“The deceitful desires”
The apostle Paul describes us as people who are easily deceived by “deceitful desires“. “… to change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires.” Ephesians 4:22 (CEB). Deceitful desires are desires that deceive me. That means that they trick me - they lie to me.
In 2 Peter 1:4 (ESV) Peter speaks about running away from "the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." This is a truth that most people don’t know. All problems, all unhappiness, all unrest, all lack of peace, all conflicts come from the fact that people want to follow their own sinful desires. “Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you.” James 4:1 (GNT).
"People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them.” 1 Timothy 6:9 (CEV). Sin makes us stupid, and it will destroy us.
What do I believe in?
These Bible verses show clearly that we must choose between our sinful human desires and the will of God:
“From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God's will and not by human desires.” 1 Peter 4:2 (GNT).
“The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.” 1 John 2:17 (GNT).
To the Thessalonians, Paul writes that God chose them “to be saved by the Spirit's power to make you his holy people and by your faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (GNT). Without faith in the truth, there will be no salvation and we will not be made holy.
So what is the truth that we read about here?
James writes that “we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires." James 1:14 (GNT). Therefore, I must see and admit that there are sinful desires in my human nature that try to draw me away and trick me into doing something that is not good for me. If I let myself be tricked by the sin in my human nature, then I also believe in a lie. I can only get salvation, and I can only be made holy if I believe in the truth – not the lie.
A wise battle plan
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 we read that we are to be saved by faith in the truth. So when I am tempted, I have to tell myself: “This thing that I am being tempted to right now is trying to tell me that getting this, or doing that, will make me happy, but this is a lie!” The truth is that instead of helping me, sin will destroy me. It takes all my joy away. It will trick me and give me a bad conscience. In other words, I will experience the complete opposite of what my desires are trying to tell me.
Our desires lie to us! Just think how sad it would be to look back on my life and see that I have been cheated!
Paul says in Galatians 5:24 (NLT), “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” This is a position of faith, where I decide to firmly and forever call my sinful desires liars. Therefore, I will say No to the lie! No to being deceived! No to what harms me! I will no longer listen to the lie, but only to the truth!
This is a very wise “battle plan”, which will certainly lead me to overcome evil and to grow in the good.