Sunday, November 2, 2008
Every day, television, movies, billboards, newspapers and magazines bombard us with lustful images. And when lustful thoughts become part of our lifestyle, we feel like prisoners to those controlling desires.
But God does not want us to suffer in the prison of lust. He offers hope and freedom when we turn to Him for help to understand the truth behind the lies of lust.
The Roots Of Lust
Lust has been with mankind throughout history. In fact, at the creation of the world, God met Adam and Eve's basic needs for food, companionship and protection. Yet He put one thing out of their reach to test their love for Him - the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17).
Due to lust, they failed God's test. Satan tempted Eve by telling her that God was holding back something good. She and Adam, through lust, ate the forbidden fruit. As a result, they subjected all mankind to God's curse (Genesis 3:6, Genesis 3:16-19).
A Thirst For More
The roots of lust run so deep that it is almost instinctive. And once we begin to fulfill our own lusts, a vicious cycle begins. Sin breaks our relationship with God (Romans 1:24-32). We become numb to lust's impact, so we think we can lust even more.
That is the very nature of lust: an unquenchable thirst for more and more ... More money, fame, power, revenge, food, clothing, love. Unless our desires are turned over to the Lord, we will never be satisfied.
Quenching The Thirst
If you have been searching in vain for fulfillment through the things of this world, then now is the time to discover the answer to the greatest desire in your life.
The Bible says that our greatest need is to worship God. This is why we were created (Colossians 1:16). But sin has separated us from God (Romans 3:23) and only through Jesus can we be forgiven of our sins and restored to God.
Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life! ... Without me, no one can go to the Father" (John 14:6). If you have never given your life to Jesus - and made Him Lord of your deepest desires - then do so now. REPENT (turn away) from your sins, desire to do them no more, desire to follow Jesus with all your heart, and pray and ask Jesus to come into your life by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 10:9,10).
The Daily Battle
Due to our fallen nature, we will have to deal with lust until we die. The temptation to lust will come in many forms. There are external lusts, including ungodly sexual appetites and overindulgence in food and drink; and there are internal lusts, such as the lust of power, fame or position.
Therefore, we who are born-again believers must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit inside us to overcome lust every day. "Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won't try to satisfy your selfish desires" (Romans 13:14)
No matter the form of lust we face, we can be assured that we have an Advocate who "understands every weakness of ours" and "was tempted in every way that we are. But He did not sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
Victory over Lust
God does not want you to be a prisoner of lust. The Bible says, "Christ has set us free! (Galatians 5:1). We who are saved have assurance from our Lord that he will help us to battle lust (Romans 8:31-32). Try these practical steps and ask God to lead you to victory.
Ask God for help. Sometimes we are too ashamed to take this first step. Don't try to fight the battle of lust on your own. Go to God and ask Him for help. This is what humility is all about.
Die to lust. The Bible says "sin does not have power over dead people" (Romans 6:7). So to overcome lust, we must recognize that "the person we used to be was nailed to the cross with Jesus" (Romans 6:5). Of course, we are not actually nailed to the cross. We just recognize that our old way of life died with Jesus. When we understand what it means to be dead to sin, we will then find freedom from lust.
Walk in the Spirit. The next step is to submit your life to the Holy Spirit. "If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires" (Galatians 5:16). Remember, you can't fight lust on your own, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
Renew your mind. Focus on God's Word and allow Him to remove your lustful thoughts and actions (Romans 12:2). Put away everything that appeals to the flesh, and focus on God (Ephesians 4:17-24; 2 Corinthians 10:5).
Resist and flee. Perhaps the best advice all is simply this: Run! Don't allow lust to linger in your mind. Get far away from situations and influences that threaten to trap you (Proverbs 5:8; James 4:7-8).
"Dear Heavenly Father, I can't deal with lust apart from you. Please forgive me and cleanse me from my sin. And please replace my lustful desires with Your desires for my life, so that I can glorify You in everything I do. Thank You. In Jesus' name, Amen"
God's Word On Lust
"Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
Scriptures For Study
The origins of lust
Our struggle with lust
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Consequences of lust
Romans 6:12-23; James 4:5-8
Freedom in Christ
(the above is from: http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/teachingsheets/keys-Overcoming_Lust.aspx)
Ten Points on Destroying Lust
There are many principles revealed in the Bible for destroying lust. It’s usually not as simple as, "Just don’t do it." The main principle is that through Jesus Christ, we gain supernatural power to put lust to death. With that in mind, I've listed 10 points on destroying lust below. I encourage you to study each one and consider how you can apply it in your life.
1. Confess, repent from, and renounce your sin of lust to God.
2. Make no provision to fulfill lust: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Romans 13:14 NKJV)
3. Walk by the Spirit: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16 NKJV)
4. Put lust to death by the power of the Holy Spirit: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13 NKJV) (see also Colossians 3:5)
5. Reckon yourself with Jesus - alive to God and dead to sin: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24 NIV) (also Colossians 3:5 and Romans 6)
6. Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace: "Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)
7. Deny lust and live righteously: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13 NKJV)
8. Invest your time, energy and efforts in God’s will, not in lust: "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1 Peter 4:1-2 NKJV)
9. Apply the truth to the lies: (John 8:31-32, Psalm 51:6).
10. Submit to God, resist the devil, draw near to God: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:7-10 NKJV)
(the above is from: http://www.porn-free.org/lust_ten_points.htm)