How to Defy Sinful Desire
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. (Hebrews 11:24–26)
Or, boil it down to the essentials: “By faith Moses . . . [left] the fleeting pleasures of sin . . . for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24–26).
Faith is not content with “fleeting pleasures.” It is ravenous for joy. Joy that lasts. Forever. And the word of God says, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). So, faith will not be sidetracked into the deceitful pleasures of sin. It will not give up so easily in its quest for maximum joy.
The role of God’s word is to feed faith’s appetite for God. And, in doing this, it weans my heart off of the deceptive taste of lust.
At first, lust begins to trick me into feeling that I would really miss out on some great satisfaction if I followed the path of purity. But then I take up the sword of the Spirit and begin to fight.
- I read that it is better to gouge out my eye than to lust (Matthew 5:29).
- I read that if I think about things that are pure and lovely and excellent, the peace of God will be with me (Philippians 4:8–9).
- I read that setting the mind on the flesh brings death, but setting the mind on the Spirit brings life and peace (Romans 8:6).
- I read that lust wages war against my soul (1 Peter 2:11), and that the pleasures of this life choke out the life of the Spirit (Luke 8:14).
- But best of all, I read that God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11), and that the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8).
As I pray for my faith to be satisfied with God’s life and peace, the sword of the Spirit carves the sugarcoating off the poison of lust. I see it for what it is. And by the grace of God, its alluring power is broken.