The Essence of Discipleship (part 4) (by Wil Cunningham)
The Essence of Discipleship (part 4)
Reading: MAT 5:6
The beatitudes of MAT 5:3-10 naturally follow one from the other. Poverty of spirit is the primary step in coming to God since we must, to come to Him, recognize needs that only He is able to fulfill. As we see that all of life is dependent on relationship with our Creator we will naturally mourn those thoughts and actions that keep us from Him. In recognizing our dependence on Him we will trust Him to do what is good and necessary for us and so will become meek. These characteristics will bring about in us an orientation to spiritual priorities. We will grow in the understanding that life that comes through righteousness is the only treasure truly worth seeking. In this way we will find ourselves hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
Everything that we think and do will have an impact in our lives. We cannot act sinfully without receiving the recompense for our actions. God is never fooled or deceived, what we sow we will also reap (Galatians 6:7-8). So it is only righteous thought and action that will bring us life; anything other or anything less will lead inevitably to death and destruction. This destruction may take place in relationship, in character, in inner joy and peace. Every area of our life in which unrighteousness exists will be subject to destruction. Those who hunger for unrighteousness will find themselves constantly frustrated, disappointed and unhappy. On the other hand those who seek only righteousness will find life delectable, fulfilling and a constant source of joy. Every area of life then must be examined to understand what, in each area, is in accordance with righteousness and what is destructive. Where righteousness exists we will find no shortage of fulfillment (PSA 34:8-10, PSA 84:11).
Those who are used to not eating will not notice hunger nearly as much as one who eats at regular intervals. In the same way we will find that the more we seek spiritual food the more we have a hunger for it, and the more we hunger the more we will be filled. However, the more we seek to eat food that is not from God’s hand the less we will have a hunger for righteousness. Just as one who cares for the body is discerning in what is put into it, so one who cares for their spirit will seek only spiritual food. In this way our hunger for righteousness will be increased, and so will our potential for being filled. If we would truly be satisfied we must in every moment, in every facet of our lives, seek to deny desire for unrighteousness, and cultivate the hunger for righteousness that alone will bring a life of abundance.