Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11.
Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted, and thus degenerating into “lusts, which war against the soul.” Peter’s admonition is a most direct and forcible warning against the use of all stimulants and narcotics. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character.
Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system degrades the higher and nobler faculties....Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers.
The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned.... If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold, the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.
In this short article, originally published in the Adventist World in August 2014, Raúl Quiroga shares from personal experience how God performed surgery upon his own heart. He speaks of a practical and meaningful heart religion, of which we all need today. We pray that this article is a blessing!
In Luke 11 one of Jesus' disciples begged him, "Lord, teach us to pray." And that is exactly what Jesus did. In this inspiring message, Kameron DeVasher delves into the message of Luke 11 and the Lord's prayer, what that looks like practically in our lives today. This message is sure to deepen your prayer life.
Would you like to learn how you can read through the entire Testimonies in just 16 months? This unique reading plan makes this goal achievable. When you sign up for the program you'll receive a free message daily with text and audio of ten pages from the Testimonies. Ellen White writes, “The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be introduced into every Sabbath keeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them." (4T 390)