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Dec 3 Devotion: Resisting Fleshly Appetites

And you hath he quickened,  who were dead in trespasses and sins:  2).  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3).  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind; and were by nature, the children of wrath, even as others.  4)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;)  6).  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus;  7).  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riched of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

                                  EPHESIANS 2:1-7

The Holy Spirit guides believers to make wise and righteous decisions. But when Christians fail to listen, they can make choices that appeal to the flesh instead.

After the serpent spoke to Eve, she no doubt took a long look at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Whatever she might have thought about the tree before, she now saw it with new eyes—flesh-focused eyes. In Genesis 3, we are told it that the forbidden tree appealed to Eve in three ways: 1) it was good for food, 2) it was a delight to the eyes, and 3) it was desirable to make one wise.

In other words, the tree could fulfill three legitimate human appetites: the desire for tasty meals, beauty, and wisdom. There is nothing wrong with these God-given yearnings. The Lord created a variety of food and an earth packed with breathtaking sights so that people could enjoy them. He also offers the Holy Spirit as a source of His true wisdom and knowledge. In fact, it is the Spirit who teaches believers to keep fleshly appetites under control and in balance.

Meanwhile, Satan works very hard at corrupting healthy desires. He abhors seeing people’s appetites satisfied. What he wants is to watch a person lusting after a good thing until he or she is controlled by the impulse to have it.

The Devil is pleased when people make themselves slaves to a desire that—in the proper context—the Lord intended to be enjoyed freely. A believer walking in the Holy Spirit rejects gluttony, preferring desires that are within God’s boundaries instead. That’s how we get His very best.



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