What is Your Appetite For?

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Southeast Christian Church
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Philippians 3:18-19 reads, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their appetite, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

It's interesting in this verse that Paul starts with general things, but then he says something very specific about their god being their appetite. Isn't that interesting? Out of all the things Paul could say about people headed for destruction, this is the one specific thing he calls out. You may have read a translation that says that their god is their belly or their god is their stomach. Some people shop too much so their god is their next purchase. Some people may exercise too much so their god is their mirror. Some people drink too much so their god is their alcohol. Some people do all kinds of things too much, but reason that Paul uses this phrase right here is simply to point out this is the baseline for all of us. This is something we all have in common.

If you're focused on the here and now, maybe what Paul is saying is the first indicator that you're a pleasure seeker is your god is your appetite. The problem with being a pleasure seeker with food is the same with all pleasure; it's fun for a while, but it never truly satisfies you. Maybe, when you think about it, this is even why the scriptures talk so much about fasting, because as Christians, we have a duty to learn to deny the flesh and the most primal way to do that is to pick times where we just go without food completely and call on God. Jesus said in John 4:34 that “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” This should be what satisfies us and brings us contentment. 

Reflection/Discussion Questions: When was the last time you fasted? Consider asking a close friend to fast with you sometime this week as a way to focus on your dependence on God, instead of food.

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