Turning your lust to love
07. August 2019 at 09:00
Lust: fulfilling sin’s (flesh’s) desire…Love: fulfilling God’s desire…Main Texts: 2 Peter 1:7 and Luke 18:27 (NIV)“…and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:7)Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)You can channel those emotions to fulfil God’s desire instead of fulfilling the desires of your flesh. God gave you emotions for a purpose. Use it to fulfil His purpose.You can channel those emotions to fulfil God’s desire instead of fulfilling the desires of your flesh. God gave you emotions for a purpose. Use it to fulfil his purpose. Have you ever lusted after something or someone? Have you had a ‘crush’ on someone before? Do you know you can turn that desire or lust into love? Do you know you can use those emotions or feelings to fulfil God’s purpose?
Growing up from childhood, this is one major challenge that we all faced. We all have the desire to live a righteous life but there comes this ‘emotions’ wrestling us and we are like ‘why all this?’ Many of us have come to the point of saying “oh God I don’t struggle with anything in this life, I don’t really have anything weighing me down, I don’t steal, I won’t lie, I don’t disobey, I don’t keep malice, I don’t fight, and so on and so forth but when it comes to lust, it is a hard thing for me. When it comes to me controlling my desires, my emotions, my feelings it is like a battle. Sometimes I win but not with a cheerful reaction but many times I fall. Oh God, why not take away these emotions!”
Sometimes we feel this emotion is just the only thing getting in our way of attaining that righteous life. This is the struggle! But over the years, with careful observations, pitfalls, uprisings, learning and searching, ultimately with the inspiration and help of the Holy Spirit, I have realized that these emotions, feelings and desires are not just there to make you fall short of God’s glory but to give glory to God through it. These feelings are not just for marriage alone but for a purpose and that’s why they begin to manifest even before marriage.
You know, many of us wonder if these feelings were really for marriage and why it is manifesting at our puberty or adolescence. But I want us to appreciate this matter together in this article. First, God created man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27) and mind you these emotions, desires and feelings were there too. If it was not there Adam wouldn’t have had any affection for Eve.
I want you to reason with me even before I continue with the previous point. First, in verse 18 of Genesis 2, God said “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” But God didn’t immediately make the helper, He first assembled all the animals before Adam and instructed Adam to give them names. In a way to relate with them. Aside from naming, I think this was a way God was checking if these creatures could fit the position of a suitable helper for Adam but at the end of verse 20 of Genesis 2, it is written that “but for Adam, no suitable helper was found.”
Now the question is, how did God know that all those creatures were no suitable helpers for Adam? That was because Adam had no flair for any of them. There was no mutual affection for any of those creatures. How would that have happened? It was only through his emotions, desires or Feelings! Now back to my first point. When Adam saw Eve, the woman God made for him. You will perceive his first reaction; the reaction of joy, of wholeness, completeness and of mutual affection and he said: “this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” (Genesis 2:23) He felt satisfied with Eve and not with the animals. He desired and longed for that suitable helper and now he has found one and was very happy.
Okay, that is it. But let us go further. Remember when God created everything including man and woman, the bible said at the end of the 6-day creation “God saw all that He had made and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) This phrase/clause “it was very good” includes even the emotions that God had formed man with. Everything was going in order, fulfilling God’s purpose, giving glory to God and pleasing to God until the fall of man then everything changed. The order of things changed. The nature of man changed. Everything just changed of a sudden.
This change or mutation is what is manifesting in different ways that we see in ourselves, including these emotions. These emotions were also affected. These emotions instead of been channelled to the right path and purpose were entirely changed and mutated that’s why it manifests into different things today of which I can mention but a few. These emotions are the desires that we see manifesting for different things and people and this is what we call ‘lust’. The Bible categorizes this entire mutation, lust into two different groups according to 1 John 2:16.
• Lust of the flesh and
• Lust of the eyes
These manifestations of lust that we see today can be further broken down into;
• Lust for materials e.g., cars, money, etc.
• Lust for food
• Lust as we have for other humans;
• Towards different sexes, we call it heterosexual
• Towards same sexes, we call it homosexual
• Towards both sexes, we call it bisexual
• Lust for animals, we call it Zoophilia
I believe this answers many questions and confusion about why people have homosexual feelings or the likes. Many of us thought they were born that way and nothing can be done about it, we thought it is their nature. But with this exposition, I believe this is made clear. Nobody is made or formed this way by God. All these happened due to the mutation or change that occurred at the fall of man. With all these been said, let us go back to the main purpose of this article; “turning your lust to love.”
