The Cravings of the Flesh

Isaiah 55:1 ESV

“Come, everyone who thirsts…”

What do You Thirst for?

What does it mean to thirst, in this context? It means “desire, longing, hunger, craving, yearning, appetite, wanting, aching, and pining.” This word “thirst” can be referring to the lusts of the flesh or the desires of the Spirit. It is whatever we long for, pant for, yearn for and desire most.

Recently the Lord has been having me address some very specific desires of the flesh, because if we just generalize or gloss over issues they can easily be dismissed. If we are going to get at the heart of the matter in some people’s lives we have to pinpoint specifically the real issues.

There are people in this world, and within the gatherings of the church, whose cravings and desires are not only sinful, but they are more in the category of what is talked about in 1 Corinthians 5:1-2:

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.”

Some of these sins are also detailed for us in Romans 1:18-32. Because they refused to bow to God and to honor him as holy, and they chose to worship created things rather than the creator, God gave them over to the lusts of their flesh, to dishonorable passions, exchanging natural relations for those that are contrary to nature (men with men and women with women).

But that wasn’t all. They were full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, and covetousness. They were gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. This describes someone addicted to sin. And they don’t take responsibility for their sins, but they blame others.

And the cravings of the flesh are still the same today, although I believe we are living in a time period where these types of sins are running rampant in the church, and they are not being addressed, for the most part, because so much of the church has adopted a cheap grace gospel which makes no demands for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord.

So now we have people professing faith in Jesus Christ, some of them serving in positions of ministry within the church, including as pastors, who are vermin. They are sneaky, immoral, users, abusers, morally depraved, secretive, liars, rascals, scoundrels, traitors, betrayers, adulterers, child molesters, homosexuals, and those involved in incestual relationships with people of their own families. Sin abounds in today’s modern “churches.”

So, these vermin are thirsting for what is evil, depraved, adulterous, immoral, abusive, and betraying of trusts. They plot evil on their beds. They long for relationships with others which are not natural, which are sinful, which are abusive, and which are adulterous. For they want the lusts of their flesh satisfied above all else, no matter who gets hurt in the process.

To them “love” is about filling up their lives with what feels good to them physically and emotionally, at all costs. Romance rules over logic, reason, kindness, true love, and compassion. They don’t care if it is wrong as long as it makes them feel good. For, their sinful passions rule over all manner of logic, reason, morality, and faithfulness. It is all about fulfilling their lusts.

Isaiah 55:1-3 ESV

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.”

Listen and Eat what is Good

What this is saying, in terms of our New Covenant Relationship with God, is that we need to stop living according to the flesh, and we need to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, and now walk in obedience to his commands. We need to eat (partake in) what is good that our souls may live. And “good” is defined by God and by his Word, not by our flesh.

Many people are wasting away their lives by thirsting after what is evil and immoral and wicked and destructive to their lives and to the lives of those whom they are sinning against. They are craving the wrong things – bad, evil, and wicked things that will not end well for them. They are bent on evil, and they are not seeking after good, though they may appear that they are.

But Jesus Christ died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, and not just to give us the hope of eternal life with him, but he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us, and so that we might now honor him with our bodies.

And when this says to come buy and eat without money or without price, this is not saying that Jesus does it all and that nothing is required of us. Yes, our salvation is a gift of God’s grace to us. We can do nothing in ourselves to deserve or to earn our own salvation. None of it, not even the faith to believe in Jesus is of ourselves, but it is a gift of God.

We can’t even come to faith in Jesus unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, unless he first convinces us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk faithfully in obedience to our Lord. So, since this all comes from God, it is also going to submit to God and to his will and purposes for our lives.

Also, when we read Ephesians 2:8-9 we need to also read vs. 10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Our salvation is not absent of works, it is just that they are now the works of God which he planned in advance that we should walk (in conduct, in practice) in them. And we will be judged by our works, all of us. Take this to heart, please!

For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we save our lives (hold on to our lives of living for sin and for self) that we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with him daily to sin) for his sake, we will have life eternal in him (Lu 9:23-26).

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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