Daily Devotional #2
Daily Devotional with Pastor John
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In Baptist circles we do not hear much about the spiritual discipline of fasting. This is to our shame for it is a practice that characterized, the prophets, the apostles and our Lord Jesus Christ. This past Sunday when I issued the call to join me in lamenting, fasting and prayer for twenty-one days a few people emailed me with questions about all three – especially about fasting. The following is an excellent devotional on the meaning of fasting which I trust you will find helpful.
Reflections on Fasting – A Hunger for God
By John Piper
The discipline of self-denial is fraught with dangers-perhaps only surpassed by the dangers of indulgence. These also we are warned about: “All things are lawful for me, But I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12) What masters us has become our god; and Paul warns us about those “whose god is their appetite” (Philippians 3:19).
“Desires for other things”- there’s the enemy. And the only weapon that will triumph is a deeper hunger for God. The weakness of our hunger for God is not because He is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with “other things.”
Fasting reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us - or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God. The issue is not food per se. The issue is anything and everything that is, or can be, a substitute for God.
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. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God.
This is the essence of Christian fasting: We ache and yearn - and fast - to know more and more of all that God is for us in Jesus. But only because He has already laid hold of us and is drawing us ever forward and upward into “all the fullness of God.”
My prayer for the Christian church is that God might awaken in us a new hunger for Himself - a new fasting. Not because we haven’t tasted the new wine of Christ’s presence, but because we have tasted it and long, with a deep and joyful aching of soul, to know more of His presence and power in our midst.
This much, O God, I long for you and for the manifestation of your glory in the world!
Pray your own personal hunger for God will become an insatiable desire that will be greater than any other desire. Pray the whole church – at West Highland and across Canada – will be awakened with a hunger to know more of his presence and power in our midst. Pray a hunger for the true and living God will sweep across Canada.