Summary: Part five of this series focuses on our desires for other things as mentioned in Mark 4:18-19.
Satan’s Battle Tactics Part 5
This is part five of my series on Satan’s ballet tactics. This morning we will examine how our desires for other things (fulfilling the lusts of our flesh) will choke the Word of God out of us. I shared with you last week that the deceitfulness of riches was one of the tactics that worked well against Christians who were both weak and strong in the Word. This morning we will examine the tactic that is probably the most powerful one that the devil has at his disposal. Let’s me refresh your memory of what Jesus said in Mark 4:18-19. “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” The word translated as “desires” in this verse comes from the Greek work “Epithumia.” This word means to lust after. It especially means to lust after something that is forbidden, something we should not have. The second part of this word is the Greek word thumos, which describes “an urge, a longing, a craving, a passion, or something that is excited.” The word epi usually mean over, but when combined with the word thumos, it means “to get extremely excited for or over something.” In fact, this excitement is so vigorous that it becomes a fervent passion, almost like an obsession, a mania, or very strong desire. I want you to keep this in mind today.
Do you know that when we lust after other things, those things can begin to replace God in our life? Things can actually destroy us, especially when it is coupled with the deceitfulness of riches. Think about it, most people desire riches so that they can purchase whatever they want for themselves and those in their lives. They have a dream list of things they would buy from the new car to the big screen TV. The lust for other things works hand in hand with the deceitfulness of riches, but oh it goes so much farther than that. Our desire for other “things” will have us lusting after the possessions of someone else to include their spouse/significant other; their job; their home; their car, and the list goes on and on.
You remember the story of David and Bathsheba from Second Samuel chapter eleven? David arose from his bed one evening and went out on his terrace which was on the roof of his house. As he walked along the terrace looking out over his Kingdom, David saw Bathsheba bathing on her roof. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, one of the soldiers in David’s army. David could have chosen any woman that he wanted but he desired after Bathsheba. David sent his messengers to go to Bathsheba and to bring her to him. David slept with Bathsheba (by force as she had no choice in the matter because he was the King) and she became pregnant. When this was discovered, David tried to hide his sin by bringing Uriah home from the battle so that he could sleep with his wife and in due time would think the baby was his. But Uriah, being a righteous man and not desiring to be comforted by his wife while his men were on the battle field, did not do it. David was now in a bind so he made the ultimate decisions to have Uriah killed on the battlefield and then he took Bathsheba as his wife. When Samuel revealed David’s sin to him, David repented. We recall this story as one of David’s greatest sins against God and his fellowman because in this act alone David committed adultery and murder. With that in mind, let me take you back to First Samuel where Samuel tells Saul about his kingdom being removed from him and how God described his replacement as king. First Samuel 13:14 says, “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has appointed Him a ruler after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” This was also referenced in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Acts. I point this out because David was really a good man and a worshipper of God. Through him we have the book of Psalms. But David was also a man who in one moment of time allowed his desire for other things (Bathsheba in this case) to lead him into sin. David repented and God forgave him, but this shows us one example of how lives can forever be altered because of our desire for other things, especially forbidden things.