Lust, Pride & Power (Pt. 1)
My dad told me a long time ago that the three things that will destroy someone are lust, pride, and incorrectly using the power that God has given you. As I've grown up, I have found his words to be true. Most of the sins that we commit are intertwined within these three things. Reading Romans 1:24-25 & 28-32, I have seen what my dad was talking about. (In this post, I won't cover verses 26 and 27 which deals with homosexuality because I feel that topic could be its own post. If you would like a post on that, leave a comment below). This blog post will be the first part of possibly 3 (maybe 4), so be on the lookout for the other parts.
In continuance with the previous post, You Have No More Excuses, I'll first start by defining what lust is. Lust is an intense longing or craving for something or someone, usually in a sexual manner. There are no emotions or feelings behind it. It's just that when we see something that we like, we build up a deep desire for it in our hearts that starts off small. It grows to the point that it becomes all that we think about. Ultimately, it becomes like a god to us within our hearts. To put it in context, another word for lust could be "idol". In society today we've lusted after sex, money, drugs, and the liking for so long that we have assumed that it is normal for us to do. We can fulfill our desires by either watching TV, listening to music, the internet, and social networking sites. As much as we try these things, none of them provide long-term satisfaction.
People tend to think that they can stop sinning anytime they want to by just praying that God would swoop down, rescue them from their problem and leave, only for them to go back to that same sin eventually to continually deepen the hole that they're in. Sin doesn't work that way. Sin will sooner or later make you its slave, making it impossible to break from it without Divine help. For instance, in 2 Samuel 13:1-33, King David had many kids, one who is his daughter Tamar, and Amnon his son by another woman other than Tamar's mother. Amnon lusted deeply after Tamar. He figured that since Tamar was only his half-sister, it was okay for him to be with her. Amnon's idolization for Tamar deepened to the point that he plotted out a plan on how he could rape her. After he raped her, Amnon despised her and refused to let her be around him. Tamar's brother Absalom didn't tell anyone. King David found out about Tamar's rape and punished Amnon. Later in the verses (2 years later), Absalom has one of his servants kill Amnon for raping Tamar. You see, your lust problems may be hurting you, and indeed it is, but it also affects others.
In our hearts we, like Amnon, often worship the acts of sex, earning money and other things for enjoyment over the One who created these things. When people worship the things God created instead of the Creator, we distort and destroy the very things we claim to value. I know for me that for a long time my views on marriage, sex, and relationships were distorted. For a very long time, I dealt with porn and low self-esteem issues, so with the combination of those two things, I really felt like crap! With God's help, I've been able to see my true identity in Him. Not saying that I haven't fallen into those sins since then, but knowing that in Christ there's no condemnation (I'll talk about this more in a later post).
Relating all of this back to Romans 1, lust and idolatry has devastating effects. As a believer, community and accountability are important; for one, to avoid falling into traps that may lead to lust, and secondly, to aid in the process of recovering from those sins.
There's more I can add on this topic and on the other parts of this blog title, and I plan on doing it in the next few posts that I put up. (I figured that this post has been long enough!)
Some things to consider:
How have you allowed lust and idolatry to control what you do and what you think?
How have you been allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you in purity and truth? It's not easy, and we do make mistakes, but have you been letting God work in your heart to change you into His image?