Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love Dare- Day 24!!

Yesterday's Followup: What did you throw out first? Are there others that need to go as well? What do you hope the removal of these things will do for you, your marriage, and your relationship with God?

Love vs. Lust

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2.17

We've been supplied with everything we need for a full, productive , enriching life. The Bible says that having the basics of food and clothing, we should be content. And Jesus promised that these two things would always be provided to God's children. (Matthew 6.25-33)

God's blessings, however, go so far beyond these fundamental needs, we could rightly say that we want for nothing. Yet, like Adam and Eve, we still want more. So we set out eyes and hearts on seeking worldly pleasure. We try to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. For some, it means viewing inappropriate images to satisfy a s*xual need. Once our eyes are captured by curiosity however, our hearts become entangled. The we act on our lust.

We can also lust after possessions or power or prideful ambition. We see what others have and want it. Our hearts are deceived into saying, "I could be happy if I only had this." Then we make a decision to go after it.

Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden. And for a believer it's the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others. That's because every object of your lust- whether it's a young coworker or a film actress or coveting after a half-million dollar house- represents the beginnings of a lie. This person or thing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is more like a bottomless pit of unmet longings.

Lusts always breeds more lust. "What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the craving s that are at war within you?" (James 4.1 HCSB) Lust will make you dissatisfied with your spouse. It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages. Rather than fullness, it leads to emptiness.

It's time to expose lust for what it really is- a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God's love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycles of regret and condemnation.

"His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." (2 Peter 1.3-4)

Are you tired of being lied to by lust? Then begin setting your eyes on the Word of God. Let His promises of peace and freedom work their way into your heart. Daily receive the unconditional love He has already proved to you through the cross. Focus on being grateful for everything God has already given you rather than choosing discontentment.

Also set your heart and eyes on your spouse again. "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth... Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths." (Proverbs 5.18-21)

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I John 2.15) Lust is the best this world has to offer, but love offers you the best life in the world.

Today's Dare

End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed- today- and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His prefect love.

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