The world should not be a ring where we come with our lusts and fight to satisfy them. All the conflicts we see around are as a result of our desperately wicked hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Our hearts are in an adequate supply of the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16). We love the world, and consequently, the Love of the Father is not in us (1 John 2:15). The love that is swelling in us is worldly, and that kind of love has nothing to do with God.
Our hearts have become a beehive of the Lust of the flesh, and Paul warns us in Galatians against succumbing to this kind of Lust.
The acts of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Lust of the eyes has its roots deeply buried in our hearts. That is why we covet. That is why Adam and Eve looked at the forbidden fruit and saw it was delightful to the eye. Pornography, material possessions, status, appearance etc. are some of the things we entertain visually, and they finally give birth to conflicts and fighting.
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunning,
2 Samuel 11:2
So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed, sulking and refused to eat.
1 King 21:4
Pride of life, which has its seat in our hearts, has so bewitched us that we can kill and maim for it. We run after the glory that belongs to God. We covet for a big name and respect that we do not really deserve. The sense of self-importance is so pronounced in us that we fail to apprehend that other humans are as important as we are.
The Christian worldview teaches that we are all equal before God.
We hunger for power so that we can control people and have bragging rights. The Bible teaches that the greatest of them all must be the least of them. Service to the people cannot be planted in the land of self-worship.
Pride is the sin that was found in Satan and led to his downfall.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Highest.”
We are fighting, and we may keep doing so until we find the Love of God. Children are fighting their parents. Parents are fighting their children. Husbands are fighting their wives and wives are fighting their husbands.
Families are pitied against families.
Tribes are incited against tribes.
Races are fighting against races.
We are fighting because our hearts are full of lusts. That is the brute fact.
We cannot afford to allow these strange things to continue tormenting us. The Lust of the Flesh, The Lust of the Eyes and The Pride of life are killing us daily. Soon we will be no more unless we run back to God.
The Book of Genesis opens with the same kind of temptations meted on Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve formed the Lust of the flesh and the Lust of the eyes when they saw the tree was good for food and was pleasant to the eyes.
They swelled with pride when they imagined how they would end up – wise – after eating the fruit.
The lies planted in their hearts by Satan gained a foothold, and they flopped miserably.
In the New Testament, we find one guy who did not allow these shenanigans in His heart. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. After fasting for 40 days, the same Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve, approached Jesus with an identical recipe. He tried to plant in Jesus’ heart the Lust of the flesh by asking Him to make bread out of stone. He went ahead and tried to persuade Jesus that the kingdoms of the world were appealing and he would get them if He worshipped him. It was unsuccessful.
Lastly, he wanted Jesus to develop pride by asking Him to abuse the powers He had – falling down from the pinnacle of the temple.
In all these, Jesus overcame by applying Scriptures.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they loved not their lives unto the death.
Revelation 12:11 (KJV)
Christians have a solemn and onerous duty of outsmarting the Evil one and spreading the Good News of Jesus. This will fix conflicts in families, communities, nations and the world as the LORD wills.
The study of the scriptures is supreme to any Christian who wants to subdue lusts and pride. The scriptures open us to the Truth of God. This Truth is our phenomenal weapon; it obliterates every lie and sets the record straight.
Apart from studying Scripture, we find that Jesus was not just lazing around and watching birds in Kakamega Forest or latest movies on HBO. Jesus had his priorities right. He was just finishing the prayer and fasting when the Tempter dared Him. We are called to a life of prayer and fasting. This is not convenient, but Jesus never promised us an indulgent life here on earth: He only promised an abundant life, which is eternal. He said that the Kingdom of God had suffered violence since the time of John the Baptist and the violent ones took it by force (Matthew 11:12). These matters demand intentional, purposeful and determined action. My prayer is that God will help us do this and more for the glory of His name. In this way, these strange things we read, see and hear happening in families, communities, nations and the world at large, will not catch us square.