In the context of sex, lust is one of the most dangerous forces known to man (or woman). But the movies, sitcoms, music, and commercials that protrude from our idiot boxes paint lust as good, pleasurable, and desirable. Now let’s think about this for a second, isn’t it lust that leads to the rape of innocent victims? Isn’t it lust that leads to sex with multiple partners? Oh and isn’t it lust that leads to masturbation, porn addictions, sexual abuse, and molestation? And I’m pretty sure it’s lust that leads the human mind to entertain sexual fantasies too. Lust is nothing like what our culture says it is and the picture painted is a far cry from a Mona Lisa. So why do we chase it? Why do we like it so much? Why does it have such a hold on our lives? I believe the answer lies in knowing what lust truly is, how it affects us, and how it can be conquered. And as we look to the book of Proverbs, we will see our pursuit of lust ultimately shows our distrust in God’s wisdom.
Now for the sake of context, there are a few things we need to get out the way upfront. First thing we need to know is this passage is Godly wisdom on sex and purity, written by Solomon and directed to his sons. The beautiful thing is the principles that Solomon shares are good for us all. Man or woman, boy or girl, we can apply it to our lives. Secondly, we must define the term “lust” because this term can mean something different for all of us. For the sake of the argument we will define lust as any sexual desire we seek to fulfill outside of God’s intended purpose and means. Now that’s out the way, let’s talk.
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.” (Proverbs 5:1-2 NIV)
In the opening verses Solomon starts by showing what God’s wisdom is like. He encourages his audience to listen and apply the wisdom he is sharing for two reasons. One reason is to keep their discretion and the second reason is to guard their knowledge. Discretion is having a quality of behavior that isn’t offensive or revealing and knowledge is having valuable information on any given subject. Solomon knows God’s wisdom on sex and purity will protect his audience from losing the discretion and knowledge that lust threatens to kill. When it comes to our sexual desires, it’s important to guard what is designed to be kept discrete and shared in a proper context. Also, it is important to hold fast to knowledge that will keep us from sin. I look back on my life and recall numerous times where I failed to do this. All the thoughts I should’ve nipped in the bud that I let fester and grow into a theatre of the mind. All the times I gawked uncontrollably, zeroing in on every visual desire on my radar. Every desire I acted on in private that led to sin I won’t discuss in graphic detail. I think it’s safe to say I know what it is like to struggle with lust. And now that I am on the winning side of this endless battle, I realize I could’ve avoided so much damage had I listened and applied God’s wisdom. His wisdom is protective and good for us and when we reject it we show that we don’t trust it.
God’s wisdom overall is good, perfect, trustworthy. He shares it with us in hopes to protect us. And when it comes to sexual purity, His wisdom is certainly tried and true. Our sexual desires are good gifts that are given with a proper context for expression. They are designed to be expressed in marriage between a husband and wife. When we seek to fulfill them in other ways, we act as if the one who made and gave them doesn’t know how they should be expressed. We forfeit protection and dive head first into a sea of destruction. Discretion and knowledge gasp for life in tides of death and we find ourselves drowning in lust that never satisfies or fulfills. But today let us cling to God’s wisdom like drifting plywood in a shipwreck and fight to grab hold of the only life raft that offers hope, Jesus. By the power of the spirit not only did He perfectly resist lust all his life, He died to destroy it and rose to defeat it. And if our faith and trust are in His work and person, we have the same Spirit in us to resist, fight, and defeat lust in our lives.
Part 2 is next…
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