Summary: hunger for God
Intro: years ago my parents tried to get me to eat pecan pie, but I didn’t like it. Through the years it was always the same, I didn’t like it. But after trying it a few different times, I said, well, it’s all right. Over the years it has become one of my favorite desserts, it was an acquired taste. Many people have tried God, to serve Jesus, to read God’s word, only to give up after a short time. They say, I can’t understand the bible, or I can’t live the life, or going to church, or hearing a sermon is boring. Tonight, I would like to present that living for God is an acquired appetite. It isn’t natural, it cuts against the flesh. You must cultivate this spiritual appetite.
Acquiring a Spiritual Appetite
Background: Peter enjoyed the notoriety of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, the miracles, the great teachings, the multitudes following after them. It all appealed to his flesh, his appetite for fleshly recognition. But when Jesus turned the table and started talking about suffering, going to a cross, being rejected and humiliated, Peter rebuked him. Jesus then said, you have the wrong appetite; you savor the things of man, not the things of God. Tonight let’s look at how we can acquire a spiritual appetite.
How do we acquire spiritual appetites?
1. Denial of Worldly, Fleshly appetites—v.24
a. before you can acquire a spiritual appetite, you must lose your appetites for the world. Light can’t abide with darkness, Christ and Belial can co-exist in the same vessel. You will love the one and hate the other, or hate the one and cling to the other.
b. Conquering and over-coming is a battle that goes on daily. Paul said he died daily. Your victory over the flesh is essential for the development of spiritual desire.
c. Knitted in—as things have been knitted into your flesh, they must be pulled out, purged out, and sometimes that stings. It took time to get them in, and it may be a struggle in the process of overcoming.
2. Process—I Samuel 2:26 and the child Samuel grew—
a. you don’t go from a spiritual baby to a spiritual giant over-night—in the kingdom of Christ there are no over-night sensations.
b. Jesus didn’t start full time ministry until he was 30, the disciples trained for 3 years before they were released to full apostleship. God will always test your faithfulness in small things before He grants you the opportunity to be faithful over much.
c. Peter thought he had completed the process and failed miserably. We probably won’t fully arrive, until we arrive in heaven.
3. Cultivation—Acts 17:11—they were more noble, they received the word with all readiness and searched the scriptures daily.
a. You need to miracle grow your seeds. You can’t expect an appetite for God just to take place, worship, prayer, the word of God must be a vital part of your life for appetite to grow.
b. If you see someone growing rapidly in the things of God, you can know for a fact, they have a high powered fertilizer being poured on their spiritual roots every day.
c. It isn’t ability, but availability that will determine how much you grow. If you know someone who is a giant with God, it wasn’t that God found them that way, but as they availed themselves to God, he gave them the increase.
4. Environment- 2 Peter 1:1—like precious faith—
a. the next important aspect of acquiring an appetite for God, is to surround your life with people of spiritual appetite. If you walk in the counsel of the ungodly, you will become un-godly, if you stand in the way of sinners, you will be a sinner, if you sit in the seat of the scornful, you will become a critic of God. But if you run with those of a spiritual appetite, you will have a spiritual appetite.
b. Appetites are contagious—if you want to be red hot for the Lord, check the temperature of those you associate with, if they are all sub tropic, than your spirit is going to freeze.
Ill) you can tell someone’s appetite, by their portion. I had a friend who won a t-shirt that says, I ate the whole thing. It was a local pizza place that had a giant pizza, that if you ate it all, it was free. The funny thing is, not only did he eat the pizza, but he had a salad, a pitcher of coke and a dessert. You could tell by his portion, what his appetite was.
5. Expansion—Hebrew 5:12-14-probably one of the biggest killers of spiritual appetite, is an being satisfied with our appetite. Paul said, not that I have already apprehended—Philippians 3;13—every day you must ask God to expand your appetites in the spirit.