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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Are You Starving To Death?

Matt Hagee - Are You Starving To Death?

Matt Hagee - Are You Starving To Death?
Matt Hagee - Are You Starving To Death?

We're going to be discussing the difference between what you want and what you need. How many of you know that there is usually a very real distinction between what you want and what you need? You want blue bell. You need broccoli. You want your will. You need to submit to his word. And whenever these to forces, your desire and God's divine purpose, collide within you, you have a hunger pain. Sometimes your pain is to feed the flesh. And sometimes your pain is a yearning in your spirit. What you need to understand is that the one that you choose to feed is the one that will win. And today, we're going to see what the Word of God has to say about how you can overcome hunger pains. Let's read Matthew 5:6 together. If you're there, say, amen. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled".

Heavenly Father, today give us a passion, a hunger, a yearning for your presence in our lives: that we may show the world the kind of God that we serve and give them a desire to know you too. It's in your name that we pray and ask. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.

You may be seated. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness". Here in the United States, we are very fortunate that when we compare ourselves to other nations in the world, we don't know a whole lot about hunger. In this nation, hungry people are still in pretty good shape. But other nations of the world, more than 25.000 people will starve to death on a daily basis, literally not having enough food to get the energy to make it through the day. You take 25.000 time 365, and more than nine million people will starve to death in the world this year. That's a tragedy. But even connected to that tragedy is this: how many people in the world are starving to death spiritually and don't know i?

Consider some of these statistics. In the United States this year, 867.000 marriages will starve to death whenever they sign the paperwork for divorce. Forty-six thousand people are starving to death for hope. And when they don't feel like they can find hope in the things of this world, in starvation, they'll take their own life in suicide. Sixty-eight thousand people are looking for some form of escape. They're starving to death. They're looking for something that will help them overcome the pain that's in their life. And they're going to end their life with an accidental drug overdose. Twenty million children in the United States are starving right now, starving in their heart, starving in their home, starving in their lives for the love of a father who is not in the house.

The question that I have for you is: "What are you hungry for"? Where is the hole in your life and what will fill it? The prophet Amos said, in Amos 8: he said, "Behold, the days are coming," says God, "When I will send a famine, not a famine of bread and not a famine of water, but a famine for the hearing of the word of the Lord". Church, that famine is not coming to America: that famine is happening in America. We are starving to death because we have craved, and we have hungered, and we have not found one thing that has satisfied. We've craved power, and we've never been more out of control. We've craved riches and we've never been more spiritually bankrupt. We've craved pleasure, and we've never been more empty. And spiritually, we sit in this sanctuary, and the nation is starving to death, because we're looking for someone, we're looking for something, we're looking for a fix that will fill this hole inside of us.

What do you crave? Your cravings have nothing to do with your need. And that's a dangerous thing, because often times we consider our cravings, and then we deceive ourselves. We convince ourselves we need what we crave. Now I'm not talking about you, so don't get all offended. But I guarantee you: there are people you know who tell you they need what they crave. How many of you've ever needed chocolate? Let's look at it this way: just so you understand that you're cravings have nothing to do with your needs. Think about thanksgiving. Maybe you can think back or maybe you're looking forward, either way. But I would assume that at thanksgiving, if you're like the rest of us, you're going to eat more in one hour than you would in a week. And you're going to sit there sweating and aching. You don't need anything. Your body is screaming, "Stop"! You're about to fall asleep on the table, because of the tryptophan that's in the turkey that you've just consumed. And all of a sudden in spite of what you don't need, somebody's going to walk in and say, "Would you like pie and ice cream"? And you're going to go, "Yes, I would like pie and ice cream". Mentally, you're going to convince yourself there's room for that. Why? Because your craving has nothing to do with what you need.

So what are you craving? People crave things every day that they don't need. And people need things every day that they don't crave. You go to the doctor's office, the doctor will look at you. And he'll say, "You need 30 minutes of exercise," but you don't crave it. He'll tell you, "You need a big bowl of leafy greens," but you don't crave it. When you eat kale and you say it tastes good, you are not being honest. There is no hot sign on a bowl of salad that makes people jump off the highway and buy a bushel. Why? Because they don't crave salad. But you put the hot sign on the donut shop, and they'll make six different traffic changes just to get to that store. Don't need a donut, but the hot sign's on: let's go! "The Lord will supply all of my needs, according to his riches in glory".

It's the same when you come to church. You come to church, the pastor will tell you things that you need, but do you crave them? He'll tell you that you need the Word of God: that you need prayer: that you need the presence of God in your life on a daily basis. You can't survive all week long on a 90-minute fix: you need God every day! And in spite of what you know about how much you need him, the question is, "Do you crave him"? Do you hunger for him? Is there a longing desire in your soul for more of Jesus than you have right now? You see when it comes to the things that we need and the things that we don't crave, we often make long lists of excuses about why we don't pursue them. Let's consider back in the diet category. We're going to stay in that arena for a little bit.

