Welcome to the eighth edition of Maximizing Ministry Part X. Today we explore The Seventh Commandment.
Exodus 20:14 “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
The adulterous heart sins not only against its betrayed love. It sins against itself (Proverbs 6:32); and in either case, it is not of God (I John 2:16). Adultery may be committed without ever touching another person (Matthew 5:28). It is not just a matter of lust. It is also a matter of pride and trust. Pride leads the heart to search forever increasing egotistical fulfillments. It will follow a trail of compliments, even blindly, not perceiving when the words with which it is drunk are false. Ironically, the prideful heart is looking for love in all the wrong places. God Himself promises to exalt those who exalt Him (James 4:10).
Adultery is not reserved for marital indiscretion. God calls adulterous the nations that turn their backs from following after Him, even though he provides for all of their needs (James 4:4). Avoiding adultery may be as simple as counting your blessings. When we take time to reflect on the good gifts that God has provided (James 1:17), we get a better understanding of how that God does not give gifts at random. He ordains for our lives specific gifts according to our own needs and His purpose that we should fulfill, having knowledge of us in every way. He is able to tailor His provision to our personal requisites, knowing our strengths, weaknesses, and desires. If we keep ourselves from adultery, whether physical or spiritual, we may abide with God forever (I John 2:15-17).
To avoid the pitfall of adultery, we must tame the desires of heart. The untamed heart leads us to desire whatsoever is unbecoming of our commitment. The desires of the heart can be quite compelling in their sought directions, like a wild horse. We sometimes need divine intervention to tame the heart. The key to remember is that the thoughts of the heart are not completely natural. They are swayed by the several stimuli we intake. We receive stimuli, or input from each of our senses. We must impact those inputs with comparison to the will of God. If something is out of line, we need to remove it as soon as we notice the waiver from His will. Recall that Solomon, the wisest king, became estranged from God in his latter days because he allowed the heathen gods of his several idolatrous wives to turn his heart away from God.
The heart will listen to what we hear, see what we behold, keep what we treasure in possession, and lead us where we focus our intent to go. That is why we must seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and build our treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20) – this will set our focus of destination. We must be sure to hear the Word of God (Romans 10:14) often and listen intently, that we may fill our heart through hearing with the Word of God, and that we may translate our hearing to performance of His will, that we not be hearers only (James 1:22). We must seek out opportunities to see God working in our lives and the lives of others, that we may increase our faith (Psalm 34:8). Taming desire is easier when we make a decision to keep ourselves from the evil inclinations of the world (Ephesians 1:4, James 1:27, Jude 1:20-23).
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
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