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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37395
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 THE SEARCH for "HUNGER" - by Andrew Strom

[b]THE SEARCH for "HUNGER"[/b]
[i]by Andrew Strom[/i]

A few years ago I heard my friend David Servant give a teaching
which changed my life quite profoundly. He was speaking about the
fact that Jesus told His disciples to focus on the "hungry" people
and those who 'receive' the message - and literally to leave the
others behind. Jesus was actually very insistent on this. He
specifically instructed his disciples, "If they do not receive you in
this town, shake the dust off your feet and go to the next town"
and "Do not cast your pearls before swine".

To many of us this is a very radical way of thinking. But it is actually
the commandment of God. Why? Because God does not want His
servants all over the world to be stuck wasting years and years on
"un-hungry" people! He wants them to be productive - to bear much
fruit - to be where the hungry ones are who will gladly receive their
word. And sometimes whole nations are basically hungry while
others are basically sleepy, lukewarm and complacent. We know
this from history.

Recently while in Wales, David Servant made the same point again
in regard to Revival. He pointed out that it is not just Prayer and
Repentance preaching that are the main keys to Revival. There
must also be a basic HUNGER amongst the people in order for
any kind of real Awakening to take hold. Complacency, apathy,
materialism and lukewarmness can kill any Revival stone dead -
almost before it starts.

Sometimes "calamity" must come to produce such a hunger. Other
times it has been poverty or war. In the Eastern Bloc countries it
was the fall of Communism that produced a massive hunger for a
period, and thousands came to the Lord - but this seemed to last
only a few years. "Hunger" is certainly a very big key to Revival.

Personally, one of the things I try to look for when visiting countries
these days is the level of Hunger that seems to prevail in the land.
In the last couple of years I have ministered in almost every corner
of the Western world - USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa, Europe. I always have high hopes that I will find regions of
real Hunger - the kind that I often see in the Third World. But sadly
this is a rare occurrence in the West. Of course there is a 'remnant'
everywhere. And I was encouraged by what I saw in South Africa.
But basically we need to face the fact that the West is asleep -
barely hungry at all - though there are a few glimmers of hope
starting to appear because of the recession.

Wales is sadly another example of this - in some ways the saddest
of all. 100 years ago Wales was the most alive, hungry, spiritual
powerhouse in the world. And yet today the people show little
interest, the chapels stand empty, and apathy reigns supreme.
We have been going into pubs in Wales, talking to the "common
man" about it all. Most have never even heard of the Welsh Revival -
and hardly give Christianity the slightest thought. Terribly sad. But
we aim to keep our pub ministering up for the six months or so
that we are here. Much of the Western world is almost as bad.
Lulled to sleep by too much entertainment, comfort and materialism.
In Wales many worship football far more fervently than they worship God.

So what do we do about all of this? Where do we go? What would
God have us doing? For me, Africa is the place of "hunger" that God
has been sending me to for year after year. For you it may be
someplace else. Pray about it. Don't just sit and "vegetate". God
wants you fruitful. He didn't design you to just sit and sit forever.
Be up and about the Lord's business! Do you realize that we are
living in the most exciting times of Revival that Asia and South
America and Africa have ever seen? Get up! Get involved! You are
not designed to miss out on this! There is hunger all over the world,
and such a terrible shortage of laborers. The call of God is to "Go"!

I know that some in the West find pockets of hunger in the prisons
or amongst Refugees coming into the country, etc. These may be
very good places to check out. But either way we need to start
"prioritizing" hunger the way that God prioritizes it. To Him it is of
the utmost importance. In fact, it can be the main deciding factor
of whether or not He can move powerfully amongst a people. (See
the Sermon on the Mount for proof of this in Jesus' words).

And so, to conclude, I believe we need to ask ourselves some fairly
basic questions - which indeed I have to ask myself also:
-Are we focusing our ministry on truly "Hungry" people?
-Do we 'move on' as Jesus instructed if a town or people do not
receive our word?
-Or do we hang on for year after year - sowing our precious seed
on hard and crusty soil - which is exactly what Jesus told us NOT to do?

