A few weeks ago, I wrote about my recent endeavor to explore the world of fasting. I know very little about it other than what I have read in the scriptures. Therefore, I have started to explore its value in the Christian life, and one of the resources I have been studying is a book by Pastor John Piper entitled “A Hunger for God.” This has been such a great resource, one that has opened up my mind to how fasting can be utilized to increase our hunger for God. Piper closes out one of his chapters by saying:
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.
In the margins of the book, I wrote “Amen” to this statement. I pray this not only for my own life, but for our church as well. Imagine a church that, like King David, has genuinely “tasted and seen” (Psalm 34:8) that the Lord’s presence is good, and this creates in them a deeper hunger for more of God to fuel and sustain their lives. Imagine a church that, like Jesus, realizes their “food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Imagine a church that confidently knows God prepares a table for them (Psalm 23:5), and calls them to sit with Him at the table so they experience the care and power that come with being in His presence.
Let me narrow the focus a bit. I’ve been asking myself lately, “Brandon, imagine your life and how different it would be if you relentlessly dined with Jesus. Could you imagine if you started feasting on the five-star life-giving nourishment that Jesus offers, over the junk food you so often settle for?” I imagine my life would look dramatically different. I have often envied those who got to dine with Jesus in person when He walked this earth, yet I can easily forget this invitation is still available to me. Clearly, to be face-to-face with Jesus is the better option. While on this earth, it may not be the actual person of Jesus I am communing with, but it is still His presence. The Holy Spirit, His very presence that Jesus gave us for now, can certainly provide sustenance for my deep hunger needs and sustenance to “do the will of Him who sent” me, to accomplish the work He has designed for me. I pray that God creates a hunger in all of us, “to know more of His presence and power in our midst” because more of God means that I get more of the best portion (Lamentations 3:24).