FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2017 - Page 28

How do you distinguish between an appetite for food that glorifies the Lord, and an appreciation for food that leans towards idolatry? Idolatry is like an obsession. It’s one thing to appreciate food, it’s another thing to be obsessed by it. It’s at the foremost of your mind and you can never have enough of it. But obsession isn’t only about gluttony. It’s also associated with the loss of appreciation for food that’s ordinary. There are those whose palate has become so accustomed with the finest foods that anything else is despised. They’ve placed food on a pedestal and that’s idolatry. God created all things and He expects us to enjoy them regardless of how fine, ordinary and simple. In the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, Jesus used food to point His disciples back to God, “My food, is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His word.” More than food, our greatest sustenance, nourishment and comfort is derived from fulfilling the will of the Father, even if it means stepping into the darkness of those whom humanity have deemed outcast. When food and drink items make you weak in the knees, would you consider this idolatry? Definitely not. I once celebrated my birthday in Oahu, Hawaii, and my schoolmates had organised dinner at an outdoor restaurant, which sat under a huge banyan tree. Just before the sun set, the whole restaurant was asked to turn towards the horizon. Sunsets in Hawaii are stunning, but this one was exceptional. As the sun touched the horizon, a green light illuminated the sky for a momentary 3 seconds. It was simply astounding. Instantaneously, everyone clapped and cheered, and I thought to myself, “We just worshipped God by responding intuitively to the overwhelming beauty of His creation.” And this gives praise to God. What is your opinion on fasting and what should its purpose be? The biblical understanding of fasting is about drawing closer to God. Fast, if you’re surrounded by other pleasures and have lost the hunger for a deeper reality with God. Fasting becomes an expression of a deeper level of worship when you say, “I want nothing else, but You.” The hunger should always be for that deeper relationship with Him. Don’t fast to get what you want. Some believers fast as a means of twisting God’s arm: I fast because I want someone to be healed, and I demand that God heals. Fasting then becomes idolatry. It’s synonymous to those who go on a hunger strike to get what they want. What can a home cook do, to play a part in the social and environmental concerns faced today? Food wastage and scarcity is a huge concern today, but a chef has the ability and skill to recycle leftover food. I do that with my leftovers at home, but I’ll always tweak it into another dish. There are times when I will purposely cook in excess, with the intention of recreating it. A good example is my roast chicken, which can feed my family for 3 meals. I’ll boil the carcass as stock for soup, and shred the leftover meat. One portion of it goes into making rice porridge, and another portion is used to make basil, chicken and mushroom pasta. Joseph is the National Director of YWAM Singapore and has been serving in missions for 20 years. He loves cooking for his lovely wife, Kim, and their 2 beautiful daughters, Olivia and Ashley. 26