Yesterday I was reminded to be on the lookout for the adulterous woman (or man in my case) in Proverbs 5..."pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil." (vv 1-3). It was a timely reminder that in my developing relationships here on my TDY, I needed to "Guard [my] heart, for it is the wellspring of life," (Prov 4:23). I was reminded that I needed to keep my heart with all diligence, because "out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander..." (Matt 15:19).
But this morning, there was a serious heart check as I read:
Do not lust in your heart after [his] beauty or let [him] captivate you with [his] eyes.
Some of you may know that I did a devotional a while ago during a womens' event for our church. And I challenged the girls with one thing-to be honest with themselves (and an accountability partner), because lust, is NOT just a guy thing. We (girls) struggle with it too. But hardly anyone will come out and say, "I'm a chick, and I struggle with lust." So I did. In front of how many girls. It was good, I think.
Anyway. I think I started to get prideful, thinking that I had "overcome" that struggle, or had moved past it somehow. But God knew better, and the Spirit convicted me hardcore this morning. I studied the verse more...
Lust: To desire; to take pleasure in
Heart: Inner man, mind, will
Then I started to read Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary and it read, "imagination of the sinful act exhausts the body even more than the act itself." And I started reading, and I read through all these commentaries, and I started to cry.
Don't get me wrong, I love my husband. I love him a lot. He is a great man, an amazing father, an awesome cheerleader and supporter. But my heart is deceitfully wicked (Jer 17:9), and this is a struggle that I have. I have an adulterous heart. And Jesus said, "everyone that looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart," (Matt 5:28).
I have not been deeply convicted like this in a long time. I suppose that shows my relationship with God, how distant I have been, attending church, being shallow in conversations... but this. Was deep. This was the Spirit, putting me in the fire and allowing my impurities to rise to the top. And it was ugly.
But our God is faithful.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me... Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; and broken, contrite heart, O God, you will not despise..."
I can hardly type it without crying. How great is our God! He sees my wickedness, and yet he still loves me. "If we confess our sins, he is FAITHFUL and JUST and WILL FORGIVE us our sins and PURIFY us from ALL unrighteousness." (1 Jn 1:9).
I leave this coffee shop incredibly humbled.