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A Hunger for God A Hunger for God by John Piper
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“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.”
John Piper, A Hunger For God
“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie.
It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for
heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not
the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we
drink in every night.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“Therefore bread was created for the glory of Christ. Hunger and thirst were created for the glory of Christ. And fasting was created for the glory of Christ.
Which means that bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food—the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“Will I find spiritual communion with God sweet enough, and hope in his promises deep enough, not just to cope, but to flourish and rejoice in him?”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“But it would be a great mistake to think that the awakening of desire for the Bridegroom would produce a wave of monastic withdrawal into the fasting and prayer of passive waiting. That is not what the awakening of desire for Christ would produce. It would produce a radical, new commitment to complete the task of world evangelization, no matter what the cost. And fasting would not become a pacifistic discipline for private hopes, but a fearsome missionary weapon in the fight of faith.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“One might think that those who feast most often on communion with God are least hungry. They turn often from the innocent pleasures of the world to linger more directly in the presence of God through the revelation of his Word. And there they eat the Bread of Heaven and drink the Living Water by meditation and faith. But, paradoxically, it is not so that they are the least hungry saints. The opposite is the case. The strongest, most mature Christians I have ever met are the hungriest for God. It might seem that those who eat most would be least hungry. But that’s not the way it works with an inexhaustible fountain, and an infinite feast, and a glorious Lord. When you take your stand on the finished work of God in Christ, and begin to drink at the River of Life and eat the Bread of Heaven, and know that you have found the end of all your longings,”
John Piper, A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“O, the lessons here for us! Name your discouraging setback—personal, political, scholarly, ecclesiastical, cultural, global. Dare any Christian say that God is not in this for the good of his people and the glory of his name? Not if our God is the God of Ezra! Do you think these setbacks are not without some great purpose of righteousness bigger and more stunning than any of us can imagine?”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“The supremacy of God in all things is the great
reward we long for in fasting. His supremacy in our own affections and in all our life-choices. His supremacy in the purity of the church. His supremacy in the salvation of the lost. His
supremacy in the establishing of righteousness and justice. And his supremacy for the joy of all peoples in the evangelization of the world.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“O, how easy it is to do religious things if other people are watching! Preaching, praying, attending church, reading the bible, acts of kindness and charity-they all take on a certain pleasantness of the ego if we know that others will find out about them and think well of us. It is a deadly addiction for esteem that we have.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God
“What masters us has become our god; and Paul warns us about those whose “god is their belly” (Philippi- ans 3:19).”
John Piper, A Hunger 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.9 God did not create you for this.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Paul says that one weapon in this ongoing fight of faith is the practice of “disciplining” the body. He was not unaware that the desires of the body are deceitful as well as delightful. He said that the “old self” is “being corrupted in accordance with the desires of deceit ” (Ephesians 4:22, AT ). The nature of this deceit is to lure us subtly into living for the “fleeting pleasures” of body and mind, rather than the spiritual delights of knowing and serving God. These pleasures start as innocent delights in food and reading and resting and playing, but then become ends in themselves and choke off spiritual hunger for God.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“There is something that assaults God even more directly. It is the subtle sense that grows in us, usually unconsciously, that the real effectiveness of our spiritual acts is at the horizontal level among people, not before the face of God. In other words, if my children see me pray at meals, it will do them good. If the staff sees me fasting, they may be inspired to fast. If my roommate sees me read my Bible, he may be inspired to read his. And soon. Now that’s not all bad. Jesus’ public prayers certainly inspired the disciples (Luke 11:1). But the danger is that all of our life—including our spiritual life—starts to be justified and understood simply on the horizontal level for the effects it can have because others see it happening. And so God subtly and slowly can become a secondary Person in the living of our lives. We may think that he is important to us because all these things that we are doing are the kinds of things he wants us to do. But, in fact, he himself is falling out of the picture as the focus of it all.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“In the flood of the loss of humanness in our age—including the flow from abortion-on-demand to infanticide and on to euthanasia—the only thing that can stem this tide is the certainty of the absolute uniqueness and value of people. And the only thing which gives us that is the knowledge that people are made in the image of God. We have no other final protection. And the only way we know that people are made in the image of God is through the Bible and the incarnation of Christ, which we know from the Bible. If people are not made in the image of God, the pessimistic, realistic humanist is right: the human race is an abnormal wart on the smooth face of a silent and meaningless universe. In this setting, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia (including the killing of mentally deranged criminals, the severely handicapped, or the elderly who are an economic burden) are completely logical.... Without the Bible and without the revelation in Christ (which is only told to us in the Bible) there is nothing to stand between us and our children and the eventual acceptance of the monstrous inhumanities of theage.