Here we are on Commandment 7 in trying to understand God’s will for our lives. And God’s will first starts with Him – our focus needs to be on Him and Him alone. If you want to worship anything other than Him, or worship Him your way, then you will find yourself struggling as you try to keep yourself afloat. Focusing on Him keeps you near Him and provides you with supernatural strength to face the troubles of this life.
With the focus being on God, it also keeps our focus on something else He finds very important: How we treat other people – How we treat our parents – How we deal with anger toward others before it becomes murder.
Well today’s commandment has a focus on marriage. And God knows that the Godly family is the key to the success of His grace and love going forth in a world that needs Him. And He also knows that in order for that to happen, it takes two individuals who willingly concede their wills for His. If one part fails, then devastation is sure to follow.
God said, “You shall not commit adultery.” – Exodus 20:14
God knew that if the husband or the wife in a marital relationship broke that relationship by seeking another relationship outside the marriage, trust would be broken and very difficult to overcome. Feelings would be devastated. Hearts would be discouraged. And lives would be turned upside down. And this isn’t even talking about the effects it would have on the children involved.
And so God has been teaching us: “If you will put your total focus on Me, then YOU will honor your parents, YOU will not let anger become murder, and YOU will remain faithful to your spouse.”
The problem though with marriage is that it takes “two to tango” in order to see the success of what God desires. If both spouses desire to be within God’s will for marriage, then the goal is the same. And because the goal is the same, chances are there will be a lifetime marriage. But even when the goal is God’s will, anyone is prone to adultery if he/she lets his/her guard down to Satan’s ploys.
Often people think that adultery happens over night. Sorry, it doesn’t. It starts out as a feeling; when opposite sexes begin sharing deep secrets of the heart. And just as murder starts in the heart over feelings of anger that have been harbored and not dealt with, so too does adultery.
So adultery really begins as a desire of the heart; and Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 5: 27-30.
Jesus says that adultery is not the issue. He says, my paraphrase, “No, the issue is how you look at the opposite sex. If you look upon them sexually/lustfully (desiring them), you will have already committed adultery in your heart. “
And the good news is that even though attractions between the opposite sexes will always occur, Jesus was telling us that we can and are to have control over these attractions. For wherever there is an attraction, there is also the power in Christ to turn the head and think upon things that are wholesome and good.
And He went to the extreme. He said, though not literally, to prove His point, “If you don’t have power over lust, then gouge out your eyes. It’s better to have no eyes, than to have eyes that cause you to sin and risk hell. In other words, sacrifice now is better than future sacrifice – pain now in the mortal body is less painful than eternal pain in the future body.”
Jesus was adamant (and remember it takes two with the same goal of remaining in God’s will) that God’s grace, His will, not be messed with. He reminds us that God has the power to send people to hell. And so the only way to keep adultery from happening within marriage is to be under the control of God’s power.
If you want to operate in your power/your will; you are prone to fall because you are outside the will of God.
So how do we overcome the urge to lust – to desire – which lead to affairs of the heart and physical adultery? We must:
- Remember sexual lust for someone other than your spouse is not God’s will.
- Think on things that are God’s will – love, grace, mercy, your spouse and children, etc.
- Overcome the urges by resisting and looking away when attracted.
- Have friendships with the same sex that will help hold you accountable.
- Not share intimate feelings about your spouse with the opposite sex.
- Not let your guard down – don’t pretend you will never commit adultery.
God’s will is for us to put our total focus on Him so that we might properly put our focus on others; and specifically today on our present or future spouses.
God says, “Don’t commit adultery.” Jesus says, “Don’t lust.” Together they say, “Love as we love and you will be in our will and we will be in yours.”