Our dog Jake has been sick recently. After the third day of being unable to keep food down, I whisked him away to the vet to make sure he hadn’t gotten something stuck in his digestive track. After two x-rays ruled that out, the doctor ordered a series of tests that ultimately revealed Jake’s problem to be inflammation of his pancreas, which if not corrected, could be fatal. Apparently, this condition isn’t uncommon in canines and is most often caused by a diet overly high in fat. So after two hours at the animal hospital (and the bill that came with it), we headed home with couple of prescriptions, some expensive new dog food and instructions to keep him away from high fat foods (i.e. table scraps).
Of course Jake doesn’t know or care about how bad table food is for him. Left to satisfy his own appetites, he would choose to literally eat himself to death!
Could it be that we as believers are more like Jake than we care to admit?
Scripture is full of warning about the dangerous and certain result of sin.
After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15
For the wages of sin is death, – Rom. 6:23
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Rom. 6:16
The sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. Rom 7:5
Regardless the warnings of the inevitable results of a lifetime of pandering to our sinful appetites (even those that don’t look too bad like pride, materialism, unforgiveness etc), we often blindly eat our fill of the world’s offerings, thinking that we can avoid the unavoidable consequences. Even after we have become sick from indulging in tempting pleasures that soothe our selfishness, we return for more.
Instead of repeating this cycle, Jesus pointed believers to an alternative. He said. “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied” Matt 5:6.
It’s no coincidence that Christ encourages Godly hunger & thirst in his Sermon on the Mount, and later identifies himself as the true Bread of Life, promising that “Anyone who comes to Me will never go hungry ….” John 6:35. We can stuff ourselves with the treats of the flesh, but HE is the only source of true fulfillment. As we learn to feed our hunger for righteousness… our hunger for Him… we can be assured that we will always be satisfied with spiritual food that delights, fills and will never fail to satisfy.