Hunger for God - Luke 5:35

Verse of the Day - Day 139

Hunger for God
Photo Source: Rgbstock / Composition: Sue Chastain

Welcome to Verse of the Day!

Today's Bible Verse:

Luke 5:35
"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days." (ESV)

Today's Inspiring Thought: Hunger for God

Jesus affirmed that after his death fasting would be an appropriate practice for his followers.  Spiritual fasting clearly has a place, a purpose, and a unique benefit for God's people today.

The type of fasting Jesus referred to was voluntary, not a fast mandated by the law.

A new way of life was coming for Jesus' followers. The old form of fasting was mostly for show, but the new form of fasting would be for the purpose of refreshing.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus established a radically different approach to fasting:

"And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:16-18, ESV)

Jesus condemned the kind of fast that seeks attention and favor and consists only of an outward display of piety. Jesus supported a genuine form of fasting that comes from a pure heart seeking a deeper connection with God.

Fasting requires self-control and discipline as we deny the natural desires of the flesh.

It allows us to move our focus away from the physical things of this world and concentrate on God. Put differently, fasting develops our hunger for God. It draws us close to him.

Fasting and Prayer

Tyndale Bible Dictionary suggests that fasting and prayer are closely linked:

The context of fasting is prayer. It should conform to the same conditions as prayer: unostentatious quietness before God, arising out of gratitude, expressing thanksgiving, grounded in faith, as a means of spiritual growth.

Fasting demonstrates a profound need or hunger for God's help and guidance through complete dependence upon him. Most importantly, fasting is not a way to earn God's favor or get him to do something for us. Rather, the purpose is to produce a transformation in us—a clearer, more focused attention and dependence upon God.

(Sources: Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 781). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House; Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (p. 479). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.)

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