Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Lust of the Flesh (Proverbs 6)

"Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Prov. 6:27).

Various sins often result from a lack of self-control. We have emphasized the need to take practical steps to conquer such sins. Simply to pray for self-control but to take no steps to remove temptations from your life will leave you fighting against the tide. We have already examined gluttony and drunkenness; now we will examine sexual immorality.

Solomon warned his son to beware of this besetting sin. Though we have already studied adultery and seduction, considering the days in which we live, we can hardly overdo exhortations against this sin. Our society revels in sexual immorality. Because of this, temptation abounds. All Christians, young and old, male and female, need to be on their guard against the sin of sexual immorality. This sin, as Jesus clarified on the Sermon on the Mount, does not begin with action, but with thought. Many Christians might never engage in sexual immorality outwardly, but they fantasize and indulge sinful thoughts on a regular basis. Some might even find this flood of thoughts overwhelming. They can’t seem to control the images that flash through their minds, or the feelings that send fire coursing through their veins.

Once again, simply to pray that thoughts (and actions) stop without doing something is folly. You must examine your life and remove all the temptations that lead you into sexually immorality either in thought or deed. Television, movies, and magazines are common culprits. If this is a stumbling block to you even in the slightest way, you might have to get rid of the television. Music can offer a debilitating influence as well, setting a mood and stimulating your imagination in an ungodly fashion. Neglect of your marital relationship is often at the root of sexual immorality. Let your spouse satisfy you—strengthen that relationship and your burden of sin will be greatly eased. Overly intimate relationships with the opposite sex can also create a stumbling block.

Whatever the cause, flee from it and immerse yourself in prayer, Scripture, godly companionship, and public worship. Put on the full armor of God, and guard your soul against the lusts of the flesh (Eph. 6).

Examine prayerfully all the influences in your life that cause you to lust or even to be actively sexually immoral. Take deliberate steps to rid these influences from your life, even if it means breaking off a relationship with someone you care about. Continue to watch for and guard against these tempting forces in your life.