prisoner of our appetites
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Prisoner of our Appetites
Thomas Costain’s book The Tree Edwards describes the life of Raynald III, a 14th century duke in what is now Belgium. Grossly overweight, Raynald was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means fat.
After a violent fight, Raynald’s younger brother, Edward, led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald but did not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room. This would not have been difficult for most people, since the room had several windows and a door of near normal size – none of which were locked or barred. The problem was Raynald’s size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight.
But Edward knew his older brother. Each day he sent a variety of delicious foods into the room. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter. When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had a ready answer: “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.” Raynald stayed in that room for 10 years and wasn't released until after Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined that he died within a year – a prisoner of his own appetite.
John 2:15-17 describes how that the love for the world is played out in the trap of our lusts. The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life. These are prisons that trap people who have not been fully transformed by God’s work in them. Raynald, in the above story was a prisoner of his lust for food. Many of us have desires that can rule us into prison. It could be our gluttony, sexual addiction, drugs, alcohol, money, power, entertainment of all sorts, or our addiction to work or any number of things.
Jesus came to free us from those prisons through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our problem is determining who or what we love most. If we love our addictions too much, our love for Christ has been crowded out. The more we love Jesus the less we love the world. It is high time that many of us re-evaluated the direction of our love. The more you love Him, the more you will obey.
The more you obey, the more you find your prison bars released.
This Sunday we will share the 4th message of our series, The Jesus Difference Lessons from 1 John, titled “Who do you Love?” based on 1 John 2:15-17. Together we will examine the kind of love God wants us to have and the kind he hates. We will look at how this effects our temptations and ways to overcome.
I’ll look forward to seeing you and your guests.
Growing in our appetites for Jesus,