In today’s society, immorality is very pervasive. Every day we are bombarded with temptations, sent from the devil, that fight against our spiritual and emotional well-being. One of the most dangerous of those temptations is what 1 John 2:16 calls the lust of the flesh. We must be aware of it and aggressively guard our hearts against it.
Lust is a strong force that fights for incessant, spiritually forbidden gratification. It masks itself as a lawful need when it’s really an unlawful greed. Lust is the opposite of intimacy…it only seeks self-satisfaction.
Like all that is of the flesh and of the devil, it will steal, kill and destroy. Just as it drove Eve and Adam to desire the pleasant, yet forbidden fruit, lust drives some of us. It is driving many Christians today to eat, watch, partake and partner with things that rob spiritual and physical life.
Here are questions to help determine whether or not lust is warring against you and winning in your life. Do you have fantasies of being intimate with a specific person who is not your spouse? Are you overly flirtatious with a particular person at work, church, etc.? Do you use your femininity or masculinity to get special favors or attention? Do you watch/read pornography (soft or hard core)? Do you spend money to try to satisfy insatiable desires for material possessions that you can’t afford?
Answering yes to just a few of these questions is evidence that lust may be present in your life. If you found yourself feeling guilty, don’t fret. Just get ready to learn about the pathways to freedom from lust.
Know the triggers. Identifying and overcoming the triggers to lust are important aspects to walking in complete deliverance over it. One such trigger is conflicts with your spouse. Tempting locations like adult book and/or video stores also may trigger lust.
Television also serves as a trigger when it exudes provocative images, especially in music videos. A couple at my church has Psalm 101:3 on the side of their television that reads, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” Also, most secular music today celebrates and encourages lust. Please identify any other triggers in your life.
Be aggressive in the fight against lust. Jesus says, “If thy right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out, and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:29).
Jesus obviously is not telling someone wrestling with sin to literally gouge out his or her own eye. He is instructing us to deal with the conflict (in this case, lust), and deal with it as if it were a matter of life and death. Actually, sin is a matter of life and death.
Insist that your sexuality remain pure, not perverted. Please understand that your sexuality is a gift from the Father. It was not meant to bring shame or condemnation. Sexuality is designed to be rewardingly and unselfishly enjoyed in the sanctity of marriage.
We must stand firm and not allow lust to take any more ground. We must abide in the Word and the love of God, pray fervently and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us. The battle is already won, but we must consistently walk in the truth and diligently guard against lust in this age of perversion.
Kyle Searcy is the Senior Pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship. He has authored numerous books including one on the topic of lust called Overcoming Lust of the Flesh. Find him and his church on the web at www.anointedchurch.org and at www.kylesearcy.com