What Are You Hungry For?

Add to My List
The things we passionately pursue, we see value in. God passionately pursued us to the point of sacrificing His Son Jesus for us. This helps us understand the passion and desperation we are to have for Jesus! We are invited to turn our hearts, affection, and attention to Jesus; focusing on who He is and what He has done. In this message, Pastor John Stickl teaches us that Jesus is passionate for us, and He relentlessly pursues us!

What we’ve done together for church this year is we’ve started this year by just talking about Jesus. We’ve started the whole year by just saying, we want to just focus on Jesus, that he is more than enough for every area of our lives. And what we’re doing to start this new year, this new decade is we’re just taking our hearts and we’re turning the affection, the attention and the focus of our hearts to Jesus. 

And we’re just talking about him over this first series. And honestly, it’s been really refreshing. It’s been refreshing to just talk about Jesus, who he is and what he has done. The Bible says that when the name of Jesus is lifted, he draws all men and women onto himself. And that’s what’s happening. As we’re talking about Jesus and lifting up his name, he’s just drawing us to himself. I mean I love this verse in 1 Corinthians, it says, “For the message of the cross, the finished work of Jesus is foolishness to those who are perishing.” 

In other words, the world does not believe that Jesus is more than enough. “But to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” To those of us who have put our faith in Jesus, we’re discovering that who Jesus is and what he has done, is more than enough. And the power of God is released in our lives when we just start talking about who Jesus is and what he has done. 

And so over this month, the power of God is being released in our church, in our lives, in our marriages, in our finances, in our hearts, in our minds. And God’s doing some amazing things because he is more than enough. You see, one day Jesus was on a road and he was traveling along. And he was going to heal this sick little girl. And as he was traveling along, the disciples were there with him, this big crowd of people is surrounding him, people are talking about Jesus, talking to Jesus, trying to reach out, all pressing in around him. And off in the distance is this woman and she’s been sick for 12 years. For 12 years, she’s had this incurable sickness and she’s done everything that she can do to get healed. She spent all her money on doctors, she’s tried every medicine, she’s tried every option, she’s gone to every clinic that you could go to, every -- she’s tried everything possible. But not only has she not gotten healed, she’s actually gotten worse. 

And as she’s sitting there and watching Jesus goes by, she says to herself, if I can just touch his robe I will be healed. She says to herself, if I can just get close enough to touch the edge of his robe, I will be healed. But for this woman to press in on Jesus, is kind of a big deal because she’s unclean. Because of her sickness, she’s unclean. So if she approaches, she could actually be stoned to death because it’s against the law, but on this day she doesn’t care. She is so desperate, she is so hungry, she is so relentless for a touch of Jesus that she doesn’t care about her dignity or the consequences. 

And so she kind of puts her way through the crowd, she kind of sneaks in and she reaches out, grabbed just the edge of Jesus’ robe. And the moment she does, it says, power flows from Jesus, instantly heals her and Jesus stops. Who touched me? 

The disciples looked at Jesus, they said, Jesus, what are you talking about? There’s people all around you, all kinds of people are bumping into you. He says, no, someone with faith just reached out and touched me. Who was it? And this woman, terrified of what’s about to happen to her, she says, “Lord, it was me.” And Jesus looks at her, helps her up and says, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” He says you are hungry for the only thing that could heal you and it did. 

You see, what I think is so cool is she says, if I can just touch his robe, if I can just touch the edge of his robe. She’s not even saying, I need to grab a hold of all of -- I just need to touch the edge of his robe. Now, what’s really interesting about this is this is actually incredibly prophetic and incredibly profound. You see, in the Old Testament, the Jewish people, what God told them to do, go to the next verse for me -- He told them to make tassels on the edge of their garments. So Jesus would have had this robe, and he would have had these tassels on the edge of his robe. 

It says -- look at this, this is Old Testament, Numbers, “Make tassels on the corners of your garments. You will have these tassels to look at so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, your God, so that you may obey them.”

They would put these tassels on the edge of their robes so that they would grab them and touch them and remind themselves of all of the commands, all of the expectations, all the things that they had to do. So when the woman reaches out and grabs a hold of the edge of Jesus’ robe, what’s she’s actually reaching out and grabbing a hold of is the finished work of Jesus. What she’s reaching out and grabbing a hold of is the fact that Jesus came to fulfill every command, every expectation, every requirement that God had on you and me and on her. And in that moment, she’s not grabbing his Jesus, she’s grabbing the finished work of Jesus. She’s saying, “If I can just reach out and grab his grace, I will be healed.” 

