2 Timothy 3:1-7
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”
Sin, whether we like it or not, is still sin. Even among believers. The human soul has been equipped with a conscience that in a way is a measure of our appetite for the things of God and distaste for the things of the world. Certainly our conscience can be dulled by an over indulgence in sin, but it is the means by which “the law of God was writen on the hearts of all men.”
My question is, why do people drink Coke? Numerous studies have shown it’s negative effects on the human body. I am corn syrup intolerant. For me, drinking pop is a bad idea because it is likely that I will end up with a stomach cramp as a consequence. That’s just not fun. But there are those days that drinking a Coke just sounds good. In my mind there is a stored memory of the good flavor and experience of enjoying a Coke. I asked for one today on my flight fully expecting the full Coca-Cola experience. You have seen the commercials. You know what I’m talking about. I lifted the chilled drink to my lips and BAM! Or not. The reality is, the taste was repulsive to me. What happened since I last drank Coke and experienced the delicious flavor I remembered? My appetite has changed.
I believe that as a Christian I must also train my appetite. Naturally, I want to drink Coca-Cola, the artificial and exaggerated experience offered by the world. I have read enough Scripture and heard enough sermons to know that the happiness is only temporary and that the consequences are severe. But like that urge to drink pop, the desire is still there.
How did my tastes change so drastically? I have not had more than a few sips of Coke in over two years. Instead, I have been drinking all-
natural juice and gallons of water. Scripture tells us to renew our minds in the Word of God. There is a two-step process to training our appetites. First, we have to stop drinking of the pleasures of the world. This can’t be a one-day fast. Changing your appetites means changing your lifestyle. Secondly, we must fill our thirst from another source, by drinking from the fountain of living water.
The passage from 2 Timothy cited at the top is convicting to me. Paul minces no words in listing various, specific sins that Christian must flee from. On this list are several sins that I can identify in my heart. Perhaps you also see sins that are a part of your current appetite. The challenge laid on my heart as I set aside the remainder of my Coke to be thrown away, was that I must also set aside these sins. Join with me in training my appetite to thirst after the things of God rather than the things of earth. Surprisingly enough, just like drinking water, there are overwhelming and great rewards for those who drink of the Livimg Water.
“The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”