Piper on Fasting

Yesterday, I posted a reflection on the coming season of Lent. I specifically shared some thoughts on fasting as I had re-read Richard Foster’s brief comments in his book Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. I quoted his quoting of John Wesley on fasting:

Some have exalted religious fasting beyond all Scripture and reason; and others have utterly disregarded it.

I have been browsing over some more thoughts in John Piper’s classic work on fasting, A Hunger for God. Many will be aware of his memorable words in Desiring God: ‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.’ Not many words like them!

But here are a couple of other quotes just to ponder about the purpose of both food and fasting:

‘Why bread? And why hunger and thirst? My answer is very simple: He created bread so that we would have some idea of what the Son of God is like when he says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). And he created the rhythm of thirst and satisfaction so that we would have some idea of what faith in Christ is like when Jesus said, “He who believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).’

And just a couple of pages later:

‘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.”’

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