If I can just grab the finished work of Jesus, that he came to do everything that’s required of me, I’ll be healed. And what I love about this woman is how hungry she is, how desperate she is, how relentless she is to grab a hold of the grace of Jesus. So here’s my question for you today. What are you hungry for? What are you desperate for? What are you relentlessly pursuing with everything that you’ve got? You see, the passion you pursue something reveals the value you belief that thing has. And inherently we know this, the passion you pursue something reveals the value you believe that thing has. You know that that’s why there’s millions of things in this world that you don’t pursue at all because it has no value to you. But the things you passionately pursue is because you have a lot of value in that thing. 

You see the value of it. Like if you’re super into fitness and eating healthy and working out, you see the value in being healthy, so you’re passionately pursuing that. If you see a lot of value in money, you’re going to passionately pursue work or all these other opportunities or ways to take on extra things. Okay. So then the question is this, what does the level of your passionate pursuit of Jesus reveal about how you actually value him? 

Your behaviors always reveal your beliefs. And you will always make time and you will always sacrifice for what you love the most. That’s why you never have to wonder if God loves you because he sacrificed everything and literally created time for you, so you never have to wonder whether or not he actually wants you or loves you. So the question is this, what are you -- what are you passionate about? 

What are you hungry for? Listen to me, in this series as we’re talking about Jesus, you can like hear it in my voice. You can see it in my spirit. I’ll tell you what, the spiritual warfare, I’ve been dealing all month long for us, and with the journey that we’re on, reveals it. I am so hopeful that our greatest cry in life would be this hunger and this desperation and this relentless pursuit for Jesus, that we would literally become people that say -- go to the next verse -- “If I can just grab a hold of his grace, I will have everything I need.” 

In fact, here’s the question. What are you walking around right now in your life saying, if I can just, what, then life will be good? If I can just look a little better. If I can just make a little bit more money. If I could just get my marriage figured out. If I could just get rid of this problem. 

If this situation would just go away. If I could just have more followers on social media. If I could just be a little more -- come on. If I can just what then I’ll be healed. Do you know this is the word sozo, the word that we talked about, salvation, saved, healed, whole, made whole, delivered. What is it that you’re saying, if I can just what -- just what. If you can just grab a hold of his grace, then you’ll be filled and satisfied.

You see what I love about this woman is she is honest about her condition, she is humble. She doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks. She is hungry for God. So she’s willing to overcome any obstacle, any problem, any limitation, and she presses in on Jesus. I mean look at this verse, James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but he gives grace to the humble.” Can I give you a different translation of this? 

Humble people experience all that God has for them. Prideful people watch God walk in and out of their life and never experience what he has for them. Prideful people stay in the back and say, I’ve got dignity, bro. I’m not humbling myself for you. I’m not pressing in. You can come over here and take care of me. Humble people say, I don’t care what you all think about me. I’m getting me some grace today because I need, so I don’t care what you have to think because I need the favor of God, I need the goodness of God. I need the graciousness of God. So by faith, I will reach out and grab a hold of that thing.

See, here’s the interesting part. If you really think about this, this woman has been living with a lid in her life for 12 years. Twelve years, she’s had the same barrier, same obstacles, same lid, she keeps hitting herself on the same thing, she’s sick and she can’t get over it. What’s the lid in your life? 

What’s the barrier in your life? What’s that thing that no matter how many times you come around the mountain, you hit it again? Okay. Well, if you want to break the barrier to go to a place you’ve never been, you’re going to have to reach out to Jesus in a way you never have. On that day, Jesus wasn’t planning on healing her. He was going to a sick girl. But because she had faith and pressed in, and said, “If I could just grab a hold of some grace, I will be healed.” She was healed. 

Look at this verse, I love this. “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus’ message, the kingdom is at hand. It’s within reach. It’s there by faith for those who are honest, humble and hungry. What might God release into your life if you just reach out and grab a hold by grace? Come on, he’s more than enough, man. He’s more than enough for your forgiveness. “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” He’s more than enough for the past, present and future failures of your life. 

He’s more than enough for your freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Where are you in bondage, where are you stuck? Where are you unable to move forward? He’s more than enough. He’s more than enough for your healing. “By his wounds, we are healed.” He’s more than enough to heal your body, your mind, your soul, your relationships, your life, your spirit. He’s more than enough for your peace. “Peace I live with you, my peace I give to you.” He’s more than enough for the anxiety, the depression and situations, the circumstance, the fear, the brokenness. He’s more than enough for the provision. “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” He’s more than enough for any needs you have in your life. And he’s more than enough for everything because “My grace is sufficient for you. And my power is made perfect in your weakness.” 

