Wanderlust: It Starts in the Stomach

Wanderlust by definition is the intense longing to travel. For the last 3 weeks, we’ve talked about the breastplate of righteousness and why it’s so important to wear it. It protects the innermost parts.
And…
The Stomach–seat of appetites
What is appetite?
According to Webster, it’s an intense craving. A few synonyms are: hunger, greed, desire and yearning.
It’s imperative that we put on the breastplate of righteousness (Christ’s righteousness) to protect our stomach and the appetites it craves.
When we think of lust, our brains immediately bee-line to sex. And yes, sex and lust can go hand in hand, but there are so many other things that we lust after. It’s not the same for everyone.
Donna Pyle, in her Bible study–Your Strong Suit–says, the enemy knows our weaknesses. He can’t read our minds but he studies our behavior. That’s deep, people. And true.
For some of us, our lusts come in the form of food, material goods, shopping, keeping up with the Jones’, vehicles, electronic toys, attention, beauty, the need to be wanted, power and authority–yes, even in ministry, competition–to be a better mom than so and so, or baker, teacher, writer, speaker, etc…
I guarantee you there’s something you lust for, and if you do not protect your innermost part–your seat of appetites, you will wander.
And you will travel to places you need not go. Dangerous places.
The big question: How do we put on the breastplate and protect ourselves? 
We put on, by putting off, first.
Before we ever get to Ephesians 6: 10-18, the armor of God passage, we have to travel through some other important verses. These former verses teach us how to accomplish Ephesians 6:1-18.
“But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. ” Ephesians 4:21-24 MSG (emphasis mine)
In the NKJV, it says, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…”
Great! We know what we have to put off. But it has to be conscious. You don’t just wake up and go about your day without purposefully praying and asking God for strength to help you be the new creature in Christ.
You’ll fail if you don’t consciously put off and put on. I promise you. You will. I’m living proof.
“Therefore, remember that at one time you were Gentiles (heathens) in the flesh, called Uncircumcision by those who called themselves Circumcision, [itself a [a]mere mark] in the flesh made by human hands.
    [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
    But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.” Ephesians 2:11-13 AMP (emphasis mine)
The key word: Remember
We wear invisible protective covering, but the enemy sees it clearly. In the color of crimson.
Remember you no longer walk as a child of darkness, but of light. (Eph. 5:8)
Remember you do not have to satisfy the wanderlust that urges you to travel places unbecoming a bride of Christ.
Remember you are protected. You have strength. You have covering.
Great verses to help you understand what is becoming and what is not can be found in Ephesians4:25-32 and chapter 5.
Our innermost parts are so close together, we have to be cautious. One dart pierces our heart and we become emotional, another punctures our lung and we cease praise, and the stomach stirs us up to listen to fickle emotions, ignore who we serve and go places that beckon to rob us of joy, peace, and true abundant living.
We must nail down those lusts every day. Galatians 5:24-25
“But it’s hard! I’m not seeing any benefits. I struggle! In fact, at this very moment my life is total mess. Complete disarray.”
Sweet one, you’ve been pierced in the seat of your emotions when you cry these things. And we all have. Be of good cheer, someone has fought for you!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 (FACT)
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7 (FACT)
Gear up, friends. In a world of “no you can’ts” The Holy One covers you with a shield made from His beauty, His love, His righteous blood and He says…
“Yes, you can!”
Do you notice when you don’t consciously remember to put off and put on, you lose a battle that day? Care to share an encouraging word with readers? Could be a life lesson, a scripture etc…
Join me today as I host Living By Grace! I encourage you to pop over there and share a favorite scripture you use to battle the fiery darts of the enemy!

24 thoughts on “Wanderlust: It Starts in the Stomach

  1. Awesome post! I've always loved the verse where (I think Paul) said he died daily.
    It's a great reminder to me that this flesh-death has to happen every day, every second.

     
     
  2. It helps to know that we are a new creation, and that nothing we have done can separate us from the love of Christ. Even when we fail, he's there to pick us up again, dust us off, and walk beside us. Amazing love, how can this be?

     
     
  3. Oh, my goodness, another awesome post! (That hamburger photo should be outlawed. You tempted us first thing!)

    Love your references to Epehsians and Galations! See, this is why Paul is one of my favorite heroes of the Bible. To read the truths that God imparted to him inspires me every time. Paul had such a heart for Christ after Jesus convicted him on the road to Damascus. Of course, being struck blind temporarily was a life-changing experience!

