Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hunger for God

Over the last few months, I've been slowly working through one of the best devotional prayer books I have ever read. The book is actually set up to walk you through it's pages in eight weeks, but it has taken me closer to eight months. Maybe that means I have just attempted to do WAY too much over these last few months. I'm slowly working my way through the final parts of this book. It's called Developing Intimacy With God. I know, catchy title. Every time I've opened this book, it has guided me through some powerful encounters with God. The week by week practices have challenged me, and I have been striving to spend a few weeks on practicing the concepts that emerge in this little book.

My friend JR Woodwardrecommended this book to me a year ago, and I'm immensely grateful. I was wrestling through a big life decision, and I was looking for guidance, and my friend recommended this book as an aid to growing in my awareness of God's direction in my life.

So as I was reading a wee bit today, I came across this quote, and it made me think about my tendency (and I don't think I'm alone), to indulge in treats of various types as part of my dietary habit. The quote is actually from an article written by a guy named Cornelius Plantinga. Here it is.

"Self-indulgence is the enemy of gratitude, and self-discipline is usually it's friend and generator. That is why gluttony is a deadly sin. The early desert fathers believed that a person's appetites are linked: full stomachs and jaded palates take the edge from our hunger and thirst for righteousness. They spoil the appetite for God."

After this quote, Alex Aronis, the author of the book says, "By experience, we know that culinary pleasures have a seductive power. They can take over and choke the word. (Mark 4.19).

Perhaps there is a connection between our general spiritual malaise in the West, and our indulgent lifestyles. I've thought about this a few times before, especially when considering verses of scripture like Ezekiel 16.48, but it's just been impressed on my mind again, so I thought I'd share it with you.

As we go through our day, may we all learn the self-restraint it takes to resist indulging in a culture that flashes alluring indulgences at every turn, and may we at the same time grow in our hunger for the Creator of the Universe.

1 comment:

Aly said...

Hey Billy! Thanks for this. It's something I've been thinking a lot about--and really speaks volumes about us, I think. Sounds like such a cool book!!!