In other words, he is more than enough. The only question left is, are you honest, humble and hungry enough to reach out and grab a hold of his grace? If I can just what, my life would be whole. 

Are you with me on that? Okay. Now, hold on to that. And I want you to compare that with me to a guy named the rich young ruler. There’s a guy in the Bible, his name is literally the rich young ruler, which is a tough combination. Let’s be honest. He’s rich, which means he has all kinds of wealth. He’s young, which means he doesn’t have a lot of experience or wisdom. And he’s a ruler, he has lots of power and authority. Okay, pause. Anyone that’s listening to this that’s under 30 in listening right now, you are a rich young ruler. I need you to understand that you literally are a rick young ruler. You’re rich. You are wealthier than almost the entire population of this planet right now as you sit. You are young, which means you don’t have all the answers yet, you don’t have a lot of experience, you’re growing in your wisdom, and you actually are a ruler. Your generation has more power and authority for your generation than any generation before it. 

You literally, your voice carries more influence in the world today than any generation at your age ever has before, and you need God to help you steward that. “To whom much is given, much is required.” So don’t look at it as a negative, look at it as a stewardship opportunity. God has made me a rich young ruler in this world and, oh my goodness, I need his grace to help me do this well, okay? 

Okay. So the rich young ruler in the Bible, he didn’t get that. And one day, he comes to Jesus and says, “Hey, good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Hey good teacher. Notice, not messiah, savior, lord, king. Good teacher. Hey good guy, good leader, good communicator. 

A guy who gives advice that I’ll decide whether or not I’ll apply to my life. What must I do to inherit eternal life? Wrong question. He should have said, good messiah, what did you do so I can have eternal life? What must I do? Jesus says, do you want to know what you do? You have to be perfect. Keep the commandments. Don’t lie, don’t steal, honor your father and mother, don’t commit adultery, do not covet. And the guy looks back and, “All these I’ve kept since I was a boy.” Eh, you just broke it, right there, you lied. 

And so Jesus looks at the man and he says, okay. It says he looked at him and he loved him, one thing you lack. “Go sell everything you have, give it to the poor, then come follow me.” And at that, the man’s face felt sad and he turned around and he walked away from Jesus. He walked away from Jesus because he was more hungry for money than he was for Jesus. 

Now, I want you to think about this with me for a second. A lot of times in church, you’ll hear things like this. It’s not Jesus plus something, it’s just Jesus. It’s not Jesus plus money or Jesus plus work or Jesus plus your family, it’s just Jesus. Okay. I don’t think our problem is that we try to add things to Jesus. I think our problem is we try to add Jesus to things. This man was not trying to add money to Jesus. He was trying to add Jesus to his money. He was saying, I want to keep my money. I want to keep it exactly how I liked it, the way I got it, how I use it, but I just want to add you Jesus into my life for some extra bonus and blessing. And this is what I think, if we’re honest, we get stuck. 

We try to add Jesus to the thing -- we want to add Jesus to our money. We want to add Jesus to our family. We want to add Jesus to the relationship that we want to have. We want to add Jesus to our sexuality and keep it just the way we like it, how we want it, when we want it. 

We want to add Jesus to our attitude, Jesus to our life, Jesus to our perspective. We want to add Jesus to what we’re already doing. And this is where we get stuck. Because Jesus loves you enough to challenge you. He loves you enough to tell you the things that you don’t want to hear. And let’s be real clear about this with Jesus. Jesus either offends you or he transforms you. But there’s no in between. Because he will tell you things you don’t want to hear and those things will either set you free or they will offend you. 

And what’s the problem with this guy? The problem with this guy is -- go to the next verse. The problem with this guy -- no, not that verse, the other one. That one. “You shall have no other gods before me.” You shall have no other gods. This is the first commandment. The guy thinks he’s keeping all the commands. The problem is he has another god and that god is called money, and he wants to add Jesus to it. So Jesus is challenging him. You say, what is a god? What is an idol? It’s anything that has more power and influence in your life than Jesus does. 

It’s anything you’re willing to walk away from Jesus to keep this thing. So what does that look like in your life? I don’t think we try to add things to Jesus. I think we try to Jesus to our things. I mean, Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things would be given unto you.” In other words, seek Jesus first. And Jesus then, just Jesus, and Jesus will give you kingdom finances, kingdom family, kingdom relationships, kingdom sexuality, kingdom attitudes, kingdom character. All the things you actually want, he promises that all these things will be given to you as well, but from the kingdom perspective. 

Our problem is we reverse this. And I don’t think we go seek all kinds of things, I think we seek one or two things. One or things that we’re hungry and passionate about and want to reach out and grab a hold of and then we want to add Jesus to that thing in our life. 

