As you take up the fight against lust, it is important to understand your enemy. There are many principles of lust and much guidance from the Bible on how to be victorious.
In today's article, I want to point out three principle truths when it comes to dealing with lust. Also, I've included practical and biblical steps to fight against it.
Principle 1: Lust negatively impacts your body. Lust has an odd silence about the impact it makes on your body. You believe it just feels good. But lust knows when you use it.
When lust moves into action, the endorphins and enkephalins that flow through your brain literally connect you to and make you long for that image, fantasy, or person again and again.
Lust trains your body to connect to a certain type of stimulus. This action is called positive reinforcement. The body craves the chemical hit through what lust offers. It can get so severe that you prefer lustful thoughts over your wife.
God gives us the truth in 1 Corinthians 6:18: "Escape from sexual immorality. Every sin that a man commits is outside the body. But he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." If lust isn't corrected, the positive reinforcement can get stronger and stronger, leading you into addiction and intimacy anorexia issues.
Your body is an amazing gift. If you allow lust to maintain this gift it will lead you to bad places you wouldn't normally consider. Living a lust-free life allows your body to be restored to the positive, clean mind God gave you at birth.
Principle 2: Lust doesn't play nice. Lust wants you to believe that it is there for you and has your back. Lust is your comfort when you have a hard day at work, a fight with your boss or wife, or even when you're stuck in traffic.
Lust is there to tell you how wanted, desired and loved you are. Lust will worship you for as long as it takes you to disconnect or feel better. Lust wears very well the disguise of being a nice person.
The truth about lust is that it's a predator. Every time lust senses weakness in you, or your ego gets bruised, disappointed, frustrated or overwhelmed, lust moves in to perpetrate his work on you. Lust intentionally leaves you feeling more and more empty, stuck, guilty and ashamed. Lust acts like a predator that waits until it comes across a weak victim to attack.
Lust knows its voice is not nice, so it cloaks itself in niceness. The intention is to capitalize on your weak moments for the express purpose of creating weakness in your life. That's what perpetrators do. Believe the truth the next time lust tries to tell you how nice it is. Simply tell lust it's lying and that you'll take your weakness to Jesus, where you will always become stronger.
Principle 3: Lust is powerless against God. Lust's natural enemy is the fear of the Lord. This is a very practical tip, not one full of religious doctrine. Contemporary Christianity has forsaken the whole idea of fearing God, embracing only God's love for us.
If the father who raised you was a manly man, he was there to help you stay out of trouble. If you feared your father, you had respect for your father, understood his values and knew the consequences of violating them.
My son knows I love him, and I tell him and demonstrate this to him daily. He also knows my value of respecting women, especially his mother. He knows disrespecting women would be immediately painful. He has a healthy respect and fear of dad.
Respecting our Father God's value of women is really helpful to walking lust-free. I know God loves me, but I also know He hates lust. He knows the pain it causes inside and the damage it does to those around us. Honor your Father and fear Him in order to maintain a lust-free life. Having His values and value of women in your heart is an antidote to lust.
It's time to fight!
Lust will not relent and will never give up the fight for your soul. The enemy of our soul knows this to be a weak spot for many Christians. Therefore, he invests a lot of time trying to get us to stumble in this area. Thankfully, God has supplied us with multiple weapons to fight against this and a manual for it in the Bible.
Furthermore, He has equipped many men and women in the church who are dedicated to fighting this evil foe. These leaders in the field of sexual purity are coming together in Colorado Springs in July for a national conference called Integrity Journey.
Whether you're a minister, teacher, recovering person, stuck in lust or just want to help other brothers and sisters who are struggling with it, Integrity Journey is a place to arm yourself with an incredible arsenal of weapons in your fight. The church needs men and women to stand up and say "No more!"
This enemy has been running rampant in the church unchecked for too long. It's time to fight!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Integrity Journey & Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com; on hisFacebook; by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at email@example.com.
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