In the context of sex, lust is a force that damages and destroys lives. Just think about all the stories that tell tales of leaders knee deep in sex scandals that damage their marriage and followers. Countless news clips about sexual abuse victims and their violators. I read an article that broke my heart about the affects of pornography on young males in our country. And on a personal level, most of us have people close to us that have experienced some form of sexual abuse and/or misconduct that altered their lives in some way. It is these reasons why we must see lust for what it is and resolve to fight it in our lives. And as we look to the book of proverbs we will see the reason why pursuing lust is dangerous and destructive.
As we continue our examination of godly wisdom from Solomon, we must keep a few things in mind. First thing is, although written by Solomon to his sons, the principles shared in this passage are good for us all. Secondly, we are defining lust as any sexual desire we seek to fulfill outside of God’s intended purpose and means.
“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.” (Proverbs 5: 3-6 NIV)
Last time we talked, we determined God’s wisdom on sex helps us guard discretion and knowledge. Now we will see God’s wisdom also warns us. With the example of pursuing a forbidden woman, Solomon gives the contrast of what lust seems like and what lust really is. He shows us how a forbidden woman seems to be like honey and oil, smooth and sweet. But in contrast she is really like wormwood and double edged swords, bitter and dangerous. Two things that are good and desirable are contrasted with two things that are bitter and dangerous. Pursuing lust may seem good and desirable but in contrast it is truly bitter and deadly once you experience it. We have all chased the thrill and tasted disappointment once the thrill is gone. Lust always seems like the best thing for us, but when the thrill is gone, we realize that it is the worst thing for us. Think about it, lust promises to give pleasure and fulfillment but only gives shame and regret. I can’t think of one time I pursued my lust and thought to myself, “That was the best experience I ever had” when it was over. Every time I’ve fallen to lust I regretted giving myself to a lesser lover that never satisfies. Whenever I fall to lust it shows my lack of trust in God’s wisdom. When we reject wisdom in pursuit of lust, we show we don’t trust it to be beneficial to our lives.
We all have different walks of life and travel different journeys. And our experiences in many ways vary from person to person. And with life’s journeys comes guidance and direction from the God who gives it. If you were walking down a dark alley and saw a sign flashing “WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!” what would you do? Would you continue on the path or stop and turn back? I’m sure the majority of us would choose the latter because we wouldn’t want to encounter the danger on the other side of the warning. In our everyday lives lust is the danger on the other side of the warning! God has given us clear warning signs and shows us the damage lust can bring into our lives. We must stop and turn back from the dark paths lust lures us to remembering that we have tools for victory. Our hope is found in Jesus who defeated lust for us through his life, death and resurrection. And our power to conquer lust can only be found in His spirit whom he sent us from heaven to kill sin and make us more like Him. Lust is dangerous and destructive but lust CAN BE DEFEATED!
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