What Does It Mean to Covet?

Matthew 4:8-11 – Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.

Exodus 20:17 – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

Coveting is ungodly and discontented desire, passion, envy, craving, greed, jealousy, obsession, longing, or lust for someone or something that is not supposed to be yours. In short, coveting is when you aren’t content with what God wants for you, and instead you want something He has not chosen for you. Consider these questions for a moment:

  1. Have you ever seen a car that you deeply wished you could own and drive?
  2. Have you ever seen a home that was so great that you deeply wanted to have it for yourself?
  3. Is there a person whose abilities (mental, physical, spiritual, etc.) you wish you could have?
  4. What things do other people have that you really want for yourself?
  5. Whom would you trade lives with if you could swap your life with someone else’s?

Did answers to any of these questions readily come to mind as you read them? If so, you likely sinned against God in your heart and fell for the demonic trick of coveting.

The last of the Ten Commandments warns us against the demonic deception that enticed even the angels to align with Satan’s scheme by coveting God’s glory.

To put it in modern terms, stop looking up the square footage, sale price, and interior design of other homes; stop comparing the age, beauty, and allure of someone you are not married to with your spouse. Don’t worry about the new car and fancy vacation your friends just posted online; instead be content with what God has given you.

To order the new book from Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll “Win Your War”, visit: https://amzn.to/2YuhoDn.

For the entire eight-week “Win Your War” sermon series  from Pastor Mark, visit www.markdriscoll.org or the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.

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