June 23, 2017

Whetting Your Appetite

Have you ever noticed that the more you do something, the more you want to do it?

Think about it. Maybe you start watching geek stuff on tv (you know, science and history and discovery channel stuff). And the more of it you watch, the more “in tune” with it you become, and the more you want of it. Or how about the radio? I’ll give a personal example. I started listening to a little bit of bluegrass music way back in the day. And then I listened a little more, and then a little more than that. And soon it became not just something I “liked,” but a full-fledged favorite. Or how about books or magazines? Isn’t most of what you like to read within the same genres? My husband likes reading about history. And let me tell you, our collection of history books and magazines is constantly growing.

The more we get of something, the more we want it. It’s the same way in almost every other area of life. We can teach ourselves to like something, simply by exposing ourselves to it at every possible opportunity. I taught myself to like eating healthy, by choosing salad over desserts every meal I had during my time as a “candy-striper.” The more veggies I had, the more I liked them – and the less I craved chocolate cake and apple pie.

You get the point, right? What you do, you like. And what you like, you do.

So what are you doing? What are you focusing on, spending time on, thinking about most of the time? I’m not trying to preach against the “evils of entertainment.” I don’t believe there’s anything sinful about relaxing with a good clean book, or watching some good clean tv show with your family, or listening to good clean bluegrass whenever you get in the car. Of course, those things can be taken to the extreme, and abused and misused and obsessed over. They can easily slide into not-so-clean territory. So sure, we have to be careful about what we watch or listen to or read, but within biblical guidelines, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying those things.

But is that all we enjoy? Are Ricky Skaggs and NCIS and Agatha Christie all that I fill my mind with? Remember, the more I get of those things, the more I want of them. Or I am filling my mind with Scripture, with sacred music that brings glory to God, and with God-centered preaching? Because if I am, then the more I get of those things, the more I will want of them.

As Christians, shouldn’t that be what we desire? But if we’re not listening to God-honoring music that declares who He is and what He has done, how can we expect to learn to enjoy it? If we aren’t daily in His Word, reading of God in past, present, and future, then how can we hope to truly love His law and hide His word in our heartsas the psalmist wrote? If we aren’t whetting our appetites with these things, how can we ever start craving them? How can we live by God’s Word alone, if we don’t ever take taste it?

So listen to God-centered preaching and music. Play a sermon while you’re exercising or doing housework. Get some good Christian music and play it the next time you’re out running errands. Spend time talking to God, your Heavenly Father, instead of gossiping with a friend or letting your mind wander into questionable territory. Read your Bible instead of that latest best-seller. Or at least, read it first : fill your mind with what God says before you think about what any man (or woman) says.

Whet your appetite for God, and He will increase it. Start spending time with Him, and it will become your desire rather than just your duty. Learn to love His Word, and it will take first place in your mind and your heart.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).