January 25, 2005
The Consequences of Coveting
People oftentimes develop a desire for something that is not in God's plan for them. When they fail to attain what their heart is set on, the desire can build into intense, unrelenting pressure.
Christians who are consumed by covetousness have ceased to depend on God. To reach our goals, we can manipulate circumstances because we have lost faith in the Lord's ability to know what is best and provide it. Such behavior indicates that we reject the sovereignty of God. Then fear fills our lives as we chase harder and harder after the things we desire.
The consequences of covetousness are painful. Our sensitivity to God weakens to the point that we cannot hear when He speaks to us. As we distance ourselves from Him, our envious attitude breeds ungratefulness. We can no longer be thankful for what we have, because our focus is on what we do not possess.
Covetousness leads to a life of tension and worry. Jethro wisely advised his son-in-law Moses to search for assistants who hated ill-gotten gain. These men were more interested in what God provided for them than in what they could acquire for themselves. If we want to be like the individuals Jethro described, we must focus on God's purpose for our lives. When we are sensitive to His voice, He will teach us to distinguish between desires falling within His will and those that lie beyond. As believers, we have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us resist the lure of wrong desires. Covetousness does not have to be our downfall.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html