The Satisfaction is in the Pursuit: Thoughts on Matt. 5:6

dannygugger —  July 31, 2012 — 1 Comment

It’s not just the rush of pursuit. It’s the enduring feeling of contentment as you hunger after God. For this reason God gradually reveals himself to people through the Holy Spirit in such a way that they will pursue him. You cannot comprehend him all at once.

Think of it like an adrenaline junkie. Here’s how adrenaline junkies work: First they realize that their office job is boring or that some other boring aspect of their everyday life is not leaving them satisfied. Then, somebody tells them that their life is lame and they never do anything “worthwhile.” Shortly after, they go off the deep end in a downward spiral of sky-diving, base-jumping, free-solo rock-climbing and bungee-jumping until they finally splatter onto the pavement and their excitement is over. There’s something about the rush of a near-death experience that pushed the limits for them. They tried to fill their hunger for more and more excitement, but found out…maybe a little too late…that adrenaline doesn’t satisfy. So much of this world’s battle is satisfaction based.

Your pursuit of God is like an “invincible” adrenaline junkie. I say invincible because most adrenaline junkies end up dead. (Then my analogy would fall apart.) The fact that you are chasing after something that can never be fully understood, but can, in its incomplete state, offer you such satisfaction that cannot be compared with any other, can only be explained one way: The satisfaction is in the pursuit. Like no other earthly satisfaction, Jesus provides you with a contentment that can be found in no other pursuit. Usually the brief satisfaction of worldly things is found at the end: when you finally achieve your goal. Then you move on to the next thing. Satisfaction in God is constructed in such a way that the satisfaction you feel now, is actually hunger. You become satisfied with the fact that you can’t figure out all of it, but that you are happy with standing in wonder as you try to make sense of all of it.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (χορτασθησονται).”

The word “filled” is from the Greek word χορτάζω that means, “to be satisfied.” [1]

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. What’s amazing about this statement is not only that Jesus can provide satisfaction, but that he chooses to provide it through the very thing that creates a need for it. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will not only be filled with more of God but they will be filled with hunger. Jesus is not pointing to occasional acts of righteousness but to an intense longing after righteousness, which resembles hunger or thirst.  Prov. 27:7 “To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Hunger in and of itself is both helpful and dangerous. It tells you that you need something more. It can get dangerous because when you’re hungry…anything looks good. Even gross things. That’s why Christ tells his disciples to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

There are several different kinds of hunger:

1) You can be slightly dissatisfied and hungry for something more. Many people are just looking for the next new thing to satisfy their desire to actually remain dissatisfied by never seeking the things that will actually satisfy. What they actually want is to stay discontent.

2) You can starve yourself to the point that you’re hungry and find other things to fill you. To the person who intentionally starves himself spiritually, every bitter thing is sweet. Even things that you would not have found attractive now become tempting.

3) You can be absolutely stuffed to the brim, but, since what you are eating is so stinking good, you just keep eating and eating and eating and loving every minute of it. To the one who is hungering and thirsting for righteousness, he is most likely full already and is hungering and thirsting for more or a fresher encounter with God. They are looking for an encounter without the lingering side effects of an overstuffed stomach after a meal.

       “How could anyone have a strong desire for a right standing before God without at the same time strongly wanting to do the right? Today there is a strong emphasis on social righteousness, the liberation of people from oppression, and that can scarcely be out of mind either. Righteousness is a rich and full concept, but whichever way we understand it, it is a righteousness that people cannot produce of themselves. We are to do our best and we may be able to avoid “the gutters of life,” but this righteousness is a gift of God. And of those who have this wholehearted longing for the right Jesus says, they will be filled. They do not achieve it of themselves, but God fulfills their longing. God will not disappoint anyone who has this deep desire to do his will. Those who long for righteousness will have a full measure, not a mere trace. There are two thoughts here, the first of which insists on the disposition of the seeker. The good gift of God does not come indiscriminately to all the race, but only to those who seek it wholeheartedly. The second is that, for all their intense longing, the seekers do not fill themselves with righteousness, but are filled; righteousness is a gift of God.”

       ~Pillar Commentary

It’s like justification, where God considers us righteous even when we’re not. No matter how much we hunger and thirst after righteousness, it is found in Christ and we can not achieve it apart from God’s declarative act of justification. If you are always longing for

righteousness, The satisfaction is in the pursuit.

The beautiful thing is that at the same time you are hungering after God, he is hungering after you.

– The pursuit goes both ways.

– Chase after God.

– He is jealously pursuing a relationship with you.

Enjoy him. Become Satisfied.

[1] χορτάζομαιa: to eat, resulting in a state of being satisfied—‘to eat one’s fill.’ ἐφάγετε ἐκ τῶν ἄρτων καὶ ἐχορτάσθητε ‘you ate the bread and were satisfied’ Jn 6:26. One may render ‘were satisfied’ as ‘had all you

wanted to eat’ or ‘did not want to eat any more.’

χορτάζω: to cause to eat so as to become satisfied—‘to cause to eat one’s fill, to satisfy with food.

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  1. How to Go Beyond Here « L.E.G.A.C.Y. - October 3, 2012

    […] The Satisfaction is in the Pursuit: Thoughts on Matt. 5:6 (hipfellows.wordpress.com) Rate this:Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPinterestStumbleUponRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tagged Clark, Contentment, Geneva, God, history, Hunger, Ireland, Lewis, Lewis and Clark Expedition, poverty, Slam dunk, United Nations […]

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