The Greatest Enemy

The Greatest Enemy

“Partial obedience is the greatest enemy of obedience.”  Charles Stanley made this comment in a sermon recently, flashing this phrase on the television screen, so it could be remembered.

God is not asking you to do the impossible.

You may not think that this truth—when it comes to lust—applies to you, especially if you are:

  • Not looking at porn.
  • Giving up very sinful behaviors such as having illicit affairs.

However, to be obedient when it comes to lust requires much more from you.

Lust is a much deeper sin than anything you do that is visible.  It worms its way into the heart, is acted upon in the heart and will ultimately take root in the heart.  It is adultery in the heart.

Removing lust from the heart is not a piecemeal process.

Consider the prescription for lust found in God’s Word:

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, lust, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  (Colossians 3:5-6)

When we are obedient, we don’t take hostages, we don’t settle for partial obedience.  We exterminate our sin without making allowances or excuses for it.

Am I losing you here?  Does this sound like impossible—magical—thinking?

Perhaps this is because you are confused about what lust really looks like.  When you hear talk about putting lust to death you assume that you are being asked to remove every evil thought and every misdirected desire—an impossible task.

God is not asking you to do the impossible.

Let me help you with this.  Your wrongfully directed desires and bad thoughts only become sin when you harbor them in your heart and gratify them there by allowing yourself an illicit sexual buzz.

Adultery in the heart is serious sin.  Whenever you allow lust, you need to confess it, repent from it and get right with God.  He is looking for you to overcome lust.  When you no longer make provision for it, it will not take root.

That is why partial obedience is the greatest enemy.

  • It allows sin to take root.  We become a slave to the level of sin we allow.
  • It gives us a false feeling of success.
  • It causes us to minimize our sins.  We fail to see them as God sees them.
  • We grow lukewarm and ineffective in our Christian walk.

As you overcome lust do not settle for partial obedience—the greatest enemy of obedience.

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