Note to user:
There is power in the Word below. Pray for a spirit of wisdom & understanding in the knowledge of Him so that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened as you seek the ways of His Kingdom.
Lust is a very powerful topic. I take this subject very seriously because the last thing people need are grandiose words and ideas that sound wonderful yet yield no results in the lives of God’s people that are looking to escape this sin and to live in freedom from the effects of a hyper sexualized culture. Understand that lust is no respector of persons. It pursues and devours both male and female when it is allowed to gain a foothold.
I’m going to get straight to the point here because this is a practical workbook based on solutions. First of all, it is alright to hate. That’s right, you heard me correctly. Until you truly see and hate the fruit of what the slightest embrace of lust produces in your life and in the lives around you then you will not be serious about breaking free of this bondage. I’m telling you that until a deep conviction in your spirit man is actually repulsed by whatever brings about lustful feelings and actions in your life then you will not be able to overcome the power of lust.
Hating the work of lust is not enough. The Lord has called us to be people of high moral character, to have an intimate knowledge of relationship with Him, to practice self-control, to walk in the highest character of Godliness, kindness and love. We all live among the influences of the world's culture and there are so many things that can have an impact on how we think and behave. There is a constant competition for our hearts which is why we must guard our hearts and minds at all times. Some people fully embrace the nature of the world's culture. Some have times of weakness and allow themselves to taste and dabble in the things of this world thinking that they can bounce between good and evil. It may seem impossible to resist these worldly influences as it permeates our thinking. However, we must learn and purpose to see internally with God's eyes. We must discern where others are by the fruit in their actions and the nature of their spirits. Be fully engaged, walk in wisdom and understanding with your eyes wide open to everything that is of the kingdom of the world vs those influences that are of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. DO NOT be fooled into following and embracing those feelings that result from worldly interactions. Be led by the Holy Spirit at all times in your everyday walk. The road is narrow for a reason. Continue on in these things every day and in every situation of life. It is necessary to remind yourself every time why you are repulsed when lust attempts to lure you into sin. You are repulsed because you know the one who your battle is against. Recognize the one who influences the kingdom of this world and that he uses whomever and whatever he can to further his agenda. Remember Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Walk in constant reminder of God’s truth and love and that you are a person that is being renewed and transformed with a sense of Kingdom mission and Godly purpose.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:6
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
1 Thessalonians 4:2-5
For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”, for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
1 John 2:16-17
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
But the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
2 Timothy 2:22
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those that call upon the Lord from a pure heart.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 4:1-5
Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Proverbs 4:23 & 26
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
It is very important to understand that the Lord is your Master. When you come to the end of yourself, humble all that you are and surrender completely to Him, then you are accepting the only One into your life that can and has overcome sin and death. The Lord is a righteous God and that means you are no longer playing the role of master and now you belong to God. That is a pathway to true freedom by the way! A tremendous reason to celebrate! Guard your spirit and don't be fooled into thinking you're allowed to handle and master a bit of sin for the pleasure of your flesh. By doing that you are grieving the very heart of God. This leads to a hardening of your own heart and stunted spiritual growth in your life. Don't play master.
Final PRACTICAL tip:
What I'm about to share is not limited to the topic of sexual lust but applies to all areas of thought and living life in the world as christians in a foreign land. Everyday, we are bombarded with pressures, temptation, urgencies, struggles and overall “fires” in our lives. It seems that something is always on “fire” at any given time to some degree!
