Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Secret Life of Lust

People are doing lots of things behind our backs these days, but they aren't doing anything behind God's back. It's impossible to hide anything from God! We may be absolutely floored when we hear of some shockingly wicked event, terrible news or other catastrophe, but rest assured that God is not up in heaven saying, "Can you believe what they just did?"

I've taught on this many times, but it bears repeating: The secret life is not so secret. Consider what the Lord says about this topic as proof:

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Prov. 15:3)

God is everywhere and sees everything, so who are we kidding and what are we trying to hide?

"For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings." (Prov. 5:21)

So here we have this all-knowing, all-seeing God, and we're still living every-which-way-but-loose? God even knows our motivation for what we do, which is often summed up in a word: selfishness.

When a teen couple goes behind their parents' backs and gets involved in immorality, they aren’t being driven by love; they’re driven by passionate, youthful lust. Lust is selfish.

When a man or woman gets entangled in adultery, it's not because they've found a "new love." It's because they fell for an old lust. Lust is selfish.

When a man logs onto a computer to look at pornographic images, it's not because he wants to stir up more love for his own wife; it's because he's lusting after another woman (and an airbrushed, computer-enhanced electronic one at that)! Lust is selfish.

Why do people choose a life of lust over a life of love? Well, there are individual reasons, but a collective reason is this: there is pleasure in sin...for a season. Interestingly enough, the word "pleasure" and "lust" are interchangeable in James 4:3: "Ye ask, and receive not, because y ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures)."  Lust is limited. It cannot fulfill, because it is insufficient and unacceptable to God. When we allow ourselves to be ruled by our passions, we will never be satisfied.

 Lust takes while love always gives. Lust destroys while love builds. Have you been secretly engaging in a life of lust? If so, expect your enjoyment to be short-lived. And like any other sin, you can't afford the high price tag, but you bought it and there are no exchanges or returns, so you're going to be stuck with your purchase.

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14)

People are such big pretenders today! Pretending to love when they are lusting, pretending to care when they are careless; and worst of all, pretending to be the victim when they are the perpetrator! God challenges us to own up to who we are and what we're doing. God didn't say that we're tempted when we're drawn away by other people's actions; he said that it's our "own lust" that does us in!

"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth for sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (Jas. 1:15)

Have you ever carefully read the warning on the back of a box of something poisonous, like rodent killer? This phrase is usually in the list of warnings: "Harmful or fatal if swallowed." This is what lust does to us. If we swallow the lie and eat the bait, we're going to be maimed, killed or otherwise destroyed. Is lust really worth the destruction it yields?

We have a real enemy in this life, and if we think we're such big shots that we're not vulnerable to attack, we're deluded. God was very picturesque with this verse: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (I Pet. 5:8)

When Christians fail to take this warning seriously, they get eaten!

Typical lie: "Oh, I can do this. It won't hurt me, and besides, I can quit anytime I want."

Adversary’s response: “Roar! Gulp.” And then the devil licks his chops and moves on to the next simpleton-victim.

If you've been engaging in some type of secret sin, confess it, forsake it, stop it now and don't look back. Make yourself accountable to someone by joining a good recovery group such as Reformers Unanimous, or by confiding in a godly sister to pray with you as you regain the ground that you gave away. (I'm assuming that this blog is being read mainly and mostly by women.) Don't take another step into the land of lust.

How's your secret life? If it's something that you think would make God ashamed, remember this: He already knows.

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