Most of us have sung the song before and in one of the verses we cried out to God with great passion and emotion: "Lord we hunger and thirst for more of Jesus". "Be with us", "Fall upon us in this place".
Or maybe, the song leader or prayer leader would challenge the congregation to respond to the call: "you need to hunger and thirst for more of Jesus". Or maybe, it is an altar call from a stirring preacher, that all those who want to hunger and thirst for more of Jesus, come forward or raise your right hand or respond correspondingly.
We all have heard of this hundreds of times if you have been going to church this decade.
In the past, I have done that in my preaching as well. And I would say it is a pretty effective altar call, because deep inside most believers, they have been taught that we don't have enough of Jesus. We were told that we are leaking Jesus everyday, so we need to have more and more. Is this true and biblical? Do we leak Jesus? Is Jesus like a liquid that can be measured in terms of quantity? Or is Jesus a person and that either He is in us or He is not.?
So what do they mean by "hunger and thirst for more of Jesus" ?
There are two streams of thoughts or attitude that a person may want to hunger or thirst for more of Jesus.
1. If to be hungry and thirsty for Jesus means that Jesus is not with us all the time, and that He comes and goes at His will, then we are wrong.
Jesus does not come into or out of a believer in his life. Either you have Jesus or you do not have. Either Jesus has shown up in your life or He has not.
If you are a believer, then you have Jesus in all His fullness in your life. If you are not a believer, then you do not have Jesus. If you are in Christ, then Christ is in us. (The Old Testament has God on them not IN them - this is a Major difference).
He is a person, not some sort of liquid entity that can come into your life in half-measures or quarter-measures. Jesus is a person who is with us 24/7 and He never leaves us or forsake us until the end of the age. So you can't hunger or thirst for Jesus as if He is not always with you and for you.
2. On the other hand, if to be hungry and thirsty for Jesus means that you want to see His rule more and more in your life, to renew your mind about His everlasting Presence in your life, to respond to His fellowship and communion, to get to know Jesus better, to know His Love through the Cross, then we are right.
Jesus does not visit us, but He lives in us. His Presence has never left us. It is only that we are unaware of His Presence with us.
We live as if we did not believe that He exist or is living in us. So we need to do something on our part to know Him as He really is.
This is the desire of the Holy Spirit within you too - and that is to testify of Jesus and His greatest accomplishment at the Cross.
A personal thought: Would it be better to say "Let us draw near to God who lives within us" rather than "let us hunger and thirst for more of Jesus"? To an understanding Christian it may mean the same, but to others around, it may imply that Jesus is not with you, and you need to call Him down.
In the Old Testament (under the Law), God dwells in tents and buildings, and people have to find God there. In the New Testament (under Grace), God no longer dwells in places. He dwells in the hearts of men and women who have believed and received Him. Wherever Christians are, God is there. He becomes part of that place because we are there. He does not live in temples made by men.
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
God is with us. He has never left us. It doesn't matter whether you "feel" it or not.
You don't need to hunger and thirst for Jesus anymore. You have found Him. When you found Jesus, your hunger and thirst was satisfied.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall NEVER hunger; and he that believeth on me shall NEVER thirst.
Have you come to Jesus and believe on Him? If yes, then you are no longer hungry or thirsty for more of Jesus. He is everything you will ever need and He is in you.