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I can remember 100 degree days working on roofs. I can remember getting hotter and hotter and even when drinking I would still feel thirsty. I have hiked in the desert on 114 degree days in the scorching sun. Even when drinking water almost continuously I would still feel thirsty. We know what it is like to work outside for several hours at a time only to come home to get a nice cold glass of water. How many of us have drank water out of a hose or irrigation pipe because we were thirsty and that was the only source of water?
How far would you walk for water if you didn’t have any and were thirsty? How much would you pay for water if you had gone without for a day or two and still didn’t have any? Would you drink water out of someone else’s water bottle? If you had been without water for a few days out in the wilderness, would you drink water out of a creek? The dirty river? A puddle?
It is amazing what we will do just for water. Yet water is absolutely necessary for us to survive. We need about 3 quarts of water per day to operate efficiently assuming we are not in heat or physically exerting ourselves. Without water we cannot digest food, water works as a cooling agent regulating our temperature, and it works as a lubricant for our joints. It doesn’t take very many hours without water before we begin to suffer.
Thirst. We know what it is to thirst for water. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” I find it interesting that Jesus used the word “thirst” in this verse. He didn’t say blessed are those who want righteousness, who desire it, who have a passion for it. He said “hunger” and “thirst”. I can have a passion for something and still go several days without pursuing that passion. The same with desire and want. However, if I have a thirst for something, I will not ever want to do without.
Righteousness is that which is right; that which is true and just. Do we desire righteousness? Do we strive for and want that which is right in our lives? Do we THIRST for righteousness?
I believe most everyone wants righteousness on some level. No one wants to live next door to a serial killer and no one wants their wives and daughters living in a town where rapists run free. However very few people truly thirst for true, complete righteousness. Not righteousness as defined by our society for we all know that society is not a good ruler for that which is right. Not even righteousness as defined by religious groups because again, religious groups have many times failed at righteousness. While we ourselves might be good people, our own righteousness is not perfect either. True righteousness can only be defined and determined by God Himself. Do we thirst for this kind of righteousness?
If we thirst for this kind of righteousness, we will desire to know God’s will, His commands, His truth and we will desire to follow Him. If we thirst for this kind of righteousness we will be quickly willing to change our ways when we realize we have been wrong. If we thirst for this kind of righteousness, we will not be able to live without it.
Now, the hard truth. Whether we thirst for righteousness or not, We absolutely cannot live spiritually without it!!!