December 8, 2019
Unpacking the baggage of the heart…. Lust
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NLT)
When Pastor Brandon shared the topic was going to be lust, my thought was, “this will be an interesting topic. It doesn’t relate to me, but I’m sure it will help others.” Little did I know, God was about to turn my thinking upside down!
The first point which stuck with me was the definition of lust - An uncontrolled or illicit (sexual desire) or appetite. A passionate or overmastering desire or craving. These cravings can be for money, status, food, power, position, appearance, perception, desired to be known for something you’re not. Uh-oh…. I thought lust was only sexual. Now God had my attention! I needed to start looking inward.
The second point which struck a chord with me was lust is rarely ever the root problem. When lust becomes problematic, it is almost always a manifestation of one of the four enemies of the heart; Unchecked guilt, anger, greed, or jealousy. Those, when left unchecked, will push us toward sexual sin. My question became, “how do these things push me toward sexual sin? How can my anger turn into sexual sin?”
I started thinking back to my own experience as a teenager. I was seeking intimacy, before I even knew who Jesus was! I sought intimacy out in sex outside of marriage. I sought intimacy out in food or withholding food. I had so much anger! I carried this anger with me for years without even knowing it! I didn’t walk around angry. I wasn’t loud, yelling and screaming. I didn’t show the typical characteristics I thought were shown when one was angry. Instead, my anger came out in self- destructive behaviors associated with guilt. The guilt and anger brought tears and depression. But, all of the sudden, my years of self-destructive behavior made sense! I wasn’t doing those things because I was a bad person. I was doing those things because I carried the weight of sin. A weight I wasn’t meant to carry. I had not unpacked my baggage yet!!
At that moment, I closed my eyes and asked God to forgive me for all the years I spent angry and not turning to him. I asked for forgiveness for all the years I felt I didn’t measure up. All the years I lived hating myself and feeling the need to be perfect. Then God gave me a vision. I was standing in a beautiful light with my arms open in worship. God was pouring his love down onto me. His love looked like water rushing over me and covering me. I had my head raised to the sky and His love continued to pour out. He told me I am forgiven, and I no longer must carry the weight of anger. I am free from it. I left church feeling like I had been washed clean and no longer carrying the burden of anger.
I am so glad I was able to deal with this baggage, so this burden was not passed down to my children. I want to make sure I am showing them I go to God first for intimacy. I don’t want to be known as Kelly, the angry lady; Or Kelly, who sought after the perfect body through starvation. I want to be known as Kelly, a lover of Jesus Christ. I want to be one as Kelly the one who follows Him with all her heart. I want to be the “One” who is His light in dark times. I am no longer trading my future for a moment of pleasure. I am keeping my eyes on God and going to Him to meet my need of intimacy and fill any voids in my life. Only then am I whole.