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Day 30 | A Hunger for God
This week we want to help give some context and meaning to the discipline of fasting as you engage it in some capacity. Pastor John Piper has written a great book called A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer. Listen to him describe the heartbeat of his book as well as profoundly unpack the biblical purpose of fasting in this video:
Piper makes this great statement in the video:
“Fasting is the exclamation point at the end of the prayer, ‘God I need you more than anything’.”
I’m sure you’ve prayed a prayer like that before. I’m sure you’ve been in some situations in your life that brought you too your knees, begging the Lord to intervene. Piper’s argument is that fasting reveals to God how serious you are about that prayer. Fasting reveals that you must have God. Like the Psalmist says in Psalm 28:1, “God if you don’t answer me, I might as well die.” Those aren’t trite words David is using. He is desperate for God and fasting is the discipline that takes desperation a step further. It’s saying to God and probably even more so to your own heart how much you need your Savior.
But here is the tension. Sometimes crying out to God in prayer becomes about desperation for an answer more than the person of God. Piper helps us a ton with this thought:
“Fasting is not a no to the goodness of food or the generosity of God in providing it. Rather, it is a way of saying, from time to time, that having more of the Giver surpasses having the gift.” (Piper)
This week as we fast together, we aren’t lunging for God’s hands as much as his heart. We aren’t seeking his gifts as much as we are seeking Him as the Giver. We aren’t looking for answers primarily as much as we are saying, “God we need and want YOU.”
So, here is a heart probing question as you fast this week:
If God gave you all the answers to your questions and met all your needs but didn’t include himself, would you be content??
The discipline of fasting is the very things that God has given to help us say no to that question. So think on that today. Fast with intentionality. Feel the void in your soul as you do it. And ask the Spirit to move you to a place of seeing that your only hope is his presence, more than his stuff.
If you have some time and want to dive even deeper, listen to Dave unpack prayer and fasting in this sermon from 2013.
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