From a baby’s first cry to a person’s last breath, we are given, as a part of the human experience, an “appetite.” We all have it. God built it into each of us for survival. But we know that sin has distorted it, like everything else after the fall.
Sin seeks to erode the boundaries of reason.
Sin seeks to focus our eyes on our wants.
Sin seeks its own justification for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Sin seeks the temporal, not the eternal.
Sin elevates emotions and feelings over godly wisdom and counsel.
Sin seeks to redefine the things of God’s purpose to man’s agenda.
My purpose of this writing is to shine a little light on the ever churning, always active, unquenchable desire (appetite) that can not only shape and direct our lives for the good but devastate, derail and destroy it as well. The scope of it, when truly assessed and evaluated will give a very accurate picture on how our life is being lived.
There are four basic things we need in life: food, water, shelter and love. For the most part, our appetite doesn’t need a lot of motivation to get going as far as those basic needs go. But when we get to love, that requires some explanation, especially in today’s culture! The appetite for love, as sin has distorted it, can be seen in the following examples:
Love today has many definitions which are far from the sacrificial, redemptive, agape love shown in John 3:16. Just generally, love from the TV, radio and the streets is more how a person “feels” about things and the attraction to those things. Love has moved far away from the sacrificial to the sensual, from the objective to the subjective. We even use the term “love” in relation to anything! I love my music, I love my wife. I love pizza. But with the ability to clarify, the Bible talks about four types of love: eros (sexual), phileo (friendship), storge (familial), and agape (God’s love).
Outside the four walls of our church teaching, we see a completely different understanding in our culture’s appetite for “love.” Remember the Beatles song In 1967, “All you need is Love?” And, then there was Tina Turner who sang in 1993, ” What’s Love Got to Do With it?” Then there is “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran in 2018. So, what do you think their appetite for love is, as being expressed through these three songs taken from the last 51 years?
What if the appetite for love was driven by our love for God (which was the original design) which leads to a sincere desire to serve Him?
The appetite was given to us by God but it was distorted by sin. So through prayer, discipline, balance and godly counsel, we can manage and seek a healthy appetite when we direct our desire towards God and not ourselves.
Our various appetites touch every aspect of our lives as reflected in our spiritual hunger, our desire to step out in faith and evangelize, our desire to make disciples, and the proper desire to live in this fallen world, but not be overcome by it. Let us hunger for the things of God. Let us nourish ourselves on the Bread of Life. And let us show by example that even in a sinful world, we are not controlled by our desires, but we are controlled by Who desires us!
Food for thought...what would happen if those with an appetite for drugs would submit to God and turn their lives over to Him? What would that do to the drug trade?
What would happen if thieves no longer desired to steal? What would that do to the court system?
What would happen if the lukewarm believer desired to surrender his appetite to God? What would that do to our churches?
What would it look like if we had a strong appetite for worship, fellowship and discipleship? Would that transform our priorities, principles and passions?
We tend to focus most of our methods, money and motivation on behavior, and yet, it is our appetite, long before the first touch, taste or bite, that has made the real decision.
We have endless buffets, 24/7 movies , news, politics, entertainment and the like.
And with more and more technology to connect us and make our lives easier, we are more disconnected and stressed out than ever. Even the appetite for suicide is on the rise, and mental health is said to be the answer ...it no longer is a heart issue, but an illness that needs medication and therapy.
God is calling us back to Himself, it is evident more than ever that not only is He the answer, but only His Word has the answers to satisfy His creation's appetite for life.