The old testament
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17, NET©
The last of the ten commandments is, you should not covet. In this commandment, we see a list of things you should not covet, but that goes over to “… nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.” That is, you should not go around and have cravings for anyone elses belongings. Do not be dissatisfied and jealous, be happy and satisfied with what you have.
In the new testament
In the new testament we see the importance of not having desires, because they leads us astray. We get lead away from God and into idolatry. If we follow our worldly desires, we will get lost.
Covetousness leads to fall – 1 Corinthians 10:3-6, NET©
3 and all ate the same spiritual food,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.
5 But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were cut down in the wilderness.
6 These things happened as examples for us, so that we will not crave evil things as they did.
The Israelites who wandered in the desert from Egypt, never entered the promised land. At least not the first generation. The reason was that they only followed their own cravings instead of following God, and having their eyes set on Him. That way, they have become an example for us today, not to let us be ruled by our desires.
2:3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest… 4:22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, Ephesians 2:3, 4:22, NET©
All people have once been the children of wrath, whom followed their own flesh, and whatever it would lust after.
It’s part of our fallen nature, to only do what gives us quick, and short-term satisfaction, but often with long-term negative consequences.
Therefore, God has called us to lay off our desires, as it deceives us and leads us to destruction in the long run.
18 Others are the ones sown among thorns: They are those who hear the word, 19 but worldly cares, the seductiveness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it produces nothing. Mark 4:18-19, NET©
It is important to review what soil we are. If we hear the word of God but let worldly matters take over, then the word becomes unfruitful. The result of this is that the desires rules us and leads us to astray.
16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:16-17, NET©
Whatever is not of God, is of the world. And if we follow what is of the world, then we do not follow God, but our own desires.
To follow what the flesh wants, fornication and forbidden pleasure. What the eyes want, whatever it may be. As well as the pride over what we gained in life. So that we may think of ourselves as better than others. All of this has an end to it, and if we follow the desires, we will end the same way. What we should do instead, is the will of God!
22 But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22, NET©
Flee away from all temptations and what else that leads you astray. Disregard the short-term pleasures, for the benefit of fellowship with those who love the Lord, and learn to love them through God.
Seek to have a pure heart. Then we can love our fellow neighbors, instead of selfishly satisfying our desires, and thereby spreading pain and suffering around the world.
24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24, NET©
Are you into covetousness?
Is it the short-term pleasure and the satisfaction that tempts you? Then you live for yourself and not for your neighbor, by doing so, you sin against both God and man.
You need to repent of your sin and make Jesus lord and savior of your life. When you receive him, he becomes your source of satisfaction. Jesus is the water of life, and the brook that never dries out.