Scripture: I Tim. 6:6-12
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. This is God’s demand and this is God’s gift. It is all of grace. That’s why the only fight we fight is the fight of faith—the fight to rest so fully in the grace of God—to be so satisfied with the glory of God—that temptation to sin loses its power over us.
The battle against lust is the battle against unbelief. The crucial verses here are verses 5 and 8. We only have time to look at verse 5. In verse 5 Paul says, ” . . . not in the passion of lust like heathen [i.e., the Gentiles] who do not know God.” Do you see what that implies about the root of lust? Not knowing God is the root cause of lust. Take a wife (or: control your body) not in the passion of lust because that is what people do who don’t know God.
Paul doesn’t mean that mere head knowledge about God overcomes lust. In Mark 1:24 Jesus is about to cast a demon out of a man when the unclean spirit cries out, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” In other words, Satan and his hosts have some very accurate knowledge of God and Jesus, but that is not the kind of knowledge Paul has in mind here.
The knowledge he has in mind here is knowledge of God described in 2 Corinthians 4:6—”the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (see Galatians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Peter 1:3-4). It’s the knowledge of God’s greatness and worth and glory and grace and power. It’s knowledge that stuns you, and humbles you. It’s knowledge that wins you and holds you.
It comes like it did for Lydia when the Lord opened the eyes of her heart. At one moment you think you will burst with its fullness, and suddenly there is a chasm of longing for more. It’s the knowledge we call faith—the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.
It’s a knowledge that is so real, so precious, so satisfying to your soul, that any thought, any attitude, any emotion, any addiction which threatens to hinder this knowledge will be attacked with all the spiritual zeal of a threatened life. This is the fight of faith that rages in the godly soul when lust lures the mind away from God.
The way to fight lust is to feed faith with the knowledge of an irresistibly glorious God.
Do you know God this morning? Are you growing week by week in the knowledge of God’s greatness? Do you meditate on his Word day and night? Do you ponder the pictures of his Son in the gospels? Do you read solid books about his character and his ways? Do you look at everything in your day as his creation? Do you pray for a sensitive heart that can be ravished by the revelation of his glory?
I call you to make those commitments now for the sake of your own soul and for the glory of God.