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We're all born with spiritual Pica’s Disease. Pica is the craving to eat what is not edible. When my wife was a nurse, she had a patient who had Pica. It is diagnosed when a person craves to eat things that are not considered food; they crave things such as wood toothpicks, dirt, chalk, coal or foam rubber. One woman, who was a nonsmoker, would burn cigarettes to get the ashes so she could eat them. And when her husband smoked, she would follow him around with a cupped hand to catch the ashes as they fell. How would you like to sit down to a nice bowl of ashes? Well you might if you had Pica’s Disease.

Well, why do I say that we have spiritual Pica’s disease? I invite you to turn with me to Isaiah 44. God is speaking here about the nation of Israel in their idolatry; their worship of idols. But it applies to every human being ever born, because we are born into idolatry. It applies to all who turn away from God, and turn to their idols, to their habits and sins. It applies to us as it speaks about idolaters, and says in verse 20:

20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

You know why we don’t want the feast of eternal life? Because we’re born with spiritual taste buds that prefer ashes instead of Christ. Oh, I know it’s insane to feed on ashes, but that’s exactly what we do when we trade Christ, the bread of life, for whatever else we feed on. The very fact that we do not desire Christ evidences spiritual sickness; I mean what person who is healthy doesn’t want to eat food?

And this was the very condition of the disciples in John chapter 6. They had spiritual Pica’s disease because in verse 66 it says: “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66). This is John 666, it’s a sad verse. It describes people who have been presented with the way to live forever, by feeding on the benefits of Jesus’ death, they’re presented with a feast of grace, and they push away from the table and turn back to their ashes of legalism.

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