“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple. You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.’” David, Psalm 27:4, 8
Yes, it’s possible to be a man after God’s own heart and still struggle with lust.
David was such a man. He loved and worshipped the LORD. Nothing brought Him greater joy or stirred greater longing in him than to behold the beauty of the LORD. And yet, there was Bathsheba. With his gaze directed at her, his yearning followed, and his actions after that are some of the most despicable we see in scripture. Adultery to gratify his desire. A plot of murder to cover his tracks.
1 John 3:3 says, “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Does that mean that if we’re clicking on that site again, or making that illicit phone call… we don’t hope in Jesus?
Ultimately, when you’re His, you’re His. Period. Nothing shakes that. But, what’s happening when we turn toward this world instead of Him, is our hope–our waiting, longing and confident expectation–is no longer fixed on Him but has wandered elsewhere.
Think of Peter, walking on water with his gaze fixed on Jesus. When his eyes veer, his feet slip.
Today if you find your thoughts drifting from the LORD and rerouting to a favorite fantasy, if you find your eager anticipation is not set on the Most Compelling Beauty but on another, cry out with Peter, “LORD save me!” (Matthew 14:30).
Now, maybe Peter shouldn’t have gotten out of the boat in the first place, or maybe he should’ve focused more sincerely. Whatever the “should”s may be, the point is Jesus steps in with grace and strength to pull him out of the wind and waves, as well as truth and reproof to discipline him in love. “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him. and said to him ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:31). Weakness does not surprise or offend Jesus. When we falter, He’s there. When we cry out, He reaches for us.
So cry out, out loud. People may give you strange looks, but that’s called being undignified, and the LORD loves to be worshipped that way (also a David quality). Sing if you have to, wail if you have to, run out the door if you have to.
One last thing about David… that whole Bathsheba story? That happened when he was supposed to be at war. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re under an all out spiritual attack. If we’re not fighting, we’re dying.
Worship, prayer and the Word of God slash the bonds of lust. As you take up your sword against temptation, strike for strike, sparks will fly, you’ll grow weary, it’ll be hard. It is such a battle. But every time you feel as though you might be defeated, He will draw you up to meet His gaze again.
And that’s all worship really is. Turning toward Him in the heat of battle. Fixing our hope on Him, moment by moment.
“For my eyes are toward You, O GOD, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless. Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, And from the snares of those who do iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I pass by safely.” David, Psalm 141:8-10