Soul Pants: I Will Be Satisfied

I Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

I Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

“Soul pants.”

I giggled as I read the only part of a post-it sticking out of my notebook. All I could read was “soul pants,” and visions of velvet pants made me laugh. Then I opened my notebook and read the full thing: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” Whoa. Given a little context, “soul pants” became much more meaningful.

That little moment occurred about two and a half years ago, during my internship with Transform. It’s goofy, but it stuck with me because it began a journey of desiring to long after God with the same fervor that David expresses in Psalm 42. In context, “pants” is no longer a reference to clothing, but a verb, an active one that indicates intense thirst and longing.

Jesus teaches that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed. That verse from the Sermon on the Mount sits in paintings and on mugs: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6” I know it hung in my house growing up. I read it almost every day. It was so easy to treat it flippantly with a “that’s nice” and move on, but a reaction like that is opposite of the description Jesus gives.

The people who He describes as “blessed” are like the deer: thirsty. They long, intensely for righteousness, the only thing that will satisfy. Later, in the same speech, Jesus says, “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). That’s pretty intimidating, and it also confirms that righteousness is pretty important. If it is so important, I want to know more specifically what it is. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes,

“But by His [God’s] doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)

Did you catch that? In this passage, the righteousness of God is Jesus. Add to that what Paul wrote to the Philippians:

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith…” (Philippians 3:8-9) 

I see a connection. As the deer pants for the water brooks, so David’s soul pants for God, and so the blessed people pant after Jesus Christ, their righteousness. And how do they do this? Through faith.

One of the sweetest things about this is that our faith can be anchored. We know that a promise has been given to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The deer may or may not find water brooks. But we know that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness “shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Those who long after Christ, seeing Him as the satisfaction, get the reward of being satisfied in Him! What a gift!

Ultimate satisfaction is found in Jesus Christ, and those who thirst for Him will be filled. So let us become like the deer that pants for the water brooks. Let us thirst for the Living Water, our righteousness, Jesus Christ, and be counted among the blessed. 

Kristina received her degree in theatre from the University of Georgia. She first came to Transform Student Ministries as a Boot Camper, then, came back several years later as one of our Summer Interns, and has staffed at Boot Camp. Kristina loves the Lord with all her heart, and wants to follow Him fully! Her love for the Lord is contagious. 

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