49. CONSUMED BY THEIR OWN LUST
Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
How an Eskimo Kills a Wolf by Luring it to a Trap so that it Gets Consumed by its Own Lust
Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin. ‘First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more—until the dawn finds him dead in the snow! It is a fearful thing that people can similarly be “consumed by their own lusts.” Only God’s grace keeps us from the wolf’s fate’ (Chris T. Zwingelberg).
The same way an Eskimo kills a wolf by luring it to a trap so that it gets consumed by its own lust is the same way the devil lures us by our own lust to sin which brings forth death. Adam had been warned by God that ‘the moment you sin, you shall die’ (Gen. 2:17). Lust for the forbidden fruit led Adam to sin bringing death to all mankind. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12). That is what lust does. Lust kills. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15 [KJV]) For the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
Lust is “excessive and unrestrained sexual desire.” It is probably best defined in this context as “sexual desire for what is forbidden.” The author of the book of James chapter 1 verses 14-15 doesn’t equate lust with sin. He says that “when lust has conceived (when the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh combine or team up or conceive, lust acquires a life of its own), it gives birth to sin.” (James 1:15 (NASB) And when sin is allowed to grow to maturity, it brings forth death.
Every person is tempted when they are willingly carried away or dragged away or drawn away from their place of safety and lured as by a bait by their own lust and then enticed i.e. led on by exciting hope of or desire for something beneficial or pleasurable. Powerful emotions and the possibility of pleasure or benefit or happiness from the object of lust pull the victim towards the bait or object of attraction or the object of desire. The victim is then seduced into yielding to the temptation the way the young man yields to the seduction of the adulterous woman in Proverbs chapter 7. “For at the window of my house through my window lattice I looked out and I saw among the naive – I discerned among the youths – a young man who lacked wisdom. He was passing by the street near her corner, making his way along the road to her house in the twilight, the evening, in the dark of the night. Suddenly a woman came out to meet him! She was dressed like a prostitute and with a secret intent/hidden agenda. (She is loud and rebellious, she does not remain at home – at one time outside, at another in the wide plazas, and by every corner she lies in wait.) So she grabbed him and kissed him, and with a bold expression she said to him, “I have fresh meat at home; today I have fulfilled my religious vows of thanksgiving for the many blessings I have! That is why I came out to meet you, to look for you, and I found you! I have spread my bed with elegant coverings, with richly colored fabric from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deeply of lovemaking until morning, let’s delight ourselves with sexual intercourse. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a journey of some distance. He has taken a bag of money with him; he will not return until the end of the month.” She persuaded him with persuasive words; with her smooth talk she compelled him. Suddenly he went after her like an ox that goes to the slaughter, like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare till an arrow pierces his liver – like a bird hurrying into a trap, and he does not know that it will cost him his life.” (Prov 7:6-23 [NET])
Lust When Acted Out Leads Victim To Slide Downhill to Death
Lust is conceived when the lust of the eyes (that are by then so engrossed or so absorbed in what you are looking at that you don’t notice anything else and it is as if time stops) and the lust of the flesh (unlawful sexual desires) team up to stimulate you so much that they destroy your power of self-control. Their self-control is blinded by their aroused sexual urges and the arousal has to be acted out because their minds are blinded by their evil desires. They are already in enemy territory, deep in the kingdom of the evil one, sliding downhill towards the horrible pit. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Cor 4:4 [KJV])
If You Want to Overcome Your Lust, Resist the Temptation
The command of “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” that is found in the book of James 4:7 means nothing to them. Godliness, reasoning, self-control fly out of the window. They ignore God’s warning that tells them not to love the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17) They know that what they are doing is wrong but they do not care or they are unable to recover themselves out of the trap of the devil. To resist temptation, love Jesus more than your lusts and make a covenant with Him to always love Him and obey His commandments (John 14:15). Love righteousness and hate evil (Hebrews 1:9) when faced by your temptations so that God anoints you above your fellows. Say like Job that
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” Job 31:1.
See the sin that you are tempted to as worthless, ugly, and unbearably sinful.
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss or worthless when compared to the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” Philippians 3:8.
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.
“But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33 [KJV])
If You Want To Overcome Your Lust, Subject Every Thought To The Obedience Of Christ.
Paul tells us to “cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Cor 10:5 KJV) Paul is telling us to take our thoughts captive so that we are in obedience to Christ who was obedient to the Father even unto death. Confront every thought by bringing it into subjection to Christ. Any thought that surfaces itself in your mind that is contrary to the knowledge of God is a fortress that has to be pulled down so that the word of God reigns supreme in your mind. All things are supposed to be submitted to the sovereign command of the Lord Jesus Christ who is set down at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
If You Want to Overcome Your Lust, Subject Every Thought to The Truth Test
What is true? God’s Word! And of course Jesus is true (John 14:6). And of course Jesus is the Word (John 1:1) and He is the Word of God and is God (1 John 1:1). Why is truth first in the virtue list? Because it is the “headwaters” from which the springs of life flow. Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify (set them apart from the world and unto Yourself, make them holy) them in TRUTH, Thy Word is TRUTH.” (John 17:17). The spiritual battle is not a power struggle but a “truth struggle” and the battlefield is our MIND (Heart), and the battle rages daily over TRUTH. To remain spiritually stable, we must stand on the truth and we must do that every day.
