James 4: 1-10 Read with me: ” What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. Your are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’ So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
Now, I’d like to share the footnotes for verses 3 – 6: “There is nothing wrong with wanting a pleasurable life. God gives us good gifts that he wants us to enjoy. But having friendship with the world involves seeking pleasure at others’ expense or at the expense of obeying God. Pleasure that keeps us from pleasing God is sinful; pleasure from God’s rich bounty is good. The cure for evil desires is humility. Pride makes us self-centered and leads us to conclude that we deserve all we can see, touch, or imagine. It creates greedy appetites for far more than we need. We can be released from our self-centered desires by humbling ourselves before God, realizing that all we really need is his approval. When the Holy Spirit fills us, we see that this world’s seductive attractions are only cheap substitutes for what God has to offer.”
Why does our flesh at times yearn for the sensual fleshly desires? It is addiction? Do we like cheap thrills so much that we think we can get away with it? Or, at least enjoy the desire for one more time before we might give it up? Governor Sanford, of SC, after being caught in an adulterous affair asked his wife, “can I go and visit my mistress?” Jenny Sanford told the AP she learned about the affair in January when she came across a copy of a letter her husband wrote his mistress. In later months, her husband asked several times to visit the other woman, requests she denied, the first lady said, “It’s one thing to forgive adultery; it’s another thing to condone it,” she told AP during an exclusive interview soon after the governor revealed the affair.” And, without her knowledge, he did go!”
19 thoughts on “Sensual fleshly desires”
These are sobering scriptures Needles that we should really heed and examine. Pride is a serious thing and leads to untold trouble like Needles says above ,”God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’
He opposes it…He hates it. Proverbs 8:13 says To fear the LORD is to hate evil;I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
We have to seek after God’s ways to please Him and be His friend or we bring harm to ourselves and others that can lead to spiritual shipwreck.
vs.36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”
Galatians 5 says if you walk in the flesh you will fulfill the lust of the flesh. Sounds like Governor and all of us at times desire it and because we want it we get it. And, the consequences are dire… Vs. 19…”Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The words in the Scripture verse in some bible translations…. immorality, impurity, indecency, speak of gross lasciviousness and the degradation and moral decay of the human spirit when it subjects itself to the dictates of the flesh. The addiction to immorality leads to amorality, lack of good conscience, reason and self-control and very quickly ‘anything goes ‘ becomes the way of life. If there is not true repentance, true deliverance and a clinging to the one true God…a fleshly life ends up in the pit because the flesh can never be satisfied. It cannot be tamed and it cannot be compromised with. It is a dictator and a tyrant and it will take you to hell in short order time…..hell on earth and the eternal hell. Only in living by the Spirit of the living God with Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior can a person addicted to the lust of the flesh and the pride of life be delivered and then….as it says in the book of Job…”.by the skin of our teeth.”
We studied about those that satisfy themselves or serve themselves in “Dressing for His Glory, Lesson 6- Clouds of Rain Bring Showers of Blessing” at The Daily Lily Retreat ’09. They were classified as ‘teachers, professors, clouds without water’.
As I read on further in Jude about ‘false teachers’ it said:
“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. ” Jude 16-19
It seems black and white to me.If we truly live or abide in the Spirit we are not sensual. So it seems anything done not by the Spirit of God living through us or having His way is living a sensual life.
Needles quoted James, “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.”
This leads me to believe that we don’t get our prayers answered if we are not in proper relationship with God and with one another.
Yes, Sara, James tells us that we have not because we ask amiss to consume it upon our own lusts….to use it for our exclusive pleasure. Remember you were telling us that greed opens the door to every evil. Then I remembered the scripture….’the LOVE of money is the root of all evil….What is that? It’s greed! You spoke rightly when you said that GREED …avaricious acquisition….shuts out effective communication with the living God and with His Body.
This part of Needles text ‘purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world’ says to me that we have to wholly follow Him if we are going to walk in the Spirit and experience the dynamic life that Jesus says is ours if we obey His commandments. If we compromise, our heart is divided. If our heart is divided, our mind must be divided, our being is not whole or healthy. God tells us to love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind.
“Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father’s love is not in him.” I John 2:15
In Psalm 86 David says, “teach me Your way O Lord that I may live and walk in Your truth; direct and UNITE my heart to fear and honor Your Word.
I will confess and praise You with my WHOLE UNITED HEART and glorify Your Name, forevermore.”
Jesus said, ‘when your eye is single (minded) your are full of light but if not then you are in darkness. To be single-mindedly focused on the Lord without compromise brings light, exposure and out of the NEGATIVE He can bring deliverance and the WHOLE picture.
If my heart is UNDIVEDED then my allegiance goes to only one PERSON. But If it is divided between Heaven and earth then, as James tells us, don’t expect to get anything from God thru your prayers.
Unite my heart, Holy Spirit, so that my being is not divided into little pieces all over the place….scatter-seed! In Jesus’ Name
It came to my mind as I was writing the above comment…’don’t feel deprived of a pleasure that you’ve missed because you chose to overcome and not to partake, etc. There’ll be another one right around the corner. They come in batches and they come fast and furiously. If we
can keep our hearts united with the Lord we will have plenty of opportunities to overcome temptations, win in testings and trials and that victory in Christ Jesus far exceeds any earthly pleasure.
Needles wrote above: ‘Come close to God, and God will come close to you.’
Jesus shows us in John 15 just how close we can be to God. We learned about this close relationship in Sara’s book, ‘Dressing for His Glory, Lesson 4, The Garden of the Lord @ Retreat ’09’. We can be as close as a branch is to the vine upon which it grows. It is possible because Jesus said it was. We must choose to remain in the Vine by learning His words to us and obeying His commands. He will help us because He prayed for us and still intercedes for us: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)
As we learn and stay steady to stay close to Him, the Vine, He says we will produce the fruit of the Vine found in Galations 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Debi, interesting concept you have spoke of on producing the fruit of the vine from Galatians 5, ie fruit of the Spirit. MG has asked in new blog (just above) basically do we display each characteristic individually ? Not sure I understand the word produce in relationship to MG’s display? Hum, I am all mixed up?
Regarding the words display and produce. Sara, in your lesson 4 you asked “What fruit will we bear if we dwell in the Vine, according to Galations 5:22 -23?” I used the word produce above. Webster’s Online dictionary defined bear fruit as: bear fruit : to come to satisfying fruition, production, or development.
Produce means: to bear, make, or yield something
The dictionary said display meant:
1 a : to put or spread before the view b : to make evident c : to exhibit ostentatiously. It also said it was from an Anglo-French desplaier, desploier, literally, to unfold.
Display each individually? Not all fruit ripens at same time on a tree or vine so perhaps displayed at different times yet all there being produced or developing in the vine.
I am still trying to find out why this man, this Christian man, a governor, a husband, and father wants to have a lover/soul mate to complete his family circle. I read that his wife has said his lover/soul mate relationship is an addiction like drugs or pornography.
If it is an addiction does it fall in the category as sin or sickness? Would this affect the way we pray for him, others and maybe ourselves? I have heard words are cheap. Any one can use them but when we come face to face with situations and need real answers and help words are what?
From the words of Gal. 5:19 adultery is a work of the flesh. And all works of fleshly lust are sin. Addiction to “sin” is a sin…whether it is a one-time impulse or a chronic condition…sin is sin. Paul says in Romans 2:22…(paraphrase) ‘you who teach (as one in leadership) another do you not teach yourself? If you are a leader of the people and a representative of theirs for law & order and teach that adultery is adverse to a healthy and lawful society do you blantantly commit adultery before the nation? Verse 23 says, You who are a lawmaker for the people do you not dishonor God when you break the law at will?
There is a saying, like people, like priests. i.e. if our elected, supposedly esteemed leaders of our precious nation are adlulterers or greedmongers or chronic liars or if they lust for power to the detriment of their fellow citizens, what will the NATION OF PEOPLE eventually become?
Yes, as Sara says, we must pray. 2 Chron. 7:14 says, “If the people who are called by My Name will HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways …. TURN from their wicked ways… then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ”
If anyone is guilty along with our illustrious leaders, it is GOD’S people who will not take time to humble and pray, seek and turn. We have the answer, most blessed above all peoples….God’s people. But do we do it? Do I do it?
