1 John 2:15-16, Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.
In all the lessons we go through every week at one part or another, we will talk about sin. What is sin? The Greek word for sin means: to err; miss the mark. It’s like when we shoot at a target; we miss what we were aiming at. We miss the bullseye! As Christians, we always aim to obey God, but sometimes, we go astray and do the wrong thing. That means we missed the mark, or we did not achieve what we were trying to do.
We think sin is something that we are unable to resist and that it’s too tricky. However, John is telling us that ALL sin falls into three categories. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.” Over the next three lessons, we will study about each category and how if we can begin to understand what is happening when we are tempted. This will give us valuable knowledge on how to hit the target of obedience to God.
LUST OF FLESH
What is Lust? It is an overwhelming desire or craving for something. We really want something so much that we feel we must get it or do it. One of the most respected Christian leaders, Billy Graham, said this: “Our interests are in ourselves. We are preoccupied with material things. Our supreme gods are computers and cell phones. Most of us are more interested in getting things than getting to Heaven. We are more dedicated to material security (money) than to inward purity. We give much more thought to what we wear, what we eat, what we drink, and what we can do than what we are….”
What does the Bible mean when it refers to the flesh? Perhaps most plainly, it refers to that part of us that is different from God. It is the rebellious and stubborn part of our inner self that is with us all the time. It is that part of us that does not want to be told what to do. It is stubborn, refuses correction, and does not want to have a thing to do with God. This is where Satan wants to be king. He wants to rule this part of our sinful nature.
So, what the Apostle John means when he says, “Lust of the Flesh,” he is referring to the sin of wanting (lusting) to do something that would please our desires, (flesh) rather than God’s. If we are normal, we all can be tempted with the lust of the flesh. If we were put in the wrong place at the right time, a lot of us would fall short or miss the target.
Do you eat to live or live to eat? Many people love to eat food and do it several times a day. And living to eat could well be a part of the lust of the flesh, especially if it controls us. Do you care more about doing things your way or God’s? If you care more about yourself, then you are following your flesh. Do you hang around the wrong friends instead of seeking out Godly friends? Do you let anger control your actions when you get mad or upset? These are more warnings that you are living a life controlled by the flesh. We all know that stealing is wrong; do you steal? Do you let hate for someone control you? Are disobedient to your parents or those placed in charge of you? These are all works and lust of the flash.
God said clearly, “Don’t love the world. If you do, my love is not in you.” Wow! When and where do we cross the fence from loving God to loving the world? It’s when we care more about being on – TEAM ME – than – GOD’S TEAM.
James 1:14-15, But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
You can see that if we are controlled by “Lust of the Flesh”, it will sooner or later make us an enemy of the cross. I do not think we want to be in the same group with the enemies of the cross! However, we can become something of an enemy to the Lord if we allow the lust of the flesh to control us!
What has controlled you this week? Whose team have you been on this week, TEAM ME – or – GOD’S TEAM? Now is the time to make things right.
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication