Does the Appetite Go Away?
If my people humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
A friend recently asked me if God changes our appetites. As we follow God, do our destructive desires go away? Or is it always going to be a struggle? I’ve often said that if I liked donuts or drugs before I came to God, I’m still going to have some appetite for them after. What then, does God do for me? Am I destined to spend the rest of this life struggling to make it through another day without failing?
While enslaved to pills, I begged God to take away my appetite, hoping that I would wake up one day, just hating the pill. The next day though, my craving returned. Now, four years later – though I know I would still enjoy the euphoria – the thought of taking a pill is abhorrent to me. What has changed? Why didn’t God bring me to this point back when I asked Him to do so?
The distance between then and now, is detailed in today’s passage. In the story, God told King Solomon that if His people would humble themselves, pray, seek God and turn from their wicked ways, He would heal them.
The reason my prayer went unanswered is clear to me now. I failed to follow God’s plan for recovery. I demanded magical transformation, while refusing to do what it took to abandon my wicked ways.
We often do this. We beg God for help with our lust, gluttony, anger, pride, and selfishness, while doing nothing about it. God’s command to the Israelites is His command to us though. If we desire healing, we do not stop at prayer. Prayer is necessary, but it is not the end. If we truly desire change, we must ask God for help and then we must follow Him. Transformation often only comes after radical obedience.
If I took a pill today, my flesh nature would still find it pleasurable. In that sense, the appetite is not gone. However, in doing what it takes to abandon the pill, to follow God, He has brought me to the point where I much prefer Him. In that sense, my appetite has been miraculously transformed. Thank God.