Sinful Lusts Wage War against Us - The Warrior's Journey®

Sinful Lusts Wage War against Us

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:11-12) 

Sinful desires wage war against the soul – and the body. To illustrate this, let me share a story I once read from Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story. Harvey described a particularly grisly method Eskimos use to kill the wolves that ravaged their traps and snares. During the fierce Alaska winter, Eskimo hunters take a razor sharp doubled-edged knife, dip it in animal blood, and let the blood freeze on the blade. They repeat this process over and over until the blade has a thick covering of frozen blood on it, resembling a pop cycle more than a knife. Then the hunter takes the knife and plant its handle in the ice and lets it freeze in place, with its blade pointing upward. The frozen blood inevitably draws wolves once they picked up its scent. Once tasting the blood, the wolf begins to lick the blade furiously. The wolf goes into such a frenzy licking the blood that it doesn’t even notice the blade is now cutting its tongue. Nor does it realize the blood it tastes is its own.  The sorry wolf bleeds to death not far from the knife, a victim of its own lust. 

This vividly illustrates what sinful lusts do to many young men and women. They wage war against us body and soul. Sexual immorality – all sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage – is self-consuming. Paul the apostle said that if we engage in sexual immorality, we sin against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18). Anytime we step outside the boundaries which God has established for sexual activity – within the bonds of marriage (Hebrews 13:4) – we literally stress our physical bodies. It’s like placing a fish out of water. We’re taking it out of its natural element.  And sin is not our natural element. Righteousness is.   

Yet the spiritual effects of sexual immorality are far worse. Habitually giving into sinful lusts will erode our faith, harden our hearts, and darken our eyes. Eventually, our conscience will be seared (1 Timothy 4:2) and we’ll grow accustomed to the darkness and find the light offensive. Paul speaks of those who once followed Christ but are now enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:18-19). He also speaks of those who have shipwrecked their faith (1 Timothy 1:19), fallen away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1), denied the faith (1 Timothy 5:8), wandered away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:10) and gone astray from the faith (1 Timothy 6:21). Following after our sinful lusts is destructive to our relationship with God and the certainty of our salvation (Romans 11:20-21). 


  • If giving into sinful lusts is so destructive to our health and spirituality, why do you think the military makes so little effort pushing spiritual and moral fitness? 
  • Shouldn’t we strive for spiritual and moral fitness as we do physical fitness? 
  • Let’s not live like a fish out of water. Let’s live and abide in God’s chosen path. 

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