Jamaal and Hannah spend hours each day playing video games. Their mother Roxanne*, says it is “okay”—at least they are not doing drugs or out on the street involved with the wrong crowd. Today we have Jamaals and Hannahs in their mid-thirties who devote hours each day to gaming. Their spiritual lives are mediocre and their contribution to advancing heaven’s agenda is abysmal. Their parents let them feed their infatuations when they were younger so long as the obsession was “harmless.” But there is no such thing as a harmless infatuation.
Colossians 3:5—Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
No lust-less people have ever inhabited our planet. The Colossians did not have high tech games to become enslaved to but they fed their appetites with other pleasures. Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire and greed are all related and each rooted to the world. Jesus’ devoted disciple, John, said, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one's lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). Peter, also part of Jesus’ inner circle, warned, “Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you (1 Pe. 2:11). Notice the word choice—“war”; the very word screams that our survival is threatened.
The Apostle Paul explains for us what bad and good infatuation looks like:
For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for it is unable to do so. Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.(Ro. 8:5-8)
Later, Paul instructs his readers,“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires” (Ro. 13:14).
We see why Peter chose the word, “war” when we understand from Paul that what the flesh craves leads to death and is opposed to God. For this reason even a minor fixation must be crushed. There is no such thing as permissible idolatry. Therefore we cannot afford to make allowance for anything that captures our heart and is linked to the world. We are either in flesh or in Christ the two do not harmoniously coexist. Do you find your motivation to follow Jesus ebbing? What fills your mind and has your heart?
There are things I would like to do that I cannot do because I know how weak I am. If I make exception for my flesh and its desires five things consistently happen:
I know that I cannot eliminate infatuation by my strength. The flesh is too strong. The only way I can stay in Christ is to rely on the Holy Spirit for help and to be accountable to saints who will ask me the tough questions and assist me in rooting out any behavior or activity that is meant to burn. I suspect the same is true for you. So what are you putting to death?
Infatuation is the affectionate insanity of a wrong relationship allowed.—Oswald Chambers in Notes on Jeremiah
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)