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When Desire becomes Lust

When Desire becomes Lust

By Lori Robbins

I was having a bit of a Bible study with Jerry this morning and was amazed at how God spoke to my heart concerning a certain someone I had spent some time trying to counsel but felt inadequate in doing so yesterday.  After they left, I spent a while in prayer asking God to help me help them understand what I had said.  I am not a Bible scholar but I know God’s Word holds secrets for those of us who belong to Him yet I failed this person by not doing just that---going to His word.  Odd right?  

God later spoke to me through my husband and a particular passage of Scripture he shared with me.  

PLEASE PRAY before reading the rest of this blog.  Be receptive to God’s word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.  Take a deep breath and then finish reading this.

YOU DID WHAT I SAID RIGHT?  Ok, now go read Numbers chapter 11.  Yep the entire chapter.

You read it right?  

Basically, the Israelite's were complaining to Moses about food even though God provided for them with manna from heaven.  Still the people were not happy with how God was providing.  They wanted meat. Moses then gets so fed up he starts to complain too but he goes and complains to God as if God does not already hear the moans of these ungrateful children already.  

Moses was aggravated, probably in a state of exasperation, and surely overwhelmed because we must remember there were about 2 million people all standing in the doorway of their tents complaining and murmuring.  Can you just imagine the noise from 2 million whining people!

Moses says to God in verse 15 after a good pity party, “If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me.  Do me a favor and spare me this misery!” 

Ever felt like that?  I sure have and probably pretty recently.  God helps Moses by telling him to choose 70 men to help him–you can re-read this in verses 16 through 20.

In verse 21& 22 we read where Moses—who BTW audibly heard God’s voice, who experienced the burning bush, who wrote as God Himself dictated the Ten Commandments--not once but twice, who followed God through fire by night and a cloud by day as he led 2 million people to freedom, who had a deeply personal relationship with God—still Moses questioned God’s ability.  This man saw God as no one had before.  He was even allowed to see God’s backside!  I do not know about you but I am guilty of saying, “Boy if I had experienced God the way Moses did I would never question His existence. ”  Yet here was Moses questioning God’s power after experiencing it in many miraculous ways.  

Take a moment and think back on the miracles God has already performed in your life.  I remember a big one in my life.  My daughter and I had spent three days fasting and praying together for a particular wrong that occurred in her life.  She was being mistreated and was crushed. I was a mama who was mad God allowed this to be especially in a place of ministry.  She and I took it to God.  

After three days, God spoke to us during an intense prayer session.  One year later—almost to the day—He did exactly what He said He would do during that prayer session.  There are so many other things I have prayed about and God, in His grace and love for me, has answered in my favor yet still I have days where I felt like Moses.  Have you?

Now here is what really spoke to me.  In verse 23 God is speaking and He asks Moses this question, “…Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!’”

BAM!  What happened here?  Moses had lost his faith in God.  Did God change suddenly after all the previous miracles He had done? Did He lose His power?  

It is easy to trust God when we see His mighty acts—as Moses and the Israelite's did time after time—and answers our prayers speedily, but after a while, while performing the routine of our daily lives, His strength may appear to us as diminishing.   Listen, God does not change but our view of Him often does.  Our day-to-day living lulls us into forgetting how powerful God can be especially when we pray.  

As Moses learned, God’s strength is always available. We read about this in the remaining verses as God pours out His Holy Spirit—the same Spirit He gave to Moses—upon 70 other men.  God provided the help Moses’ needed and He will provide the help we need too!

Does the story end there?  Unfortunately it does not.  

While God did provide the meat the Israelite's were crying out for, in verses 31 through 35 we read about how the people became lustful for meat.  The manna God was already providing had ceased to be enough for them.  (BTW--Lust does not have to mean sexual.)  The people did not gather just enough meat to satisfy them for the day—which is how God had instructed them concerning the manna—the people got greedy.  They gathered much more than they needed and gorged themselves on it and many became sick and died.  Not the happily ever after ending we all hope for yet teaches us a valuable lesson.  

God promises to provide for us daily.  He knows what we need before we even ask.  He wants us to trust Him in and for everything but on a daily basis.  You see, the children of Israel desire for meat was not wrong in and of its self; however, their sin was allowing their desire for meat to turn into a lust for meat was evident by their constant complaining and groaning.  They were not thanking God for the food He was already providing because they grew tired of it.  They felt they had a right to have fine food and they became so lustful for it they could not think of anything else and allowed it to consume them.  

Often times we do the same thing.  As believers we think we have a right to something—a healing, a better jobs, better life circumstances, etc.  We grow tired of where we are instead of thanking God for where He has us.  And when we become so preoccupied with something and allow it to affect our perspective on everything else especially things concerning our relationship with the power of our heavenly Father, we have moved from desire to lust.

God says He wants to give us the ‘desires’ of our hearts not the lust of our hearts.  We must not allow our desires to become lusts for if we do we can be sure our Father in Heaven-who wants nothing but the best for us--will chastise us in order to bring us back into communion with Him. We must have faith He knows better than we do what is best for us and desire more of Him in our lives.  

Should we desire a healing?  Should we desire His blessings?  Of course we should so long as our desires do not become lust as lust can then become an idol because we place it before the power of our God.  As believers we have to have a faith which understands and believes God is in control of every single area of our lives.  He truly does have it all under control.  

Always loving our Lord,
Lori Robbins

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