Let's start with a couple of basic truths as follows:
Coveting is one root of moral failure.
Comparison is the root of coveting.
Let's look at some examples from the Holy Bible.
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.”
The children of Israel had just experienced a tremendous victory at Jericho (their first battle after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land). They decided at their next battle, which would be at Ai, that they take lots less men to battle because they had learned from spies sent out that the people of Ai were few. However the Israelites suffered terrible defeat at Ai.
Joshua fell on his face and cried out to the LORD. God answered him, “For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.” “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”
Joshua called out (through revelation) the tribes, families, clans and households in the camp of Israel. It was found that Achan had taken a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels and hid them in the ground in the middle of his tent. He had taken the “accursed things” that belonged to God. Notice that in the original Hebrew―and depending on the context―what is “devoted to God” is “accursed to man” when stolen from God.
So all Israel took Achan―with his sons, daughters, animals and tent … and the “accursed things” he had stolen―and burned them with fire after they had stoned them.
ACHAN LUSTED AND STOLE FROM GOD
SOLDIERS & FAMILY DIED AS A RESULT
~ ~ ~
MESSIAH JESUS CAME TO GIVE US VICTORY IN PURPOSE
EVE AND ADAM
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was tempted by Satan. God had instructed Adam: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Satan tempted Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which she did. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
NOTICE THIS: You can talk to God. He understands the situation. Ask Him for help. When you are tempted with coveting or lust, learn to say to the LORD, “Jesus, do you want to do this with me?” And, if you can't ask that question—or feel uncomfortable asking it—then you know NOT to perform the action.
Just because it feels good—or looks good—does NOT make it good. In Genesis 3:6 we read that Eve thought the fruit was:
Good for food
Lust of the flesh
Pleasant to the eyes
Lust of the eyes
Desired to make one wise
Pride of life
But in 1 John 2:16 we read that, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” And in verse 17, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
EVE AND ADAM DISOBEYED GOD … OBEYED SATAN …
AND PLUNGED THE WORLD INTO SIN, DEATH AND HELL
~ ~ ~
MESSIAH JESUS CAME TO HEAL THE SEPARATION
ANANIAS & SAPPHIRA
When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus' followers—on the Jewish Holiday of Pentecost—the people in the Early Church decided to have all things in common and share their goods in community with one another. They were so happy that the promised Messiah had come to pay for their sins on the cross-stake and was raised from the dead after three days. They were ALL Jews who followed Him … plus maybe a few unkown Gentiles.
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44)
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32)
“Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:34-35)
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, coveted the praise of others and fell prey to the pride of life. They wanted to compare themselves with the other believers—to be seen as sharing in like manner—while holding back part of the price of the land they sold. They did NOT even have to give the price of the land ...it was theirs … but they wanted to look like the others who were sharing 100% … and therefore they lied to the Holy Spirit.
ANANIAS AND HIS WIFE COVETED THE PRAISE OF MEN
THEY DIED SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY
~ ~ ~
MESSIAH JESUS CAME TO HELP US BE GENEROUS
It's easy to see that coveting and lust are bedpartners. It's also easy to discern that the antidote―basically, the solution―to COVETING is contentment.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”
1 Timothy 6:6
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The other bedpartner―LUST―can actually be removed with a good dose of faithfulness and self-control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law. Those who belong to Messiah
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited … envying one another.”
Coveting and lust are basically stealing: wanting what is another's. There are, also, some other areas of coveting that are often overlooked.
Coveting can involve stealing from God. Stealing the glory―or the credit―that belongs to Him.
Lack of respect for your neighbor … or another person or entity.
Doing what Satan does: desiring to be like God. When Eve desired the fruit of the (forbidden) tree to make one wise, she was the same as attempting to sit in God's throne.
TAKE YOUR MEDICINE:
Contentment is the antidote to coveting.
Faithfulness and self-control are the antidote to lust.
"You once walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air,
the [evil] spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience."
When it comes to character, play offense!
“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill lust of flesh.”
HELP FOR YOU:
If you have NOT received the POWER to WIN over coveting and lust,
Pray this prayer ...
“Lord Jesus, I need help. I know you're there. Please save me and forgive my sins.
Give me the POWER to walk in the Holy Spirit and to serve you here on earth.
Take me to Heaven when I die. Thanks for hearing me!”
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