We live in a society in which we have movies on demand, instant hot water, meals in minutes through microwave technology, we are immediately connected with hundreds of people through social media, and we have endless libraries of information instantaneously at our fingertips through the internet. The problem arises when we demand these same instant results in our walk with the Lord. It is spiritual lust, and it is an infection in American Christianity.
It is also no doubt technology is moving at this rapid speed as well. No sooner do they announce the latest and greatest gadget, they are already announcing a next generation of it.
While this is beneficial in some sectors of our lives, it becomes poisonous to our spiritual life. We expect our spiritual maturity and answers from God to be as instantaneous as the advancement of technology, but we must live our spiritual lives one day at a time, one season at a time.
We have allowed the on demand features of our culture to invade our relationship with the Lord. We suffer from an infection known as spiritual lust in which we demand answers and results from God now.
In his classic devotional My Utmost For His Highest Oswald Chambers makes the statement,
Lust means — I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God who gives the answer.
Physical Lust and Spiritual Lust
When we dissect the plague of pornography that has invaded almost every sector of media, we can see that it is a physical lust demanding instant pleasure for self. Pornography is based in lust, self-satisfaction, self-service, and instantaneous results of pleasure without connection with another, and without the effort it takes to build relationship between husband and wife.
The concepts of physical lust have crept into our walk with the Lord and caused us to demand the same instantaneous answers from God. We have made God into a genie to answer our requests. He has become a “website of spiritual pornography” that we visit when we want or need something; when we need a “fix.”
I could not walk up to Bill Gates to demand a million dollars, or even a thousand dollars. I have no relationship with Him. Even if I did have relationship with him, it is solely up to his discretion on how to proceed.
We have lost the importance of building the deepest of relationships with God. He desires fellowship with his creation, not because he has need of us, but because he desires relationship with us, and expression through us. He is not a prostitute for us to pay our dues to and get what we want from Him as the prosperity gospel promotes.
God is Holy; He is righteous; He is omnipotent and omnipresent; He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. There is none above Him and none beside Him. We cannot give God ultimatums such as answer our requests when we demand or we walk away.
We cannot demand of Him without relationship. In reality we can demand nothing of Him. Scripture tells us to make our requests known to God through prayer and petition. If he chooses to answer in the same accord in which we think it should be answered is up to him. Lust gives a relationship no depth.
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned comes from the story of Lazarus. Frank Viola points it out in a few of his messages but also in his book God’s Favorite Place On Earth. It has stuck with me ever since. He said,
If you’ve not yet met the God who refuses to meet all your expectations, you will. And how you react in that day will reveal whether you are worshipping Jesus Christ or Santa Clause. (see John 6:26) It will show whether or not you love God more than His promises (or your interpretation of those promises).
Lazarus was sick and Jesus delayed until four days after his death to show up. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were some of the Lord’s most beloved people with whom he spent much time. Their expectation was that He would come immediately upon hearing of Lazarus’ sickness.
He refused to meet their expectations.
But, He did it to the glory of God.
This is a simple example why Christians should not believe in Karma. You can’t do for God and expect an immediate return all the time. Our relationship with God is not based on Newton’s third law of motion. This is why I do not believe in the prosperity gospel as well. It makes God in to our sugar daddy, rather than our Abba Father.
He is Working Out The Details
We become so worried, or even angry at times, when God does not answer our prayers instantaneously as if He were our movie on demand.
Paul reminds us in Romans that God is working out all the details of our lives for good. We shouldn’t come to God just when we need something. He is already taking care of that. We should spend time with him as a man would his wife, or two friends conversing regularly and strengthening the bond of relationship.
God’s idea of good often looks different than what our instantaneous and spiritually lustful concept of good looks like. He sees beyond our immediate, and is preparing our lives to always bring greater glory to Himself. He is in the midst of chiseling living stones to be built together for His house.
Spiritual lust is not only a matter of the spirit, but a matter of the heart as well. We must under go a heart operation via the great physician. He not only heals our bodies, but our soul and spirit as well; and sometimes the physician must make incisions within the Spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to dissect us through soul surgery and remove the spiritual lust that infects our spirit.
May we seek to know the gift giver regardless of His gifts. May we desire to know the intimate relationship he intends, beyond the depths of His pockets, or the expanse of His reach. May we the saints, the body and the bride seek intimate spiritual relationship with Christ above all else.
Friends, may we pray the same prayer that David prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.