We sometimes forget to subject every thought to the truth test which says that “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Phil 4:8-9 [KJV]) When a thought comes racing into (or slithers into) your mind, begin the test by asking ‘is it true?’ That truth test rule requires one to reject or refuse or resist anything that does not pass through the truth sieve. Think on whatever is true. People no longer ask “Is it true?” but “Does it work?” and “How will it make me feel?” ‘Truth’ is that which God says is true. God Himself is the only final test for truth. Since He is unchanging, the moral standards revealed in His Word, which stem from His holy nature, are also unchanging. They apply to every culture in every age. John 3:33 attests, “God is true” (see also, John 8:26; Rom. 3:4). As Paul writes to Titus, who was in Crete (the Cretans were notorious liars), “God … cannot lie,” and He made known His truth by “His word” (Titus 1:1-3). Jesus also claimed for Himself that He is true (John 7:18; also 5:31-32). Truth is not what I say it is and truth is not what you think it is. Truth is what God’s word says and it is not truth until God’s word does say it. The Bible says that the word of God is truth. “I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17:14-18 [KJV]) Say it again. Thy word is truth. Say it again. Thy word is truth. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is the truth. He told doubting Thomas that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 [KJV])
Christians need filters to filter what goes into your mind and what you say, see or think. The first filter is to only allow what is true into your mind. And God describes these filters in Philippians 4:8. This verse will cause you to stand firm. This is a verse which will help you win battles with temptation, overcome depression, stop worrying, stop being fearful, and stop losing spiritual battles. And this is a truth which will help you develop a Christ-honoring mind, appreciate the blessings of this world and anticipate the glories of the next. This verse will filter what comes into your mind, but this verse will also filter what you choose to think about, filter how you see God, filter how you look at people and interpret events. This single verse, when applied, is a game changer. Go for this verse because verse 8 will dramatically affect your life. What does Paul say in Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things.” Paul urges believers to finally, whenever making a decision, to always go for whatever is true. If the thought or idea or attitude or urge or feeling does not pass the truth test concerning what word of God says about it, forget it. Always go for whatever is honorable before God. Always go for whatever is right or righteous (Hebrews 1:9), whatever is pure (1 John 3:3), whatever is lovely (that which deserves love), of good repute or commendable or of good report, whatever has virtue or excellence and for whatever is praiseworthy.
If You Want to Overcome Your Lust, Walk in the Spirit And you Shall not Fulfill the Lust of the Flesh
Some of us have forgotten or are ignoring God’s absolute command through His Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit yet we want to overcome our own lusts. The Holy Spirit is tagging at our hearts telling us to “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh,” (Gal 5:16) “For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.” (Gal 5:17 [HCSB]) Those who are tempted and lured by their own lust do not want to watch pornography but they find themselves watching pornography and searching for more content that will quench their thirst for more and more as their addiction requires to be satisfied by more hardcore porn. They find themselves unable to stop watching porn. It is as if they are wired to sex or pornography. They are hopelessly held captive by the porn images and the content runs in their minds on and on urging them to open pornography websites again and again.
Paul said that “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who does it, but it is sin living in me that does it. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present within me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;” (Romans 7:15-25 New International Version (NIV)
God’s warning concerning sin and His offer of a solution are very loudly shouting that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 6:23 [KJV]) “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:6-11 New King James Version (NKJV) “For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father! ” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Rom 8:13-17 [HCSB])
Walking in the Spirit means to be living a life of being controlled by the Holy Spirit in whatever you do, say, feel or think.
In the fifth chapter of Galatians, verses 16 through 25, Paul writes, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
We must begin our day in the Word of Truth, even memorizing it so that we might meditate on it day and night. God commanded Joshua and is commanding us today to meditate upon his word every day, saying that “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make you way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you whithersoever you go.” (Josh 1:8-9 [KJV]) The truth is hidden in the Word of God. If you want to know whether you are walking in the Spirit, here is the checklist found in Ephesians 5:18-21 to benchmark with. If you are truly walking in the Spirit, you will find yourself not drunk with wine but with the Holy Spirit “filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:18-21 [KJV])
If We Confess Our Sins and Repent, God Will Cleanse Us From All Unrighteousness
After lust is conceived, it acquires a life of its own and gets power to control you and that is when it leads you into sin where you transgress the divine law and offend God. And when sin is accomplished and finished, it brings forth death. Sin is an affront, an insult and an offensive rebellion to the holiness of God. The Bible says that God is holy and in Him there is no darkness at all. “Jesus said unto Thomas His disciple, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 [KJV]) When one rebels against God, it is tantamount to choosing the opposite of life which is death. However, because of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection, if we repent and have faith in the atoning work of Christ for us, our sins are cleansed and God forgives on the strength of the shed blood of Jesus. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:7-9 [KJV]) We are then freed from the penalty and sting of death for our physical death then ushers us into the glorious presence of God in Heaven to be united with him for eternity. How wonderful of God that death, which was the ultimate penalty for sin, should be the very means whereby believers are restored to God through Christ’s death on the cross forever! “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1Pet 3:18 [KJV]) The way out of this tragedy is therefore to “walk in the spirit so that we do not satisfy the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) Ask God to fight this battle for you as you discipline your body to say “NO” to lust triggers before they develop into lust. Discipline your body and keep it under subjection. Pray and ask the Lord for Holy Spirit spiritual strength to avoid temptations in this area and to say no to your flesh. Paul said, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Cor 9:27 [KJV]) I have decided that I will not be among them that get consumed by their own lust. I will keep myself separate from sin as I obey the word of God that Paul told the Corinthians and is today telling us t “come out from among them that are in sin and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch (or watch) any unclean thing, and I will welcome you.” (2Cor 6:17 [HCSB])
PRAISE THE LORD. AMEN.