We have appetites for things like sex, food and other pleasures. Within God’s boundaries and in moderation these appetites are just fine. When addiction hits we need to change our instincts. If you eat a Suzy Q cake every day and I eat a banana at lunch. We both have learned an instinct. What you feed your appetite will become a learned or inherent desire. An Alcoholic has chosen to feed their desire for thirst with alcohol instead of water. The key is to understand: what you “feed” your appetite will become a learned or inherent desire. 25 years ago I desired beer over water. Today I drink water and that is 100% my favorite desire with drinking. I know that I feel better today, this week, this month and this year with plenty of water. I have learned a good desire and habit. Below are some desires to feed:
Take a deeper look at time and your use of it: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16) One preventative for sin and wrong doing is to fill your time with good things. Brethren, do good while it is in your hands to be able to do so. The time of opportunity passes quickly. Let us double our efforts to make wise use of our time in serving others and in evangelism. Our days are evil because of much sin. What are you doing with your time?
Focus on heaven. “This world is not my home.” (Philippians 1:21-24.) Our desire for that heavenly home must be strong. “It is more important for me to attain heavenly riches than earthly riches. We pray to care about others souls so that the Holy Spirit will prepare us to help them. When we focus on heavenly treasures first, many other things will fall in place for us.
Practice of God’s word: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22) Power of God’s word: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
James named three specific areas of practice: (1) Controlling your tongue (James 1:26), (2) Being benevolent to the widows and orphans (James 1:27), and (3) Practicing personal purity (James 1:27). It is not enough just to hear the truth. One must also practice what he has learned. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21.)
What appetite will you feed more which will help you stay away from addiction? Idea’s include: exercise, work, hobbies, learn a musical instrument and helping others. What are your top 2 healthy desires to feed? 1.___________ 2.___________
Read Matthew 15, and Acts 5-6