Editor’s Note: This article is directed toward Men and our lust and fleshly temptations. However women, you can still benefit from this article by thinking of your own lusts and temptations.
In the area of sexual purity, how can I be like Job, whom God called a “blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil?”
Make a Covenant with your Eyes
Sometimes we get comfortable with our sin and need to draw a line in the sand and determine to stay on the side of purity. I see that Job called out ogling women as sin. It is not ok for me to let my eyes wander, looking for the most shapely woman around and the gazing at her. We need to make a commitment like Job did to not ogle women.
Job 31:1, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?”
Don’t Let your Step Turn from the Way
If I am to keep the covenant with my eyes, I need to stay on my own path and not look for “greener” pastures nearby.
Job 31:7, “If my step has turned from the way…”
My Heart Follows my Eyes
As much as our flesh and the world tell us that it is ok just to look, Job knows better. Our heart follows our eyes. Job would not give his heart to the woman filling water jugs at his well or the migrant woman seeking shelter. Do you give your heart to the woman jogging along the roadside or the one in front of you in the checkout line? Job dedicated his heart to his own wife and to God. It is easy to make that commitment, but to keep it, we must remember that our heart follows our eyes. To keep your heart pure, lift your eyes to the Lord as soon as you notice a temptation.
Job 31:7, “or my heart followed my eyes…”
My Heart, Enticed by a Woman
James tells us that when we are tempted, we are carried away and enticed by our own lust; lust conceives sin and sin death (see James 1:12-15). One might draw from James that looking at a woman is ok if you do not get carried away and lust after her. Knowing my own sinful flesh, I know how quickly my heart follows my eyes–my look can instantly become a gaze and before I know it, I am carried away and enticed to lust. Again, the best way to keep your heart pure is to lift your eyes to the Lord as soon as you notice a temptation. Do not give the devil an opportunity.
Job 31:9, “If my heart has been enticed by a woman…”
Have I Lurked?
In the Bible we read about men who saw a beautiful woman in another man’s house (the prime example is Bathsheba, taking a bath no less, in 2nd Samuel 11). Without air conditioning, I suspect doors and windows were open and curtains pushed to the side to allow air flow. A man might be able to see a lot by lurking near his neighbor’s doorway in those days. I don’t face that temptation, but how have I lurked? Ican recall some instances in my past where a woman was bent over helping a child or doing something else requiring her to bend over. Not only have I turned my steps from the way I was headed to catch a glimpse down her blouse, I have even stopped in my tracks to admire the view. Lurking. Lusting. I should follow Joseph’s example and run away rather than remain near temptation (Genesis 39). If a tempting view is in my site, I would do well to remove myself from the situation.
Job 31:9, “..or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway”
My Lustful Crime
but I would much rather hear “good and faithful servant” regarding my personal purity, then the shame of imagining how many lashes my Lord received so that I could look and lust after women.
Job 31:11, “For that would be a lustful crime…”
Make that Covenant with your Eyes, but not in your own Strength.
When I have tried to keep that covenant based on NOT looking at women and NOT putting myself in a place of temptation, I have always failed. When I have found consistent success, my focus has immediately shifted from the temptation to the Lord who delivers me. Lift your eyes away from temptation and to the Lord. Seek His will in all that you do. Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Gal 5:16).