It was 1965 and the Rolling Stones released the song “Satisfaction”. It quickly jumped to the top of the charts and became their first number one hit. It also became one of the most popular rock-n-roll songs of all time. Most of the song is simply Mick Jagger saying over and over again, “I can’t get no satisfaction…and I try, and I try, and I try, and I try…” If you’re like me, that tune will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day- I’m sorry…
I think the popularity of this song shows us that this is a common theme for our lives. There’s a relentless chorus of “I can’t get no satisfaction!” I can’t get any! I try, and I try, and I try, but I just can’t seem to find it. In this season we can especially relate to this. We search for endless hours to create lists of wanted things that deep down (maybe not even that deep for some) we know will only satisfy us for a brief amount of time. While this isn’t unique to the holiday season, I do think we are more cognizant of our incessant desire for more, more, more!
Look at Matthew chapter 5 verse 6 with me.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
All throughout the Bible there is this talk of a hunger and a thirst for something- that incessant desire for more? Yeah, that actually comes from God. Why? Because God has provided us a way to fulfill this hunger and thirst. Our problem is that we search and search for other ways to get this satisfaction. We try to satisfy our hunger for God with all the wrong things. Take five minutes today to look at our culture; look at the things our society is investing in. It’s easy to spot that we are investing our lives in all of these things we think will satisfy us. Our souls are hungry and thirsty for God, and yet we keep running after the things of this world; we keep running after what culture tells us will satisfy us. But Jesus who has created us, who knows exactly what we need to be filled, tells us: Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled! I don’t know about you, but this is a promise that I desperately need. What great news! But what is it exactly that Jesus is saying? What is finally going to fulfill our hunger and thirst? What is this righteousness He speaks of? It is simply being right with God. This is not something we earn- apart from the work of Jesus, none of us are right with God. But through His death and resurrection, we have been made righteous. However, there is another aspect of righteousness- becoming more like Christ. Let’s look at 1 John chapter 2:
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
Jesus Christ is The Righteous One. For one to pursue righteousness, it is as simple as having a hunger, and a thirst for Jesus. For one to pursue righteousness, it means we desire to be like Jesus. This is the mark of a true follower of Jesus. I think there are three things we can do to commit to pursuing righteousness together.
- Receive RighteousnessOur hunger and thirst for righteousness starts with receiving righteousness. To receive righteousness is to accept that Jesus is the only righteous one. When you realize this, when you accept it, Jesus gives you His pardon. Then after you have received this righteousness you begin to desire to become more like Christ!
- Recognize UnrighteousnessEphesians 4:22 says: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires”
Your old way of living isn’t who you are anymore, so what do you do? You put it off! You throw it away! You begin to recognize that those desires are unrighteous, and more importantly you recognize that those desires do not satisfy. You recognize that ultimately an unrighteous life leads to an unsatisfied life.
- Run after RighteousnessYou were made righteous, and now your behavior needs to match who you are, so you run after righteousness with all that you have! While this doesn’t come naturally- you don’t just wake up one day and start living righteously because you are saved- we have got to develop a new way of thinking, a new way of living, and a new way of doing things! Jesus says He is the only thing that satisfies! So we run after Him with all that we have, resting in the promise of His satisfaction.
There are two options today. We can continue to pursue the things of this world, running aimlessly after things we think will satisfy us momentarily, or we can pursue Jesus. Only one of these things will truly satisfy the hunger and the thirst that we have. For, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be filled.”
Let’s be filled..
Director of Contemporary Worship