Lust Ain’t no Lady
Deep within every Christian is the sin nature. When a young man is saved he becomes a new creation. But the operating law of the sin nature is still there in the flesh of a man. The most graphic illustration of this sinful bias is that of the promiscuous woman which Solomon uses here. James uses the same example in his epistle where he carries it even further with the example of the illegitimate child. He precedes this picture with another one - a sort of "double whammy" if-you-please. That's the illustration of the fish who couldn't resist that wiggly worm on the fisherman's hook!
As you will see there are quite a few examples of sin's temptation. I'm afraid there's a serious misconception going around in fundamentalist circles these days that is based on a distortion of positional truth. The thinking goes this way - "if I am secure in Christ, then I needn't concern my self with a consecrated life with Christ - after all, I'm going to go to heaven no matter what." It is not exactly the proposal of Romans 6:1 - it is more subtle than that. This misconception says there are no consequences of my sinful life-style as long as I "confess" my sin.
Many casual Christians think that a consecrated life to Christ is not important - merely an option. While it is true that our salvation is secure in Christ, life in Christ is more than a heavenly fire insurance policy.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
Proverbs 5:11, 12
Prov 5:11 "At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. 12 You will say, "How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!" (NIV)
Perhaps we are jumping the gun a little bit, but there is an important point I wish to make. Our young Christian man has a real danger in neglecting his pursuit of a life that has been consecrated to the Lord and occupied in obedience to his word. That danger is the consequences of sin. It is true that we do not lose our salvation after Christ even though we might fall into a life-style of sin. However, Solomon says here that there are going to be regrets. This is a very important truth: if our young man chooses to disragard biblical discipline and correction, he stands in danger of having the direction of his life take a "spinout" in a way that is ruined and spent. His hopes and dreams will be dashed on the gardrails of sin’s consequences - his life will have been out of control - literally with all his good options removed, facing missed opportunities, perhaps divorce, missing out on what could have been a life of blessing at the hand of his Lord.
Solomon is using the physical vitality of a man's body to make a spiritual point. The issue for the Christian life is not how much a young man can get away with before he gets himself in trouble. Rather, the issue is that God has given this young man a wonderful body and a marvelous soul. He can respond positively to the correction and discipline of his father - his heavenly father and the result will be not only eternal life but a life in the here and now that is filled with vitality. The original is very strong - far too strong for most Christians to take. Suffice it to say that Solomon's point is that there are far-reaching consequences for a young Christian man if he neglects his relationship with his father and his heavenly father - it is an absolute must that he consider that he has an obligation to honor his parents and serve his Lord - there is no other sensible choice!
THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF "LUST.
Prov 5:3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;
Enter the alter-character of Lady Wisdom. Only this character ain't no lady. Solomon really gets our attention with this one. He really rubs our noses in our own sensibilities with this picture. This adulteress is none other than our own lusts. Deep within our bodies lies the sin nature. Sin has no power over us anymore but the allurement can be tremendous - this is why it is so important to actively pursue Lady Wisdom. Without this preoccupation we are easy prey to the adulteress, lust.
Lust attacks us in different ways. First, in physical sensation. There is an expression "if it feels good, do it." This problem can range all the way from the need for material possessions to sexual promiscuity. Another problem is the desire to possess material things. I fear that giving to the church is often diminished because of a Christians desire to have "things" limits their ability of gracious giving to the church. Still another way she tries to get through to us is through emotional well-being. Emotional well being in and of itself is not wrong but an obsession or compulsive behavior to achieve emotional well-being is. There are several areas of behavior that fall into the category of lust:
• Approbation lust
• Power lust
• Sexual lust
• Covetous lust (lust for material possessions or to keep up with popular lifestyle)
Prov 6:24 keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. 25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes,
Now, we are going to use Solomon’s example of sexual lust as it appears depicted by the prostitute but we should not lose sight of the fact that this example is supposed to serve to illustrate the general battle within between "lady lust" and "Lady Wisdom" for the heart of the believer.
THE DANGER OF THE CASUAL CHRISTIAN
Proverbs 7:4-21Prov 7:1 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your kinsman;
Many Christian folk think that there is nothing wrong with the casual approach to the Christian life. The young man in this playlet lacked common sense. His problem was that he did not desire an intimate relationship with Lady Wisdom. The expression "you are my sister" in verse 4 is used to describe the intimate relationship of marriage - not a literal sister. The Jews used this expression to convey intimacy of soul because many marriages of the time lacked it. The young man is to consider the word of God his surrogate spouse until his right woman comes along. This is a must for a young man so that he can protect himself for his right woman and he can protect the women he dates. Until the right spouse comes along he is to devote his entire life to his relationship with Christ and his word.
Prov 7:8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house 9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.
This is not a young man with a purpose - he is just walking. Like many Christians today who are taking their relationship with Christ in a casual manner, he was in the neighborhood of sin but not sinning, at least he was not sinning deliberately - just being stupid. Casual Christianity places the Christian in sin's neighborhood. Once there opportunity easily affords herself.
Four Areas of Concern for Our Young Man
The Christian Is to concern himself with three areas of his life;
Prov 6:21a "Bind them upon your heart forever;..." Prov 7:3b "...write them on the tablet of your heart
First, there is the heart. It is in the heart that we must bank the treasure of God's word. It is from the heart the wellspring of life gives vitality, capacity for life. To bind God's word is to tie them to your heart in such a way that his word is a constant reminder of his holy consecration to the Lord.
Prov 6:21b "...fasten them around your neck."
It is the neck that turns us with purpose. Before we look we must turn the neck - God's word must be fastened to the neck - every area of our life should be under the discipline of his word.
Prov 7:2b "...guard my teachings as the apple of your eye."
Then there is the look - the eye-gate can be the tool of "lust" in a powerful way. One example of the eye-gate coming under the control "lust" is through pornography. Christian young men can become addicted to pornography with disastrous results. There are many ways that "lust" can deceive a young man. Disaster lurks at each turn.
Prov 5:3 Bind them on your fingers;
Finally we must bind God's word on our fingers. It is the fingers that do the work of the Lord. These same fingers can fulfil lust's desires. Our young man is urged to remind his fingers that to fulfill lust's desires can lead to his distruction. Next time, a graphic picture of lust's temptation in action...
| How to Discover God's Will | Are all the Parts Working? | Jesus Our Wisdom | The Value of Jesus' Word | God's School of Hard Knocks | Father's Day Special | The Child who Honors | Lady Lust Ain't no Lady | Lady Lust, Part 2 |