May each of us find ourselves in the most productive and fruitful
part of God's vineyard that He has chosen for us, my friends. The
fields of much of the world are white unto harvest.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2009/7/16 8:51Profile

Joined: 2009/1/15
Posts: 17

 Re: THE SEARCH for "HUNGER" - by Andrew Strom

I remember reading this when Andrew sent it out and it was such a blessing here was my reply:

I liked your recent mail out. It reminded me of a teaching David did "It's Time to try Pond #2"

Here's a little quote from it:"Imagine for a moment that you are fishing at the edge of a pond. You've been standing there all day every day for months, continually casting your line, lashing the waters to foam. Thousands of worms have sacrificed their lives in the process. But for all your efforts, the only thing that has happened is that on one day, one fish jumped one time and spit in your direction. Pretty discouraging fishing.Then imagine seeing another pond right beside that first one. You decide to give it a try. While you are about to put a worm on your hook, even before your first cast, fish start jumping out of the pond attempting to eat the worm in your hand. Before long there are hundreds of fish lying at your feet.If such a thing happened, do you suppose that you might decide to do a little less fishing at Pond #1 and a little more fishing at Pond #2?"

This is a question I had to ask my self and had to take in earnest prayer before the Lord, and in our case God sent us to Mexico. And have seen a great difference here in our "fishing for men". Though not all of Mexico is Pond #2. Even here we have seen deadness, complacency, lack of concern for their souls. We did in Mexico what we have done a lot in the past go to the physical poor, to our great surprise they were the hardest people to reach with little fruit compared to what we are seeing now. We were working in this poor village in Mexico for a few months before moving to where we are now, and people loved to invite us to their houses and we spent so much time sowing the word but no body would repent, other than in the prisons. People were very hardened and loved darkness rather that light. We decided to move for a little here to a big city, financially properous city, people are very well off here, we did this for the purpose of Josef learning Spanish at a school here. He had intentions to just come quickly, learn spanish, do a little ministry and get out of here and go back to the village we were in. We never thought of working in a place like this. But to our great surprise we have seen such a hunger, though they are not physically hungry they are spiritually starving! We have seen more fruit here in these last months than our whole time put together in Mexico. We have found more solid brethren here than in all of Mexico also. And I guess that brings me to what you were writing about. Ultimatly be led by the Lord, and go where people hunger and thirst for righteousness, because those are the one's who will be filled! I'm tired of wasting time, worked in the US and different parts of Europe and have seen the hardness, unwillingness to surender to Christ, I thank God for moving to a place where the fish are just jumping out of the water ready to eat the worm in our hand! Blessed be the Lord, may He lead you and guide you and his Church into all truth, into his perfect will.

~Lina Urban


 2009/7/16 9:58Profile

Joined: 2007/1/15
Posts: 365

 Re: THE SEARCH for "HUNGER" - by Andrew Strom

"Much of the Western world is almost as bad.
Lulled to sleep by too much entertainment, comfort and materialism.
In Wales many worship football far more fervently than they worship God."

I believe the above quote is probably most responsible for the state of our churches in America.

May we repent and return to our first works before 'the time of mercy' is over. The Lord is longsuffering, He is not eternal-suffering.


 2009/7/16 13:00Profile

 Re: Neverending Hunger


Saying this, I am reminded of the scripture; "As many as received Him, to them gave he power to BECOME a child of God."

There is something that we can do, and that is to genuinely believe that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, in spirit and in truth, and in the seeking of Him, want to please Him. Jesus said of the saints in Laodicea ; "You say that you are rich, and in need of nothing...."You say"....this is the pride and self life that tends to dominate us, and persuade us that our wills and our own way must be God's way; after all, we've got it all!" and fullness, and of course, sound doctrine.

The reality is not about what "We say", our "You say", but it is about what I say!" "I say that you are miserable and blind, and have NEED of eyesalve...[ reality to see . ]

Then he speaks the WORD..."REPENT!"...John the Baptist also...Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" The religious have the hardest time at this; for most feel that they already are repentant, and yet, most of their Gospel lives are belief systems that are stuck between their ears...never seeing their need to Do and Heed the warning, and to repent themselves; to learn how to love.....both the Father and mankind.

Revival will come when a company of folks have had enough of themselves, and respond to God's hunger to own a people that will own Him. This is true hunger, and I'm afraid that you cannot teach it, and simply preaching about it is not enough. "Break up the fallow ground!" is a two edged command, that requires grace, and a desire from both edges....both from God, and from Man. It operates by faith, and is at the heart of true hunger, and always begins in the individual first. When these parts converge, you have the makings of a revival, and a revived church is not an event, but a garden, where life always must be tended to, both in watering , pruning, and feeding. I believe that the hunger is never to be diminished, for this is the true mark of humility, and the real enemy of the World, the Flesh, and the devil that constantly prowl to destroy true life.

The true revived church will always display a hunger for holiness, and every other attribute of the character of God in the face of Jesus of Nazareth.

 2009/7/16 14:23

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