I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I don't even know what it feels like to be hungry. I mean, my stomach growls occasionally, I suppose, but most often I eat because it's lunch time. Or late-night snack time. Or because I really need some chocolate, or cheese dip. Or just because it's sitting right in front of me.
But while I was reading chapter two of Radical, I couldn't help but wonder what it would feel like to be REALLY hungry. Like need food in order to survive/function. Not just because it tastes good, but because I can't go another minute without it. Because I'm pretty sure the HUNGER that Platt talks about for God's Word shouldn't be a slight rumbling in my tummy; but rather, a ravenous insatiable appetite that can only be quenched by His Holy Word. So how can I understand hunger the way so many people in the world do? Fasting is one way that I'd like to maybe explore this further . . . I haven't decided yet what it looks like - but I'll keep you posted. I think the key, though, lies in the question Platt poses: "What is it about God's Word that creates a hunger to hear more?" So that's it then. To develop my appetite for His Word, I just need to dive into it. I'm expecting y'all to keep me accountable. Because His Word is ultimately the ONLY thing that can fulfill the deeper hungers and longings within me.
Diving into the Word can be a little daunting (where do I start? what should i read? what does it all mean?), but even more daunting is the question that naturally comes next: What am I going to do with it? Because as Platt points out, "if we stop and really look at God in his Word, we might discover that He evokes greater awe and demands deeper worship than we are ready to give Him." I don't know what that means, what He might demand that I give up. And yes I said "demand," because as Platt reminds us: "God is not JUST a loving father." He hates sin, and there is far more sin in my life than I normally care to admit.
This week at One Church, our pastor (Jimmy) spoke on Jesus' statement that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). And Jimmy pointed out that when Jesus says He is "the life," it counters the tendency towards materialism in our culture. Just when I was getting all high and mighty and thinking about how we gave up our nice little home in the suburbs to move downtown, Jimmy mentioned how he had recently noticed a subtler form of materialism emerging in many Christians today. This materialism was manifest in people who were "selling everything" and moving downtown, or wherever (umm by the way, our church is super-small so I felt a little "called out" on this one) . . . What? Um, pastor, you are clearly mistaken because that is the opposite of materialism. Clearly.
But then Jimmy explained that if your emphasis is STILL on selling your "stuff" and not having so much "stuff" -- then you're still focused on the stuff and not on Jesus! Oops.
So this week I learned that I eat too much, care too much about my stuff, don't spend enough time in the Word, and need to get more RADICAL for Jesus. . . and yet, I feel strangely encouraged rather than discouraged. Why? Because I know that it's always worth it to dive into deeper. I have to know that it's worth it, or else I wouldn't be living this crazy journey called following Jesus.
"I pray that we will be a people who refuse to gorge our spiritual stomachs on the entertaining ppleasures of this world, because we have chosen to find our satisfaction in the eternal treasure of his Word." -Platt
To read more response to Radical (chapter 2), and perhaps to be challenged yourself, visit Marla's blog.