“Woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.” Luke11:43
The appetites of the heart are powerful things. There are the appetites for money, sex, having the perfect body, maintaining an allusion before others of “having it all together”, and more. The appetites of the Pharisees Jesus addressed was that of power, public recognition, and generally to have the aura of success in religious matters.
I say these appetites are powerful because we are often willing to do a lot to satisfy them. The Pharisees were willing to meticulously tithe, have a head knowledge of Scripture, go through the motions of disciplined prayer and more to achieve what their hearts truly loved, in a word, the worship of men. They didn’t put forth the diligent effort of these exercises because they loved God, but because they loved themselves! What have you been willing to do in order to achieve your sinful appetites?
Here are a few thoughts to help in this battle:
1. Recognize and admit your sinful appetites. This is sometimes the hardest, because the truth hurts and is often downright ugly when we see our sinfulness.
2. Honestly confess to God when these sinful appetites manifest themselves and don’t allow them to be nurtured in the garden of your heart and mind. Instead treat them like weeds.
3. Develop and nurture that one righteous appetite: a desire for God Himself. Seek the Lord in prayer, feed your soul with His word, and worship Him with His people. Do all you can to stir your appetite up for Him.