Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My stomach hardly even growls . . .

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.

6 comments:

  1. I like the connection you made between spiritual hunger and experiencing physical hunger through fasting - I have never tried fasting, but it seems like a worthwhile (and very Biblical!) concept.

    I appreciate the insight about focusing too much on giving away stuff, and too little on Jesus, too. I have had to catch that in my own life lately. We are trying to minimize our possessions so we can rent a smaller apartment when we next move, (in the name of having more money to give away, and more time to serve since we won't be cleaning and organizing!)... but, I think some of my joy in getting rid of stuff has been for selfish reasons. I'm enjoying reading "minimalism" blogs (that have nothing to do with Jesus!) and the feeling of throwing stuff away, rather than finding joy in Jesus alone! Hope that makes sense.

    Anyways, thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. great post! You have such a way with putting your thoughts into words. :)

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  3. thank you for this! I love what your pastor said. A similar thought hit me this week; that if I am not careful that I could allow my religion(idol)to become selling everything and giving to poor. No that this is a bad thing-just that it could become my focus-and not Jesus. I hope that makes sense...
    Our prayer this week is for God to put that unending hunger for his Word in us!

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  4. Oh wow..convicting! I am there with you sister!! Have you listen to Platt sermon on Fasting? I highly recommend it! Me, as well as a few staff wives/singles, were just encouraging each other through the same things you talk about here. Girl, I am so hungry for God, I yearn for more of Him. So we have put aside eevry Tuesday to fast, for intimacy, ministry, and our marriages(those who are single-purity) Do join us! I have seen God show Himself in some pretty amazing ways.. I have been humbled in seeing that even for us, in all that we "do" for Jesus..God wants us more than He wants teh "stuff" we do for HIM!!! Encouraging post my sister! Continue to seek Him!!

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  5. I connecte4d with much of what you said...

    I just wanted to share something I have learned through fasting. Sometimes I fast, abstaining from food and such, but I have also learned that fasting from media clears my mind and I feel more able to hear from our Lord. For me, that means no computer, no television/movies, no ipod. I do still allow myself radio in the car.

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  6. Love your thoughts! Wow! I am praying for that same hunger and thirst for God's word. Fasting may be a great next step. Maybe a Radical fast...even if it's one meal.

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