September 21

Job 31:1, 9,11-12 (NIV) 1"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.

9"If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, ...

11For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged. 12It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.

In Job 31, Job began to list the things that he had been faithful with. His friends seem to have thought there must have been some hidden sin somewhere. Job resisted declaring the specifics of his righteousness up to this point, but since they insisted, he began to list all the areas he had already gone over in his own heart.

The first one that was mentioned is lust. Job recognized the destructiveness of lust and made a covenant with his eyes not to look on a girl lustfully. He recognized it as a fire that burned to Destruction. He had probably witnessed that fire in the lives of young men in the city in which he lived. He learned from their sad stories.

In the world today, there are a million excuses to ignore this wise direction. Even though society considers it wrong to consider women as objects, it sets a double standard in flaunting women's bodies in clothing design, in entertainment, and even in its contests for the best woman of an area. If man had difficulty in the days of Job, when women were covered with robes, what are they to do in this day and age? We can do the same as Job. Look at the eyes, the windows of the soul. Refuse to contemplate the person as anything other than an eternal soul that is loved of God. This is as good a plan today for men as it is for women. Don't joke about a desire for the body of another. It is not a laughing matter. It is a fire that burns to Destruction. There are so few that set an example in this area today. It is considered prudish or religious.

Instruction: Set an example for your own sake. Don't become another statistic of the fire that burns to Destruction. Make a covenant today with your eyes!

September 21

Galatians 5:13,16-17 (NIV) 13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Christ has set us free from the rules and regulations of the laws delivered to Moses. Now we have a much more comprehensive guideline, the life of the Holy Spirit. Free from the many details of the law can be misconstrued to be indulgence in the sinful nature. It is just the opposite. It is submission to the Spirit of God. In submitting to the Spirit, we love one another with the love of Jesus. We are willing to lay down our lives for one another. Under the law I could go my own way in selfishness. Under the life of the Spirit I cannot pass my brother in need. Their need becomes mine. I weep with those that weep. I share what I have with those in need. My life becomes a life of service.

If your life flows from the Spirit of God who lives within you, you will not go about trying to gratify your sinful nature. That doesn't mean you will never fail under temptation, it simply means that the driving force of your life has now changed. You once lived only to gratify self. Now you live for God's pleasure, and in doing so love your neighbor as yourself.

The sinful nature and the Spirit have opposing desires. You can't live for them both at the same time. It will put your soul into conflict. One or the other will win out. New creations in Christ do not desire to fulfill their sinful nature's desires. When they fail and do so, they realize it was not what they wanted. If the sinful nature's desires are still what you truly want, you have yet to surrender to the Spirit and become a new creation in Christ. Ask Him to take over the very desires of your heart. Claim the many promises given to those who call on Jesus. They promise a new heart to those who call on Him.

Consider: Is your freedom expressed in service?