Lust, an enemy of purpose


When you examine the scriptures carefully, you discover that lust is always a distraction from a life of purpose.

When Joseph was tempted by another man’s wife to have a clandestine affair, he aptly highlighted that the offer by Mrs. Potiphar was antithetical to fulfilling his purpose.

Genesis 39:7-9 ..and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (NIV)

Joseph’s response can be summarised like this, “Woman, I have work to do and I have a God to please. You are standing in the way of this! Kindly, move.”

Joseph recognises that an affair with Mrs. Potiphar will have a twofold effect- it will distract him from the tasks he has at hand and it will separate him from his relationship with his Creator.

If we know anything about a life of purpose as believers, it is this- it involves us working with our hands and it involves us walking with our God. See how clearly Joseph discerned this and responds in Genesis 39:9 “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.” (NIV)

The older you get, the more you will realise that it is an act of maturity to abstain from that which destroys the work of your hands and the walk with your God. Nothing does this as effectively as lust.

When David slept with Bathsheba, he was distracted from a life of purpose. 2 Samuel 11:1‭-‬2 “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful.” (NIV)

David would have no access to a beautiful bathing naked woman if he was immersed in purpose. If he was at war with the other men, he would have had work to do with his hands and he would have a God to please. David’s story reveals that the opposite of this principle is true. That a life devoid of purpose exposes us to a weak life of lust. Whereas Joseph was inspired by purpose and he fled to avoid lust, David was devoid of purpose and ran into the arms of lust. There are two sides of the coin. Lust will kill purpose, and the absence of purpose will revive lust.

If you examine almost any scriptural narrative on lust, you will see that those that fell were intoxicated with pleasure at the expense of purpose. It was lustful pleasure that distracted the Israelites from the purpose of inheriting the promised land when they fornicated with the Moabite women (Numbers 25). It was lustful pleasure that distracted King Solomon from establishing a kingdom greater than his father’s. It was lustful pleasure that distracted Samson from a purposeful life of being a judge to Israel (Judges 16). It was lustful pleasure that distracted Judah from fulfilling his mandate as a father-in-law (Genesis 38). And it is lustful pleasure that distracts you from a life of purpose as you indulge your eyes on binge-watching entertainment filled with nudity and perversion. Too many men and women indulging in lust are crying for God to show them their purpose. You are not waiting on God. God is waiting on you.

Psalms 119:37 “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” (NLT)


Ernest is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, and a father. He has been married to Waturi since September 2012. They have three children- Thandiwe, Ivanna, and Theo. He is also the author of four books. The Wamboyes are passionate to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly taught and understood in our post-modern world. They are champions of biblical discipleship and furthering the Kingdom of God by transforming one person at a time. They are the founders of The Relationship Centre Ltd (TRC), an organisation that aims to promote biblical family values in contemporary urban communities.

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