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October 12, 2020

Controlling My Cravings

“In the desert they gave in to their craving …”
Psalm 106:14a (NIV)

Israel’s behavior in the wilderness was like the terrible twos. Failing to remember God’s kindnesses to them, they rebelled time and time again when they didn’t get what they wanted when they wanted it. Despite how many times God rescued them, they would return to their old ways, rushing ahead with their plans rather than waiting on God’s. In verse 14, the Psalmist records this, “In the desert they gave in to their craving …” The New Living Translation says, “In the wilderness their desires ran wild …”

Notice the first phrase, “In the wilderness …” It’s in the wilderness where our desires run wild, where we give in to our cravings. We think we know what is best for us and demand God to comply. Whether its food, alcohol and drugs, or an immoral relationship, our cravings can control us. In verse 15, the Bible says, “So He (God) gave them what they asked for, but He sent a plague along with it.” Here’s the lesson: Be careful what you ask for, you may get it. Sometimes you may get what you want but then no longer want what you got! That’s because we really don’t always know what is best for us. God does. When we trust that He loves us and knows what is best for us we can rest with confidence that He will provide all we need.

The real question is do you desire Him more than what you want? In Psalm 37:4 (NIV), the Bible says, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Have you learned to delight in the Lord? To delight in someone means to experience great pleasure and joy in his or her presence. That happens only when you know the person well and spend time with them. The Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it like this: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” You and I can enjoy that kind of intimate and personal relationship with God where we delight in Him. He desires a love relationship with you. Listen to how the Psalmist describes that kind of relationship in Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV), “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Don’t let the cravings of this life prevent you from experiencing the real fulfillment of your heart’s desire in delighting yourself in the Lord. All other desires overpromise and under deliver. If you want to control your cravings, transfer those desires to God and learn to delight yourself in the Lord.  Begin by repenting of giving in to your cravings in the past. They only leave you feeling hollow inside. Ask God to become the desire of your heart and begin to enjoy His presence with you each day.