A Hunger For God: Intro

Last night I started on “A Hunger For God” by John Piper. This is in prep for the upcoming sermon series I’ll be preaching in September – “Awaken: Teach Us To Pray”. These quotes stood out to me:

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18–20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable. Pg. 18

Now here was a radical kind of fast: the sacrifice of a son. God did not call for this “fast” because Isaac was evil. On the contrary, it was because in Abraham’s eyes he was so good. Indeed he seemed indispensable for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Fasting is not the forfeit of evil but of good. pg 20

And many small acts of preferring fellowship with God above food can form a habit of communion and contentment that makes one ready for the ultimate sacrifice. This is one way that fasting serves all our acts of love to God. It keeps the preferring faculty on alert and sharp. It does not let the issue rest. It forces us to ask repeatedly: do I really hunger for God? Do I miss him? Do I long for him? Or have I begun to be content with his gifts? Christian fasting is a test to see what desires control us. What are our bottom-line passions? pg 21

In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart—grateful and yearning—to the Giver. Each has its appointed place, and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower. pg 24

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast: “This much, O God, I want you.” pg 25

One of the prayers I’ve been praying lately has been this:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

How does one measure revival and renewal? My guess would be hunger for Christ.

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