In our culture, we feed what’s hungry. Before hunger pains settle in, we feed ourselves. Generally, we don’t just feed ourselves for nourishment, we eat what tastes good or what we crave. Our bodies are conditioned to crave certain things and it is those things that drive our hunger.
It is for this reason, that I have been around many tables at restaurants discussing the good foods at other places. I have been eating Mexican food at lunch and our conversation turns to what is for dinner. Not only do we crave things, we anticipate our next craving. Hungry people always want to avoid hunger.
When it comes to the things of God, our hungry heart can lead to more than your mind can comprehend. Jesus said, “They that hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled.” He guarantees that we will be filled when we are hungry.
I have been pastoring in the Assemblies of God for 18 years. We believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in other tongues. We believe this is a gift from God for those who seek Him. It is not something He withholds or measures out. In fact, the Bible says God gives the Spirit without measure.
In these 18 years I have seen many people filled with the Holy Spirit, and many more that walked away having not received. Was there a difference between the people seeking? Most of the time, yes. The difference is all in the heart. Those who are filled are hungry. So hungry that they truly believe that can’t live without the baptism in the Spirit. They have convinced themselves, rightly, that this experience will make a difference in their Christian life. Indeed, it makes all the difference. Many people never receive because they might want the baptism in the Spirit but it is not necessarily the most important thing in their life.
Can you go to Heaven without being filled? Absolutely. Jesus died on the Cross for our sins and it is only through His shed blood that we can enter Heaven. His resurrection and ascension to Heaven, however, secured for us an experience that is subsequent to our salvation. It is an additive. God has more for the believer and those who are hungry shall be filled.
I witnessed today how God fills the hungry. I was asked yesterday if I would be willing to pray for someone that wanted to be baptized in the Spirit. They don’t attend our church. They live in another town. They drove here today just to receive the baptism. Friend, I prayed hard before they got here. “Lord, don’t let them leave disappointed. Fill them!” He answered. This precious saint walked into my office and said, “Bro. Danny, I want the gift of tongues. I want to be filled with the Spirit.” After a little encouragement and teaching, we laid hands on her and guess what? God answered! He filled her.
She revealed that she had been hungry for months and had been praying for this and she came today knowing that it was going to be “the day”. How did she receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit? She had a hungry heart.
When we get to a place in our Christian walk that we want all God has for us and we can’t live without it anymore, God begins to pour out His blessing. When we are hungry for Him to the degree that He is the only thing that satisfies, we will be filled. With all this world has to offer and the entanglements that our lives have, we find that our affections become divided. When God has our undivided attention and we focus on Him, great things will happen.
If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, hunger for it. Pray for it. Seek Him for it. You’ll be surprised how quickly He will answer.