And so the man’s face fell and he went away sad because he wasn’t willing to give up his money. What is that for you? See, I told you a couple of weeks ago, the greatest barrier in between you and God is not your failures. It’s our pride. It’s our arrogance. It’s our unwillingness to acknowledge that I’ve got another god in my life and Jesus is actually confronting that thing, trying to tear it down so he can build me up. 

Like here’s the question, what are you hungry for? In your life, like today, like you walk into this -- like what are you hungry for in your life? Look at this next verse. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Blessed, happy, joyful, satisfied and content are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. What is righteousness? It’s right standing with God. 

It’s right relationship with God and promises, if we’re hungry and thirsty for a right relationship with God, we will be filled. But how do we get righteousness? Try harder? Behave better? Do more? Become religious? Add all these activities into our life? No, no, no. Look at the next verse. “And this will be his name: “the LORD is our righteousness.’” Jesus is our righteousness. He became sin so that we could be made right with God on the cross. 

And that’s why -- go to the next verse -- “Blessed, happy, joyful, content are those who hunger and thirst for Jesus, for they will be filled.” The promise of the Bible is this, if you want a satisfied soul, hunger and thirst for Jesus. And you’ll be satisfied. That’s why Jesus in John 6 says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Do you know the Bible calls Jesus the desire of all the nations? 

It’s one of his names. The desire of all the nations, which means when we look at the world, and all the crazy things, the world does that we do, that everyone in this world does, to satisfy the cravings of their soul, what they actually long for is Jesus. And God promises to satisfy that desire in their soul. The problem is, Ecclesiastes 6, “All the labor of a man is for his mouth and yet the soul is not satisfied.”

Do you feel like this today? Like all the things you’re reaching out for, it’s amazing who when you get it, it brings temporary satisfaction, but quickly becomes bitter on the way down. Then you got to reach the next one, then the next one. And then you spend your life, if I can just, if I can just, if I can just, that’s an exhausting way to do 80 years, man. But all the labor of Jesus satisfies the soul. Are you with me on this? 

Some of you are like, I want this series to be over. Almost. Almost. I mean you remember the story of the woman at the well. Here’s a woman that all she wants is men. What she wants is men, is love. She’s been married five times, she’s living with the sixth guy and she wants to add God to men. And Jesus shows up and he has this conversation with her and he asks her for a drink and this whole thing happens. And then Jesus after this long conversation -- you can read about it in John 4 if you want -- but Jesus, here’s what he looks back and he says, “If you only knew who I am and the gift that God wants to give you, you would ask me for a drink and I would give you living water.” This is our problem. If you knew who I was and what I offer. We don’t know who he is. We treat Jesus like the rich young ruler, a good teacher, a good leader, a religious guy, gives some decent advice when I feel like taking it, we don’t see him as messiah, savior, lord, king of kings. 

We don’t know who he is. And then we don’t know what he offers, that he offers a restored identity, a reconciled relationship with God, a redeemed purpose, that he offers to satisfy our soul. And I love that he says, “If you would reach out and grab to me, I would give you living water.” He goes on to say, a stream, a river or living water. Not a pond, not a lake, not a well that you have to come back and keep drawing out, that gets stagnant and nasty. No, no. A river that bubbles up within you and continuously flows. 

Like think about what a river does. A raging river as it flows, it does three things. It cleanses, it refreshes and it shapes. A river that’s flowing, it cleanses, man, it moves all the garbage and the debris downstream. It gets it out of there. And then it refreshes. It brings cool and crisp water to satisfy the thirst of whoever is along the banks of that river. 

And then it shapes. A river can cut through the hardest rock on this earth a period of time. So when Jesus says, I will give you rivers of living water, he’s saying, I will keep you clean and pulling out all of the junk and the sin and the brokenness of your life. I will keep your soul cool and crisp and refreshed and satisfied. And I can actually shape you. My river of living water can cut through even the hardest parts of your heart over time. He’s more than enough. 

More than enough. Are you with me on all that? Okay. One more. Let me try to pull the whole thing together. There’s a great story of a guy in the Old Testament, his name is Abraham. He’s a hero of the faith. And one day his one and only son named Isaac, God comes to him and says, “Abraham, I want you to offer Isaac to me as a sacrifice.” And without hesitating, Abraham takes his son, Isaac, puts wood on his back, grabs the knife and the fire and they go on a three-day journey up onto this mountain. 

And he takes the wood on his son’s back, lays him down and just as he’s about to sacrifice his son, because God asked him to, God just screams out and says, “Stop. Now, I know that you love me because you have not withheld your one and only son from me.” In other words, Abraham took that which he love the most and offered it to the one who loved him the most. 

