Weatherproof – 8
Do not lust
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28 NKJV
Sin is a parasite on the human soul, eating its way through goodness and purity, weakening natural defenses with insatiable desire to consume and control the mind and heart.
Outward sin is the manifestation of something already at work in the heart. Jesus reminds us that what we do, in this case adultery, is the product of an weakened inner-life that is being systematically broken down by sin. Natural affection turning to lust, honor and respect turning to disdain and abuse. The parasite of sin is a disease of the heart and will turn all of our thoughts to evil continually until that point where we no longer struggle with right and wrong but live in slavery to sin.
At this point, temptation no longer exists, for we have surrendered, given ourselves over to delusion.
One of our early church fathers, Cyrus of Alexandria, Egypt, was asked about the temptation of lust, he said, ‘If you are not tempted, you have no hope; if you are not tempted, it is because you are sinning. The man who does not fight sin at the stage of temptation is sinning already in his body. The man who is sinning in his flesh has no trouble from temptation.’
Many of us have known ourselves to be this way, numb to the notion that what we were thinking and doing was unnatural and evil. The parasite has eaten away at our hearts to the extent that we have abandon the virtues of self control, love for others, and faithfulness, their place in our hearts replaced with acting out on lustful thoughts, unhealthy love of self, and denial of God.
And it all arises from the sins of the mind and heart, our thoughts, dreams, desires.
Repentance awakens our spirit to this laziness of thought, as Jesus reveals to us the darkness in our soul and draws us into His marvelous, cleansing light. We are set free from sin and the devouring worm eating away at our thought-life is defeated. The virtues return to our consciousness, and our lives begin to manifest His goodness, the fruit of pure and holy thinking, prayer, and being filled with God’s word.
But sin is never far from us. As God told Cain, “…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7 NIV
So to keep lust from gaining another foothold we must guard our heart and mind.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
One of the wise things Job, of the Old Testament, did to protect his heart was to prevent his heart from being led by his eyes (Job 31:7 NIV). If fact, in godly wisdom, Job said:
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” Job 31:1 NIV.
In other words, he and his eyes had an agreement, a covenant, to protect himself because he knew that God saw everything anyway, “Does He not see my ways and count my every step?” (31:4), and it was his responsibility to honor God by keeping his mind clear of parasites. Since the eyes are the windows of the soul, his covenant was to disallow those images from entering his soul where the damage would soon occur.
Dear one, let us weatherproof our hearts and minds, like Job. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, never letting them stray, never dwelling on images that re-open the window of our soul to the parasites of lust, violence, greed, and all impure things, that draw us into slavery to sin. We have been set free by faith in Christ, our spirit revived, our soul restored, and our mind redeemed!
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT