November 24th

 

Lust & Spiritual Strength

How weak and spent with longing and lust is your heart and mind, says the Lord God, seeing you do all these things, the work of a bold, domineering harlot” Ezekiel 16:30 AMP   

28Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. Proverbs 25:28 NKJV 

These verses help us understand how lust can affect our hearts and minds.  Lust causes us to become “weak and spent.” Since sex addiction involves habitual lust, it’s no wonder that sex addicts find themselves unable to resist temptation.  They have expended their energy trying to satisfy lust, leaving them spiritually weak and vulnerable to the enemy.   They have been slaves to the passions of their own flesh. 

I’m reminded of the story of David’s son Amnon, who became ill with lust for his sister, Tamar. The scripture reads:

1 In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.
2 Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.
2 Samuel 13:1-2 NIV

After receiving counsel from a friend, Amnon acted on his lust by raping Tamar.  Afterwards, he hated her with “intense hatred” and kicked her out of his house (2 Samuel 13:15). This ruined her life, and also led to Amnon’s murder by Tamar’s brother, Absalom.  When we tolerate lust in our hearts and nurse it with voyeurism, pornography or some other sin fantasy, we’re opening the door for more evil to flood our lives.    

The journey to freedom from sin struggles involves a daily exercise of freedom to choose to live for God instead of sin.  Each right decision we make helps us grow in spiritual strength and proves that we are no longer slaves to sin. Similarly, each wrong decision we make weakens our spiritual strength and enslaves us to sin.  God calls us to resist sin’s impulses and to choose rightly, just as he told Cain:  “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7 NIV). 

We can take courage that we have God’s help in living for purity.  The scripture says that we have the Holy Spirit in us, helping us make the right decisions and giving our bodies life and strength (Romans 8:11,13).  Consider Paul’s words to Timothy, “Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV).   

Godliness profits us in “all things.” It directly leads to the growth of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  These fruits will help us in every area of life right now.  They will also help us store up heavenly treasures that we will enjoy in eternity.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us what true love is by dying on the cross for our sins!  Please forgive me for allowing any place for lust in my life, specifically that I have lusted by ________________  (specify).  I turn away from that sin right now.  Please cleanse my heart and mind with your blood.   I commit to exercising godliness from today forward.  Holy Spirit, please guide me in truth and fill me with life, so that I may put sin’s desires to death and choose righteousness in every situation.  I look forward, Lord, to the blessings that will come as a result of living for you. Thank you! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”