WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
DON’T GIVE INTO YOUR FLESH
Two elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of the church listening to a fiery preacher. When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out, “Amen, Brother!” When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, “You preach it, Reverend!” And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and hollered, “RIGHT ON, BROTHER! TELL IT LIKE IT IS… AMEN!” But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, “He’s quit preaching and now he’s meddlin’.”
John has gone to meddlin’ in 1 John 2 when he begins to explain how the love of the world shows up in our lives. Constable writes that “The lust of the flesh is the desire to do something apart from the will of God. The lust of the eyes is the desire to have something apart from the will of God. The pride of life is the desire to be something apart from the will of God.”
Edward Heibert writes about the desires of the flesh, “The cravings which God has placed in the human body in themselves are not sinful; they are God-given and essential for continuance of life here on earth. But they readily become sinful when used for illegitimate ends. The reference is to those temptations that arise from within.”
2 Timothy 2:22 commands us to, “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” We shouldn’t try to manage lust. Instead we should be radical and intentional in finding ways to distance ourselves from it as fast as possible. Ask God if there is lust in your life that you need to get away from as fast as possible.