Monday, June 02, 2008

Oh, ouch! What dulls our hunger for God

I'm not the first to quote this, but:
The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18–20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.
(John Piper, A Hunger for God [Wheaton: Crossway, 1997], 14; from D. A. Carson, For the Love of God : A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word. Volume 1 [Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1998], May 28 entry)


matt said...


This is certainly a timely post for me. My pastor just finished a series yesterday on being consumed with Christ. Being consumed with the Word. It was an excellent series and one that has convicted me greatly. This post goes hand in hand with some of what he was saying. Thank you.

"like a hammer which shatters a rock".

Carlo said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Jay said...

It's certainly an interesting point and a good post. My main question, though, is what does it mean to be consumed with love for God? For example, the times when I feel closest and most in love with Him are when I am at the beach at sunset, or surrounded by family and friends. It's hard to see those kinds of things as idols, because I thank God for them constantly, but I guess (and Piper pointed out) that they can be.

So what is an appetite for God, then? Surely these earthly pleasures are not wrong, but then again, I've always had a hard time understanding what pleasure in God alone was supposed to feel like, and how to find it.

Carlo said...

I would say Jay, on how to find pleasure in God is finding out what actually pleases God - His Son, His creation, obedience. John Piper as you probably know wrote a book on the Pleasures of God. And his point is if we align our convictions on what pleases Him, then we will feel pleasure. (I think that's what he said).

You mentioned how one of the times you feel most closest to Him is near a sunset. Probably not way off base, since His creation gives Him pleasure, then it would give us pleasure also.

But then I think what Dan's point is that we can get so in love with what He created, we forget the gift giver and to love Him.

Jay said...

Thanks Carlo. I need to read Piper more, now that I think about it (I need to read more period, but that's another matter entirely). ;-)

Justin said...


Justin said...

Gobsmacked, and quoting it on Sunday morning in my sermon. Thanks.