And what I love about that story is that is not a story of Abraham and Isaac. That is a story about Jesus and the Father. You see the Father took Jesus, his one and only son and put the wood on his back, the cross. And they went up on this journey, to this hill called Calvary. And the Father let down all of his wrath for the sin of mankind on Jesus, so the love of God could be poured out on us. And for three days, the Father lost Jesus as he was buried in the tomb. But then Jesus rose again from the grave. 

And now we know that he loves us because he not withheld his one and only son from us. You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to be afraid that God is holding out on you. He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, will he not then also along with him graciously give us all things? Like if he gave you Jesus, don’t you think he’s going to give you everything else? If I can just reach out and grab a hold of him, I will have everything else because he’s already given me his best. 

The only question is this, will you offer what you love the most to the one who loves you the most? What are you trying to grab a hole of? See Jeremiah tells us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Even when you aren’t pursuing Jesus, he never stops pursuing you. 

Even when you’re not hungry for him, he’s hungry for you. This whole series, this whole month, this whole season of your life is God saying, I love you with this unending love and I am drawing you day by day by day with my kindness until you finally reach out and grab a hold of me. Psalm 27 says, My heart says of you, “Seek his face.” Your heart more than anything else wants Jesus. Your flesh wants everything this world has to offer. 

The question is this, are you going to follow the desire of your heart, the desire of all nations, Jesus, or are you going to follow your flesh and take all the things that the world has to offer? 

And if you’re here today and you say, I have no desire for Jesus, ask him. That’s how good he is. God, help me hunger for you. Come on, Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man, Jesus, came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus came to passionately pursue to save, heal, make whole and deliver that which was lost. You. And if you’re sitting here and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I did that whole get saved thing 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 2 years ago, 2 months ago,” okay, it doesn’t mean you’re not still lost today. Just because you’re going to heaven someday doesn’t mean you’re not lost in your work, it doesn’t mean you’re not lost in your anxiety, it doesn’t mean you’re not lost in that relationship, lost in that brokenness, lost in that sin pattern, lost in that pain, lost in the present, lost in the past, lost in the future, just lost in life. 

And so what do we do? If I can just grab a hold of his grace, I will be healed, made whole, delivered and set free. Come on, Valley Creek, what are you hungry for? Maybe it’s time to ask God to give you a fresh appetite for him. 

So you close your eyes with me. Come on, what do you feel like God is saying to you today? Right now, what’s God’s stirring up in your spirit, in your soul? In Jesus, there’s no shame, there’s no condemnation, there’s no judgment, there’s freedom, there’s grace. And maybe right now God’s poking on some things inside of your spirit and you get a choice. 

You can be offended or you can be transformed. If I can just grab a hold of his grace, my life will start to change. And so because we’ve done this and all other ones in this series, I want to do it one more time, if you’re here and you’re saying, I am hungry for more of Jesus. That whatever campus you’re at, I want to invite you to just stand up by faith. You don’t have to do this, nobody’s looking at you, everybody’s eyes are closed. Stay seated if that’s not you. If you’re like, I am hungry for more of Jesus -- or maybe it’s even, “Lord, I want to be hungry for you. I’m going to be honest enough to just stand up today to just, ‘I’m not hungry for you, but I want to be, so could you like ignite that spark of grace in my heart?’”

And if you’re standing up by faith saying, “God, I’m hungry for you,” I want to invite to even go one more step to even, like that woman reaching out -- can you just raise both of your hands in the air, like by faith, I believe the kingdom is at hand. And I’m even physically positioning my own body to demonstrate what I want to experience in my soul and in my life, reaching out to grab a hold of his grace. And so, Lord Jesus, right now I pray that as we, by faith reach out to you, your grace would flow into our lives. That right now, things would be broken off, things would be delivered, things would be set free. That you would bring breakthrough and healing and redemption and freedom in our lives and you would stir up an insatiable desire for Jesus. You are the desire of the nations. Therefore, you are the desire of our lives and of this church. And so no matter where we are in the journey, we can reach out and grab a hold of you by faith. 

And your grace is the power of God to change and transform everything in our lives. Stir it up, God. Stir up a hunger within us, for you, the only one that matters, the one who loves us the most. May we let go of the things we love the most to grab a hold of your love and your grace.

And so everybody else, whatever campus you’re at, if you would just stand up, let me just pray for you. Lord Jesus, thank you so much for what you’re doing in our church and in our lives. Thank you that Jesus really is more than enough. Lord, would you do deep heart surgery in each one of us, that you would break off the things that hold us back and help us go to new places with you? May we grab a hold of the grace of Jesus, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.