"Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you shall be satisfied."
Do I allow my physical hunger to point me to God? Do I have a deep, aching down in my depths for Living Bread? If not, what have I filled myself with so that I am not hungry for Him?
There is much to be said about hungering for God. May I ask your grace for leaving the saying to those much wiser than I?
In his book, A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer, John Piper has these challenging words to say about hunger and God...
"One might think that those who feast most often on communion with God are least hungry. They turn often from the innocent pleasures of the world to linger more directly in the presence of God through the revelation of his Word. And there they eat the Bread of Heaven and drink the Living Water by meditation and faith. But, paradoxically, it is not so that they are the least hungry saints. The opposite is the case. The strongest, most mature Christians I have ever met are the hungriest for God. (cont'd)
...It might seem that those who eat most would be least hungry. But that’s not the way it works with an inexhaustible fountain, and an infinite feast, and a glorious Lord. When you take your stand on the finished work of God in Christ, and begin to drink at the River of Life and eat the Bread of Heaven, and know that you have found the end of all your longings, you only get hungrier for God. The more satisfaction you experience from God, while still in this world, the greater your desire for the next. For, as C. S. Lewis said, “Our best havings are wantings.” (cont'd)
...The more deeply you walk with Christ,
the hungrier you get for Christ ...
the more homesick you get for heaven...
the more you want “all the fullness of God”...
the more you want to be done with sin...
the more you want the Bridegroom to come again ...
the more you want the Church revived and purified with the beauty of Jesus...
the more you want a great awakening to God’s reality in the cities...
the more you want to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ penetrate the darkness of all the unreached peoples of the world...
the more you want to see false worldviews yield to the force of Truth...
the more you want to see pain relieved and tears wiped away and
the more you long for every wrong to be made right
and the justice and grace of God
to fill the earth like the waters cover the sea. (cont'd)
...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." (cont'd)
Fasting is an offering of emptiness to show where fullness can be found.
It is a sacrifice of need and hunger.
It says, by its very nature,
"Father, I am empty, but you are full.
I am hungry, but you are the Bread of Heaven.
I am thirsty, but you are the Fountain of Life.
I am weak, but you are strong.
I am poor, but you are rich.
I am foolish, but you are wise.
I am broken, but you are whole.
I am dying, but your steadfast love is better than life (Psalm 63:3)." (end Piper)
Oh, thank you, Lord for using Dr. Piper to show me that I so often stuff myself from the table of the world that I am dull to the ache of longing for You.
Change me from someone who is:
"so much attached to the pleasures of sense, so negligent of things spiritual:
so prompt to gratify my body, so slow to nourish my soul:
so greedy for present delight, so indifferent to lasting blessedness." Baillie
into a person who desires the nourishment of You above all.
photos: physical food shots from last summer
John Piper's book, A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer, is available (graciously) FREE as a pdf here!