Self and Lust – A Biblical Story and Modern Movie Mash-up
I present the Love and Lordship series multiple times a year. In our discussion on agape and porneia we view a clip from Fireproof: The Movie and I connect it with King David’s adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah (one of his top lieutenants). A few years ago as I was presenting this The Holy Spirit gave me some insights that have helped many in their battle against porneia and other sins.
We view the movie clip where Caleb (Kirk Cameron’s character) is looking at some pictures on his computer screen and up pops a porn invitation. He struggles with whether to click on it or not but chooses to read the “The Love Dare” journal that his father has challenged him to work through. He ultimately chooses against the porn and takes his computer monitor outside and destroys it with a baseball bat. It’s both comical and poignant at the same time.
During one of these teaching sessions as we transitioned to talk about King David’s struggles, I was prompted to ask if anyone noticed what Caleb was viewing on his computer when the “temptation” popped up? No one had noticed and neither had I for several years of seeing it. I revealed to them that he was viewing some really nice boats.
The backstory was that he was selfishly withholding things from his marriage and wife while saving money to buy a boat. Disclaimer: buying a boat is not in and of itself selfish, but for the purposes of the movie it clearly was.
I then asked the men to explain the significance of what he was viewing. Silence. Here’s the insight, and then I’ll apply it to a retelling of King David’s story to give us more discernment as to how our natural selfish mind thinks and how the enemy uses it in temptation and attempts to lead us into sin.
God has all foreknowledge and wisdom, which means He can see the future and know what we’re thinking and our responses. There could be another whole book on that statement alone, but it’s true and it’s all we need to know for the purposes of this story and teaching. Satan, on the other hand, does not have foreknowledge and can only respond and act on what we are thinking. This is why it’s so important to guard our thoughts, take them captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), and renew our minds (Romans 12:2) so he can’t get a toe, foot, or stronghold in our lives.
Isn’t it interesting that as Caleb was viewing the boat, the item he was sure would fully satisfy him, that the porn temptation popped up? The selfish state of his mind (the movie has made it clear that the boat was an idol for him) made it easier for the enemy to draw him in. He wisely chose to fight against it and won the battle.
Now let’s apply that to King David. I ask for some leeway here as I’m going to “fill in some gaps” in the story that completely fit the context and may help us see how the self-absorbed mind makes it so much easier to fall into temptation and sin.
Second Samuel 11:1 says, “in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle,” and then proceeds to tell us that King David decided to send his general and army out to clean up some unfinished business in war while he lounged around his palace. There’s nothing particularly sinful about his choice, but it does give us insight into his mind. He was thinking about David rather than his army. Otherwise he would have gone with them as kings do.
The Bible gives us no indication whatsoever that he stayed home for any particular reason and especially not to look for naked women. One evening he’s walking on his palace rooftop and sees a beautiful woman bathing. He’s stricken with her and immediately asks his servant to go ask who she is.
Here’s where I interject David’s potential and likely thought patterns based on his self-absorbed decision to stay home and take it easy rather than go to battle with his men. What story do you think David may have crafted in his mind as his servant is inquiring about the beautiful woman?
Maybe it goes something like this…“I can’t wait for my servant to return and tell me this woman’s name and even more importantly that she’s single and available.” I mean initially if he’s going to enter into a relationship he wants it to be done the right way and I’m sure he’s thinking this is all going to work out great.
The problem occurs when the servant returns to report that Bathsheba is not only married but it is to one of David’s top men, Uriah the Hittite. Now David has to figure out whether he’s going to continue with the story in his mind where this woman is his to have or follow God’s Truth and leave her to her husband.
Once again, the choice reveals where the mind is leading. David sends for her and sleeps with her. Seems like he’s gotten away with it until Bathsheba sends a report that she’s pregnant! It couldn’t be her husband as he’s off fighting David’s war.
David schemes to bring Uriah home so he’ll sleep with his wife and cover it up. Uriah does the noble thing for both nights and does not sleep with his wife because that would not be right with the other warriors out to battle.
David devises a plan and sends a letter to Joab, commander of his army, to put Uriah on the front lines where the fighting is most fierce. As designed, Uriah is killed in battle.
David then eventually marries Bathsheba and thinks the ruse is complete until the prophet, Nathan, approaches him approximately nine months later and tells him a story. The story is to convict David of his sin but while he recognizes the sin in the story, his sin has blinded him to the fact the he was the one guilty and deserving of death.
Here’s what we need to learn from David and Caleb. We must guard our hearts and minds as self-absorbed thinking opens the door for the enemy to tempt us. We then have the choice to avoid the temptation and sin or give into it. The sooner we change our thinking, including at the very beginning as we dwell on our self, the easier it is to avoid the temptation. The more we think about self the easier it is to give into the temptation, follow through on the sin, and even cover it up and be blind to it in our own eyes.
That’s the nature of self, lust, pride, and sin, and the sooner we die to self and live for Christ and His love the stronger we are in Him to overcome any temptation.
Knowing who we are in Christ and knowing and aligning our thoughts with His Word and Truth gives us the best view of who we are in Him and keeps us from becoming so self-absorbed and vulnerable to temptation and sin.
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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – The problem is not that we necessarily think of ourselves too highly, we simply think of ourselves too much, usually with some worry and anxiety…Do I look good enough? Do I have enough? Am I successful? And it goes on and on! As we know who we are in Christ it’s much easier to have a realistic view of yourself without allowing self-focus to make us ripe for temptation and sin.
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) Ask The Lord to reveal to you when you are self-absorbed (this doesn’t necessarily mean sin but simply focusing almost exclusively on self); 2) Evaluate what prompts you toward self-focus; 3) Begin to replace those thoughts with God’s Word and what you can and should do for others; 4) Act on this new thinking by serving others as The Lord leads.