Lust is Blind
An excerpt from Ten Keys/Total Victory
Robert Wurtz II
Many people have come to God in faith and yet failed right from the first. The reason this happens often times, is because the person refuses to rid themselves of all of the controversies that they have with God; that is, the things that He places His hand on when we seek Him in prayer. Tragically, many prospective Christians will sense God dealing and will ask a respected believer what they think about the subject God is dealing with them about rather than simply do what God is asking. They may ask, “Brother, do you think _____ is a sin?” If we are not careful that person will use our influence to quench what the Spirit is dealing with them about. We need to tell the person that if God is dealing with you about it- do what He is laying on your heart. This has to be the attitude from the beginning. God has to establish His authority and set the person on a path to victory.
Ruling as King
We must remember that God comes into man to be King. When He tells us to do something He is not opening negotiations. If we cannot obey the King’s simple commands in the beginning, how could we ever claim that He is our Lord? If we cannot be faithful in small things, how will we ever hold fast when the true test comes/ This is where Israel failed. Forty years prior to their journey into the Promised Land God destroyed Pharaoh and his army (a type of Satan and his angels) after delivering them from Egypt (a type of the world) with a high hand. The people could look behind them in those early days and see the bodies of their tormentors floating face-down in the water- strewn all along the banks of the Red Sea. They knew that Pharaoh and his army could deal them grief no longer. But what about the land they are coming into? That is to say, what about their lives going forward? It will be their responsibility to deal with their enemy as God enables them and as they encounter him. As we know, God dealt with them to throw down the altars and images of false gods, but they refused. The consequence of this, according to Judges chapter 2 was that God would not drive their enemies out from before them as He had intended to do. Why? Because if they were not serious about getting the enemy and compromise out, God is not going to overstep and force them out. It’s as we submit to God that we can resist and the Devil flee.
Many Christians struggle with areas of their life, not because the enemy has power over them, but because they allow the enemy to come in and they come under his authority again. God told Israel in effect, if you want to flirt with sin and compromise, don’t think I’m going to come in and drive out the Devil from your life. He will break the power of sin in our lives proportional to how much or how little we want to entertain sin. You wouldn’t invite a person to stay at your house and then call the police to have them removed? Why should they be forced to leave? You invited them over!
Stepping stones to sin
I heard a man say once, how are you going to talk about 666 when you can’t even turn it off HBO? That sounds harsh, but it is true. How are we going to talk about the deep things of God if we allow compromise to dominate our lives? We have to be able to discern good from evil: choose the good and reject the evil. Some people are looking for some magnificently philosophical cure to their temptation problem, when what they need is a good dose of practical discipline and common sense. I recall my dad as a young Christian taking a different route home from work each night. Some would ask, “why did he do that?” Because he had been an alcoholic for 25 years and stopped at a certain liquor store on the way home every night. It was common sense. I came by his house one day and his wine collection was out on the curb. Why? He did not like wine. He told me the wine reminded him of alcohol, so it had to go! Next it was his old record collection. Why the records? They reminded him of parties he used to have. Jesus told us, And if your right hand causes you to offend, cut it off and throw it from you, for it is profitable to you that one of your members should perish and all your body not be thrown into Hell. (Matthew 5:30) How are we going to talk about plucking out eyes and cutting off hands when many people can’t even put down the smart phone that’s about to destroy their marriage and damn their soul? The extra-marital affairs and cheating going on in this nation because of the ease with which two people can text and email pictures of one another is epidemic. If it’s a temptation get rid of it and keep rid of it. I can hear it all ready, “There he goes again wanting us to throw away things that are damning our souls.” Of course! Paul tells us clearly, And let us walk decently, as in daylight; not in merriment, nor in drunkenness, nor in sexual immorality, nor in envy and strife. But clothe yourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ: and make no provision for your flesh, for the indulgence of (its) appetites. (Romans 13:13-14) As Saints we are still human beings with natural appetites (desires). God made us this way. They are good appetites when they are used properly. God made Adam with a desire for eating, sleeping, ruling, procreating, and many other things. These were necessary to the furtherance of God’s will. These appetites are good, but when overly indulged a good natural desire can be fueled into an unnatural lust. Lust is a power that seeks to control you. It is the Greek word epithumia and it means strong desire (good or bad). Lust is generated and stoked when men and women seek fulfillment in feeding these natural appetites. A small flame of desire can become an inferno. Paul tells us, make no provision for your flesh, for the indulgence of (its) appetites. In other words, don’t create a scenario where it is easy to fuel natural desires. Some people may struggle with eating for pleasure and fulfillment; don’t load your house up with enticing snacks. Sounds practical?
