“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.’
1 Corinthians 10:6 KJV
In the few series that are to follow, we will be considering specifically the characters and attitudes that Paul pointed to as the reason why some were cast away. Defining scriptural terms are not quite easy, and a man should get better with each passing day. But, to help us, we will stick to the actual incidents in the wilderness journey of the Israelites for which Paul referenced as the reason for which some were cast away. Please note that he says that these lives were showcased us as examples, in order that we might be very careful. By implication, therefore, if I find any of these attitudes in my life, I stand a risk of being cast away (declared unfit and ordered to stand aside).
The first he talked about is LUST. Whenever we hear the term lust, our minds immediately runs to sexual desires. However, when we trace the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness, we see that the bone of contention was not their sexuality, it was simply ‘MEAT’. In Numbers 11 vs. 4, we were told that some of them lusted after meat, and at the end it led to their untimely death in the wilderness, they were in the words of our study today, Grounded by Lust.
So, what really is lust? It is simply throwing tantrums at God. Do you know what it means to throw tantrums? Let me explain further. When a child asks you for something, and for one reason or the other, you feel he/she should not have that thing yet, usually, the child will start throwing tantrums. Those tantrums essentially declares their intense desire to have that thing despite your opinion about it. They do not want to know whether you feel it is right or not, they do not want to know whether you feel it is the proper time or not; all that matters is that they have a desire to possess that thing, and at all cost they must. That is what we call in adult language LUST.
A lustful man does not consider the opinion of God. It does not matter to him whether what he wants is proper before God or not, all that matters to him is that he wants that thing, and he must have it, whatever it costs.
This was the first error of the CAST-AWAYS that we are looking at. It was not bad to desire meat, just as it is not bad to desire sex, or money, or fame, or power, or comfort, etc. However, they craved for that meat regardless of how God saw it and what He felt about it. They were not really hungry. God was providing for them, but they were not satisfied. They wanted variety. They complained about that which God gave them, and they called it “horrible”. They craved for that which they used to have in Egypt. God gave them their heart’s desire, but destroyed them in the wilderness.
So, what do we say? Beloved, beware of lust. If you desire to have something and God has not given it to you, be content to wait for His time. Craving to have and possess anything outside the will and timing of God will not favour you. You are risking your place in the race. So, guard your desires. Ensure that none of them runs outside the government of God. Don’t fall into the error of seeking to gratify your desire outside of God’s will.
How do we keep from lust? Simply, keep everything in perspective. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12 vs. 2). Do not feed that desire. Do not submit yourself to see, watch, read or listen to things that make that desire to grow stronger and stronger; and when you notice that a desire is turning gradually to a lust, turn to God and employ the fellowship of the brotherhood. Open up, and receive the help of God. And you will overcome all lusts, because He is your Lord and Helper. Amen.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for all your warnings to me in this season. I submit to you all my desires (for food, sex, money, power, pleasure, comfort, fame, etc). Help me to keep the Lord before me, and not allow any one of these desires run out of your government. That all that I will ever have in this life will come because You gave them to me, out of your perfect will, not because it became a ravaging lust in my heart. Your Grace is sufficient for me, Lord, in Jesus Name. Amen.
For further reading: Numbers 11 vs. 4-15, 31-35; Psalm 78 vs. 17-31; Psalm 81 vs. 11-12; Psalm 106 vs. 13-15; Galatians 5 vs. 23-24; Ephesians 2 vs. 1-3