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It’s deeper than food: Exposing Ungodly Appetites

Updated: Apr 12

My food struggles were the consequence of a deeper problem. 

From series: What’s Your Story? 

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There was a period where I kept giving in to this temptation and one morning while praying, I asked God to once again help me overcome this struggle. While finishing my prayer, I was led to read this book and as I was reading God gave me the answer to why I kept falling into this temptation.  


Prior to getting the answer that morning, I recalled how God had given me a related answer days before. I found that my problem wasn’t necessarily about food but was rooted in both pride and ungodly appetites. He showed me that I had a propensity to satisfy my fleshy appetite. I realized when Peter said to abstain from fleshy lust it was more than being licentious, it includes all types of injurious appetites (1 Peter 2:11).


In hindsight, I understood why God had me read this book. He knew beforehand, I would ask him for help, and he used a book to show me the answer. 


Before I continue let me first explain what the term fleshy appetite means for those who may not have heard this term. A fleshy appetite is having an inner desire to satisfy your sinful hunger.


Some examples of sinful hunger or fleshy appetites are pride, sexual perversion or immorality, greed, hate, ego, selfishness, drunkenness, and anything that defiles the body and harms people (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 2:16). It’s also called by other terms like carnality, lust of the flesh, and worldly. Anything that’s categorized under these terms is considered fleshy appetite. It's important to mention that our sinful hungers are not always obvious unless God point them out (Jeremiah 17:9).  


In the book that I was directed to read, it speaks about ungodly appetites. The author gave three examples from the Bible that helped me understand what God was saying.  


When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he ate it because of his appetite for the desire to have forbidden knowledge (Genesis 3:1-7; 11-13; 17; 22; 24). In Jesus’ case the attempt was to tempt Jesus to have an appetite for personal gain, wealth, and power. However, it didn’t work (Matthew 4:1-11). And with the church of Thyatira, their appetite to satisfy their fleshy cravings like sex and perversion led them down darker paths (Revelation 2:18-29).  


Although eating foods that are bad for you may seem minor, the lesson God was showing me was that it stemmed from something deeper. I was acting out of what was in my heart (Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26).

The seed of pride and ungodly appetites have been planted and if I didn’t allow him to uproot them, they would grow. And the more they grow, the more power and influence they will have over me. 


Even when eating certain foods caused chronic pain and inflammation, I still ate them. This confirmed what God was saying; that I have already been influenced by my fleshy appetites although it was causing physical pain. My need to get what I wanted was more important than the consequence. But our desires should be for things that are wise, excellent, honorable, and pure (Colossians 3:1-3).

If I couldn't control my appetite with food, then when I'm exposed to stronger temptations, I would easily take the bait.  My lack of self-control in one area is what the enemy will use to tempt me in other areas. God was preparing me for my season of harvest, but I first had to get rid of the harmful seeds that were planted.

The Bible tells us that we can have an appetite for almost anything, and when we cater to those sinful appetites and impulses, we displease God (Romans 8:8).


Prior to this day, weeks before, there was a particular prayer that I asked God and that was to show me areas in my life that Satan can use against me, and this is what he was doing. It made me realize how needed God is in our life's.


I started to look up Scriptures to get a deeper meaning behind having ungodly appetites, and although this passage wasn’t the first time I heard it, I was encouraged to know that there was a way of escape. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1Corinthians 10:13 ESV).  


I began to think about the times when I had the chance to escape. He told me every time I had the urge to buy foods that caused me health related problems, he would encourage me to not buy them. Unfortunately, I would rationalize why it was ok and refuse to acknowledge that God was speaking. This attitude and thinking was rooted in pride.


Another Scripture was Genesis 2:17 and the phrase that stood out was “…in the day that you eat you shall surely die.” The Scripture doesn’t mean physical death. When this commandment was given to Adam and he disobeyed, he died spiritually. Spiritual death causes separation between us and God (Ephesians 4:18).

