“In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test.”Psalm 106:14
Have you ever opened a bag of chips while you were making dinner and ended up eating them and spoiling your appetite? Spiritual junk food plays the same role in our lives, filling without satisfying. It’s a poor substitute for what is good.
Cravings get the best of us more often than we’d like to admit. What do you tend to feed on when you’re bored? There’s nothing like a compliment to make us feel alive again. How about when you’re angry? Anger loves to feed on itself, leading to endless mental arguments with our adversary, which we think we win, of course, every time.
In the wilderness, God puts us to the test, but in our cravings, we put God to the test. We ask, “What are you going to do for me this time?” Israel craved meat in the wilderness. It wasn’t their hunger for meat, but their rejection of manna and their lust for Egypt that provoked God’s anger. Our cravings tempt us to reject God, too. Such temptation is common, but temptation is not yet sin. Flee to Christ as soon as you crave something other than Him.
The One who was tempted in every way we are, but without sin, will help us by His Spirit in every temptation.