a deep longing for fulfillment years ago already come into my office and she said I'm gonna leave my husband because he is not fulfilling the other. I said, God forbid that your husband to fulfill you Jesus for fulfilling normal hearing to an immense God bless you.

What is the good news. The presence of hunger and thirst is a sign of life. The good news is that you're still alive.

If you're hungry and thirsty for God unsaved people have no appetite for God. Unsaved people have no appetite what glorifies God unsaved people have no appetite for what is honoring to God. And the problem is that they seem to be pulling the believers down to their level instead of us lifting them up and Jeremiah tells us that when people first for the living water. But instead of going to him they did for themselves cisterns. He said these are broken cisterns. These are sisters and I got a hold water for much longer. This will not take water for too long it will run out and run dry.

It is tragic that when people hunger for God's righteousness.

They attempt to fill that void in their lives will the prodigal son who wanted to be a big shot and he's told his dad in the vernacular. The use of translation your stupid old man. I want out of here is that letting go. Then when he ended up starving. The Bible said he was beginning to fill his stomach with the husk that was offered to the pigs incredible insult to a June when he left home. He was so full of himself and he says give me. But when you come back. He says make me make me make me God make me. I pray that this will be my prayer in your prayer make me Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied.

I know as I look around I see people hungering and thirsting for other things. Even if you look at the Olympics and you see a few people who are hungering and thirsting for gold and the rest of them were just clapping there. He noticed the problem of the church. There are very few hungering and thirsting for God and the rest of just spectators there watching it on screen.

There are so many people that I see in my life. They hang on every word that Dr. Snow fungus may speak their weight within the baited breath for Bishop screwball what he has to say there are people who live by Dr. Michael's word. I want to declare it publicly hold me to it of the preacher and administer any theologian, any counselor who does not pointed to Jesus Christ and to his word. He is Frankie's fraud in his field of falsehood. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they are the ones who truly going to be satisfied their ones were truly going to be contented and fulfilled.

Nothing else is going to satisfy you and lifeless intimate nothing you can try everything in the world. You probably have nothing is going to fill you.

But Jesus and his righteousness wanted to know this one thing that hit me back last Tuesday. As I was reading the text very carefully. It hit me like a lightning bolt. Jesus did not say Blessed are those who are full of righteousness.

Thank God there are a lot of people running the government.

Righteousness in the Bible said our own righteousness is likability, where in God's sight, but he said blessed are those who thirst those who hunger for righteousness well by now some of you single women. What is righteousness tell us what is righteousness well. The Bible gives us two applications. The meaning of this fourth beatitude in the Masters manifesto to application the first application is this. When a lost person recognize that he or she is lost when a person recognize that he or she is a sinner. When a person recognize that he or she is a lawbreaker. When a person recognize that he or she have nothing to offer God for their salvation and they will never make it to heaven based on their effort. When they come to that point recognize that only through what Jesus Christ did on Calvary and he is the only one who kept the laws perfectly and that through his shed blood is the only way that I can get to heaven when you come to the point that is the first stage of the first application of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, recognizing that my righteousness and going to do it and going to cut it. But God's righteousness is going to get me to heaven as the first application is the first stage, but once you saved hunger and thirst for righteousness does not stop there. There than I want to tell you it is the greatest tragedy that can be imagined in another millions of Christians out there who think well hunger and thirst for righteousness stops with salvation. Once I made the profession of faith ones saved one day someday back younger it's all over. They live in a way which way they want to live but I want to tell you and this is my opinion not from the word of God nods my opinion. I personally would question their claim of salvation, I would question if they really are saved if they cease to hunger and thirst after God in their walk with Christ is something wrong with the claim. I give you some illustrations. Which brings me to that second application I have never been and I have never conducted a wedding in which the bride and the groom come for and they said to each other. I do, and then they walked outside the door.

They said goodbye to each other now.

I thought that it was such a wedding had taken place you think of so we just kind of marriage that is right, but a wedding is a first step just a salvation is a first. A wedding is the first step of a long life relationship a long life. It's a beginning of a life of adjustments to one another. It's a long life of surrender. Nothing teaches sanctification like my life. I can tell you that you know what I personally think that weddings are pursuing our surrender all. What I want to tell you this awareness is not the end but the beginning.

Salvation is not the end of your thirst and hunger for God is the beginning of thirsting and hungering for righteousness to see her mother who brings a baby into the world consist of the baby not baby out of character for nine months now that you borne your friend for yourself. Be crazy in the same way it works spiritually. This is the beginning of a precious life that needs nurturing and growing believers who never hunger and thirst for righteousness, have something drastically wrong with them spiritually. Listen to me please I love you and I'm telling you this out of a heart of love and this is why the psalmist could say as the deer plentiful water so my soul longs for you.

Some historians have said that the deer were constantly panting in the land of Israel because they always being chased by dogs and therefore there always panting and looking for water. And I know and you know how many pressure dogs are after us of life and were constantly running away from them panting and would need the living water. But I want to tell you closer to the truth.

What makes the deer in the Bible. Land pants for water is that the deer tends to eat snakes and women eat snakes. The poison inside and their internal is diffused through their internals and been there until system, and they produce a burning sensation, a fever like feeling in the deer and nothing but nothing but nothing is going to take away that fever. That feeling of fever until they get to the books of water. Is this how you feel when you come to God first in your long and you hunger for him and for righteousness as you come to him and every day. I know when you know we live in this fallen world, and we forever swallowing the snakes of sin that tend to cut us off from the living water. We are forever eating the poison of pride forever were eating the poison of self-sufficiency with driver eating the poison of self-pity and self-centeredness and only the living water can actually give us the relief from the scene in which we live in when we hunger for the bread of life. And when we search for the living water. Jesus satisfies us and brings healing to comes in satisfies us and brings us forgiveness and cleansing and restoration. Jesus comes in satisfies us with his unique comfort that nobody else can give us. You know, you often hear people referring to someone and they say well he's ambitious, she's ambitious. There's nothing wrong with ambition.

