Day 47: Calling Out The Enemy
There is a lie that stirs in our hearts when we start slipping back into lustful desires. The lie is quite simple, but also well timed and well polished by the devil. That lie is simply this: “Lust is not stumbling.” So we go through our day, lusting after someone or something without remorse, failing to heed the words of Christ:
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -Matthew 5:28
WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG...
How do we identify lust? The first look doesn’t get us into trouble, it’s the second look or the look that refuses to look awaythat shows the intention to lust. God created attractive qualities in us - beauty, awe, handsomeness, these are all attributes that He ordained. These qualities and the recognition that they exist are not evil things in and of themselves. It is when we pervert or take advantage of these things that the problem begins.
This is specifically referring to your “neighbor’s wife”. The proverb goes on to address how dangerous it is to chase the “hunger” for a person other than one's own spouse.
IS LUST REALLY HARMFUL?
The lie that lust is not all that bad leads us down a subtle road to darkness. The devil rarely barges down our front door (so to speak) but lulls us into a slow pattern of sexual sin. First it’s an innocent look - a “flirt” with temptation. Then before we know it we’ve decided to have a “peak” again, or at similar or even more provocative image elsewhere. The road continues until we’ve fallen back into our old familiar habits.
Personally, many of the aforementioned temptations happened while I was exercising at the gym. This was a difficult place for me to be as I was coming to freedom from sexual immorality. this was a difficult place to be. At times, I walked out mid-way through my workout simply because I was tempted with lustful thoughts by the way a woman was dressed. This is what it takes, friend. You cannot stick around and allow your mind and/or eyes to go towards those dark places. If you don’t break the chain early (or before it starts) then you have already stumbled into the sin of lust, which is adultery.
Being led by the Holy Spirit takes commitment, prayer, and an understanding of God's word. It takes humbling ourselves and admitting that we’re going to be wrong… a lot. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is He doesn’t care what our opinions or worldviews are, He will convict us when we are wrong. This is beautiful because despite God (who is holy) wanting to destroy us for our sins (which would be justice) He is still willing to take the time and show us how and why we are wrong. Think of it, the creator of all things has patience with you. When He should wipe us out He instead shows patience and kindness. Beautiful.
The funny thing is, many of us have learned to ignore those convictions. That still and quiet voice, that touch of conviction, that subtle rebuke in our hearts… we turn away from it in favor of our own selfish desires. God calls us to do the opposite by rebuking our flesh and its desires. So let us stop believing the lie that has brought us down many times before. Let us stand up and fight against the small temptations that lead us down darker roads. Break the chain before it has a chance to take hold of you.
Day 47 Application
What lies have you believed from the devil in the past?
Have you ever believed the lie that lust is “not all that bad”? Have you ever pondered how by lusting we are committing adultery in our hearts?
What does God have to say about sex being only "skin deep"? What does our ability to handle our sexuality have to do with our relationship with God? In light of this, how can you grow in intimacy with God while also understanding that you were created with natural sexual urges?
Have you been honest and vulnerable with your accountability partner? Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?