“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1)
Consuming the things of the world for the purpose of self-gratification is called lust, the lust of the flesh. It is not taught to the young, it is part of our Adamic nature, it is ingrained into us from birth. The old man spoken of in the Scriptures is in every child, and it can be removed by none of us, in fact even those who have been justified will live with it until the moment we are glorified.
The poor are no different form the rich in this respect, all search for more, all are drawn away from what they have in an attempt to gain more, and they will go to war to obtain it. It is a competition, a striving, it is a goal, desires unmet that will not be relinquished in the mind, and those who strive the greatest can attain that of their heart’s desire. “By hook or crook” it used to be called, by any means necessary, and in nearly all, in one form or another, it will be satisfied.
“They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.” (Isaiah 49:10) What will you strive for in heaven when every need, yea, every godly want is fulfilled, what goals will you set for yourself if your heart’s desire is constantly available to you, what does one seek for after the greatest prize has been found?
“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1)
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Prov. 8:17)
More of the Almighty, more of the knowledge of God Himself, what greater searching could a man undertake, what more than the next truths revealed by the Holy Spirit of the Most High from the Word of God is worth waiting for. “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
Those who are diligently seeking the face of God are not the lost, the unrepentant soul seeks its own, it is the man of God who has been saved by the grace of God that wants more of God.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8) One taste of His enduring mercy, one taste of the love of the Lord and that will be the passion, the never-ending search for more of Him.
The things of the world slowly fade away from this man’s thoughts, from his desires, they will of course remain, and if that man is noticed by our adversary, the battle will increase in vigor. If that man has known many pleasures of this world before he fell on his knees at the cross, the flesh will fight him tooth and nail to return to them. Here we will cry with the words of Paul offered to us by the Holy Spirit, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) And here we will agree with him when he says, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Phil. 3:8)
There is a war inside our heads, there is war raging outside our doors, but there is also a peace within us that passes all understanding.
The desires of the flesh will not abate, will not leave you alone for one moment in this life, they will remain until your final breath. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) There is no other way, no one else can give us the momentary rest that we crave in this life. The victory is in Jesus Christ, when we get home the battle will be over for us, but until then we must be constantly in prayer, we must remain ever vigilant, we must keep our eyes on the greatest prize.