As people living in the world, we have certain abilities to handle these fires and so it is natural to immediately pull those levers to handle whatever comes our way. So, in keeping with the thread of this section, let's say something comes across your path that stimulates you in a sexual way and brings in that initial rush of strong desire. As people of flesh, we pull the levers of the flesh and handle that sexual stimulation by viewing and staring longer, playing scenarios out in our minds and developing habits that begin to control us as we have these things happen again and again with increasing frequency and intensity. Before you know it, you are caught in a repetitive cycle of flesh based lever pulling to handle the thoughts and feelings rushing into your mind courtesy of the lust inherent in the world. Now you may say, “Ok, yep, I get it....this is where I'm at. “Now how do I escape this?” Well, this is where spiritual warfare and long haul perseverance comes in. Straight to the point, the very instant those feelings rush in you don't pull the levers of the flesh to resolve whatever you may be feeling whether it be sexual lust, anger, frustration but you immediately step back, take a breath, and turn those feelings to the Holy Spirit abiding within you. That's right, you breathe, then you say something along the lines of, “Father, I have feelings, cravings, desires, longings rushing in this very moment and I don't want to fall back into old habits and feed this bag of emotional trauma and sin I've been carrying around. In this very instance, I hold these feelings captive for you and I to face together before I fall. Please shine the light of your glory upon this situation with power and urgency so that I may be a godly person with a pure heart, holy thoughts and righteous actions.” Do not let up from praying and worshiping in this way, in His presence, until you feel the life of His Spirit washing away the temptation and freeing you to move forward without falling. THIS IS WHY PRAYER IS SO NECESSARY AND SO VERY POWERFUL! Do not discount how important it is to develop a habit of prayer and worship in the presence of our Father in an ongoing daily way. Feeding the beauty and truth of scripture into your life is set on fire when you lift it as incense before the throne of the Lord God Almighty in prayer! Otherwise, it is just knowledge and even the enemy knows scripture.
Keep these key phrases close as you think about what has been said:
- Honest heart-felt prayer (longings that reach to the bowels of your spirit)
- Child-like innocence
- A pure heart
- Humility in your conduct
- Pull spiritual levers not flesh levers
- Holy thoughts & righteous actions
- Character is who you are when no one is looking
I don't care if you have fallen a thousand times. Work this process, which is full of the Spirit and nature of God, and you WILL be set free and just as exciting; completely transformed! As you persevere and don't give up, God will call and draw you to deeper and deeper places of true freedom and life in Him. Don't doubt me, and most importantly don't doubt Him. This is truth.
My dear Father, I confess to you that, at times, I’ve allowed unhealthy desire to gain a foothold in my life. I know that it is wrong to crave after things that produce envy, sexual immorality and other bad fruit in my life. Lord, I am finished with allowing the work of lust to guide my heart, my eyes, my thoughts and my actions. A righteous anger is rising up within the bowels of my soul and I declare war against the enemy. Please equip me heavenly Father that I may have victory against the enemy and that the work of lust may be completely wiped out in my life. Renew a righteous spirit within me Lord that I may live a transformed life and produce good fruit for the glory of Your Kingdom! I commit to being a person of prayer. I commit to checking in with You throughout my day. My new desire is to see and hear You Lord. I want to be invested in Your plans and share in Your desires. Thank you Jesus for being my Lord and my example for holy living.
In line with Your Word I pray according to Matthew 5:28. I see that the work of lust begins in the heart. I surrender the desires of my heart to You. I desire to fully walk with the Spirit according to Galatians 5:16 so that fleshly desires will have no place in my life. Teach me and lead me O’ Lord that the truth and power of Your kingdom will be at work in me. Thank you Lord for the truth of James 1:15. May Godly desire be conceived in me; may it give birth to holy thoughts and produce righteous actions. May the fruit of these things bring forth renewal and transformation in my life and in the lives of those around me.
Romans 6:14 says that sin shall not be master over me for I am not under law but under grace. I present my body to You Lord as a slave to righteousness that I may be holy and inherit eternal life. According to Romans 13:12 I lay aside the deeds of the darkness and put on the armor of light. In line with the truth of Ephesians 4:24 I put on the new self, which is in Your likeness and has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. As in 2 Timothy 2:22 please send others into my life that I may connect with to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with truly pure hearts and holy intentions.
I commit to the teaching of 1 Peter 4:2 that I may no longer invest my time in the flesh for the lusts of men but that the driving beat of my life may be for the will of God. –AMEN--