4 Appetites that Change Your Life

Doesn't that make you hungry?I have been thinking about appetites lately. It started back when I listened to the Reformer’s Unanimous message on Principle # 4 again: “You cannot satisfy a fleshly appetite by indulging in it,” a couple weeks or so ago.

It is really a very good principle. There is a lot of truth packed into it.

Let me unwrap a little bit of it for you. It is what I have been pondering on, and putting into practice for the last couple weeks, and I am really excited about it.

There are a few different kinds of appetites, and you can classify them in a few different ways.

If you classify them by the object of desire, for example, you have basically two kinds: good and bad. An example of a good appetite would be reading God’s Word, or righteousness. God clearly commands us to desire and hunger after these things over and over in the Bible. And example of a bad appetite would be sinful sexual lust, drugs, and stuff like that.

Those are obvious examples, but it gets harder to categorize things when you start trying to classify things like healthy food. Is that a fleshly appetite? Is that a godly appetite? Is that an appetite that could grow to be a consuming appetite? It is actually all of those, which makes it tough to see whether it is good or bad. I mean, think about it. If it is kept under control, and it doesn’t become an idol (that is, your appetite for it becomes overwhelming), it is good and right, and should be encouraged. So it seems almost like….

A gradient! Oh no!

You have black (bad appetites) and white (good appetites) and gray (appetites that are… um middly). Gray areas are not good, are they? They just smell of compromise and wishy-washy-ness and relative morality and… bleagch.

So that is why I was thinking about this, and I discovered another way to categorize appetites: by the nature of the appetite.

Let’s illustrate with food, because it is near to our hearts and easy to apply.

Did you know that if you consistently eat food that satisfies your nutritional needs (yes, that is what food is for), you won’t fill your stomach up? It actually isn’t good for you to eat until your stomach is full: you are supposed to eat until your nutritional requirements are met for that meal. If you do it right, your appetite actually turns off and you can’t eat another bite.

Of course if you aren’t eating food that satisfies those needs, you won’t have that effect, and the only way you can feel sort of ‘satisfied’ is to eat until your stomach is full of food. The problem with that is that your stomach isn’t really made to handle that, and it will expand and stretch to hold it all. And your appetite will grow with it. So you will gradually eat more and more at each meal.

What happens then is that you start to eat to satisfy your mouth. You eat because it tastes good going through your mouth, and you keep on sending food through until either your mouth says it is enough, or your stomach begins to complain that it is overloaded, and you stop because you don’t want to face the consequences of overeating.

Unfortunately if you keep going in that direction you will get to the point where it doesn’t matter any more. You begin to despise your food, and your body is screaming in misery at you because it is being abused, but you can’t stop eating. You are eating to satisfy, not your needs, not your stomach, not your mouth, but your appetite itself. You are a slave to your … addiction.

So we have four kinds of appetites there, and the progression between them. Notice that you don’t start down this slippery slope unless you change your intake to something that doesn’t have safeguards to protect you from abusing it.

Here is where it gets exciting.

Our spiritual life has this same division of appetites!

When you are doing something for God, something that God wants you to do, by definition it won’t take control of your life. That is how it is designed to work. You can’t spend too much time reading God’s Word, if you are doing it for the right reasons, because it will drive you to get out and take action on what it is talking about. The same thing goes for prayer or any other spiritual discipline. This also applies to things that God calls you to do, like spending time with your family, having a successful job, resting, or recreation. Each of these things, when done with the right motivation, will fall into place in God’s big picture of your life and will never take over more room than they need.

But if you start focusing on anything for its own sake, it starts to grow, and you begin to toe the line of it beginning to encroach on your other tasks and duties in life. The problem with toeing the line, though, is that it moves. It moves farther and farther out (in your eyes, not in God’s), until you are far away from where God wants you to be, and that thing has become a stronghold in your life.

When that happens you start doing it just for the pleasure of doing it. Pleasure is not a bad thing: God designed many of things purely for our pleasure with no ‘practical’ benefits other than just that. But when the pleasure becomes centered on our flesh, rather than on God, bad things begin to happen. You do it as much as possible, and only stop when you fear the consequences. You sleep until you fear losing your job. You work until you fear losing your sleep or your family. You read your Bible (as a self-righteous hypocrite) until you fear losing other things that might be important to you.

