The Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him. 2 Chronicles 30:9
I ate a donut. I’ve had a full year clean from donuts, but I recently brought them to work for a special occasion and though I planned to abstain, the temptation eventually got to me. I took a donut to the back room where no one could see, and I inhaled it. It was glorious, so, I had another.
Though I enjoyed them immensely, less than a minute later, I regretted my decision. The pleasure lasted seconds and then I was left only with irritation at myself for indulging. I don’t mean to over-spiritualize donuts, but I don’t want to be flippant about them either. Donuts are a perfect example of how my flesh and spirit nature work.
In surrendering to the appetites of my flesh for a momentary satisfaction, I create lasting regret. Contrast this with the satisfaction I get from saying no to junk food. Being a holiday week, we have family over, which means we have an overabundance of unhealthy snacks sitting around. So far, I have resisted and every morning, I wake up feeling better for it. The momentary discipline of denying the destructive desires of my flesh leads to lasting satisfaction.
I must realize that I am always going to try and find some satisfaction, euphoria, pleasure or relief in something. I can take the easy route and try to find it in food, money, drugs, stuff, affirmation and self, ultimately finding only misery and regret, or, I can choose momentary discipline and put in the work of finding my satisfaction in God. God, help me to know the joy of just being with you.
God longs for us to find our joy and meaning in Him. We do not however, get to enjoy the satisfaction of experiencing Him while indulging in our destructive flesh nature. We cannot walk in the spirit and in the flesh at the same time. It always takes work to abandon our destructive appetites to pursue Christ, but that is the only way we find lasting satisfaction.