“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”I John 2:16
I had asked Rebekah to marry me and the wedding plans were well underway. We talked about where we wanted to go on our honeymoon and our first thought was San Diego, where every Arizonian desires to vacation in the summer. We got married in August for some unknown reason, and if you live in Arizona, you know how lubricious it is to get married in one of the hottest months of the year. We thought nothing of the heat but only thought about tying the knot and hoping it would coincide with the completion of our newly-purchased home. We looked for a place in San Diego that was referred to us by Rebekah’s boss at the time, but the place was booked solid as a lot of people had the same bright idea but were more prepared then we were. We found other places, but they were booked as well and this was before people rented out their houses and things such as that. San Diego was looking to be a dead end so we decided on a place we thought would be a lot of fun.
My dad asked me where we would be honeymooning, and I told him Rebekah and I had decided on Las Vegas. He paused, looked at me sternly and asked, “Why?!” He was against us going to Vegas as it is not called the “City of Doing Right”, but quite the contrary. I thought nothing of that, only about the bright lights and the all-you-can-eat buffets. I thought of the shows we could go and see, although we really could not afford to go to any shows. I thought of the places where they created replica Eiffel towers and put New York on a mini-scale. I thought it was a good way to see the world on a budget and have some fun. I hate to gamble so that was not really an allure to me, but the place was open 24/7, which I thought would be perfect. It did not take long for us to realize why it’s called Sin City as we arrived late at night and then decided to go for a stroll the following day.
We walked the streets and saw some cool things, but we were also introduced to some things that were not so good. We were handed pamphlets which were not gospel tracts but invitations to sin. The streets were littered with this type of paraphernalia and it seemed everywhere you went, there were people drinking, gambling and seemingly having a good time. You also saw the aftermath of people who were “wasted” and ultimately looked miserable. Anything you could have wanted or desired to feed your flesh was at your disposal, and I started to understand my dad’s concerns with the city. There was sin everywhere we turned, and I really have not had a desire to return there as one time was good enough for me. You can feel the evil in that city, and I had not felt that feeling until just recently when I visited New Orleans with my son.
I flew to Florida to meet my son and drive with him back to Arizona, and we decided we would make a road trip out of it with some stops along the way. We ended up in the New Orleans French Quarter at a restaurant that came with some fanfare. We had a good meal and decided to walk the streets where we encountered Vegas on steroids. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life were on fully display as my son and I were beckoned by half-clothed women to just “come and take a look,” I was embarrassed for my son as I had no idea things would be this bad here in NOLA. We saw tarot card tables scattered around the streets we walked and while it was warm out, there was no excuse for the lack of clothing people had decided to put on. You could feel the evil there in that place, much like Vegas, and it reminded me that the pull of the world can be strong and if you turn to it, it will draw you and hold you with no intent of letting go. The devil desires to keep a hold on you forever and “come take a look” sometimes turns into a permanent residence.
What are you focusing on today? Are you drawn by the world and enslaved to sin? Has the devil taken a hold on you and taken up residency in your life? Do you desire to separate yourself from the world or do you think a “look” will only be for a minute? May we fall in love with our God which will leave us no room to fulfill the lusts of our flesh. He is more than enough, but if we do not fill ourselves with Him, we will leave ourselves open to fill ourselves with the things of the world which will only leave us empty and hollow. May we seek that which is of the Father and not follow lustful and vain pursuits.