But living like that is like playing Russian Roulette. Every day you take a shot at your head, and the cylinder moves the bullet one place closer to you. You don’t know when the day of reckoning will come, but be assured that it will if you don’t change your course. The closer you get the less and less you care about consequences, and you begin to recklessly throw yourself into it. You begin to hate your life; you hate your passion; you hate your appetite; and you hate everything that tries to drag you from it.

You become like Gollum in Lord of the Rings.

And at the end of that road is death. No hope or way of escape is in that direction.

You have to turn around and run for God, casting out all things that feed the wrong appetites: the ones that are not for His glory. You need to seek out those things that satisfy your righteous appetites: the ones that bring God glory. You need to starve those appetites which are displeasing to God.

And if you don’t.

Hell awaits you.

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Principle Ten

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 tenth.

GOD BALANCES GUILT WITH BLAME. ACCEPT THE BLAME FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND GOD WILL REMOVE THE GUILT.

There is a very important purpose to guilt: to bring you to brokenness at the feet of God. But most people will not want to do that. They want to get rid of that guilt and retain their pride. The only way they can do that is to pass the blame off on other people or circumstances. But this only masks the guilt for a short time: it does not remove it. And in the end, it only adds to it: for you are merely lying to yourself and others, which causes more guilt. Life becomes miserable.

Until you submit to God, accept the blame, bow at His feet, and humbly admit your wrongs.

Then God will remove the guilt, and you will be free. Only until you accept that you are the one responsible for your sins, will you be able to find liberty from guilt.

Contriteness is a good thing: you should be seeking it out, praying for it, desperately pleading God to lead you to repentance.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Principle Nine

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 ninth.

WE LOSE OUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHEN WE GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION. OUR CONSEQUENCES ARE INEVITABLE, INCALCULABLE, AND UP TO GOD.

I understand that once you hit a ball in baseball, you can’t control it anymore. Once it goes thwack, it is gone and you have no more influence over it than if you had never seen it. Of course, I have never really played sports, so I might be wrong (maybe).

But I know that this principle holds true in the spiritual world, in your walk with God, and in life in general.

Sin has consequences. Period. Full-stop. You can’t get around it. It is as inevitable as gravity. God’s mercy can and will alleviate it, and help you through it, and teach you by it, and turn it aside, but there are consequences to every action.

We have no control over them. When you sin, you are casting yourself onto the mercy of God, and you have no idea what He might do. He will always do the best thing, but that best thing might be very painful for you to endure. Rely on ‘getting out of things’ and you will find yourself in a place that you cannot get out of.

The only way to make sure that you will not incur the wrath of God, is to avoid sinning. Yield to His grace, and to His will. Yield to Him before you sin, and it will be easier.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Principle Seven

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 seventh.

OUR SINFUL HABITS CAN HURT THOSE WHO FOLLOW US.

We always tend to think in terms of ourself, naturally. We look at what we do in private, and say that our sins can only hurt us. After all, “What they don’t know won’t hurt ’em,” right?

Wrong.

There are several reasons why this is wrong, but I will focus on two.

Firstly, we cannot compartmentalize our sin. If we yield to the flesh and the devil in one area, we are not walking in the Spirit. We are yielding our members to sin. Our whole walk with God is dramatically altered for the worse, and we do not have access to the life-giving and life strengthening presence of His Holy Spirit (at least not as much as before).

That means that sin will spread to every other area of our life. If we lust, our tongues will soon become bitter and angry. If we refuse to forgive, our hearts will start to envy. Etc. We cannot escape it.

Galatians 5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Secondly, we cannot guarantee that others will remain unknowing of our sin. God does punish willful sin, and He sometimes does so in ways that are public (many times He does so). We cannot control our consequences, only our actions and choices. The only way to keep other people from finding out about your sin, is to not do it.

Luke 12:2-3 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.


With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Principle Five

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 fifth.

SMALL COMPROMISES LEAD TO GREAT DISASTERS.

(Little Sins Lead To Big Sins.)