We have seen how lust originated and so to deal with lust or to turn it into what it is supposed to be from the very beginning, is to go back to whence we have fallen. It is taking back the first nature. That nature we were created with by God and to do this, we must have this in mind. We must know that the first approach towards turning our lust to love is to look unto God and not unto ourselves. It is to depend on His ability and not our ability. It is to submit to His workings and not our workings. Because with us, it is impossible but with God it is possible.
Remember that as reformed people, “it is God working in us to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13). This is where believing comes in. you got to believe that the perfect nature of man is in Christ and it is only His righteousness and perfection that we can enjoy and that is the righteousness God sees in any of his transformed and reformed children. (2 Corinthians 5:21) It is only in Him (Christ) that we are the righteousness of God otherwise, our righteousness is like filthy rags before Him (God) Isaiah 64:6. And that is why we must depend on Him. It is easy.
First, do not look at yourself trying to keep the commandment, look at Jesus keeping the commandment in you, and look at Him doing the working and not you. The reason why we see these things to be too hard is that we have considered ourselves keeping the commandment instead of considering Jesus. Remember, you are not the author of your faith and you are not the finisher of it. So, why not look unto Jesus who alone is the author, sustainer and finisher of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
Remember even what Jesus told the disciples, “no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” (John 6:44, 65) This same statement was repeated by Jesus twice in the same chapter. This is to show us that it is not up to us, so don’t look at yourself. Look unto God. He is the only one to help us. This is the foundation I want us to build on regarding turning our lust to love.
“If I see a sister or brother that I have a ‘crush’ on and I am madly lusting after that person, how can I now turn that lust to love?” is the question ringing in your mind since. Okay oh, this is the answer. First, we are meant to love the way Christ loved us. So when you notice the lust in you allow Christ who is in you to demonstrate His love towards that sister or brother. Allow Him, submit your will and desire and feelings to Him. Let Him use it for His glory and purpose to reach out to that sister or brother. Don’t yield to the flesh at that moment but yield to Jesus who is working in you by so doing His work inside of you will manifest outwardly through you to will and act to His good purpose.
When you do this, you will notice that the attributes of love as mentioned in the bible will naturally flow from you towards that person and you won’t gratify the desires of the flesh by committing sexual immorality and all its associates. When I talked about submitting to Jesus, it is simply taking up His yoke upon you. It is learning from Him. (Matthew 11:28-29) You will understand this principle very well with this illustration. Going through how animals are yoked together for farm work I came across something online and this is what a farmer said: “each of our teams (cattle) does have an ox who is more willing to work, and one who is willing to let the other do the work.” (Retrieved from https://www.lhf.org/2015/01/training-new-oxen/) Does it pass any message to you as regards what we are talking about?
This is another thing I saw;
Q: The Law of God prohibits the yoking of two animals of different sizes and strengths, such as an ox and a donkey. God also forbids the yoking of two people with opposing natures, such as a believer and an unbeliever. Why then, would God yoke a weak and faulty human being with a powerful and holy God? (See Deuteronomy 7:2–3, 22:10, and II Corinthians 6:14.)
A: The requirement for two beasts of burden to work in harmony under a yoke has caused the phrase “being yoked together” to be used metaphorically in describing an individual’s voluntary submission to another, as in the “yoke” of marriage.
The Law of God forbids the yoking of two animals of different sizes and strengths because to do so would place the smaller, weaker animal in a position of constant pain and pressure. (See Deuteronomy 22:10.) For this reason, Scripture admonishes believers not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Such a yoking would be unworkable bondage and wearisome servitude since the nature of the believer is “unequal” to the nature of an unbeliever. However, as we put on Christ’s yoke, we surrender our wills to His will. The resulting attitude is meekness: the yielding of our rights to God, putting our strength under His control. It is significant that Jesus describes Himself as “meek and lowly in heart” Matthew 11:29 and invites us to learn of Him. (See Matthew 11:29.)
God wants every believer to learn His ways and to develop Christ-like character. When we learn the ways of God, we become strong in the Lord and are no longer “unequally yoked,” for the “way of the LORD is strength to the upright” (Proverbs 10:29). If we are yoked to Jesus, we will learn His ways as we yield to His leadership. As we are conformed to the image of Christ through an intimate knowledge of Him and His ways, we will learn by experience what is that “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). (Retrieved from https://iblp.org/programs/daily-success/command-25-take-my-yoke/study-question)
This is the secret I discovered recently and thought of sharing it with you. I believe you are blessed by this message and I trust God that from this very moment you would not look at yourself anymore but unto God. For “what is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
Cite This Article As: Meshach Idoko. "Turning your lust to love." International Youth Journal, 07. August 2019.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/turning-your-lust-to-love
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/turning-your-lust-to-love