Our culture and economy are largely driven by consumption. Modern advertising focuses on our desires with phrases like, “you deserve the very best;” “have it your way;” and “you owe it to yourself.” But I’ve discovered that no matter what you have, things never satisfy. There’s always something new and better being brought to the marketplace. Even if you get what you thought you wanted, by the time you get it there’s something newer or better. People drive themselves to financial, emotional, and spiritual ruin trying to get what they think they want.
Before the days of firearms, the indigenous people living in the polar region of the north had a unique way to catch a wolf. First, the hunter would coat his knife blade with animal blood and allow it to freeze. Then he’d add another layer of blood, and another, until the blade was completely concealed by the frozen blood. Next, the hunter secured the handle of his knife in the frozen snow with the blade pointing upward.
When the wolf followed his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovered the bait, he licked it, tasting the frozen blood. He began to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare.
Feverishly now, the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that he does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked knife blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more–until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!
It’s only God’s grace that keeps us from the wolf’s fate. What seems so appealing in the passion of the moment can become deadly. Our desires, left unchecked, will ultimately destroy us.
God has given us our senses and our desires so we can enjoy Him and His good gifts, but they must be kept under the control of our spirit and His Spirit. Satan wants these God-given blessings to become our masters rather than our servants. Through them, he will exert control over us and lead us to the same end as the wolf.
As a Christ-follower, think about the things that you truly want in life, hopefully, things that are God-honoring and eternal. Then, think about the things you enjoy, the things that bring you pleasure. Are the pleasures you’re seeking and the things you’re enjoying helping you achieve your life goals? Are you really getting what you want?
– J. Mark Horst