Lust is blind
You have heard that love is blind, but the truth is, lust is blind too. The stronger it is the blinder it is. Why do you think the world is loaded with sexual immorality of all kinds? It is because they have fed their natural desires until they became unnatural lusts and then they start to do unnatural things. God never intended for man to find fulfillment in sexual expression. He wants man to find fulfillment in walking in His perfect will in fellowship with Him. But when that doesn’t happen, people seek fulfillment in other things. Think of this awful statement, “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the hog that was washed to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22) A dog will actually eat his own vomit if he is hungry enough. The very thing that made him sick to begin with is now being reintroduced into him a second time. This is what happens when desire overrides reason. Behaviors that ought to make a person sick to their stomach actually become appealing. What needs to happen? The fire of lust needs to burn down until it’s at a natural God calibrated level.
Learning not to listen
In the late 1970’s our grade school class took a field-trip to the Nelson Atkins Museum to see the Emancipation Proclamationthat was touring the United States. On January 1, 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed this order to effectively set free the slaves that lived in Confederate held territory. This meant that as the Union Army advanced, they were to treat all slaves as free people. It was a proclamation of emancipation, but it had to be implemented. Booker T. Washington in his autobiography Up From Slavery recalled how he first heard the proclamation:
“Some man who seemed to be a stranger (a United States officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paper—the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.”
Slaves in the southern United States sometimes likened their situation to that of Israel in Bondage in Egypt. There was even a sermon preached in 1775 by a slave using the Israel in Egypt motif.After years of singing and praying their day finally came. Some were free immediately and rejoiced with singing and tears; others would wait a while longer as the Union Army advanced. Yet the challenge each one faced was that of survival. Before, they had depended on their slave master for food and shelter; now they would have to find a means of turning their labors into finances with which they could live. Like inmates in prison, over time the person becomes so used to being told what to do on every hand, that they cannot function in an environment of freedom. I recall while undergoing training as a chaplains assistant stories of men being so unable to cope with freedom that they would throw a rock through a window to violate their probation. Even the strongest of minds can be broken in an environment like this. Undoubtedly some old slave master’s took advantage of the situation luring the free people back into a form of slavery again through sharecropping. But the freemen that advanced to the north to work in the cities were able to execute the full force of emancipation because they were beyond the influence of their former slave master. For some it took time to learn that they didn’t have to obey their old slave master anymore.
What use is it to read a thousand books on victory over sin or personal revival and then refuse to rid yourself of the high places and the groves of your life? God has got to be able to believe us when we say we want victory. He has already paid the price at Calvary and died to Sin in our place, why would He have to come back and free us again? Because so many want a stepping stone in their life that leads back to their former life of sin. I had a man tell me once that he was angry because he burned all of his Heavy Metal music when he ‘got saved’ and now that he was backslid he had to go and buy it all again. He then jokingly said that the next time he ‘got saved’ he would stash all of his stuff in the attic in case he back slid again he could go and fetch it out. That is not ‘getting saved’ it is premeditated backsliding. God called Israel into the land to purge it from everything that they encountered that was contrary to sound doctrine. But instead of doing that, they let it hang around, provoke God and tempt them. The truth is, until a person is ready to burn the bridges back to their sin they are not ready for a relationship with God. They are only fooling themselves with the vain hope that at some point maybe God will change His mind about what is offending Him. It will never happen.