Lust, The Absence of Devotion, Matthew 5:28-30

Dwight Eisenhower once said, “War is a terrible thing. But if you’re going to get into it, you’ve got to get into it all the way.” That principle is true in the war against physical enemies and also emotional enemies; lust. We won’t win by being halfway into it. But if we get into the battle all the way—God’s way, using His strategy—we can win!

Origen of Alexandria lived in the late second century and was famous for his literature in Christian theology. His devotion to Christ was so intense, he had himself castrated to defeat his battle with lust and enable himself to teach women the gospel. His zeal is admirable, but it is not what Christ wanted him to do with his instructions in Mt. 5:28-29. Afterall it is not the human eye that causes a person to commit lust, the real reason we lust is because we have not prepared our mind to be committed to true holiness and we have not prepared our heart to be committed to true love. Without this preparation, we are met with temptation and fall deep into the pit of lust. The first lesson we must learn, if we are to get prepared, is that lust is a complete fake, a poor substitution for true love. Lust creates a buzz that is a short-lived tune in the face of an orchestral masterpiece with movements that make love eternal. Jesus used the picture of gouging out our eye, to enforce the necessity of each person making a physical effort in defeating lust in our life. As Paul taught Timothy in 2Tm. 2:22. “Flee” youthful lusts. He didn’t say walk away, avoid or ignore, he said RUN AWAY from them! Kenny Rogers sang a popular song with the wise words, “you got to know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em”. There are some battles we can win, and some we will always lose. Most men and some women find the battle against lust is always something we must run from, if we try to face it and fight with our own wit and strength, it will overcome us. Most human beings are designed with this appetite for sexual satisfaction that is insatiable. It may seem unfair that God made us this way, but God is calling us to holiness not impurity, He wants us to desire the real thing, not a fake substitute.

Job relates commitment or devotion to a part of his body that other prophets seem to ignore. I love the way the N.E.T. translates Job 31:1, “…how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin?” The idea of entertaining thoughts is impossible for Job, who has made a covenant with his eyes. A covenant is a much stronger word than promise. His eyes and her body should be kept sacred in Job’s heart. A covenant is a deal Job has made with God. Here are the obvious details. If Job refrains from thinking lustfully with what his eyes see in a girl, then God will keep his heart pure, and the girl will never need to suffer being mentally undressed and looked upon as a cheap product instead of the sacred soul she truly is. Have you ever known how young girls are emotionally distressed when they learn that some men only look upon them as a mere morsel instead of a future woman of God, helping him bring life into the world? Youthful lusts are always abounding around us and sometimes from within us, but from whatever direction youthful lusts hit us, we must be prepared with God’s divine love, powerful promises and personal presence in His Spirit. Walk in His Spirit, Galatians 5:16. Ancient Solomon wrote in Proverbs 7:6-8 that a young man without sense will walk down streets and around corners where wild women live and end up devoured by lust, which wouldn’t happen if he avoided that address in the first place. Even King David was humiliated by his own lust, when he spent too much time in the spring when Kings should be busy with military strategy, instead of relaxing one evening from his rooftop, 2nd Samuel 11:1-3. The beautiful Bathsheba was too strong for his senses and he fell prey to his own desires, Bathsheba was innocently bathing and David was guilty of letting his guard down. He lacked a sense of devotion both to his wife Michal and his duties as a King during springtime. He failed in making a covenant with his eyes.

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