Dare to Live With Passion and Purity
By Heather Lynn 5 Minute Read
Jesus sat on the mountain with a crowd before Him. They hung on to His every word. Here was the Messiah, the prophecy fulfilled, the Savior of mankind speaking before them. He had a message for every kind of person there: the poor, the broken, the distraught, the hungry, and many more. He began to describe each beatitude, and He encouraged the people with His healing words. It is no coincidence that “Blessed are the hungry” comes where it does in the Beatitudes. Only when we understand how poor and desolate we are without Christ, can we nurture a hunger and passion for righteousness in our lives. However, as a society, we often become so wrapped up in many things that steal our attention away from Jesus. Little by little, we begin to give our passion away to both things we love and sinful things. When we focus on the beatitude found in Matthew 5:6, we will always be satisfied.
Jesus says in this verse “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” These people were hungry and thirsty for more of God, a relationship with Him. They were aware of their poverty and need for sustaining life, so their hunger came from a place of desperation. Psalm 42 similarly describes a deer that thirsts for streams of water. This deer thirsted for the thing he knew would help him live. Do we thirst for the One who brings us life? This Psalm originated with the sons of Korah (Levites who led worship). During this time they were separated from the temple due to their captivity. They desired to worship in the temple with the Lord. They understood this thirst and need for life. Do you hunger and thirst for more of the Lord? Is your passion wrapped up in His righteousness?
2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that we have everything we need to live a godly life. Our salvation gives us the understanding of right and wrong through the Holy Spirit living inside of us. This verse also gives us hope in knowing His promises. We can cling to these promises because verse 4 tells us that they enable us to share in His divine nature. This doesn’t mean we become divine, but that we are His image and reflect Him in everything we do and say. He has given us the ability to hunger for Him because He lives in us. Even though He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us, we can still be led astray from time to time. It is important that we keep our eyes focused on Him. Our own passions will lead to sin and selfishness, but godly zeal leads to righteousness.
When we hunger for the Lord and His righteousness, He will expose the impurities in our hearts so that we can focus all of our passion on a relationship with Him. Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity is so much more than our sexual purity. It embodies everything we are: our thoughts, our actions, our attitudes, and our words. It is single-mindedness, knowing and following God’s plans for us. We must be careful to not allow sinful desires like the ones in Galatians 5:19-21 derail those plans. Some of these desires can seem natural to the world and Christians can even fail to see the harm in desires such as envy and division. Often times we even rate sins so the “little” sins won’t seem as bad as murder or adultery or some of the “big” sins. However, entertaining sinful desires lead to all of these things. We can’t fully love and serve the Lord when our attention is somewhere else; otherwise, we will be like the whitewashed tombs described in Matthew 23: 27-28. During the times of Jesus, touching a grave was considered unclean, so they were painted white to help people avoid them. Yet they still contained the dead bodies of those gone before. This was exactly how the Pharisees lived; they worked hard to maintain outside appearances, but their hearts were dirty and far from the Lord. Even if our outsides appear to be Holy and Christ-like, if our hearts aren’t, then we’ve allowed ourselves to be ruled by our impurities.
Our hunger for righteousness leads to the purity and passion of our hearts. Yet, our sinful desires like those in Galatians 5 lead to death and destruction. When we allow God to transform our desires, He will restore purity in our hearts and reveal Himself to us. A hunger for God does not come naturally, so we need to nurture it by being a part of ministries or devoting more time to Him. Take back your passion for the Lord so your hunger will only be for Him.