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Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: ￼Don't know where to start? Lusts are so powerful but not beyond understanding. 'Correcting Two Weaknesses' is the seventh lesson on 'Embracing God's Love, Overcoming Lust' which points out how real change requires two kinds of changes: correcting our values and thoughts. This lesson is the seventh in a series on "Reaching Beyond Mediocrity."
We can by God's grace break through this problem with lusts, but be sure it is only through the power of the cross that can we properly do this. Only in Him do we have forgiveness. However, we need to keep two things in mind - (1) our values and (2) our thoughts.
We first need to remember to examine and correct those things that we value. These errors have to do with our misplaced confidence. Whenever we lust after something, our value system has gone wrong. We have adopted some idol or thing in which we have put our hope. Unless this is changed, then there is no real long-term solution.
Those who indulge in lusts value lusts. Those things that sound rewarding or 'free' will appeal to us. We need to take the truth of God and smash this affair with our self. We need to examine our value from which the lust was born with what is true.
We need to value what is good and holy. As we see the value of others, think about how we would want others to treat us, then we can strengthen our right values which lead to life. (For example, I would not want someone to deceive me to get something I have). Affirm before the Lord that loving people is more important to you then selfishly using them.
God's Word clearly shows us the importance of genuinely loving others and exercising self-control. For example, the great Harlot in Revelation is a clear portrait of how the world flirts with the Great Harlot. Examine how Solomon grew cold to the Lord through sensual attraction.
John exposes the world's attraction upon our lives.
"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. 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. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
We love those things that we value. We are instructed in these verse not to value them. Notice how John points out that these lusts are passing away along with those things that we lusted after. Verses like this are scattered throughout the Bible because God knows how we need warning and help to keep ourselves rightly focused on doing His will.
People are made in God's image and always must be properly treated.
Not a few persons have started off well seeking God's ways but because he did not rightly discern and control his thoughts ended up controlled by his lusts. This is so sad largely because it is unnecessary!
Early on in my Christian life I battled for my life. It is through seeing God's powerful Word at work that I survived those many conflicts. I have learned how to overcome my flesh, the world and the evil one in this area.￼ I do not mean to say that I have a stellar record. No, anything but. But over the many years, God has step by step led me further into seeing how to use His Word to overcome lusts and normalize my life through loving others.
Only by His grace can I or any of us stand. My hope is that by learning these things, you will not ignorantly or slowly learn these things like I did but find the power of God's Word in a short time.
Many a man has been plagued by his descent into lusts. Great mirages of excitement end up like bits of dust in our mouths and scattered wherever we have gone. The sensual thoughts (there are other forms of lusts such as food, money, etc which share similar mindset and consequences but are not here closely examined) once injected into our veins is nigh impossible to escape.
We need to be like Joseph and run. Our real protection comes when we keep temptation from entering our mind.
Continue on to read more on how to properly handle temptations through careful control of our thoughts.