People talk about how they need to fight and beat the Big Sins. Drugs. Hard Core Pornography. Smoking. Of course, some people don’t think those are big sins at all, and of course those people are not going to find liberty from them. Some people don’t think that lust, hate, anger, bitterness, and envy are Big Sins. They say that they will deal with those when they take care of the Big ones. I know. I was one of those people.

But.

It.

Is.

A.

Lie.

You cannot defeat any ‘big sin ‘until you realize how much God hates the ‘little sins.’ God considers unjust hatred to be equal with murder. Lust to be equal to adultery. Envy to be equal to idolatry. Period. No escape.

If you surrender to your flesh, death comes.

If you yield to the Holy Spirit of God, life comes.

If life comes, it begets more life.

If death comes, it begets more death.

That is the way it happens.

You cannot let sin rule in your life in what you call the ‘little’ areas and expect God to bring you victory in what you call the ‘big’ areas. You need to attack sin’s strongholds in every area of your life.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Principle One

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 first.

IF GOD’S AGAINST IT, SO AM I!

This is a principle so obvious as to be self-evident. But it is only so to those who actually understand who God is, and who we are. This is evident in the spiral of degradation outlined in Romans one.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

This is the first step of a long series of rebellions and consequent acts of God giving us up unto one level of degradation, perversion, and sin after another. When we refuse to acknowledge God’s rightful place in our lives, we become proud and plunge into vice after vice. This is the root of all sin and transgression: pride. And at the root of pride is the idea of refusing to give God the throne in our lives and hearts.

What we need to do is acknowledge that God really did make us, and really does therefore own us, and also knows absolutely everything about us. He knows exactly what is best for us. He is also all loving, so He will seek as much as He can to help us yield to that best good. Anything less than absolute submission on our parts is tantamount to high treason and arrogance on a grand scale.

Realize that we cannot outsmart God. We cannot plan anything or do anything better than He has.

Therefore, we need to dedicate ourselves to discovering and discerning what He really wants for us, not giving heed to false teachers who would turn us away from His plan. All too often people improperly read the Bible, inserting false assumptions into the text and then drawing out what they wanted to hear.

This is sometimes done deliberately, but that is not how most of the fallacious false doctrines of this world have come about, in my belief. Most of the time it is well-intentioned, albeit foolhardy and unskilled men and women who did not think long enough about what they decided to believe.

Seek to find out what the Bible is truly saying. Then seek to follow exactly that without compromise and without regret. Nothing else is more important than those two things.

Joyfully resting in Christ,

Jay Lauser

Repentance

Greetings,

Repentance is a turning from and a turning to. It is an act of realization and action. It is accompanied by emotion, but is not emotion-driven. Repentance is a seeking for God; a seeing of your weakness and need; an understanding of God’s worthiness and glory; a humbling cry out to Him for forgiveness and the grace and strength to return to Him; an acknowledgment of the worthlessness of what you had sought, and the glory and value of what you now seek; a renewed longing after things higher than you. It is a breaking of the heart, a contrition in spirit and in decision. You must turn from your actions of sin and begin again to do the things which obey, glorify, and honor God’s commands.

This is the action, your part.

Next I will describe the promise, the Lord’s part.

The Lord promises that, to those who humble themselves and seek His face, He will not only hear them, but He will empower, strengthen, and give them the grace they need to find their desires. When your desire is only Him, He will give you that desire, which is more than what sin promises. God actually gives you the object of the desires that He awakens in you, and He is the only one who will: everything else simply increases the desire and gives you less, making you dryer and dryer. The Lord promises with unfailing faithfulness to increase not only your blessings and fruit, but to increase your capacity for them! He gives you more than you can ever imagine or hope or grab for!

Psalm 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.


Jeremiah 29:13-14a And ye shall seek me, and find [me,] when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity,


Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place,] with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Seek the Lord by doing His will, sowing the seeds of obedience and repentance.

Hosea 10;12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Trust God, learn to love His ways, for they are the only ways worth loving.

James 4:4-10 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


I pray for all of you, my comrades and friends, by who’s side I fight, that you may find the mercy and strengthening grace of Christ.

With hope, faith, and prayer in Christ,

Jay Lauser