Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord! In my daily time with God today, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about dealing with our lusts. This is the greatest subject of Biblical long term change and yet the most neglected by Christians. This causes great destruction in the lives of Christians and is the real cause behind spiritual rebellion. Sadly, it is the subject most Christians do not understand Biblically. The Bible is very plain about this. The word lust, lusts, lusting, and lusteth is used more than 50 times in the Bible. Whenever God wants to make a point in the Bible, He repeats it. So, this must be and is very important.
James 4:1-10, From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (2) Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5) Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (6) But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
When we Biblically counsel people they come to us because their marriage, children, or life is falling apart because of their lusts. They have lost hope, and they are fighting, waring, deceiving, lying, rebellious and their life is in total destructive mode. They do not understand why. Yet their life is a mess. Their life is nowhere near honoring and glorifying God, yet they profess to be saved. Many times they are ready to divorce and lives are being destroyed. They are rebels to authority. They are destructive and prideful people.
What Is the Problem?
James 4:1, From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
James is speaking to Christians here not lost people. Why are they fighting? Because of the “lusts that war in their members.” Did you notice that lusts is plural meaning more than one? When people think about lusts, they generally think about moral sins. However, the Bible has at least 82 different lusts across a wide spectrum that a person can have in their lives. The problem is our lusts. Many times people come in for counseling and they talk about the symptom not the cause of the symptom. They think the problem is on one side when in reality it is on the other side, their lusts, driving their life.
Let me ask you a question. What is the will of God for your life?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: (the blood of Christ) therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The will of God is for you to glorify God with your life. You cannot do that if you are living for your lusts. I ask our counselees, “Is your behavior been glorifying to God?” The answer is always no. Why? Because they are living for their lusts and do not understand they are and why they are!
James 4:2-3, Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Here is the average Christian who lives for their lusts and they do not see answers to prayer because they are praying for their own lusts! Pretty selfish, yet they do not understand why God does not answer their prayers.
What Does God Call This?
James 4:4, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
God calls these Christians spiritual adulterers and adulteresses! Notice, “friendship of the world.” So, living for your lusts is being a friend of the world and the enemy of God! Pretty serious stuff. This is the main cause of anger and rebellion.
Who And What Is Behind It?
James 4:6-7, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
So, we see a person who is living for their lusts believes they can live independently from God. That is what pride is. Secondly, the devil is behind it. Satan is a deceiver and someone who lives for their lusts lives a deceptive life. They deceive themselves and others.
James 4:7-10, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Submit yourself to God! We have a very useful tool we call the “Change Sheet.” It lists all 82 of the lusts in the Bible. On a scale of 0 to 10, Zero being it is not a problem, 7-10 being it is a problem which is a “demand lust”, Ephesians 2:3, a desire of the mind, which means it controls behavior!
We ask people to evaluate themselves being honest and we find out where we need to go in their life with God’s Word. We skillfully use the Word of God to pick off each lust. We ask the person to read passages of Scripture on that subject. Let the verses start to get in your mind. Submit yourself to God by asking Him questions about your lust. Watch what the Bible says. How do you renew your mind?
Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
As the person submits to God and reads and meditates on the verse(s), gradually their mind is changed to God’s mind on that subject. God’s Word has the answer for your lusts. Biblical change is renewing (changing) your mind about your lusts.
Finally, folks, this is the essence of spiritual growth and Biblical long term change in your life.
Do not under estimate this article. It is life changing if you apply it.
Remember, be the vessel God can use today by asking the Holy Spirit to show you if you are living your life not dealing with your sin (lusts)? Are you living in the sin of allowing selfish carnal thinking or listening to rule your life and making you react or rationalize your sin? Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of living a Spirit controlled yielded godly life that is serving and living with humility, joy and peace! We encourage you today to make Jesus Christ real in your life by humbly yielding to Him at the point of impact and living for Him, not the life of selfish carnal thinking and speaking. It is an important choice! Tell God you want to yield yourself to Him today and be a trusting, useful, and rewarded servant! Be the person who can help, not the person who always needs help! Rejoice in Him today!
We pray for many of you daily! May we all humble ourselves before God and focus on having compassion on others!
With a heart to glorify God and serving the God of answers,
Dr. Terry L. Coomer
Director, Hope Biblical Counseling and Training Center www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com