Resisting the temptation to do something that will feed a desire within us is great. Praise the Lord, but Jesus says in Matthew 5, “But I warn you – unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”
This is the way the Pharisees looked at the law. They made a fence around the laws of God – something that was always further out, surrounding and protecting the law itself. They made the issue of distance a virtue.
However, this distance, even the further distance put by the Pharisees doesn’t stop our heart from lusting, from burning in anger and unforgiveness…and so on and so on. It doesn’t stop our heart from going its natural route…Just after describing this, Jesus goes on to say, that even ‘if you are angry at somebody, it is as if you’d murdered them and if you lust, you’ve committed adultery. Jesus is contrasting this teaching with the way the Pharisees contained the law…
What is he saying?
Jesus’ point is that we should no longer even desire to do the wrong thing. he wants us to have hearts that love and long to do the right thing. So for us to build a fence around the bad things and call it a virtue isn’t enough.The murderer and the lustful man are the same, in that neither desires God deeply or fully enough.
Our sin problem really stems from one thing: In the moment we fall to temptation, we love that thing, we desire it, we delight in it. In desiring it, we are replacing our desire for God.
– summarized from book: ‘Feel – the power of listening to your heart’ by Matthew Elliot
Feel free to add comments, I would love to talk about this more with those interested….I found in my own heart that this was true…I desire to desire God deeply and fully…thank God that God is faithful and will do this eventually…for now, hmmmm…..How about you?