Do we seek after God for God Himself, or for what God can do for us?
After Jesus fed the 5000, the crowds flocked to Him. In John 6, we read Jesus’ words for the crowds.
“The truth is, you were not searching for me because of the miracles but because I filled your stomachs with bread. Do not work for food that spoils. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. God the Father has sent me for this purpose.”
Context helps immensely. Reading these words in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, helps me to see Jesus’ words with fresh insight.
Hunger is a real problem in Haiti. Open your eyes and you will see physical needs everywhere you look. These needs bring people to our ministry here. Open Door Haiti has a school, feeding program, orphanage, medical clinic… all there to meet people’s tangible needs.
The needs bring people to our ministry, but they don’t necessarily bring them to God.
I’ve noticed this troubling trend over the past several years here. While all our programs grow- feeding and educating more kids, caring for more orphans, and treating more and more sick people- our church here does not grow proportionately. People who come to “fill their bellies” might not be seeking for God.
When the Catholic Church comes into the village with better programs, they go there. When a humanitarian organization comes into the village with better programs, they go there. Now, for the first time in my 15 years of coming to Haiti, a Muslim mosque has been built nearby. If they offer better programs, people will go there.
How do you help hungry people to feel a different depth of hunger? How do you help people to see their desperate need for God?
They must see something they don’t yet have. It must be so real to them that they want it, hunger for it, crave it.
What do I have “in Christ” that others would see, sense, hunger for?
Love. Forgiveness. Peace. Joy. Purpose. Strength. Confidence. Hope.
Are these so much of a reality in my life, in how I live, in how I respond, in how I relate to others, that they see the reality of the dynamic presence of the living Christ in me… and hunger for Him!
Here in Haiti, Father, my prayer is that the reality of Christ will be so demonstrable at Open Door that people will hunger even more for You than for mere food to fill their stomachs.
To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit: SONLIFE.COM