Only a lazy person has nonpatients.

God created us to be ambitious people.

God placed in us the desire to be ambitious hear me right. Please, you can satisfy that desire with wrong ambitions. Or you can satisfy it with the right ambitions. Make no mistake about it, all of us. All of us will hunger for something. There are some who hunger for power, there are some who hunger for pleasure. There are some who hunger for possession. In fact, the Bible tells us the greatest example of someone who hunger for power. Lucifer the bright star when he stopped serving God.

When he stopped honoring God when he stopped glorifying God and in his soul.

His ambition turned to God, he was thrown out of heaven and anyone who hungers for power for its own sake is fulfilling his or her hunger with perverted ambitions and power hungry people are everywhere there in the schoolyards they are in the homes there and the businesses that are in politics and they are in the church.

When Lucifer made his move to grab for power. God shucked his hand off and threw him out of his presence into the abyss and the Jesus in Luke chapter 12 gives us an example of someone who hungers for pleasure. I think if you read that story know the way you miss the point. This man Jesus tells us was so blessed of God but instead of giving away some of his blessings are so many of you do in this place.

This man decided to take it easy and worship at the shrine of pleasure. This man decided to build larger and larger storehouses for his blessings in order to take it easy this man said to himself I am going to be financially independent, not so that you can help others as so many of you do know that so that you wanted to have more and more so that he can enjoy the pleasures of life is what this man said to himself. He said I'm going to hold it all so that I can have all the fun in the world. Any man can have into lifetimes know what God said to him, verse 20 of Luke 12 God described this man in one word a fool a fool in love with the Lord has a way of cutting through the gibberish enough just to get to the point spread himself very clearly so tonight your life is been taken out of you and what you have, whose visit. Who would be when Lucifer became power-hungry.

God brought him down when this man in Luke 12 became pleasure hungry God called him a fool and brought him down and then there are those who hunger for possession rich young ruler came to Jesus and he said Master, what can I do to inherit eternal life. Jesus knew that this man's problem was not the observance of his religious activities. Jesus knew that this man's problem was not the keeping of the religious fašade. Jesus knew that this man's problem was not the appearance of his outward religiosity, no he knew that this man's problem was that he is so attached is possession that he was willing to sacrifice in order to hold he thought he could hold onto it and that's why the Bible said and it really is a heartbreaking story when you think about it. The Bible said he went away sorrowful with away sorrowful because Jesus told them to give up what is holding him from coming to heaven knows one thing about possessions is nothing wrong with possessions as long as you remember that there really possess you. You don't possess the hunger for power hunger for pleasure hunger for possessions all around us. They trying in every way to stick to us. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they and they and they alone are going to be satisfied when God created hunger and thirst in our soul back younger and Adam and Eve, he knew he knew that he is the only one who can really satisfy that hunger that he is created and to give us a choice.

We can choose to fill it one way or the other. When we hunger and thirst after righteousness.

When we hunger and thirst after wholeness. When we hunger and thirst after purity. When we hunger and thirst after that which is pleasing to the Lord Jesus said, you will be satisfied. You will be few. You got to be filled with the peace that passes understanding, even when everybody else is in chaos and confusion you shall be filled with praises and thanksgiving even in the midst of your pain. You gonna be filled with goodness and mercy in the favor of God, even when everybody else in the world is fretting no one can take that away from you. From everything I read that a person who is starving is often consumed with one passion, and that's to get some food in the stomach when a person is thirsty is only one passion just get some water inspiring and magnificent music is not going to detail them from their hunger and thirst, the most magnificent of natural scenery is not going to detail their quest to be filled when Esau starving and he came home he gave up his most prized possession in life is birthright for a bowl of soup is what happened to those who thirst and hunger in Jesus is saying when you thirst and hunger for righteousness.

You will be fulfilled when your heart, hunger after God. God is going to give you that contentment when your heart hunger for the righteousness of God.

Nothing else is going to fill it on until you a glass that is filled with mud.

Cannot take milking it. You have to press about and you have to wash it and then put the good thing and it and we as a people of God. We tend to fill our lives with all kinds of junk that the world seem to throw away. You heard the statement you are what you eat, but I want to tell you this morning. You are what you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is calling upon each one of us today that we might empty ourselves of the junk be washed by the blood of the land be cleansed and filled by the spirit of God.

I believe the spirit of God was to fill every belief. I believe that with all my heart. But what holding the spirit of God is all the junk that you have filled your life with and that often I try to fill my life with the spirit of God saying I can get in. I can get through the door.

This is a holy moment is between you and God and God speaking to your Holy Spirit of God has convicted you today and saying to you empty yourself because I want to fill you. I want to fill you with what is lasting. I want to fill you with what is everlasting when you do that with me empty ourselves in order that the spirit of God would empower his fresh Phyllis overflowing and that we become blessings to everyone with whom we come in contact heavenly father we thank you for the open door policy that we can come to you at any moment. We thank you for Jesus who opened the door and made it possible for us to come to you in confessional heavenly father we confess to you all the many things in life that filled us in occupied space that should not have been occupied by these things and we have kept your spirit out. Father, we confess and we ask you to forgive Holy Spirit of God, wash us and cleanse us through the blood of amended Phyllis to overflowing that everyone who made that covenant with you today remain faithful in the coming days.

In Jesus name I pray. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that's LTW.Ward

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