by Given O. Blakely


Perhaps I should say, people who have no APPARENT appetite for the things of God. It is a tragedy that anyone lacks a spiritual appetite, but when it is someone that claims to be a Christian, it is particularly grievous. Is this unfortunate phenomenon merely a sign of spiritual juvenility? Perhaps the individual in question has not grown sufficiently? O, how apologetic people are for the existence of "church" individuals that do not hunger and thirst for righteousness. How are such people viewed by God?

The people of God, regardless of their spiritual attainment, are solemnly admonished, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:1-2). We have not been raised with Christ in order to dwell upon things in the world. The reason for the condition is simply this: spiritual life cannot be sustained by the world order. If that were possible, Jesus would have remained in the world. However, He returned to heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God. Is it possible to be affiliated with Him and not have your mind set where He is? If it is true that we died, and our life is hid with Christ in God, what is there in the world that can sustain our spirits? It is impossible to sustain spiritual life in disassociation from Christ!

In his letter, James addressed people that were closer to the world than to Jesus. Their minds were absorbed with temporal things--yet they thought themselves to be believers. How frankly James speaks to them. "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" (James 4:4). Serious charges, indeed! The Spirit elsewhere states, "And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved" (Heb 10:38-39).

And what does this have to do with lacking a spiritual appetite? Very much, indeed! The reason people do not have a hunger and thirst for righteousness is because they have devoted their inner appetites to something else. Their minds have been saturated with the things of this world. They are occupied with things that are destined to pass away. It is not that they are novices, or simply lack a capacity for the things of God. The less they hear from God, the more comfortable they are. That is a serious condition. When a person becomes a new creation, old things pass away, and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). There are no exceptions to that rule.

There are believers that know little of the things God has prepared for them. Their understanding of Scripture is not adequate, and they cannot navigate well through Apostolic doctrine. That, however, is not the end of the story. Many of these people have a real appetite for the things of God. They are not content to be deficient in any area. Be sure you encourage them with the promise of Jesus. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). A hearty appetite for the things of God will be blessed by Him. __________________________________________________________

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