Nine years ago, I went through one of the toughest seasons in my life. For three years, I struggled in almost every part of my life. I faced discouragement in ministry, battled self-worth and identity issues, and my financial situation was not exactly rosy. To top it off, my family was also undergoing a financial crisis.
Yet, at the same time that season, I had the most powerful and significant encounters with God. They marked and defined who I am today. Looking back, I realised that, due to the trials in my life, I had a constant sense of need. I literally felt like if God didn’t break in, I wouldn’t make it through. I was desperate for God to move in my life. Crying out to Him on my bedroom floor till the wee hours for nights in a row was a regular occurrence.
God would meet me in my bedroom, and in conferences. He would meet me in prayer meetings and small group meetings. He would meet me when I was reading a book or watching a sermon on YouTube. I remembered those moments sitting in my office listening to a message, stopping to compose myself as it would be unsettling to my colleagues if I suddenly burst into tears.
Each time God met me, I’d receive a revelation of His goodness, nature, and love for me. He would bring healing and peace to different parts of my soul. After each revelation, I’d become even hungrier. I’d surrender more of myself at the altar of my heart and press in for more of His fire. On top of the sermons preached in Cornerstone, I’d spend money every month buying books and importing DVDs, devour materials from anyone with an anointing in the area I was pursuing.
Proverbs 27:7 says, ‘A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.’
Out of this season of being hungry for God, I experienced His Presence in unprecedented ways. I learned much about the anointing, the gifts of the Spirit, and how to lead people into an encounter with God.
Maybe over time as my problems were resolved, I stopped feeling a sense of need for God. I moved into a comfort zone, into cruise control and a routine, and didn’t even recognise it.
Routine is the breeding ground for complacency, stagnancy, lukewarmness, and eventually lifeless religion and flesh. We can have the title of a leader and yet stop leading. We stop hungering for more of God, feed ourselves on yesterday’s manna, and lose the cutting edge and transforming impact.
When I reminisce about that season, I realised it’s stale food now, and I begin to wonder how a new move of the Spirit in my life would look like. Now is the time when the Spirit of God is challenging me to hunger for more.
Hunger is a sign of natural and spiritual health. The loss of appetite is a sign that something is wrong in the natural and spiritual. Hunger keeps us in dependency and looking for more of God.
When we lose the desire for expansion, for growth in our leadership abilities, greater intimacy in our marriages, breakthroughs in our walk with God, greater faith for the supernatural, deeper levels of the prophetic, deeper revelation, deeper knowledge of the Word – whatever it may be – it’s simply because we’ve lost the hunger for more.
Hunger motivates us to move out of familiarity, safety, and the comfort zone where we’re into something greater. Hunger causes us to dream, innovate, press in, take risks, be creative, and discover. The hungry will change the atmosphere and the environment. They’ll determine the level of breakthrough and impact. It’s not about personality, how loud they sing or shout – it’s the hunger in their hearts that attracts a greater manifestation of the Kingdom.
In a church environment like Cornerstone, we’re fed the finest of wheat. We are filled with teachings, revelation, promises of God, and the experiences of anointed leaders. At times, we may think that we’ve seen it all, heard it all, known it all, having sat under – and received – impartation from powerful men and women of God.
Meanwhile, the abundance in our environment causes our hearts to be insulated from the drawing of the Holy Spirit for more. The greatest obstacle to a deeper encounter with God is thinking that we already have it.
While it’s easy to feel a sense of need for God when we’re undergoing lean times, the challenge is to maintain hunger in a place of abundance, favour, and blessings. Why maintain the hunger? Because there’s more! God wants to pour out so much more power, favour, and blessings upon us for His Kingdom.
To be hungry is to acknowledge our need, to remain humble and dependent on God. I want to learn to steward what God wants to release by knowing how to be contented and grateful in the midst of abundance and yet maintain hunger for more.
God wants us to pursue and steward more in such a way that we’re thankful for what He gives us and yet have a hunger that keeps on stirring. We want hearts that continually say, “God we’re thankful for what You’ve given us, but if You don’t step in, we cannot move on.”
Ps. Sng Peh Han