How many people do you know, who need to go on a diet, who need to exercise, and they say things like, "Well, I'm just too busy right now"? You're sitting on a couch. What's busy about that? "Well I just haven't found the right gym". You can walk around the house. You don't need a gym. "Well I've got an old injury from high school". You were in the glee club: why are you holding your knee? "Well the doctor says I'm allergic to sweat". So work out in a freezer, but you've got to get something going. Or my favorite, "I'm going to start Monday". How many of you have calendars that never have a Monday? They do the same when it comes to God. "I know that I need to pray: I just can't find time right now. I know I need to go to church, but the last time I went, I was offended. They were too legalistic. They were too religious. I know I need to read the Word of God, but I just don't understand it whenever I open it".

All of these are nothing more than excuses. And no matter what excuse you make, no matter what definition of it you give, it doesn't change the truth. You still need Jesus every day! You need to know that your cravings are either curing you or they're killing you, because cravings are deceptive things. Listen to what people say about what they crave. They actually use this rationale in spite of the damage they're doing to themselves. What do smoker's say? "I need a cigarette"? No, you don't. Alcoholics, "I need a drink". No, you don't: you crave it. Addicts, "I need a fix". No, you don't: you crave it. And these are the things that we can identify with our natural eyes. But how many things in your life do you crave that you've convinced yourself you need? Your cravings will either cure you or they will kill you. What happens when you quit craving the things of the world that are destructive, and you start craving the Word of God like the addict craves its fix?

What happens when you crave his presence to the point that David said, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere"? Or you understand what he wrote when he said, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after thee"? What happens when you crave God just like that? You're cured. When you crave him, you're cured of the sin that's killing you. For Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life". When you crave him, you're cured from sickness and disease: for the Bible says, "I am the Lord that healeth thee," and, "I am the God that cures all of your diseases". The Bible tells us in Proverbs that this word shall be health to my navel, and it shall be marrow to my bones. That means when I pick it up and I read it, it's curing me. It's taking all of the disease out of me, because that's just how powerful the Word of God is.

So where do cravings come from? People hear about cravings and they want to swear them off. You can't. Where do cravings come from? Cravings are created by everything you see, everything you hear, and everything you feel. The apostle John wrote it this way to the New Testament church: he said, "Do not love the world or the things in the world: for if anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him". Now I want to set this in the proper context because in times past, this has been used as a legalistic verse that basically says: if you like anything in this world, you're a worldly person and you don't love God. That's not true.

In my father's generation, when he was a teenager, they used to take verses like this, and say, "You can't play football, because if you play football, it's in the world. And if you love football, you can't love Jesus". I wish that half of an NFL team went to this church. I'd give him off on Sunday as long as they tithe. This is not a verse that says the love of the world is prohibitive. This is a verse that says, what's your priority? Jesus said it this way: "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and then all of these things", say that with me, "All of these things". You cannot have prohibition and all of these things. It's not a matter of what you can and can't do. It's a matter of what do you want more. Do you want God? Or anything in this world?

What John is saying is do not let anything take the place of God in your life. Don't let your recreation. Don't let your desires. Don't let your business. Don't let your family. Don't let anything in your life become more consuming than your hunger for the things of God. It's not a matter of prohibition: it's a matter of priority. And then in the next verse, here's what he said: he said, "For all that is in the world", now listen closely, "The lust of the flesh", that's what you feel, that's what you crave, "The lust of the eyes", that's what you see. And then he said, "The pride of life". How do you receive pride? You listen to other people brag. It's what you see. It's what you hear. It's what you feel. You listen to other people brag about how they can do what they want, when they want, and nobody can do anything about it. There are no consequences to sin.

How many of you've ever heard somebody argue that? That's the pride of life. He said, "These things are not of the father: they are in the world". Look at it from Eve's perspective, Genesis 3:6. Why did she choose to eat the forbidden fruit? The Bible says that when she saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. She could see it. And then the Bible says, "And it was desirable to make her wise". She could feel it. And then it says, "She took the fruit and she ate it". She had enough pride and arrogance to believe she could do it her way and there wouldn't be any consequences. She was wrong. But before we blame her, ask yourself, "What are you looking at"? What's become the priority in your life? Is it still the love of the father? Or have you turned and been distracted by the things of the world?

In Eve's case, she wanted to become like God rather than depend on God. How about you? Has your desire for a bigger business become a hire priority than your reliance upon God, your father, who is your provider? Has the idea of sex outside of marriage become such an arrogant, prideful thought: that you believe you can have it your way and break the covenant that God created? What is it that has taken the prior of God in your life? What are you listening to? What are you looking at? What are you hearing? Because it determines what you feel and what you crave. Look at it this way: why don't people crave Christianity in America? What do they hear? When they come into the house of God, do they hear the people of God behaving like Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you"? Or do they hear people and struggle in strife, in gossip and back biting. What do they see?

When they come into the house of God, do they see what the blood of the lamb has done? And do they hear the word of our testimony? Or do they see just the same problems in the sanctuary that are out there in the street? You need to know that if people are going to see Jesus in you, they have to see something different in you than is in them. Why would they want him if they can't see him doing something in you? What do they feel? Do they feel the presence of the Lord. Do they feel the fullness of joy or do they feel judged? Do they feel welcome or do they feel out of place? Do they feel freedom, because the Bible says, "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". Or are they hindered by religious rules and legalistic lines? Now when you consider your cravings, some people immediately take a very pious position, "Well I'll just denounce them".