     
     
  4. There truly are rewards when it comes to living an intentional faith. We see how much He loves us when we obey and surrender like this.

    Thanks for the constant food (ba dum dum) for thought.
    ~ Wendy

     
     
  5. I love this! (Do I say that every time I come to your blog?) But I really do love it. I especially appreciate the part about making the conscious decision to "put off" and then remembering to "put on." There's a true difference in my day-to-day life when I've taken the time to put off and put on first thing. 🙂

     
     
  6. Hey, everyone! Sorry I've been scarce the last couple days. I have carpal tunnel and I'm trying to baby my wrists as much as possible!

    Love your answers and encouragement today! 🙂

     
     
  7. Great reminder – as usual 🙂 – about putting off and putting on.

    Sorry to hear about your carpal tunnel. Hope your wrists are feeling better!

     
     
  8. "We wear invisible protective covering, but the enemy sees it clearly. In the color of crimson."

    Love it!

    I daily have to take off my old habit of fear. I have to remind myself that God didn't give me a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)

     
     
  9. The lungs- seat of praise.

    Yes, my very voice is made for His praise! Halleujah! When I let praise part these lips my whole situation lights up with His glory.

    Jessica, you bless me always. You are a wise woman-building her heart in word and truth!

     
     
  10. You always share such great food for thought, Jess.

    Yes, if I don't start my day off on the right foot – reading my Bible and praying – it seems that the days goes downhill so fast.

    How's the new site coming?

     
     
  11. Wow, Jessica! I love how you tie lust to our stomachs – how very appropriate. We hunger for so many things that aren't of God and it gets us in a heap of trouble every time. I love reading your posts slowly so I can savor each wonderful insight you share. What an incredible blessing you are!

    And, okay, I really want the hamburger in your photo! 🙂

     
     
  12. This is an excellent post. You're right, lust includes all things we crave, and we must walk in the Spirit and deny the flesh daily to keep from falling into familiar traps. Thanks for making me want a hamburger…lol. Praying that you're wrists feels better today.

     
     
  13. Outstanding post!

    We need to REMEMBER! Thank you for reminding us, Jess.

    I hope your wrist feels better.

     
     
  14. Awesome reminders! It's easy to get drawn away if we're not on our guard. We should know our weak areas as well as the enemy, and arm ourselves accordingly!

     
     
  15. Excellent post, Jessica! I've lived through exactly what you said. It's a daily effort (sometimes hourly) to make sure we are prepared for the circumstances that lie in wait.

    Thanks so much for the reminder!

     
     
  16. Thanks for the reminder, Jessica! It really is a "Remembering" thing. And I try to do it every morning–but then may need to repeat often!

     
     
  17. My Bible study group just started Donna's study on spiritual armor. I loved the first lesson and can't wait to learn more. 🙂

     
     
  18. Can you come & teach a Bible study at my church, Jess? Because I'd totally love to take one with you. Awesome stuff. 🙂

     
     
  19. You've been tagged! Come by my blog to learn more… http://thoughtsonbookss.blogspot.com/2012/03/ive-been-tagged.html

     
     
  20. It's funny how I always know when I want something for the wrong reasons. Your post is so encouraging and full of meaty (appetite!) passages. Thanks, Jessica!

     
     
  21. I love how you illuminate Scripture, Jess. How you highlight different aspects with photographs or words in color, or big letters, or amplified means … it's like an intense Bible study in a blog post.
    Thank you.

     
     
  22. Love the verses from Galatians-those are two of my favorites, especially 6:9.

    Praying your wrists heal quickly-a writer needs those:)

     
     
  23. Great post, Jessica. I think our best defense is staying vitally connected to Christ. (John 15), and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us completely. Too often we go through life in our own power, not intentionally, but perhaps because of business or distraction.

    I love Galatians 5:16-25, which tells us when we "walk by the Spirit" or "let the Spirit guide your {our} lives," we *will not* gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Instead, we are drawn to follow after the things of God.

    It's like when you're on a diet and a plate of cookies are sitting on the table. The more you think about trying not to eat the cookies, the more you want them. The best thing you can do is grab your walking shoes and redirect your thoughts to something positive (Phil 4:8-9). When we focus our hearts and minds on God, so many other things slip to the background. 🙂

     
     
  24. It seems like I am the last one to comment on your awesome post, but Im sort of one of your new followers…lol. That burger did look delicious but I had to put on my breastplate. Awesome writing my friend. God bless

     
     

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