What Do You Hunger For?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13

I thoroughly enjoy all my fishing and hunting adventures with my good friend, Jeff Klippenes. Born and raised in the backwoods of Northern Minnesota, he has a wealth of outdoor experience that adds excitement to every outing. One of my favorite memories of Jeff begins with his decision to purchase a consignment boat from me.

After experiencing the thrill of fishing out of a bass boat, Jeff asked if he could buy it after my new boat arrived. I was excited to know that this beautiful boat would have a new home in his garage. Shortly after he took delivery, Jeff planned an outing with a mutual friend. I had no idea that the Viking bloodline in Jeff’s heritage would come out the way it did. To a Scandinavian there is no water that cannot be conquered!

He took his low profile bass boat out in the San Francisco Bay for a sturgeon fishing trip. In the late afternoon, unexpected gale winds came up and swamped the boat. He called me at about 4:00 PM. “Hey Jim, this is Jeff…ah you probably can’t guess what happened to our boat today. It seems that it really doesn’t handle very well in fierce winds and heavy seas…” Of course I pressed for further explanation. With humor in his voice, he continued, “I’m okay and everything is alright. The boat is full of water and tied up to a dock in a restricted area of the Naval Weapons Station in Antioch.”

I could tell by Jeff’s attitude that, while he was definitely shaken, he wasn’t willing to let the circumstances of his adventure detour his love for fishing or God. Despite his financial loss and personal embarrassment, Jeff praised the Lord: “God was really good to us Jim. He watched over us and brought us safely back home.”

That evening I met Jeff down at the marina. We bailed out his submerged rig and towed it back to his trailer with my new boat. Throughout the evening, Jeff’s attitude was positive and encouraging. His heart was right before God as he honored the relationship he had with his Heavenly Father, understanding that his true treasures were stored up in heaven.

There was another man whose deep love of God and willing heart enabled him to be positive in almost every situation. When we think about King David, different images come to mind. Some remember David as a shepherd boy, dedicated for service. Others remember David as a giant-killing warrior who bravely saved a nation from inevitable destruction. Some remember David as a lustful man who slept with another man’s wife and then covered his sin with a murderous act—or a weak father who neglected to discipline his children. Many think of David as a great poet, composer, or musician.

According to the Bible, God remembers David most as Israel’s greatest king, the one whose name would be forever linked with the Messiah—the “Son of David” (Matthew 1:1). In Acts 13:22, Paul identifies God’s testimony regarding David: “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David, Son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything that I want him to do.’”

David was chosen of God because he was a person of integrity and character. God could see humility and might within the framework of this obscure peasant boy. It was this character and poise that allowed David to volunteer to fight Goliath and conquer several nations.

As David considered all of his accomplishments and his relationship with God, he provided his son Solomon this final advice, found in Chapters 28 and 29 of 1 Chronicles, “Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts . . . If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”

I want God to know and remember me as a man after His heart, obviously not perfect, but fully committed to Him. Let’s take some time to consider the following:

Am I seeking God today? “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Prov. 8:17.

Am I after God’s heart—not perfect, but wanting to understand His ways and His will in everything I do? “Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” Psalm 119:27.

Do I hunger for Him? “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matt. 5:6.

Do I worship Him alone? “You must worship no other gods, but only the LORD, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.” Ex. 34:14 (NLT).

Is He my greatest desire or am I filled with earthly ambitions and desires? “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:33.

These are the big questions in life. Not what car I will drive, or what phone I will buy, or even where I will live… If you’re like me, busyness often dictates how much time I take to ponder these questions. When God is first in our lives, though, we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and we submit to His teachings…and God works out the details. In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells his children, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I am very certain that the Creator of the Universe is quite capable of planning my life…certainly more capable than me.

Our success in life is not dependent on our earthly possessions or achievements, but rather on our willingness to pursue God’s heart, to cultivate a meaningful relationship with the living God and join Him in His great mission. When we have an earthly perspective, we are easily devastated by earthly losses. When we understand that our true treasures are eternal, our joy is not dictated by our circumstances. Like Jeff, and like King David, our greatest joy will come from knowing our Heavenly Father and the hope that He has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ…even when our boat is sinking!

The Power of Truth:
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deut. 4:29

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” Eph. 6:24

Suggestion for Prayer:
Take some time to ask yourself the big questions and talk to God about exactly where you are. He knows anyway, and He longs to draw you closer. If you have lost your hunger for Him, ask Him to restore it.