If you don't crave, you're dead. Craving is something God wove into your DNA. When you got here to this earth onto day of your birth, the doctor's first question is, "How's the baby eating"? Because he wanted to know if you had cravings. And if you weren't craving, then he was trying to fix whatever was broken. It's not a question of will you or won't you crave. It's a question of, what do you crave? So craving is a sign of life. And here's what I recommend you do. Follow Paul's example. Romans 6:11. He says, "Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin and alive in Christ". Now that word "Reckon" for those of you north of the mason Dixie line, means that you rationalize, you reason within your mind that you're dead to sin. It doesn't mean that you can't sin.

There are some people walking around telling people, I'm dead to sin: I can't sin. Next time they say that, just stomp on their foot one time real hard. And see how much Jesus comes spilling out of them. "Bless you, my brother". No. It doesn't mean that you can't sin. When it says you're dead to sin, it means is that the desire you used to have to sin is no longer there. There are people right now, who desire 5 o'clock somewhere. They desire Friday. They desire whatever window of time it is that they get to do whatever sinful behavior they engage in. And what Paul is saying is that whenever you're dead to sin, that desire dies. And what you do is you replace it with Jesus Christ.

Paul said it this way in another verse: he said, "I die daily". Say that with me, "I die daily". How often did he have to kill his craving? Daily. Why? Because as long as his spirit was wrapped up in flesh, he had to submit his flesh to the Word of God. How did he do it? Daily, he spent time with God. Daily, he thanked God for his goodness. Daily, he prayed. Daily, he read. Daily, he counted the blessings of God in his life. What about you? David said it this way: he said, "O taste and see that the Lord is good".

Paul was saying, "I took a taste test. I tried everything that the world had to offer, and it was bitter and it was cold. And now I've tasted the goodness of God. And when I considered what the world offered and what God has given me, I'll tell you he's sweeter than the honey in the honey comb. I feasted on his promises, and they're pressed down, and they're shaken together, and they're running over. I've sat at his banqueting table and he's overwhelmed me with his loving kindness that's better than life, his goodness and his mercy, his grace and his provision. I've drank from living water and I'll never thirst again. I've received fresh oil and new wine. And I've been filled with joy unspeakable that's full of glory. I've eaten the manna that rained down from heaven in the desert of my days. And I came to tell somebody that God has satisfied my soul with good things. He has filled my heart to overflowing! And he is great and greatly to be praised"!

Child of God, I dare you today. I dare you today. If you've tasted what the world had to offer, if you've tasted misery, if you're tasted sorrow, if you've tasted heartache, then taste and see that the Lord is good! Take a taste test if you need provision. Taste and see if he's not a provider. If you need healing, taste and see if he's not a healer. If you need his joy, taste and see if he's not a friend that sticks closer than a brother. If you need a mountain to be moved, taste and see if he will not make a way. If you need protection, taste and see if no weapon formed against you should prosper. Because child of God, I promise you this: our God will not fail!

There are some of you in this place today, you're starving to death. On the outside, you look fine. Everything's in the right place. If we judged the book by its cover, you're good. But you know deep down in your soul there's a big empty hole, and you've tried it all. You drank what they said you should drink. You took what they said you should take. You did what they said you should do. And no matter how many things you've attempted to spill it with, you're still starving. You're still craving. Today, you say, pastor, "I've tried everything". Well then today, based on what I've told you, based on what I've presented from God's living bread, I want you to try Jesus, because he will satisfy. He will satisfy. Would you stand to your feet?

Heavenly Father, there's people in this place today who need a touch in their home. There's people in this place today, who need a touch in their physical body. There's people in this place today, who need a touch in their finances. There's people in this place today, who need to see the hand of God move in such a mighty way that there wouldn't be a single doubt in their mind that God is indeed answering prayer. Lord, you know who they are. You know what they need. You've made a way through the power of your name, through the power of your word, through the power of your blood. So now, in Jesus' name, here on this earth, I declare, whatever hindrance exists in heavenly places, it's pulled down, in the mighty name of Jesus.

I declare, whatever weapon has been formed against them, it's broken, in the mighty name of Jesus. I declare, whatever plan the enemy had for them, it's canceled, in the mighty name of Jesus. I declare, according to your word, "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered". Go home with them today and give them joy unspeakable and full of glory. Watch over them tonight and let them lie down with peace that surpasses understanding. Be standing beside them faithfully when they rise in the morning. And wherever they go, whatever they do, wherever their foot falls, let the Spirit of God go with them! Let the favor of God be upon them! Let the goodness and the mercy of God overshadow them! Let the world see them and know that they are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath: that they're blessed when they're coming in, and they're blessed when they're going out: and that the hand of God has a special and divine purpose for them. But Heavenly Father, most of all, give them a hunger. Give them a craving. Give them a burning desire for more of you, more of you, in Jesus' name!

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