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Eating as the Anesthesia of Sadness (Fasting Edition #156)

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Daniel Whyte III

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Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from Lee Bueno. He said: "Humility and self-denial are two sides of the same coin. Jesus’ greatest calling for us to deny ourselves came when He stated, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.' By fasting as unto the Lord we answer His call to deny ourselves for the sake of the cross."

Our fasting devotional today is titled "EATING AS THE ANESTHESIA OF SADNESS" from John Piper, author of the bestselling book "A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer".

We easily deceive ourselves that we love God unless our love is frequently put to the test, and we must show our preferences not merely with words but with sacrifice. Admittedly, the sacrifice of a son says more than the sacrifice of a sandwich. But the principle is the same. And many small acts of preferring fellowship with God above food can form a habit of communion and contentment that makes one ready for the ultimate sacrifice. This is one way that fasting serves all our acts of love to God. It keeps the preferring faculty on alert and sharp. It does not let the issue rest. It forces us to ask repeatedly: Do I really hunger for God? Do I miss him? Do I long for him? Or have I begun to be content with his gifts?

Christian fasting is a test to see what desires control us. What are our bottom-line passions? In his chapter on fasting in "The Celebration of Discipline", Richard Foster says, "More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside of us with food and other things."

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