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What You Need To Know About Coveting
- Coveting happens whenever we choose to indulge the temptation to pleasure our minds with thoughts of possessing or experiencing what God says is presently prohibited or forever forbidden (Jos 7:21 = pleasured/afflicting himself thinking about the forbidden fame and fortune, power and prestige of those things could bring; e.g. Exo 20:17/Deu 5:21 = pleasuring/afflicting ourselves thinking about us living in someone’s house, sleeping w/their wife or having their life). *when you choose to pleasure your mind w/thoughts of something/someone, you are (now in a very real way) desiring that something/someone (that is how God sees it)
1.1. choosing to pleasure myself by thinking about my life as some pagan movie star or rock star;
1.2. choosing to pleasure myself by thinking/looking at someone sexually that is not my God-given spouse;
1.3. choosing to pleasure myself by imagining myself in a career that God will never give me;
1.4. choosing to pleasure myself by imagining life as something other than what the truth/reality says it is (tons of people are in a perpetual covetous state b/c they refuse to live according to the world as God has made it and is currently guiding it and instead live in their fantasy world –the one they are most pleasured by – e.g. a world where I don’t have to have work hard and sharpen my mind to be successful; a world where I get to be king and everybody will listen to my ideas; a world where Jedi are not sorcerers [iow: fantasy can also be coveting]– see trailer for the Mandalorian season 2).
- Coveting is the sin that put mankind and this world on the path away from God toward the devil, death and destruction (Gen 3:1-6).
- Coveting is a form of idolatry (Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5; e.g. God is incompetent or corrupt – not giving me what I need to be happy or complete).
Example: B/C I am not immediately punished for the sins of my mind/coveting –or the longer I go on doing it and nothing happens, I am emboldened to keep doing it, thinking I am safe/okay IOW: The god I now serve is a false god who doesn’t see or care about what goes on in my head – only in my actions (Psa 10:11, 13; See also Psa 73:1-20, 21-22 = When I gave in to the temptation to covet; Heb 3:12-13).
- Coveting makes us adulterers before God (Jam 4:1-2 = Coveting means you are now cheating on Christ and an enemy of God).
- Coveting is the gateway to every other sin and what makes faithfulness impossible (Jam 1:3-5 [“desire” = coveting; “lured” = drawn away from the safety of self-control/restraint; “enticed” = baited; “conceived” = impregnated/seized us as prisoner; “sin” = sinful physical actions] = Sinful thoughts/coveting leads to sinful actions; Hence the reason coveting is the last of the ten commandments [mentioning something last was an ancient way of indicating the source/cause of those items previously listed – e.g. Eph 5:3-5 and Col 3:5; See also Rom 13:8-10; Hence the reason also Jesus gives a stern warning in Luk 12:15).
- Continuing to covet will lead to apostasy or your day of grace being done (Heb 10:26; Eph 4:17-22 v19 – “become callous”] = Hardening of the mind/spiritual lobotomy, no longer able to receive/submit to spiritual truth [Exo 7-11 = Pharaoh hardened his heart so God permanently hardened him to repentance/spiritual truth and obedience]; 2Th 2:11-12).
- Saying no to coveting is easy and the key to a life of faithfulness that is easy to accomplish (Jam 3:2 w/Mat 12:34; e.g. saying no to buying a box of donuts versus saying to a box of donuts that is sitting right in front of you 2 versus a 10 on a scale of 1-10 in re: to temptation; Keep in mind also – Mat 6:9-20 w/1Co 10:12-13 = The way to “take heed” so as not to fall, is not allow temptation to go beyond that which comes from coveting since this is the only temptation w/in your “ability” and God provides a way of “escape” for [this IOW is the kind of temptation Paul is referring to here in v13 – it is the temptation that comes in re: to coveting. If you rebel and break thru that, all bets and promises of deliverance are off]).
- Making Jesus the Lord of our minds is how we stop coveting (2Co 10:5; Job 31:1; Heb 11:6; Phi 4:8; Stupid Christians think that their minds are their own—that what they do there is off limits to God. Here however is what they miss/refuse to understand: if Jesus doesn’t have Lordship over your mind, He will not be your Savior).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION: WHO IS THE LORD OF YOUR MIND? Who determines what you do and don’t spend your time thinking about? Jesus or you? If it’s not Jesus, then it’s game over. Jos 24:15 – choose this day whom you will serve.