What is the book?
The book is: “A Hunger for God” by John Piper published by IVP in the UK; Crossway in the US.
Where did I buy it?
At Pilgrim Discount Books in Portland Oregon. If that’s too far to go you can get it from Amazon see above Or you can read it on line here.
Why did I buy it?
Having read “Desiring God” (Amazon/Online) surely one of the most significant Christian books of our age, I was eager to find out what the author had to say on the subject of fasting.
Who should read it?
Anyone who wants to understand the meaning of fasting better. Anyone who wants to grow in their delight of God. I highly recommend this one!
What did you underline?
Amongst other things:
Half of Christian fasting is that our physical appetite is lost because our homesickness for God is so intense. The other half is that our homesickness for God is threatened because our physical appetites are so intense. p14
Quoting Richard Foster… More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside us with food and other things. p 19
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. p 21
…is the physical exclamation mark at the end of the sentence: This much, O God, I long for you and for the manifestation of your glory in the world. p 22
In other words in this age there is an ache inside every Christian that Jesus is not here as fully and intimately and as powerfully and as gloriously as we want him to be. We hunger for so much more. That is why we fast. p 38
We have tasted the powers of the age to come, and our fasting is not because we are hungry for something we have not experienced, but because the new wine of Christ’s presence is so real and so satisfying. We must have all that it is possible to have. The newness of our fasting is this: its intensity comes not because we have never tasted the wine of Christ’s presence, but because we have tasted it so wonderfully by his Spirit, and cannot now be satisfied until the consummation of joy arrives. p 42
The Son of God began his earthly ministry with a forty-day fast. This should give us pause. Especially we – who are not God – have moved into ministry heedless of the battle we may have to fight. Why did Jesus do this? Why did God lead him to it? And what about us? Can we really face the superhuman hazards of life and ministry without walking with Jesus through the wilderness of fasting. p 51
Fasting is a periodic – and sometimes decisive – declaration that we would rather feast at God’s table in the kingdom of heaven than feed on the finest delicacies of the this world. p 61
…how can I maximize my enjoyment of him when every moment of my life I am tempted to make a god out of his good gifts? p 62
We fast out of longing for God’s name to be known and cherished and honored, and out of longing for his kingly rule to be extended and the consummated in history, and out of longing for his will to be done everywhere with the same devotion and energy that the indefatigable angels do it sleeplessly in heaven forever and ever. p 78
Jesus connects Christian fasting with our longing for the return of the Bridegroom. Therefore, one of the most important meanings of Christian fasting is to express the hunger of our hearts for the coming of our king. p84
…we are less sensitive to spiritual appetites when we are in the bondage of physical ones. This means that fasting is a way of awakening us to latent spiritual appetites by pushing the domination of physical forces from the centre of our lives. p 90
…most of us run the risk of being overly ‘sensualised’ simply by having every craving satisfied and rarely pausing for a moment of self-denial to discover if there are alive within us spiritual appetites that could satisfy us at a much deeper level than food, and that are designed for he honor of God. Such is the appetite for the coming of King Jesus. p91
The absence of fasting is the measure of our contentment with the absence of Christ. p 93
But I see a danger. The danger is that we will subtlety slip from loving God in these moments into loving loving God…….. ….. in other words we begin to savor not the glory of God but the atmosphere created by worship. p 132
Therefore He (God) rewards acts that confess human helplessness and express hope in God because these acts call attention to his glory. p 180