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(All quotations from the King James Authorised translation unless stated otherwise).
How do we thirst for God?
Thirsting for God in the scriptures is a way of describing an overwhelming desire for the kingdom of God to be established in the earth. In that day the faithful will be raised from the dead and be given the divine nature. With this nature they will possess eternal life and will see God, which at present we cannot do. With the establishment of the kingdom of God the nations will be taught righteousness; wars and political corruption will cease. Christ will rule upon the throne of David in Jerusalem and will govern the whole earth in righteousness.
The Psalmist says:
Psalms 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Acts 17:31... (God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled in the day when the kingdom of God is established.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Righteousness is not something that we can earn, because we all sin. Righteousness is imputed to those who have faith (believe) in the promises of God. Through belief of the gospel and baptism into Christ our sins are forgiven and we become heirs of the promise made to Abraham.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Abraham’s faith was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Faith comes from one source only.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Which brings us to the second question:
How can we know the voice of God different from our flesh?
God does not speak to us directly as individuals, he has spoken to us by his prophets in the Old Testament and finally by his son in the New Testament.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son...
All of God’s counsel is written down for our learning.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
There is no need of further revelation.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The gospel is complete:
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
The doctrine is complete:
1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
We can only hear the voice of God (metaphorically) when we read the word of God.
Luke 16:31... If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Luke 24:25... O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Paul advises Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine... 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
The will of God is written down in the scriptures.
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock... 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Paul makes clear the difference between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
God has designed us with a conscience. When we have properly learned what God requires of us from scripture our conscience will play its part.
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
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I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,