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LUST


LUST

We don’t know the length of time that God and Adam and Eve had spent together in the garden before the fall.  What we do know, however, that it was long enough for an understanding of boundaries had been set.  The big item?  Don’t eat from ‘that’ tree.  For this article, the story is the same.  Only the fruit has changed.

Now, as it has been for years….longing eyes or a longing heart is focused on something different.  It is someone else’s body.  We’re focusing on Matthew 5:27-28.   Jesus here brings up the subject of adultery.  In the text, we read that Jesus is stating that not only is adultery a sin, but so is the lust in someone’s heart and mind that precedes the act adultery.  The parallel is the same as a few verses before.  “You hear it said…but I say.”  Jesus is raising the standard again.  And just like hate is at the core of so much of yesterday and today’s problems, so is lust.

As hate can be, at its worst, murder by proxy, lust is can be adultery by proxy.  It steps in between a person and their commitment and between a person and their God.  The original plan is turn upside down and place on its head.

Plan?   Human bodies were designed with the purpose of reproduction.  God wanted the pitter patter of little feet running around the garden and for husband and wife to enjoy the process, but Satan called their un-clothed bodies ‘naked’…and shame and lust were brought into our world.

Just look at where this has brought us.  Just as hate killed Able in the 2nd generation on Earth, lust has been bringing death to humankind as well.  The story we may know best is of King David.  He lusted after a married woman’s body…hatred followed…then lies…then strategy…then murder.  This is not something light that Jesus is dealing with here in the Sermon on the Mount.  He is dealing with a core issue.

With God, it’s personal when someone commits adultery.  Wait, let me first explain the use of the word here.  Adultery is used over and over again in the old testament as someone worshiping another God.  God calls Israel, over and over, an adulterous nation.  Those who believed in God, searched for greener pastures among other religions and religious practices.  To God, they were committing adultery.  Here’s where we get the image of what it truly is and what it truly is a picture of.

Eve looked lustfully at what she could not have…and she took it.  This one thing took apart God’s plan.  Each and every day, many willfully lust in their heart after other things and after other people.  Do you see where this leads?  Each and every day many struggle with this imperfection within themselves.  They know it’s wrong, yet still stumble.  Thank goodness for Grace.

Look at our world today.  The subject of lust is freely talked about as a way to be liked, well known, and as a way to market.  It is not seen as a thing that leads to all sorts of evil.  Have you watched TV lately?  Lust sells.  Having people who are lustworthy in the eyes of the world is profitable.  We see a culture that loves to be looked at lustfully.  We call it something else…’getting someone’s attention.’  We might call it ‘showing our fit body off.’  But many like the feeling of being lusted after…therefore, it must be ok to lust.  What?  Do you see how the Plan has been turned upside down?

Relationships are ruined by adultery.  God’s plan?  His people with Him forever.  Marriage is a picture of this plan.  Man and woman together in a marriage commitment.  When we go after someone or something else to take the place of God, He calls it adultery.  The picture and His description are the same for marriage.  When one person goes hooks up with someone else, He calls it adultery.

How does this begin?  Lust.  The standard now, as Jesus states in the text, is to stop it where it starts. Jesus knew that even the problem of lust will create separation in relationships.  It happened with Israel, and it can happen between people.  Lust disengages us from what’s really important.  Lust also degrades another person for who they really are and were created to be.

Yes, this problem is huge and is at the root of so many other problems in this world.  Again, thank goodness for Grace.  Remember, Satan’s number one tool is deceit.  He will lie to us and say that a quick glance and a quick thought of “I wish…” will be ok…we’re really not doing anything.  But the truth is that we are not in control of our heart…and we’re not looking at another human being the way God created them.  Satan then has another tool.  When we finally realize that what we’re doing is wrong, he brings shame.  Shame in itself can be good, but when it is part of a cycle of sin, it is defeating…Grace has a hard time changing a heart in this situation.  Simply put, lust creates an environment for us not to have the relationship with God or with others that we were intended to have.

This one article won’t change the world, but I hope it helps us think through some things.  There are so many places we could go with this subject (sex crimes, pedophilia, pornography, etc. etc.)…places that grieve Jesus’ heart.  But in the end, this is all yet another reason He endured the cross and defeated the grave.

Love-Serve-Spread the Word,

Ed

Online places for help if you’re caught in the cycle and want out:

http://www.pureintimacy.org/

http://xxxchurch.com/

http://www.befreeinchrist.com/

https://www.x3pure.com/

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