Lust, fornication, adultery. These aren’t exactly “fun” topics and yet as I was studying the Word of God this week this is what the Lord started dealing with me about.
Lust is still lust.
What does that mean?
The way you behave prior to marriage and after marriage will be the same. Just the same way, the lusts you have in your flesh before and after you are born again will be the same. The desires you have will be the same.
It’s your job to control them.
When you say that you “love” that car, house or object, you are really referring to the lust you have for it.
Those habits that you are allowing in your life – they’re still lust.
You can call them yours all day long pretending that you have no power over them, but lust is still lust.
You are supposed to stop yourself from these lusts.
- Jesus isn’t going to do it.
- God isn’t going to do it.
- YOU have to do it.
Sounds like a fun post right?
There’s so much that God tells us about the soul and much of it revolves around fleshly lusts because this is a primary enemy to our Christian walk and of our soul itself.
We aren’t necessarily talking about pornography and adultery, but we could be.
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;1 Peter 2:11 KJV
Lust in Relationships: Lust is NOT Love
Here are some gauges to tell you if it’s love or lust – you be the judge of the relationships in your life.
These points go for ALL types of relationships. We aren’t simply talking about marriage or dating relationships. These principles can be applied to any kind of relationship.
Remember “Lust is STILL lust” in any form.
#1 Does the relationship have patience?
Lust always wants everything for nothing – it’s selfish (remember that). Lust wants it and wants it NOW. Patience doesn’t exist.
A great example of this would be the person rushing to get married. I just HAVE to get married.
We see a lot of these types of people in their twenties completely ignorant of what love and a real relationship is.
Sadly many jokes exist about Bible colleges and how they cater to these type of behaviors and thought processes.
They have an IDEA of love again built upon LUST because that’s the only type of relationships many have seen depicted on TV.
Good rule of thumb: Whatever you see on TV do the opposite and you’re probably pretty close to what The Word of God says to do.
I’m picking on these types of relationships, but I’m sure you have an idea of how this applies in your situation as well.
#2 Is there competition? Do you have to win?
Love isn’t a competition. If you always have to be right then chances are you’re letting the lust of your flesh rule your life.
It feels good to be right. We get an emotional high from winning the argument or proving that our point was correct.
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV
The Bible really isn’t interested on you winning arguments. Instead, it’s about how you behave and the motivation behind your actions.
Lust gets a high mind about its situation because it’s rooted in pride and selfishness. It’s all ME focused.
#3 How often do you do things without thinking about what the response will be?
Lust seeks its own pleasure – in whatever avenue that is.
So when you ask yourself a question like the one above, think about the situations you are in daily.
Do you just haul off and make the decisions without consulting your wife/husband? If you aren’t married, then do you consider what your family will think or how it will affect others around you?
How often do you think of others before yourself?
If your thoughts are only ever on what YOU think and what YOU feel chances are you are operating consistently in the lust of your flesh.
You want to do what feels right in your own eyes not what is best for everyone else – and really if you’re honest with yourself you know it’s what’s best for you too. You are just allowing your flesh to rule your life regardless of the consequences.
#4 Can they have things that are better?
When you always have to outdo the others around you, then you are operating in a form of lust. Yes THAT is lust too.
If you always have to have the nicer car or house or whatever else you have, then you are operating in lust. Your flesh is ruling you.
#5 Many Many More
We could go on and on with questions about how you interact with your peers, significant other or children, but the truth is that it all boils down to one thing selfishness.
Just read 1 Corinthians 13 and ask yourself, “Am I following these guidelines?” If the answer is no then those are the areas where you are allowing lust to rule you.
The Root of Lust is Selfishness
Really the root of all sin is to some degree selfishness, but especially lust.
As we talked about in a previous point, our flesh is one of the primary enemies to our walk of faith.
Our text for today tells us to “abstain from fleshly lusts that war against our souls.”
When we allow lust to go unchecked in ourselves, it wages war on our souls.
3 Steps to DEFEAT Selfishness in ourselves
Now that we really understand what lust boils down to (selfishness) it’s time to look at how to defeat it. Last week we showed that you have to use the spirit to overcome the flesh.
But what does that really mean?
#1 Give Up “MY” Rights
When we became Christians, we decided to give up our rights. Many of us just didn’t know it…haha!
Jesus has called us to leave ALL and follow Him. That means that we no longer have the ability to choose what we want to do. Instead, we are debtors to live unto righteousness.
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.1 Peter 2:24 KJV
#2 Give IN – Obey the Truth
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:1 Peter 1:22 KJV
Purification of your soul from lust comes by obeying the truth. It really just means that you do EVERYTHING you know that God is telling you to do the first time.
This is what Romans 12:2 calls renewing your mind.
#3 Give ALL of yourself
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.Romans 13:14 KJV
The best way to kill lust in its tracks is to make no room for it. Force yourself to give ALL of yourself to Jesus and press in 100%.
There is no place for fleshly lusts when you are spending all your time doing what God commands you to do.
Remember the old phrase, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.”
This is the truth!
This is what scripture says about that…
6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.Exodus 32:6-8 KJV
They turned aside quickly after they decided the only thing to do was sit around and do nothing.
Lust is still lust
So here is the final thing I will say on this topic.
Lust comes in all different forms. You might see it as the “really bad stuff”, but it also comes down to the “every day stuff” that we just rationalize.
Sadly we have allowed these concepts to permeate our culture and bleed into Christianity.
Lust is still lust.
This is the revelation God gave me sitting in my room reading 1 Peter. Peter talks about your soul. Lust is the enemy of your soul. If we aren’t careful this enemy will wage a war that we aren’t even sure we’re fighting in.
We as Christians rationalize lusts as common and normal.
We’ll call it “believing God for a new car” or “my love for chocolate”, but really it’s lust.
Oftentimes we adopt the idea that lust and love are the same thing – they aren’t.
So in the next few posts we are going to talk about various aspects of these fleshly lusts. This is really important because the Bible tells us that fleshly lusts war against our souls (mind, will and emotions).
Fleshly lusts try to put us in condemnation and, if we let them, they will!
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.Romans 8:1 KJV
When we walk after the flesh, there is a feeling of condemnation that comes upon us. This is the war that we face in our souls.
So many Christians are stuck going no where because they don’t realize that their lust is keeping them in a constant state of fear of God.
Lust is still lust.
The BIG lusts and the small lusts are all the same to God. It’s still just “lust”.
We are called to crucify our flesh and the lusts we have along with it, and we will.