- Why should we be hungry for God when we are already filled with Him?
- Why should we desire more, when the Bible tells us, we have His fullness?
My Mum reminded me tonight that this weekend is Pentecost Sunday. She follows the tradition of wearing something red to church—representing the fire of the Holy Spirit as He descended upon the waiting believers in Acts 2.
It reminds me of something that happened two years ago.
I had a vivid dream in which I stood to preach on a Sunday morning—and as I began to speak, a powerful wind blew through the entire church building. People were running out of their seats to the altar area and I was standing in a whirlwind.
A few days later, my husband Malcolm and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a short holiday in the Whitsunday Islands, in Queensland, Australia.
I had not realised that ‘Whitsunday’ is actually a reference to ‘Pentecost Sunday’ until I stood in front of a sign that explained the region’s history (pictured).
That’s when I realized we were in a significant moment.
- A few days after having a prophetic dream about a ‘Pentecost Sunday’, we were standing in a place named for Pentecost Sunday
Moments like this stir up the hunger in me to see a move of the Holy Spirit that will overflow and touch many people—multitudes even—that don’t know Jesus, and draw them to faith.
After all, the Holy Spirit did not just come for those inside the Upper Room. He came for those outside of the room.
What do you hunger for?
In Scripture there is often a tension between two contrasting truths. As A.W. Tozer said, ‘truth has two wings.’
It is true that we need a greater revelation of the present spiritual reality that we are filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 1:17-23, 3:18-19)
However, the Bible also indicates that God wants us to pursue encounters with Him, and to seek more of His Spirit and His power.
Continually Filled with the Holy Spirit
Jack Hayford notes: ‘The tense of the Greek for be filled makes clear that such a spiritual condition does not stop with a single experience, but is maintained by ‘continually being filled’ as commanded here.’ 
Jesus used the metaphor of a river to describe the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Christian. (John 7:38) A river has constant movement; inflow and outflow.
Because we do not live in a constant state of openness and intimacy with the Spirit, the ‘flow through’ of the Spirit is not always a reality for us, even though always available.
When we become aware of our own spiritual dryness and thirst—or when external circumstances require a release of God’s power, we come again to our Father and ask.
- In Acts 4, those who are already filled with the Spirit (Acts 2) cry out to God and He fills them again. God responds to their call for boldness (an attribute of the Holy Spirit) with a fresh experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 4:23-31)
- There seem to be some instances in Acts, when an already-filled believer experiences a timely filling and enabling of the Holy Sprit. (Acts 4:8, Acts 13:9)
This is a Biblical paradox of truth: we can be already filled with God (a truth we should constantly celebrate) and yet seek for, receive and encounter more of Him.
What is the Language of Hunger for God?
The language of hunger in your relationship with God is:
- The acknowledgement of your need of Him
- The expression of your passionate desire for Him
- Fervency in prayer
Moses used the language of hunger when he said to God, ‘Show me Your glory.’ (Ex 33:18)
David used the language of hunger when he wrote, ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.’ (Ps 42:1)
The church in Acts used the language of hunger when they raised their voices in prayer, crying out to God for boldness to speak out His word, and for God to release His power in signs and miracles. (Acts 4:23-31)
The language of hunger does not only consist of words and prayer: it is the act of pursuing intimacy and encounters with God.
Jesus Taught us to use the Language of Hunger for God
Jesus taught His disciples to use the language of hunger in prayer:
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you… If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)
We ask as Sons and Daughters
Jesus reminds us that our hunger is not that of the impoverished, and not that of an orphan. We are not asking from a mentality of poverty, lack, or spiritual abandonment (i.e. an orphan spirit). No! Our Father is ever present, ever ready and ever delighting to give.
We ask from the revelation of knowing we are sons and daughters.
The heart of our God yearns for relationship. We are created to have intimacy with Him and to partner with Him as we go about on our Father’s business. (Luke 2:49)
So rejoice, celebrate, thank and praise God, and be awakened to the fullness of the Holy Spirit you have already received and the Kingdom resources you have available to you. Know that you are full to overflowing. And in the midst of that reality and that joy, ask your Father for all that your heart desires, for yourself and for others. For with Him there is always more.
Your loving, generous Father delights in your desire to encounter Him and to receive all that He has made available to you. His hand is open. He waits for you to ask in an attitude of faith; expectant and ready to receive.
 HAYFORD, J W, Ed. The Spirit-Filled Life Bible. 1991. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
© 2015 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family