Lust can present itself as a plaything, but as you may have learned, it is vicious. Lust is not just about lying; lust has waged war. Since war has been declared, you have to make a few primary decisions. Are you willing to fight? Are you willing to kill lust? Are you willing to have your flesh killed?
In the Old Testament, God gave the Promised Land to the tribes of Israel as an inheritance. But in order to get their inheritance, they had to go to war and kill to receive what God had already given them. In the New Testament, God has given us the lust-free nature of Christ. We just need to go to war against lust in order to receive that nature.
Lust is at war and you have to be absolutely willing to fight against it. You have to kill the enemy and any part of your flesh that wants to hold onto it. You have to be able to kill lust's existence in your life for good, not just for a little while.
Lust will lie to you that it feels good. But what lust won't tell you is that it will only focus on the few moments of feeling good. Lust will highlight the arousal, secrecy or how smart you feel. Lust will never remind you that after you lust, you will hate yourself for the isolation you caused.
Take a moment and think of your life five years from now. Think about your life if you keep lusting on a regular basis. Lust will have grown more in your life, taken more of your time, limited your maturity, affected your productivity and maybe taken you into behaviors you didn't think would happen. These could be the loss of a job, getting caught repeatedly, marital separation, divorce, breaking up or getting arrested.
Lust has you in its grip. Now imagine what that life looks like. You're still in the same job or demoted, your marriage is strained or has ended, you will never get close to your spiritual destiny, you will feel distant in relationships, are guilt-ridden, and your children might even have a stepdad they call dad instead of you. You've lost the war.
I want you to take a serious look at your life and imagine what it would really be like if lust progressively held your hand and led you where it wanted you to go. Sadly, I have watched men's lives who didn't kill the seed of lust and let it grow. Their pain, sorrow and regret are real, and at times they are seemingly inconsolable.
Lust takes immediate opportunities to utilize its services. Imagine what your life would be like if you were successful over the war of lust for a day, then a week, then a month and then a year. Finally, take a few minutes and imagine your life completely lust-free.
You will see women as people. Instead of preying on them for self-pleasure, you will feel sad for women who objectify themselves, and pray for them. What does your life look like?
What about your spiritual life? Your health? Your wife? Your children and grandchildren? How are they experiencing life with a lust-free man?
Imagine wisdom and energy flowing through you in your relationships at work. Think about your hobbies. It's possible to be lust-free. I have known men who have experienced years of lust-free living. Is there something stopping you from joining us?
Being good feels so much better day in and day out than any false high (or real low, actually) that lust offers you. Lust is like the sugar high and the subsequent drop in blood sugar. You have to decide not to fall for the lie that lust makes you feel good. Every day you get to make the choice: chase the quick sugar high of lust, or feel good every day. I know men who have chosen to feel good every day, and according to them, there isn't even a comparison between feeling good and being good.
Living a lust-free life is amazing. You have no anxiety about someone discovering your secrets. You feel more clear and productive in all areas of your life. You become an even better husband and father.
You are at war. This isn't a game. Your destiny and your family are at stake. It's your choice: Kill the enemy, or embrace the enemy. Now that you realize you are at war, act like it—and declare your freedom.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including Clean; Lust Free Living; Sex, Men and God; Intimacy and his latest, Worthy: Exercise and Step Book. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.