What do we desire? What is it we lust after?
Desire can be good. Desire is what pushes us to achieve greatness. However, if our desire is focused on something or someone it should not be focused on, then it can be very bad.
Lust can cause us to desire that which is not consistent with God’s Word. It leads us to fulfill our own pleasures rather than pleasing God. Lust is all about self-gratification and not about true feelings. We see someone and the devil tells us that we need that person, and can have them in our minds, if not in reality.
James 1:14-16 – each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
When it comes to sexual lust, in particular, God has created sex to be enjoyed between a man and a woman within the bounds of marriage. Therefore, any sexual lust that is not for your spouse, is in contrast to God’s will. Desiring a person, whether in person or an image on a screen, paper or in our minds, is sinful lust.
God’s Word explains that lust comes from Satan.
John 8:44 – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.
As with all things demonic, lust is very dangerous and warrants punishment.
Ephesians 2:3 – All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Paramount among the dangers of lust, is that it keeps us away from God.
Mark 4:19 – the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
When we lust, in that moment we give supremacy to the desires of our flesh and minimize the position that God occupies in our life.
The most effective way to overcome the desire to satisfy the flesh, is to channel our desires toward God. We must look at all things through the lens of Scripture. Does this pursuit glorify God?
We must always be chasing after God. Once we make a decision to accept Christ in our lives, our aspiration should be to become more and more like Him.
1 Peter 1:14–16 – “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The British evangelist and author Alan Redpath summed it up quite nicely when he wrote, “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.”
Redpath’s quote articulates two ideas to us. First, that sanctification is not an easy task, it is a labor. The other thought here is that we should not expect to be changed overnight. Becoming a man of God will be our quest for the rest of our lives.
So, we must set Him above all else, finding nothing more attractive or satisfying than our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Ultimately, the choice is God versus sin. Which do we want more? Every time we feel a lustful desire coming on, we must turn to God and our desire for Him. We can find no better example than the one we see in Joseph when tempted by Potiphar’s wife.
Genesis 39:9 – My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
~ a BeFreeinChrist writing ~