Lust - A Broken Promise
Author Lance Phelps - 7 Minute Read
Sin is a promise. Each time you are tempted to sin you are being tempted in more than one way: you are tempted to sin in some way, to lust after an attractive person or a thing that will make you happy, and you are tempted to believe a promise. This temptation can feel acute and it doesn't seem to be a conscious battle against a promise that you are being told. Thoughts of the sin as you are tempted are instead promises by implication and not by explicit statement, most of the time. Yet you know in your heart that doing the sin is a tacit moment of assent to the false promises of sin. It is not your mind that is directly saying, "this sin will make me happy," at least not for most. Rather, it is in the heart that the assent occurs and this is much worse then just mentally saying that sin is better than God. This is because of what Jesus tells us:
"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
- Luke 6:45
The Search For True Happiness
You see we are all searching for what will satisfy our hearts. We long for something or a collection of somethings that will bring us peace and rest. This longing is built into us by virtue of our loss of the only true peace and rest: a direct relationship with God. We were made to be in communion with God. We are like a car that is being used as a boat. Our days are so often times filled with pointless activities that do little or nothing to point us to the King. But we suffer these cheap knock offs because our hearts (read we) believe that they can make us happy; the new car can settle our hearts, the next achievement, the next hit. It is all meant to satisfy us.
The Broken Promise of Lust
The promise ends up being false and empty. Why is it that people who “have it all” commit suicide? This confounds the mind of the person at the bottom of the ladder. But when you are out of rungs to climb and you are still not satisfied, what hope is there left? The topic of suicide is sad and complicated. This is not a comprehensive answer to that issue but it might help us understand it better. The promises of lust are lies. They are the ultimate bait and switch. They promise happiness from the heart and the deliver only misery, if not now then certainly later.
The Promise of God
Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “ (Luke 9:23). With this Jesus is telling us that the promises of the flesh, the thing that we are told here to deny, are to be rejected. The hope that the flesh tries to offer us is to be called out for the falsehood that it is. Jesus also tells us that he is “the way, the truth, and the life,” and that “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus is the truth. This is significant for many things but for the present topic we know this: Jesus is the truth, his promises of satisfaction only in him are true.
We cannot serve two masters. We cannot believe two promises because they are mutually exclusive. God promises that if you forsake the worship of other idols you will be satisfied. You cannot just add him to a list of things to worship and adore because of the nature of his glory. If you place him on a shelf of other idols you are degrading his glory by making it out to be of equal status to the others and thus you are actually shaming him. You see God’s glory so infinite it eclipses all other glories because his glory is the only primary one there is. All others are mere reflections of his glory. So to worship anything other than him would be to worship something other than him as a primary glory and thus live in a lie.
We must worship the King of kings alone forsaking all idols. Only God is worthy of worship and praise because only God has primary glory. God is infinitely good and holy, he is infinitely righteous and pure. To worship anything else, to believe and pattern our lives around any other promise of satisfaction, is seek after an empty existence.