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 part one last week, we discussed – Lust of the Flesh – In part two this week, we will discuss – Lust of the Eyes – and its pitfalls.
Let’s recap what is meant by lust. Last week we said this about the Word lust: 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. Here is what we find under the Word lust in the dictionary: Lust is a strong, powerful desire, whether it’s a noun or verb: you lust for things you deeply crave. Someone greedy lusts for money. Someone can lust for food etc…
Lust of the eyes often deals with money and the want for things. Both grab our hearts and minds. Some people live to make money, and others live to spend money…that is, on material (TV’s. cars, new iPhone) things. Both are the lust of the eyes. Some stash and some spend. The lust of the eyes can be anything that we look at and desire to have or get. It can also be directed at a person – we may see a friend’s girl or boyfriend and want them to be ours instead of our friends. It could be looking at improper pictures or videos on someone’s phone or the internet.
The lust for either gaining money, making money, and keeping money OR spending money on material things that we do not need is also the lust of the eyes. And it is also idol worship!
Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
The Lord knows that as we continue to live in this natural body, the temptations to sin will continue, and we will sometimes commit sin in what we set before our eyes. Our defense against this powerful temptation is God’s Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. The worst thing we can do is try to ignore lust of the eyes and continue as though it is not there. Do the hard work, get God’s Word into your heart, and watch the wonders of the Holy Spirit’s process. Do not fill your spirit in the word and prayer, but do not expect to collect any spiritual strength from the Spirit.
You need the Holy Spirit to change. Belief, alone, will not do it. Church will not do it. Being a “good Christian” will not do it. Some Christians have decided that it is impossible to have a life free of sin or lustful thoughts and feelings. They read in the Bible where it talks about our freedom from sin, and their understanding tells them that it cannot be true. We must remember that it is true and that God has made provision for our ongoing forgiveness and cleansing when we continue to seek Him and follow the Holy Spirit.
There is a price to pay for a clean heart. It is not a billion dollars. It is feeding on the Word of God constantly and fellowshipping with the Spirit in prayer. Do you remember what you just read above? It takes the Holy Spirit to overcome the lust of the eyes. Well, this is how you prepare your heart to do so, by His Word and prayer.
Romans 8:13, for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We are united to the risen Christ by faith. His resurrection life flows in our veins now. The Spirit of the living Christ lives inside us by His Holy Spirit, so we no longer belong to this world and the rules it plays by—we belong to Christ and the age to come. To have the power to fight lust, we first have to understand this: we no longer belong to sin. We belong to God, who has accepted us and forgiven us, not because we cleaned ourselves first, but because we are united by faith to the Pure One, Jesus Christ.
Begin to train your mind to listen to the Holy Spirit when the lust of the eyes tempts you.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Go beyond what you see. Go to your heart where you placed the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you do the things in the above Scripture.
Are you ready to train your eyes and desires to be subject to the Holy Spirit?
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication,