“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
Let’s talk about our desires. Ephesians 4:22 tells us that our old self is corrupt through deceitful desires. In other words, our natural desires cannot be trusted. They are deceitful or misleading. If we follow our desires, we will get in all sorts of trouble. The word that the Bible uses for the sin of following the wrong desires, is covetousness. To covet is to want the wrong things (“greed” the term the NIV uses here is a form of covetousness that is often associated with money). The word may not be used too much today, but it might be one of the most pervasive sins of our age. We live in a world where it is easy to fulfill your every desire just about whenever you want. We have immediate access to endless amounts of information, images, video, movies, games, gossip, news, and an ever-increasing world of social (or not-so-social) media. If you want it, you can have it. This means that we must really keep our desires in check. We must make sure that we desire the things of God and not the wrong things.
There is no place where this is more of a need than in the realms of sexuality. God made us sexual beings. He gave us sexual desires and when applied God’s way, they are really good! When a person’s sexual desires are inclined toward the wrong people, the wrong images, in the wrong ways, and at the wrong times, they can lead to all sorts of hurt. But more importantly, as this passage suggests, they can lead to idolatry (worshiping something other than God). When we desire the wrong things, we worship the wrong things and when we worship the wrong things, we exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). When we exchange the truth of God for lies, we miss out on all that God has for us. For this reason, let’s be people who are skeptical of our own desires, and pray with me today for the strength to: Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).
LIVE THE STORY: Today, as we prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday, take a moment and think about your desires. Which ones need to change? Pray and ask Jesus to give you his desires.