So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. – 1 Timothy 2:22
Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 2
The writer of Proverbs would agree with Paul: the answer to lust is to run hard in the opposite direction. A serious Christian response would be to recognize the gateways in our lives that tend to allure us to lust and provide a strong defense. Walking is not enough; we are called to run and flee. When I reported smelling gas in our house foyer, the gas company came the same day. Their first response was not to search for a leak: it was to shut off the gas at the source.
There are practical steps we can take, including internet filters and accountability programs for ourselves and our children. But we need to go deeper. Sexual sin is by its nature selfish, it turns in on itself. Surely part of the solution is to look on my neighbour with respect, to pursue meaningful relationships, especially in the church, and to look outside of myself to ways in which I can serve others.
This cannot remain a lonely battle. We need to help one another and pray for each other. It is an issue facing the entire church and we need to stand up to it together.
It will not be enough to avoid sexual sin. We must pursue something better, develop an appetite for real love, real pleasure in God’s good gifts, and ultimately real joy in Jesus Christ Himself.
Suggestions for prayer
“I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and Thou alone canst give me the thing desired.” – The Valley of Vision: Longings After God
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.