Archive for February 3rd, 2010

Affections and Appetites

February 3rd, 2010

“The world offers . . a craving for everything we see.” 1 John 2:16 NLT

Life is best when you keep it simple: love God and obey Him!

My thoughts today are about “affections and appetites.”

You and I are just a living, breathing bundle of appetites and desires. Some of those are noble and worthy, some suspect and questionable. Ever wondered about the origin of those desires and appetites? Of course, God gave you desires when He created you. Those are the ones that are noble, they serve as inner motivations that are life affirming, pulling you in Godly directions.

The less noble ones with which you deal every day have an origin also that the Bible identifies as the “world, the flesh, and the devil.” This is where you and I run into problems with desires that conflict with everything God wants for you. Let me give a simplistic description of those. The world is the unredeemed culture around you. The flesh is the fallen nature within you. The devil is the enemy of your soul who is against you. It is spiritually dangerous when your own desires align sympathetically with those; you then find them irresistible. Read James 4:1-3 NIV.

Solomon, once the wisest and richest of men, writes later of tragically experimenting with unrestrained desires and concludes that its end was vanity – an emptiness of soul. It is sad to feel an emptiness of soul? Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 NLT. Because he could, Solomon did whatever his heart desired until he realized that none of his indulgences were at all satisfying beyond the moment.

“The world offers . . a craving for everything we see . . (but) no matter how much we see; we are never satisfied.” 1 John 2:16 NLT/Ecclesiastes 1:8 NLT. That accurately describes every pleasure seeker. The world falsely promises that the next thing you try will satisfy even though the last did not. And when it doesn’t, you are left even emptier than before, until you finally doubt that anything could fill the longings of your heart. But Jesus can, and will!

God who made your heart knows best what will satisfy the heart He gave you. Every other attempt to fill an empty heart will miserably fail. Here was Solomon’s conclusion: “There is only one thing to say: have reverence for God, and obey His commands, because this is all that man was created for. God is going to judge everything . . whether good or bad.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 TEV. Life is best when you keep it simple: love God and obey Him!

Here’s why this matter of desires is so important. Appetites have everything to do with what shapes your affections. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father.” 1 John 2:15-16 NKJV.

I admit this can sound easier than you will find it to do. Here’s how it works. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth . . Let Heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things here on earth, for . . your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3 KJV/NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you set the affections of your heart firmly upon God.

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