Sunday, December 11, 2005

Piper: On Fasting

Well, I've started reading John Pipers "A Hunger for God" again, and he makes an interesting point that really hit home for me.

"The greatest adversary to God is not his enemies but his GIFTS."

Yes, God gives good gifts, but it is a mistake to belive that those gifts are given to us for us. That is a mistake I made. If God has given me something, then it is completely about Him and not about me. Conversely, If I am holding onto something that God has not given, then it is not about Him, it is about me. Both come to the same conclusion: IF it was given by God, it is to be used for God. God's gifts are given to us by God and for God, and he can withdraw them whenever he pleases. This also means he can use these gifts however he wants, whether to teach or test or discpline us, its all up to Him. And since he is the Giver of "every good and perfect gift" we really have little say in the matter. Now thats a RADICAL thought! Recieving a gift that isn't about you! What a foriegn concept, especially in light of the Christmas Season, which has so deeply materialized the meaning of recieving gifts. Another intresting point I read somewhere is that since gifts are given, we do not choose them...although this doesn't apply in the context I am thinking, it pretty much applies everywhere else. So in the context of gifts that are talents or spiritual despise them is to insult the Gift Giver! Okay, so now I am getting just a LITTLE bit corny. But I'm sure you get my drift!

"Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of a superior satisfaction in God; it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take satisfaction away

Some other quotes that have nothing to do with this train of thought, but are cool:

Fasting is not a forfeit of evil, but a forfeit of good

"The issue (with regards to fasting) is anything and everything that is, or can be a substitue for God."
Fasting is a test to see what desires control us
We ease our discomfort by eating, which is why fasting exposes us all

One of the reasons for fasting is to know whats in us