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August 5, 2009 / beidson

Hibernating Lust: How To Kill It Without Waking It

I know you’re awake right now, but in reality, at least part of you is probably asleep.  And the scary thing is that the part of you thatbear cave is now asleep presents the greatest danger.  Deep in all of our hearts is hidden lust.  Like a hibernating bear, it has made a bed to lie in until the time is right for it to come out.  Though it is silent now as it sleeps, make no mistake, the time will come when it will not be silent anymore.

Like a trick candle, lust flares up with full vengeance after we think we have snuffed it out.  We must continually keep our eyes out for the slightest movement of it in our hearts.  Though we cannot see it burning, be assured, it burns, so we must pour the water of the Word on it at every moment, or it will consume us when we least expect it.  Like a hibernating bear, it doesn’t appear to be dangerous, but after a season, it will come out with a fierce hunger to devour.

And how is it that we kill lust without waking it up?  We must be more sly than the serpent.  The snake-king is devious and clever, but if we have the mind of Christ, God will show us the way of escape.  There are times when killing sin will mean running away from it, especially when it is sexual temptation we are confronted with.  At other times, we must pounce on our sin while it is not bothering us, understanding that it is only waiting for an opportunity to overcome us.  So we enter the cave.  We find the hibernating lust.  And we murder it.  This will happen in a million ways.  We walk into the kitchen and kiss our wives and speak kind, tender words at the moment we would rather complain.  We keep our cool when our kids disobey us for the tenth time in as many minutes; we discipline with loving patience, though anger would boil over if we would let it.  We bypass the magazine stand or candy isle or alcohol section because we know how we are tempted and we will not give Satan that advantage.  In a multitude of ways we must go into the cave and kill the sin before it comes out to kill us.

But we must not awaken our sin in our attempt to kill it.  We do not run into temptation in order to overcome it.  We do not walk into a liquor store so that we can learn to resist liquor.  We do not go to the local doughnut shop so that we can refine our desire to eat with wisdom.  We do not go to strip clubs to share the gospel.  We must be smart, not suicidal.  Beating the flesh into a pulp requires careful, prayerful precision, and it must always be done in humility.  He who thinks he stands will fall.

As you examine your life by the light of God’s Word and uncover hidden pockets of hibernating lust, do not wait to kill it–“Spring” is coming and lust will come out of hiding.  Go after it in humility, and put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit.  Remember, the flesh wars against the Spirit like a roaring lion.  There will be blood, so crucify your flesh before it leaves you lying in a pool of blood.  Do not turn your back on your flesh, but stand with Jesus, the One who has conquered sin in the flesh.

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