6th October 2016

Who'd want to fast?

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...” Philippians 3:8 ESV

The apostle Paul wrote these words towards the end of his ministry, when things were really tough for him. Over the years Paul had laid aside career, prestige, prospects and reputation – he'd been verbally and physically abused many times because he followed Jesus. But even after all this, which included some incredible experiences as well, his hunger for Jesus was unrelenting and undiminished. Nothing compared to knowing Christ!

When we fast, we're saying yes to more of God and His glory and power. We're saying: "I'm not centre of the universe, but God is!" Fasting is a longing, aching and yearning for more of Christ.

Fasting is when we stop eating, watching TV, going on social media for a season, in order to make extra space for God in our lives. As we take a break from these activities, it reveals what is going on inside and, as Richard Foster says, "More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us."

It's amazing what rises to the surface when we miss a few meals or can't keep up-to-date with the outside world on social media. Irritability, anger, fear... can all reveal themselves through fasting and it provides a great platform for God to deal with what is really on the inside.

Fasting also draws us back to God, as we turn our appetite towards being satisfied in Him alone. When I fast, it is a hunger for all the fullness of God, to know Him better; it wakens me up to God. Food is good, but God is better.

"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." John Piper

Why don't you decide to fast from something, for part or all of our 40 days of hungering after God?

For a great read on fasting and hungering after God, check out John Piper's A Hunger for God, available from Resources on Sundays.

Paul Mann

Posted by Paul Mann










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