Lets role back to Genesis 3. The serpent isn’t stupid; in fact he is crafty and knows how to play the game of desire and he does this through advertising and appealing to mans appetite. He makes death look beautiful and disobedience sexy. He plays on the appetite of man and woman to serve themselves and break covenant with God. Through listening to their appetites instead of the conviction of Gods word, they found themselves naked and ashamed. Sin lies and reaps devastation.
But isn’t our appetite tasty? Don’t we love the pull of lust and the forbidden fruit? There is always that temptation to go for what will please our desires especially if they are screaming at us to give it a go.
Imagine if you had a choice between watching or ignoring a film which you know contains sex scenes that will cause you to stumble. The choice seems obvious. But your appetite for seeing it and your desires bring up excuses –
- I will watch it in order to engage with themes and topics for Gospel outreach.
- I will fast forward through the sex scenes
- I will only watch it once and maybe in secret so no one knows.
- Maybe it won’t affect me much…just this once.
But your convictions scream at you not to watch it. Not to gratify the desires of the flesh. To flee from temptation. Your conviction knows that this may lead you into sin and cause you to stumble and cause you heartache. The Holy Spirit is placing convictions on your heart. But who will you listen to? Yourself or God?
I was challenged about this at Staff Orientation and Forum and how important it is to never go with appetite but always go with conviction. This isn’t just related to movies with sex scenes, but also shopping, internet porn, gossip, books, what you do, late nights etc… and although I am convinced that you cannot do this alone, but only through the Holy Spirit – by walking in the Spirit as Paul describes in Galatians 5. However you do have a responsibility as to whether you will listen and act with the conviction presented to you or go with your appealing appetite. Which is better?