If we know what to do and do not do it, isn’t that sin?
God told Benny Hinn, as he reiterated on one of his broadcasts a couple of weeks ago…. GOD SAID TO HIM….”You KNOW WHAT TO DO. DON’T ASK ME” Benny reiplied, “Yes, I do know what to do, Lord, get on my face and seek the Holy Spirit as in the beginning.
Jesus told us in Revelation to the church at Ephesus….I have this one thing against you…you have lost your FIRST LOVE. See how far you have fallen and repent or I will come and remove your candlestick…(your light of the Holy Spirit) from you. My bible says that today the church at Ephesus is “gone”. If we don’t get on our faces and seek the Holy Spirit our land will be even more filled with fornicators and adulterers who hold high offices and like Dr. Pentecost told us in his presentation video, just like Rome we are destined for a great fall….this great nation, because we would NOT pray.
Oh, Lilies, pray we must, lest we experience the fate of HUMPTY DUMPTY.
In prayer I got that we must guard against glorifying “CELEBRITY SIN”; the sins of movie luminaries, tv stars, music idols and political personages.
It’s everywhere we look. It is glamorized. It screams at us on magazine covers at the check out counters, on TV and the opening pages of our computers and our children see it and evenually emulate it.
How do we GUARD AGAINST, I ask the Lord. Pray against it. Those of us who stand before students in a classroom….model the Christian life in all we present to the children. Let it be known that there is an alternate life-style other than the lusty, immoral ones they see every day on TV or on their computers.
Many children have told me, in an impudent fashion, that their “heroes” are the superstar “bad guys & girls” of scandalous fame that we hear about and see on the news, daily. Proverbs says, “as the twig is bent so the tree is inclined”. Stop celebrating sin.
In Sara’s book, “The Dance of Healing, the Ultra-Healing Spirit Comes From Within’ she spoke about addictions. From how I understand what she wrote, there is a reason for why they start and how they may be able to be avoided if we can see or help others see the warning signs.
“Let’s discover together the essential stages of excavating those deep longings that are within each of us. When left unattended these longings may at times take the form of addictions, thereby distorting our creativity.”
So my understanding is if we find ourselves longing for something or someone other than the Lord and His commandments, we are probably headed for trouble. He is to be our source of longing and our idol. Only He can satisfy the deep longings. Crying out for Him and wanting more and more of Him leads to Life. Conversely, longing for things or others can never satisfy. We will only want more and more but never get the longing truly met because we were made to have it met in God.
Matthew 15:19 “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultry, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
Matthew tells what defiles us. God is separate from the sins that defile us. If we don’t cleans our soul daily by getting on my knees and asking forgiveness, evil will defile our soul and body. It leaves a door opened for Satan and his demons to come in and take control. Next thing we know we are involved with sinful things that we would have never thought possible. With satan at the reigns, we become brain washed and addicted to evil and we don’t care. We are out of control without total surrender to God. When satan is behind us we don’t care about anything but what we want. Our desires drive us right to “HELL”!!!!! 2 Peter 2:10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling.” God is authority and we need to beg for forgivness everyday. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord daily. After reading about the Governor and many others like him, what makes us think this couldn’t happen to us. (maybe our pride?) Without God daily 24/7 it can. Without God, it will. Satan’s time is limited and he is out to get us daily. So we need to hid from him under the cleansing blood of Jesus. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!
Chickenfarmer, you sure know how to make one feel a little fear of doing wrong and that is good! I have been thinking about your comment in totality and I thought how many times we think we can talk to God and continue to disobey authority that God has placed over us while we journey on earth.
Hebrews 13:17 NIV “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
What do you think of this scripture?
Sara, I think you are right on time with those wise words from Hebrews. Romans also has some wise words on authority……Romans 13:1-2 “1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.”
1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD BUT FAVORS THE HUMBLE.””
When we rebell against those of authority, we rebell against God. Our pride grows bigger and stronger and changes our focus from submission to pride. We focus on “how could they treat me like that, I deserve better.” This turns the focus off of God onto “me” and “I”. We may not like it but God puts people of authority in our life for a reason. God is authority.