Appetite: Sin vs. Righteousness

hunger“The bed is too short on which to stretch out, and the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.” Isaiah 28:20

The one that pursues righteousness possesses a different appetite than the one that pursues self righteousness. For this post, we will understand “appetite” to mean: “A desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving.” As such, the Bible treats the temptation that leads one to sin as being tied directly to one’s own desire or appetite. Therefore, those who crave God seek righteousness and those who crave their own selfish desires seek self righteousness. Unfortunately and regardless of one’s appetite, desire, and craving we all sin. Because we sin and because we are human, we seek methods to cover our sins.

Much like Adam and Eve sought to cover their sin by making coverings out of fig leaves. Just as their efforts to cover their sin and satisfy the debt of sin were meager at best, ours today are equally so. Before Adam and Eve were forced out of the Garden never to return, God made provision for their sin by covering them with sheep skin. Other than being far more modest of a covering choice, the act and gesture was a sign of God’s Grace and His capacity to appropriately cover our sin. Not only that, but it was also a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ; the Lamb of God.

Again and for example, God tells us through His interaction with Cain before the murder of Able exactly what we must do and what is expected. “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” (Genesis 4:6-7) Herein God reveals the key to appetites, desires, and cravings. They must be mastered. Being that we fail at mastering our sins and do so meagerly and miserably, God has made appropriate provision to cover our sin.

In case the observation made here of appetites is too nebulous to understand, the Bible has out lined for us the exact difference with a list of “fruits” which demonstrate for us today what we must be about.

  1. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. “ Galatians 5:16-18
  2. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
  3. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25

MiraclesThe Apostle Paul provides the post-resurrection answer to how we are to “master” our desire. We must recognize that only Christ can propitiate our sin and He did so through His death, burial, and resurrection. By acknowledging this fact, we allow the Holy Spirit to continue to work and draw us each closer to the Father. As we are wooed by the Holy Spirit, we learn to walk by the Spirit and put to death the flesh or the ways of the world.

Only God’s provision is appropriate, our provision and attempt at covering our sin is meager at best; thus, the opening verse from Isaiah. Although it reads like an outdated analogy, it is actually quite accurate and timely. “The bed is too short on which to stretch out, and the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.” (Isaiah 28:20) our provisions are like fig leaves, beds that are too short, and blankets that too small. Our own efforts to cover sin never seem to be quite enough. Thankfully, GOD IS ENOUGH!

If we CRAVE GOD and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, then our appetite will remain toward God as we walk through this thing we call life. What do you desire?

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.