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“But fasting, for Ezra, was not only an expression of humility and desperation; it was an expression of desiring God with life-and-death seriousness. “So we fasted and implored our God.” Fasting comes in alongside prayer with all its hunger for God and says, “We are not able in ourselves to win this battle. We are not able to change hearts or minds. We are not able to change worldviews and transform culture and save 1.6 million children. We are not able to reform the judiciary or embolden the legislature or mobilize the slumbering population. We are not able to heal the endless wounds of godless ideologies and their bloody deeds. But, O God, you are able!”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“appeal to you to seek the Lord with me concerning the place of fasting and prayer in breaking through the darkened mind that engulfs the modern world, in regard to abortion and a hundred other ills. This is not a call for a collective tantrum that screams at the bad people, “Give me back my country.” It is a call to aliens and exiles in the earth, whose citizenship is in heaven and who await the appearance of their King, to “engage in business” until he comes (Luke 19:13). And the great business of the Christian is to “do all to the glory of God” (1Corinthians 10:31), and to pray that God’s name be hallowed and his kingdom come and his will be done in the earth (Matthew 6:9–10). And to yearn and work and pray and fast not only for the final revelation of the Son of Man, but in the meantime, for the demonstration of his Spirit and power in the reaching of every people, and the rescuing of the perishing, and the purifying of the church, and the putting right of as many wrongs as God will grant.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1Chronicles 29:14). This is the way we should speak of fasting. There is no ground of boasting here. Who am I that I should be able to fast? Nobody. There is nothing in me that would choose this for your glory apart from your transforming grace.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“God is committed to rewarding those acts of the human heart that signify human helplessness and hope in God.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“God responds to prayer because when we look away from ourselves to Christ as our only hope, that gives the Father an occasion to magnify the glory of his grace in the all-providing work of his Son. Similarly, fasting is peculiarly suited to glorify God in this way. It is fundamentally an offering of emptiness to God in hope.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Father, I am empty, but you are full. I am hungry, but you are the Bread of Heaven. I am thirsty, but you are the Fountain of Life. I am weak, but you are strong. I am poor, but you are rich. I am foolish, but you are wise. I am broken, but you are whole. I am dying, but your steadfast love is better than life” (see Psalm63:3). When God sees this confession of need and this expression of trust, he acts, because the glory of his all-sufficient grace is at stake.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“The final answer is that God rewards fasting because fasting expresses the cry of the heart that nothing on the earth can satisfy our souls besides God. God must reward this cry because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Prayer is not for the enhancement of our comforts but for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“... And [he will] satisfy your desire [your soul] in scorched places.(verse11) Our souls are meant to be satisfied in God. But we have learned again and again that this satisfaction in God comes to consummation when we extend our satisfaction in him to others. Pouring ourselves out for the poor is the path of deepest satisfaction. And note that this will come “in scorched places.” In other words, in the service of others, your soul will become less and less dependent on external circumstances for satisfaction.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“The course of history was changed by the fasting of God’s people. The stories of God’s mighty grace through fasting are many. We could tell the story of Moses on Mount Sinai fasting forty days as he received the Law of God that would not only guide Israel for more than 3,000 years, but would become the foundation of Western culture as we know it (Exodus 24:18; 34:28). Or we could tell the story of how the Jews fasted for Esther as she risked her life before King Ahasuerus and turned the plot against Israel back on Haman’s head (Esther 4:16). Or we could tell the story of Nehemiah’s fasting for the sake of his people and the city of God in ruins, so that King Artaxerxes granted him all the help he needed to return and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4).”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Might God not ordain that his fullest blessings will come to the church when we prevail in prayer with the intensity of fasting? That kind of intensification of prayer is what fasting is. It’s a physical exclamation point at the end of the sentence, “We hunger for you, O God, to come in power.” It’s a cry with our body, not just our soul: “I really mean it, LORD! This much, I hunger for you. I want the manifestation of you yourself more than I want food.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Fasting is, as much as lies in us, an imitation of the angels, a contemning of things present, a school of prayer, a nourishment of the soul, a bridle of the mouth, an abatement of concupiscence: it mollifies rage, it appeases anger, it calms the tempests of nature, it excites reason, it clears the mind, it disburdens the flesh, it chases away night-pollutions, it frees from head-ache. By fasting, a man gets composed behaviour, free utterance of his tongue, right apprehensions of hismind.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“it would be a great mistake to think that the awakening of desire for the Bridegroom would produce a wave of monastic withdrawal into the fasting and prayer of passive waiting. That is not what the awakening of desire for Christ would produce. It would produce a radical, new commitment to complete the task of world evangelization, no matter what the cost. And fasting would not become a pacifistic discipline for private hopes, but a fearsome missionary weapon in the fight of faith.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Jesus responds, “Satan, you are so close and yet so far. You have always handled the word of God that way, so subtly and so deceptively. You sound like you approve, but you turn every word against God. The point of the manna was this, Satan: Don’t trust in bread—nor even miracle bread—trust in God! Don’t get your deepest satisfactions in life from food—not even God-wrought miracle food—but from God. Every word that comes out of the mouth of God reveals God.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“We want people to like us and admire us and speak well of us. It is a deadly drive. Jesus warned us, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
“Fasting means love for God—hunger for God.”
John Piper, A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer

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