3 Divinely Inspired Revelations to Deal a Death Blow to Lust

In my teenage and early college years, I was offered many well-meaning tactics to overcome my problem with lust. I bounced my eyes, which meant as soon as I saw a scantily clad woman I would bounce my eyes to something else.

I walked out of movies with sexual scenes. And I even stopped hugging any younger women around my age for a while.

And guess what ... they worked. Well, to be honest, they worked for a while.

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My actions definitely changed. For example, I threw my secret stash of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues into the swamp in the back of my parents' property. I stopped sitting at my computer alone. I unplugged the television whenever I was in a house alone and even when I was alone in a hotel room.

Even though my actions were changing, I looked at myself as David conquering this huge Goliath of lust. I lost a lot of battles to images of Britney Spears and lingerie models, but I felt proud that I was taking down this monster bit by bit. And that was the problem.

When I was defeating lust, I felt a huge ego boost. I thought, "Look how much progress I've made." But when I messed up, I would slump into a huge depression and sometimes repeat the sin over and over because I figured, "Well, I can't get any lower than this. I might as well enjoy it."

In other words, my identity wasn't in Christ and His work on the cross. Instead, I placed my sense of identity in how good I was doing, in my own works. Because of my misplaced identity, when I was killing it for months at a time, I'd look down on friends who were struggling. When I would fall, I'd wonder how God would pay me back with punishment. Would I lose a girlfriend? Would I never find a wife? Would He cause me not to have favor with others?

As I reflect on it now, I can see my problem. It was all about me. I knew God had forgiven me, but I didn't understand that while I was a sinner, Christ had given His life for me. I was His enemy, and He reached out to choose me. I hated God, and He adopted me.

It's easy to give you 3 Divinely Inspired Revelations to Deal a Death Blow to Lust, but if you don't understand the depth of God's love for you, it won't matter. So, first, before you read these practical tips from Lion of Judah, meditate on Romans 3:23-26 (NKJV):

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

In other words, you are full of sin. God justified you freely by His grace. God passes over your sin because of Jesus' righteousness to demonstrate His righteousness. He doesn't do it so you can demonstrate your righteousness or your effort. He justifies you freely to demonstrate His righteousness. If you can rest in that, here are three divinely inspired revelations to build on that foundation.

1. "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Prov. 3:7, NKJV). Don't try to stay around temptation to prove to yourself how wise you are. Fear the Lord and get away from it. Don't think you have it all under control. You don't. In Scripture, God tells us over and over that we don't have it all together. If we feel tempted in any situation, God promises He'll provide us a way of escape.

Whether I take the way He has provided doesn't change His love for me, but it could break trust with my wife, my kids and my friends. In other words, God doesn't tell me this to say, "If you don't depart from evil, I won't love you." Instead He's saying, "If you don't depart from evil, it'll hurt you. Evil hurts everyone who's touched by it."

2. "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16, NKJV). Filling yourself with things that glorify the lusts of the flesh will lead you to fulfill those lusts. The movies you watch, the music you listen to, and the magazines you read take up your time, and time is a very real part of your life. Nothing is neutral.

Walking in the Spirit may require you to listen to songs filled with truth, watch movies that make you want God more, and read books that encourage you. If you don't feel like doing any of that, don't beat yourself up. Bring your true feelings to God and say, "I don't want to walk in the Spirit right now. I really want to listen to songs about sex. I really want to watch this movie or video with sex scenes. I really want to read this trashy novel or look at this magazine. Please help me to want what You want."

3. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God" (Ps. 20:7, NKJV). Don't trust yourself to get out of a tempting situation. Don't trust yourself to depart from evil. Trust God. As soon as you trust in yourself for anything, you've misplaced your trust. Only God can help you.

So throw your magazines in a swamp. Stay away from movies with sexual scenes. Bounce your eyes. But don't do any of those things because of a tip you hear from me or anyone else. You won't be able to maintain any of those practical actions on your own. Put your trust in God, because when you ask Him to provide a way of escape, you'll recognize that walking in the Spirit is not about demonstrating your righteousness. It's about you resting in God to let Him demonstrate His.

Rob Vischer is a freelance writer for Charisma Media.

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