Last time, I wrote about having true joy over earthly pleasures. But my flesh doesn’t just desire pleasure – it also desires evil. The flesh in me wishes ill on others. The flesh in me wants things that are not good for me. The flesh in me hopes for the pieces to fall in place so that I can cheat my way out of something. Didn’t we already talk about how my flesh wants and wants and wants?
And there is an enemy who loves my flesh and its incessant desires. This enemy is real. His name is Satan.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, NIV)
Do you remember Cain? He brought his offering to the Lord, and for whatever reason, it was not pleasing to Him. If you were Cain, how would you have reacted when God called you to the carpet? I would have been embarrassed, upset, and trying to cover for the reason my offering wasn’t acceptable. Cain? He got angry:
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7, NIV)
My fleshly desires, if allowed, open a tiny crack for that prowler to stick a toe in. “It desires to have you…” This is what Satan wants. He wants me to slip – to open the door a crack – to let sin takeover for a split second so he can fling the door wide open and clinch me.
Don’t miss our good God’s subtle mention of grace. He says, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” But he doesn’t say “If you do not do what is right, you will not be accepted.” – No! He says you are in danger. While I let sin creep in and watch my life disintegrate into a fleshly toilet, God is waiting – waiting to take us back into his arms, to lift our downcast face, and restore us.
Come back Tuesday for the last part of the Desire series, and we’ll find out what exactly our God wants.
Oh Lord, save me from myself. You have already redeemed me, and that means the enemy can’t snatch me out of Your hand. But he does want to destroy my witness to the world for you. Protect me from the lie that says a little sin won’t hurt.