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Living a Good Life: Making Sense of Your Appetites, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: Making Sense of Your Appetites, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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February 23, 2024 10:00 am

In a well-known quote, Augustine tells the Lord, “you have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.” The created can never satisfy a heart meant for the Creator. In Ecclesiastes 6, Solomon bemoans the fact that wealth does not satisfy the soul.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In a well-known quote, Augustine tells the Lord, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee. The created can never satisfy a heart meant for the Creator. In Ecclesiastes 6, Solomon bemoans the fact that wealth does not satisfy the soul. In today's message, we consider our appetite for gain as a human race, why it fails to satisfy, and what we can do about it. Let's listen to this message titled, Making Sense of Your Appetites. This is the second part of the message, first preached on May 6, 2018, at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. It's part of a series on Ecclesiastes titled, Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey. Why the grass is greener on the other side?

Because it's plastic. It's not real. I had a neighbor in Virginia, assistant golf pro at Virginia Tech, and behind our house, they were right next to us, behind our houses, we had these really steep little hills that went up about 12 feet, and we were trying everything under the sun to try to mow the grass on that hill. You know, everything from a rope pulling the mower along like this, and going up and down it. It was grueling. It really was. And so I gave up on it. I just landscaped it all, you know, put arborvitase and mulch on it and all that kind of stuff.

It looked pretty good. Didn't have to mow it, right? And he said, Rich, he said, you know what I'm going to do?

I'm going to pour concrete and paint it green. We all have this thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, because you know what? We're constantly thinking, if only I had, if only had this thing, if only I had this position, if only I had this relationship, then I would be satisfied. And you're believing a lie, because you're looking for satisfaction in the wrong things. And we succumb then to irrational fantasies. And it's okay to desire the things that God designed for us. But he did not design things and people to make us happy and satisfied.

Right? If only I had. How many times are we telling ourselves that every day? Malcolm Muggeridge says this, God has made our fantasies so preposterously unrewarding that we are forced to turn to him for help and for mercy. We seek wealth and find we've accumulated worthless pieces of paper. We seek security and find we've acquired the means to blow ourselves and our little earth to smithereens. We seek carnal indulgence only to find ourselves involved in the prevailing erotomania. Irrational fantasies. So I like what Don Kistler says, said this in tabletop, the person with the discontented heart has the attitude that everything he does for God is too much and everything God does for him is too little.

You know what that is? That is acknowledging God with earthbound thinking. And we're so prone to that. We're so because of our insatiable desires. We are governed by our appetites.

And you know what that means? When you are governed by your appetites, it means you are operating at the level of an animal. What the Bible calls a brute beast, an irrational beast.

You're just governed by your appetites. What I want, I do, I get, you know, human beings don't have to be slavishly governed by our passions because we're created in God's image. And for those of us who are in Christ, we have resource way beyond that. What is it that we want most? Because we all battle these insatiable desires. So what is it that we want most? I think we can identify it from this passage and it's kind of tucked in there.

It would be very, very easy to miss. Now let's look at a few verses here because he's talking about the person that is not satisfied. Let's begin once again at verse three. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. What a thing to say.

Why does he say that? For it, the child, the stillborn child, comes in vanity and goes in darkness and get this, and in darkness its name is covered. Whoa, wait a minute here.

Think about what he's saying. This stillborn child doesn't know the brokenness and dissatisfaction of life, but comes and goes in practical nothingness. But the personhood of this stillborn child is affirmed here.

This is not a political statement. Let's dig into what Scripture is saying here. Why do we say that?

This stillborn child is a person. How do we know that? Because number one, it has a name. It has a name and God knows it.

And secondly, what does it say? Verse 5, moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds what? Rest. It finds rest. Rest. That's what you and I crave.

It's what we long for now. What do we mean by rest? Sitting down and doing nothing and watching TV all day? That's not rest. That is stress.

So don't go there. It is calm. It is quietness of the soul, a sense of comfort and peace. But it comes in the sense of Psalm 16 11, in your presence is fullness of joy.

At your right hand are pleasures ever more. You see, so rest isn't doing nothing. Rest is a contented being full of satisfaction and purpose. A contented being, the calmness of soul, contented being full of purpose and satisfaction. You experience the fullness of purpose and the fullness of satisfaction. That is the person that will experience it when the master says, enter into the joy of your master.

The writer of Hebrews chapter 4 verse 9 says, there remains a rest for the people of God. Isn't that a tremendous promise? That is what we crave. That's what we long for at the core of our being. And it's true in every human being. Here's the problem. Our insatiable desires take us looking for it in all the wrong places.

All the wrong places. And what does Jesus say? Come to me. So what we want most is this rest to be content, full of purpose and satisfaction. So if this is what we want most, then what do we do about it?

What do we do about it? Three things from this text this morning. Number one, inform your desires. Inform your desires. Your desires can be informed.

You are not enslaved to them. Inform your desires. Don't let your desires master you. You be master over your desires. You have that in Christ, you know.

Inform your desires. Because he asks the question, again look at verse 9, for who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life. What's the answer to that question? God knows. God knows what is good for man. You see, we desperately need that infinite reference point because I am insufficient in myself to be a reference point for my own life. I cannot determine what is good for me.

That has to be determined outside of me. So to inform your desires means to desire right things. Desire right things. That means to desire what God wants. I love this verse. It's from Psalm 119. Great peace have those who delight in God's self-disclosure.

Nothing causes them to stumble or be offended. Now there's a little bit of Rich Powell translation in there. But that's what the verse is saying. What does God want? Micah 6.8. Do justly.

Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God. Those are the things God wants. That's what defines success. And when we do those things, we will know a level of satisfaction that is unknown to unregenerate man.

We will start looking for satisfaction in the right places. That's why Jesus gave the parable of the treasure in the field. The kingdom of God is like the treasure in the field.

When a man goes and he finds it, he discovers it. What does he do? He recognizes the immense value of that treasure. What does he do? He goes and he sells everything that he has. Why?

So that he can buy that field. He has gotten rid of the lesser things so that he can have the infinitely greater thing. The apostle Paul said something very similar to that.

What did he say? Remember Philippians? What things were gained to me, I counted them as that I may gain Christ.

Isn't that amazing? Inform your desires. Desire the right things. What are the things that God wants? Because you were made for him.

He designed you. And when you desire the things that God desires, you're going to realize a level of satisfaction that you've never had before. Second, corral your desires. Corral your desires. Because you know your desires can be like a wild run away horse.

Right? Verse 9, better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite. The wandering appetite.

That's the root problem isn't it? That's why our desires need to be corralled. The word wandering is where it's like walking around. And so if informing our desires is desiring the right things, then corralling our desires is desiring real things.

Think about that now. What do I mean by that? Desire really is the sight of the eyes.

What is that? That which God has given to you. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10am.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 12:11:15 / 2024-02-23 12:15:49 / 5

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