Adam and Eve were supplied with everything they needed in the Garden of Eden. They had fellowship with God and intimacy with one another. But after Eve was deceived by the serpent, she saw the forbidden fruit and set her heart on it. Before long, Adam joined in her wishes, and against God’s command both of them ate.
That’s the progression. From eyes to heart to action. And then follows shame and regret.
We, too, have been supplied with everything we need for a full, productive, enriching life. “We have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Timothy 6:7). But the Bible goes on to say that, having basics of food and clothing, we should be “content.” And Jesus promised these two things would always be provided to God’s children (Matthew 6:25-33).
God’s blessings, however, go so far beyond these fundamental needs, we could rightly say that we want for nothing. Yet like Adam and Eve, we still want more. So we set our eyes and hearts on seeking worldly pleasure. We try to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. For many it’s seeking sexual fulfillment in another person or in pornographic images designed to feel like a real person. We look, stare, and fantasize. We try to be discreet but barely turn our eyes away. And once our eyes are capture by curiosity, our hearts become entangled. Then we act on our lust.
We can also lust after possessions or power or prideful ambition. We see what others have and we want it. Our hearts are deceived into saying, “I could be happy if I only had this.” Then we make the decision to go after it.
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9).
Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden. And for a believer it’s the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others. That’s because every object of your lust – whether it’s a young coworker or a film actress, or coveting after a half-million dollar house or a sports car – represents the beginnings of a lie. This person or thing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is more like a bottomless pit of unmet longings.
Lust always breeds more lust. “What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? (James 4:1 HCSB). Lust will make you dissatisfied with your husband or wife. It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages. Rather than fullness, it leads to emptiness.
It’s time to expose lust for what it really is – a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God’s love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycles of regret and condemnation.
“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Are you tired of being lied to by lust? Are you fed up with believing that forbidden pleasures are able to keep you happy and content? Then begin setting your eyes on the Word of God. Let His promises of peace and freedom work their way into your heart. Daily receive the unconditional love He has already proven to your through the cross. Focus on being grateful for everything God has already given you rather than choosing discontentment.
You’ll find yourself so full on what He provides, you won’t be hungry anymore for the junk food of lust.
And while you’re at it, set your eyes and heart on your spouse again. “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth … Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths” (Proverbs 5:18-21).
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Lust is the best this world has to offer, but love offers you the best life in the world.
End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you’ve swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed – today – and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.
Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil. (1 Peter 2:16)
"It’s time to expose lust for what it really is – a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God’s love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycles of regret and condemnation."
I think when most people hear the word lust or if asked to describe lust they think of attraction and physical lust... when I began this chapter this is exactly what was in the back of my head while reading it. Here I thought I was in the clear because I do not "lust" over anyone of the opposite sex. Sure, there are men who I find attractive and I might think to myself "He looks good today, or good in that outfit or what a big smile he has." But my thoughts are never far from my hubby. The one man I truly lust after is my husband.
But as the paragraph I listed above states "lust is a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill." This statement made me really look at my life yesterday and last night giving me the ability to search within myself and find where my misguided thirst is.
I live in fear. I have lived in fear all my life. My mother could never hold a job or a place to live for very long. We depended on the men in her life to provide assistance when needed. I began to help support my family at the age of 13 when I could babysit. I lived in fear of the lights and power being turned off (because it happened all the time) I lived in fear of having to move and change schools and I lived in fear that one day my depressed, bipolar mother would just up and leave us three kids. All things I feared as a child came true.
Thus began my adulthood of living in fear. I would find myself in a relationship feeling secure and feeling like this was where I was meant to be and then my world would cave in. As I got older I learned it was easier to love and leave then love and be left so I started living a life where I was the one calling the shots, or so I thought. My life was in turmoil and I had no idea how to properly live in it.
My fears to this day are still a real factor, as real as the rain falling from the sky today. However, these fears that I have held onto and that I KNOW evil helps me hang onto, control my life and control the conditions of my life.
Some of my fears come from my past, some come from the hard times with my hubby, some come directly from my hubby but none of them are to blame. It is my fault I do not let go of them and it is my fault that I let fear take over me and run me like a bad habit.
My misguided thirst is for me to live a perfect life. A life where there are no outside temptations for my hubby. Where there is no white lies or hidden secrets in our marriage. Where there is no fear of being left or being hurt. Where my kids live a stress free life free from pain. Where I can have an argument with my hubby or I can stand up and say "I am not going to put up with this any longer" and not have the fear of him walking out. Where my self worth is higher than my self doubts and where age doesn't define me but celebrates me. These are my misguided thirst and they are damaging my relationship.
I must learn, as the chapter states, " Let His promises of peace and freedom work their way into your heart. Daily receive the unconditional love He has already proven to your through the cross. Focus on being grateful for everything God has already given you rather than choosing discontentment."
Just like I am learning to let go and give God my issues, I need to learn to force fear to let go of me and live in the freedom of God and focus on what He has given me and what I am blessed with. I can not live in a life where I expect my hubby to push away my fears and push away the feeling of not being good enough.. I have to do this on my own and I have to allow God to do it for me.
Today I am going to start rejecting fear and rejecting that it will control me. Today I will stop looking to my hubby to fix what is wrong with me and rejoice that I have this time with my hubby. Today I will be thankful that God brought us together, brought us back together and that the scheme of life is bigger than how I feel in this very moment. Today I am going to do what I can in prayer to push away fear and begin to live the life God wants me to live.
"It’s time to expose lust for what it really is – a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. "
Hate is a strong word that should be used sparingly.
I hate things. I hate clutter. I hate being surrounded by "stuff". I hate drawers full of things; often clutter and stuff.
I don't know why. But I know I do.
I like things simple. I prefer to have little and make do with what I have. There was a time in my life, not long ago, where I must have had 40 ties. With those ties, must have been 100 shirts. I would find a shirt that I liked, and get all possible colors for it. Why? Because I could. Because I didn't have 20 kids or anything else to do with my resources. But mainly because I lusted after things seeking satisfaction that I could never obtain through "things."
Now, I hate them (things).
Perhaps, it is because it reminds me of regrets and mistakes past. Perhaps because I associate "things" and clutter with chaos and disorganization. Perhaps I was dropped one too many times as a baby....who knows.
Life, to me, is now worth living NOT because of all the things I could buy, have, posses. But rather, because I could have virtually anything I wanted but instead have chosen to find my satisfaction in giving to others; loving the family I have been blessed with that love me for who I am, not what I have or could have.
For the first time in my adult life, I AM satisfied.
Does this mean I do not have a nice car? No. Does this mean I do not provide nice cars or clothes for my children and my wife? No. I work hard (as does my spouse) and I work intelligently, and this produces and provides a blessed life. But what it does mean is that I do not let these things define who I am. I do not work for these things. I work to provide stability and a future for my family--not for the next latest, greatest gadget or piece of clothing.
I prefer simple. For me, keeping things simple prevents me from getting distracted. Keeping things simple allows my mind to breathe; allows my mind to prosper and create. Keeping things simple allows me to focus on what matters--the people and relationships of those that I love and care about.
I lust for the love and affection of my family and my God. I find satisfaction in the love given to me by my children and my wife, and the opportunity that I have to lead and teach them what not to do and how not to be, often times from my own mistakes.
So, next time you see me wearing the same tie over and over again, at least you'll know why!