Felicitous greetings and salutations,
Reformer’s Unanimous is a faith-based addictions program dedicated to helping those bound by the shackles of sin to find liberty through Christ. They have assisted me greatly in the time that I have spent in their program and in the study of their materials. They have shown great wisdom in their understanding of the problems that beset us in our struggles in the process of sanctification. One of the bits of wisdom that Steve Currington, its founder and president, has propagated is the Ten Principles of RU. These ten principles are founded in Scripture, and are true and helpful to every Christian who is wanting to find Christ’s victory over sin in his life. Therefore, I am expounding these ten principles in a series of posts spread out over this month. This is the fourth.
WE CANNOT FIGHT A FLESHLY APPETITE BY INDULGING IN IT.
Food. We like it.
At least I do. I start getting ready to make a meal, and my mind starts creating images of what the food will taste, smell, and look like. My mouth waters, and I get excited. I get hungry. Then I start making it, and the smells waft up, and I get more hungry. Then I sit down with the family and I am very hungry: I want to eat and eat. And eat.
Then my stomach gets full. But my appetite is not full yet. See, my needs are satisfied: My stomach is full. But my mouth wants more. My mouth, my desire for more food is not satiated. It never really is. At least not until the food becomes loathsome to me and I detest it. Until next time.
This is true of all kinds of appetites. We have fleshly needs, and we have fleshly appetites. These were made to go together, and this is right. One is not wrong and the other right. But – one is never satisfied.
Not until it becomes nauseated at the thing that tantalized it moments before. This state is not good, but if we yield to the fleshly appetite beyond the fleshly need, that is what happens.
The appetite likes to tell us that if we give in to it, it will go away. It will stop. But that is a lie. It never does.
This is contrary to what we would expect, but it is true. That is why we need to learn to discern between our needs and wants.
Food is a need, insofar as it goes. One can fast for several weeks before you need food. But for most situations, food is a minor need.
Water is an absolute need. You cannot live without water. (Not liquids in general: we need water, pure and simple.)
Sexual relations are an eventual need of the human race, but not really a moment by moment need like oxygen or water. That is one reason why God made the appetite so strong: so that we would fulfill His plan with it. But when we allow that appetite to rule us and take us out of the bounds of His plan, then we have problems.
God is the final authority on what is a need or merely an appetite. Listen to Him, and obey Him. Yield to His priorities.
Joyfully resting in Christ,