This passage was a warning to what would happen to me if I continued to disobey. Like Paul said, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21). My desire to get closer to God, or losing what I already had, was hinged on my obedience to him. 


The other four Scriptures were Matthew 10:28; Ezekiel 18:4;20; and 1Timothy 6:12-16. They "drove home" further the importance of listening to God, and they challenged me to think about if satisfy my flesh is more important than my relationship with God. Then 1Timothy 6:12 encouraged me to keep fighting and trusting God with getting me through these moments.  


As the author admitted, I too wasn’t sensitive to the Holy Spirt when he would speak to me. Neither was I respectful. And once this was fully realized, I thanked him for revealing the root cause of my struggle. Afterward, I repented and asked him to eradicate the spirit of pride and ungodly appetites out of my life. 


“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 


—1 Corinthians 10:31   


This Scripture became more real to me after hearing a testimony of someone who shared their experience with what God showed them in hell about gluttony. He revealed how God is serious about how we treat our bodies. As believers, we’re expected to value our bodies because it honors God and our bodies belong to God (1Corinthians 3:16-17). Our indifference to our health affects our physical bodies and our spiritual bodies.

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites" (Galatians 5:24).

"Satan seems to dare Jesus to go outside of the Father's will in order to meet His own desire for food. Satan is tempting Jesus to make Himself independent of the Father. After all, Satan is saying, you are the Son of God. You should be able to do as you please, when you please, especially when it's something good and healthy like food...Jesus tells Satan in no uncertain terms that He will live on obedience to the Father's word before giving into His appetite for food." (BibleRef Commentary)

We should be living our lives primarily from what God says and not from our fleshly desire (Matthew 4:4). Therefore, pray and ask God to give you a desire to obey him over the desire to do what’s wrong.  

His grace and his mercy 

I can advocate for God being able to deliver us from ungodly, fleshly appetites because God has delivered me from perversion and alcoholism (1Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:13; 18-20; Philippians 1:20; Romans 12:1). Anything you need help with, God is faithful to help.   


It’s God’s grace and mercy that allows us to have this privilege. I’m constantly baffled and in awe of his goodness, grace and mercy. And I don’t think I will ever completely understand it. But I’ve been a benefactor of them my entire life as God forgives me and shows me compassion when I don’t deserve it. 

His grace is what he gives us to overcome situations, get through anything, be able to do the impossible, and so much more!


His loving, patient, tolerant, and forgiving nature are reasons why I love him greatly, and as God is with us, we should be the same with ourselves and with others. 

Knowing the nature of God is key to having a fulfilling relationship with him. You’ll notice how God is not like how he is sometimes unfortunately portrayed. He is gentle, caring, and loving. But he is also a just and righteous God. Therefore, he would rather you come to him so he can help you instead of suffering under his judgment (Ezekiel 18:23).  

Although my situation was mainly rooted in pride and feeding my ungodly appetite, my health was under attack to slow me down or worse cause premature death. Satan doesn't want us to change the world so he will attack your health using what you eat. 


What’s your story? 

If you've found this blog valuable, please remember to share it on social media below. Sharing is a free way to share the Gospel and to let everyone know how God can expose our ungodly appetites.

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A call for salvation 

When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, His spirit will come to live inside you. This is one of the greatest blessings of salvation. You don't have to go through someone else to get to God, and He will live in your heart where you and Him become one and have a relationship.

All you have to do is make the choice of salvation by repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus into your life by confessing that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He came from Heaven to die for your sins (Romans 10:9).

Here's a prayer you can repeat:

"Jesus, I confess that you are Lord, and I believe you died and was risen for my sins. I repent and ask for forgiveness of my sins, and I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart and remove my sins. Thank you for forgiving me and making me into a new person in Jesus' name, Amen."

Once you have done this, please pray and ask God to guide you to a ministry where you can grow and start living the abundant life Jesus promised and died for.



Watch this interview with Dr. Michael Brown as he explains how he broke the stronghold of food over his life. He says, "A healthy eating is cooperating with the Lord."

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