By: Coty Black
Lust is a very serious thing. A sin, although secret, turns into much more if left to itself. We are told not to commit adultery from the Law of Moses in Exodus 20:14. God makes it clear that we are to be committed to one person, our spouse, of the opposite sex mind you. These Laws were handed down by God to Moses on Mount Sinai with this one in particular having a strong stressor. If you break the marriage covenant, you are likely to commit the same unfaithful error towards the Lord. God takes fidelity seriously. Both in our marriage and our relationship to him.
Just as the Pharisee were puffed up during the days of Jesus’ life and ministry on Earth, we too can be prideful that we have been faithful to not cheat on our significant others. The issue is not actually with the action, but with the heart. With the intention of the heart the flesh soon follows. Just as our first parents SAW that the fruit was good, then they DESIRED it, then they TOOK it. We too can fall into this trap with just a glance.
Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 5:27-30:
“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For is better that you lose your members than that you whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole e body go to hell.” ESV
Wow! Jesus doubled down! He took it a step further than anyone expected, pulling back the veil to reveal the heart. If you even so much as look at a woman/man with lust, you have already committed adultery in your heart. Jesus goes on to show us the length in which we should be willing to go to rid the sin from our lives. Kill it. Destroy it at all cost. Speaking here in extreme hyperbole Jesus says we should tear our eye or cut off our arm if it causes us to sin. In other words, get yourself out of that situation, turn off the TV or smash it with a baseball bat. Take the apps off your phone and stop talking to the sweet girl down the hall at work during your lunch break. Hurt your feelings and your pride. The sin doesn’t come from your arm or your eyes, but from your heart. Jesus is not saying hurt yourself physically, but he is saying do whatever it takes to rid your life of this sin against God.
I will spare you the stats on porn use and the like throughout not only our country, but also in our pulpits. It’s terrifying. What I will emphasize is the gravity of the issue. Marriages are destroyed (before marriage and after) by the lust of the eye because it is never in secret. The verse in Numbers 32:23 comes to mind, “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out” (ESV). What we look at with our eye and desire with our hearts will show itself in our lives in the worst ways. It could be the reason your marriage is terrible right now. Consider your own heart here. Are you failing in this area? It is important to be as Job and make a covenant with our eyes (Reference Job 31:1).
In the practical sense, do all you can to guard your eyes from sinning against God. If it means cancelling TV or deleting apps on the phone it is a small thing compared to the wrath of God. And more so it is a small thing considering the intimacy gained with your spouse and more so the intimacy of worshiping and honoring your God rightly. Pray that the Lord will give your eyes for only your spouse or to have eyes only for your future spouse. Honor God in this, make a covenant with your eyes. SDG!