My friend, John, once told me, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].” I really took this to heart, but then a strange thought occurred to me. What if I could take that same lust and turn it into a lust that Father would approve of? Would this even be possible?

So, join me in a journey of discovery into the meaning of lust, and let’s see where it takes us! Most dictionaries would include some of the following definitions – a passionate or overmastering desire or craving; ardent enthusiasm, zest, relish, pleasure, delight, crave, hunger, covet, and yearn. Quite something! Now, you must understand the context of John’s conversation – the group of people were addressed in Greek. The word used by John was epithymía. Interestingly, this word is made up of epí, meaning “focused on,” and thymós, meaning “passionate desire.” So, to understand John’s expression fully: his use of the word lust really means,  “passion built on strong feelings or urges.” I apologies for the semantic lesson, but it does help us to understand the context.

The problem we face daily, is not that we are not passionate, or that we don’t have vision, or that we waste the day, but rather that our focus is often misplaced. Let us look at Father and how we are able to please Him. Our relationship with Father is really very simple, after all, He is not complex. He takes pleasure in our relationship when we approach Him in faith, and faith alone. This speaks of a total trust and reliance on His nature, and that He desires (lusts for) only good things to come from this relationship. So, if Father can have passionate and strong feelings for us, it means that we should have the very same feelings towards Him.

I also know that Father is the jealous kind and does not like sharing our relationship in a wider circle. Father enjoys the constancy of our love and trust, the depth of our relationship and the intimacy of our communion. The notion of “swinging,” “wavering,” “swopping” or “let’s give it a break” is simply not part of His thinking. With Father it is always “all or nothing.” And in that I find my security and safety.

So I understand John’s sentiment, and I understand Father’s too! It is a matter of focus. When the focus is on Father, then the lusts I experience can be instigated and fueled by my faith. So if my faith creates passionate and strong feelings for, and after Father, then it is ok.

My friend, David, once wrote a song with the opening line, “As a deer lusts after water, my soul lusts after God.” Wow! Here’s the deal with life – if we do not have a passion for (lusting after) life, then what is there to live for? I find it so encouraging that Jesus said He will give us life abundant! It means that we can experience Father now through the fullness of life that is found in Jesus.

Having thought about all of this, I can only conclude that all my lusts must be focussed on Father. God must be my lust. God must be my focus. God must be in the centre of my eye. God must be all. God must be life. Oh, what a lustful Utopia this creates!

Father is not of this world, and quite frankly, neither am I. I am in the world, but thankfully only temporarily. I am spirit. Earth is not. Father is Spirit. The world is not. I am made to passionately crave a loving relationship. Earth cannot give me that, but Father can. So, while I am in, I am am not of the world; hence, my lusts are not for the world, but after pleasing Father.

Are you ready to focus your lusts away from yourself and on Father? Are you ready to exchange pleasing yourself for pleasing Father? Are you ready to re-focus your eyes?