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In his book “The Great Divorce,” C.S. Lewis gives an allegorical story about a ghost of a man consumed by lust. And in this story lust is depicted as a red lizard that sits on his shoulder and whispers seductively in his ear. When the man is bothered by this lizard on his shoulder, an angel volunteers to destroy it for him. But the man is conflicted because he wants to hold on to his lust but also wants the lizard gone. What he is afraid of is that the death of his lust will be the death of him. He offers all these excuses to the angel because he wants to keep the lizard (even though he doesn’t want it).

After much discussion the man finally lets the angel kill the lizard. The angel grabs the lizard, breaks its neck and hurls it to the ground. Now that the spell of lust is broken the man who once ghostly is wonderfully remade into a real and solid person. And what’s so cool is that instead of dying, the lizard is changed into a spectacular stallion. With great tears of joy and appreciation the man gets on the horse and rides off into the heavens.

What was Lewis trying to help us imagine? Lewis is drawing us to the bond between killing our lust and finding life. We who have given into lust so much that it feels like we are going to die without it to die, it feels as if we are going to die right along with it will find that instead of destroying us, we find a new life we never imagined. Instead of giving into desires that are off limits, we begin to experience a pure desire - - a God centered desire, which is birthed in us to experience the greatest joy possible. The joy that comes from knowing that God isn’t just saving us from our sin, but that He is up to something far more profound: God is saving us for a life of love and joy and faith and peace and self-control.

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