The Path of Lust
“When tempted, no one should say, ’God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15 (NIV)
The menacing power of lust follows a subtle, predictable path in each of our lives. In order for us to avoid the trap of lust, we need to first understand this path that the evil one tries to lure us down. The entire process begins with our eyes – it begins with a temptation. However, the temptation stage is not the sin. The sin of lust comes into play when that temptation segues into an illicit sexual action that’s mental, emotional, or physical.
God is not the one tethered to this temptation process. God has given us sexual desire as a gift – a gift that is to be shared with only one person in our lives, our spouse. Satan, on the other hand, puts his own sinister spin on the good desires God has given us. Satan takes those desires, customizes them to our weaknesses, and then lures us into believing that we can gain the good that God has promised by using them in a destructive way. Satan has lied to us about the outcome, the ultimate goal of lust. The real goal of lust is shame, guilt, obsession, and addiction.
James has exposed the strategy of Satan, so that we can identify the lies of Satan, be alert, and then mobilize our eyes and feet to keep from sinning. We need to realize when we are at our most vulnerable and then take action to avoid the opportunity for temptation to segue into that illicit action. We are told to run, not walk, away from temptation.
It’s amazing that when Satan turns up the temptation in our lives, God seems so far away. However, we do have a choice, because God will always pave a path to escape the grasp of lust. But you will not find it on your own. You will only find that path through God’s strength. Let God handle that temptation in your life. This week, realize the lies that lust promises and recognize that God has a better plan for you. Then, turn away from the destructive path of lust and run towards God’s light.