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DOMINION OVER EVIL DESIRES (3)

Date: 
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should ABSTAIN from sexual immorality” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

Overcoming immoral or impure sexual desires is a key aspect of DOMINION over EVIL DESIRES: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should ABSTAIN from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of LUST, like the gentiles who do not know God” (1The.4:3-5). Lust is a desire, craving, or longing for what is forbidden; for anything outside that which God has blessed, which is a relationship between a man and a woman in marriage: “Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb.13:4). Impure sexual thoughts and deeds are among works of the flesh: “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness” (Gal.5:19).

Temptation to lust is everywhere. With “show more skin” as the culturally accepted norm, and technology that has eased access to lustful content 24/7, it’s tough to sustain the Kingdom standard of purity: “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” (Mt.5:27-28). The inside of the cup must be cleansed as well as the outside (Mt.23:26). God’s standard challenges moral compromise. Jesus equated looking with lust and having sex with someone other than one’s spouse!

Praise God! We are not left powerless! We need not remain slaves to impurity, in thought and in deed. By the Power of the Indwelling Holy Spirit and God’s Word, we can bring every thought into captivity (2Cor.10:5). Attempting to be rid of lust through sheer will power, Internet filtering software, or personal accountability can all help, but none is the true fix. God's Word that’s “living and powerful” is the enduring cure to the epidemic of lust (Heb.4:12). The Bible offers words of wisdom and instruction that prompt us to trust God for deliverance from darts of evil desires – scripture-weapons against temptation to impure thoughts. All impurity must flee when confronted with the Sword of the Spirit – God’s Word, and the Shield of Faith, which quenches Satan’s fiery darts.

The following scriptures reveal the destructive power of unchecked lust and point to the way of freedom provided by the Lord:

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 3:1). Job overcame lust through covenant commitment. If Job made a choice of what his eyes would not gaze on, in Christ, we can do better.

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psa.119:9-11, NIV). To stay pure and not sin against God, we must hide His word in our hearts. Then, lust loses its power in our lives.

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom.12:2, NLT). Lust is everywhere and often celebrated. Even as Christians, it's easy to drift towards the lustful behaviour in culture. But, rather than copy the world’s lustful behaviour, we must let God change the way we think, and be rid of lustful thoughts.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but GOD is FAITHFUL, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1Cor.10:13). With this encouragement, the “I just couldn't help myself” excuse doesn't hold up well against lust. No temptation, even lust, is greater than God's faithfulness in making a way of escape. Ours is to choose the way out and not fall into the trap of lust.

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, empower us to do Your Will, to exercise DOMINION over EVIL DESIRES and abstain from sexual immorality, in Jesus name.
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