We have a foe that is ravaging our men and reducing our women in the church. This evil enemy is a wicked liar that truly wants to see you destroyed, beaten down and immobilized.
Worst of all, this enemy is largely unseen and undetected. It has an evil agenda which is in total opposition to our agenda as followers of Christ. Although we can win the fight against this foe easily, it takes work. I want to equip you with the tools and weapons to face this enemy and win every time.
Although most think the opposite of love is hate, I want to present you with another perspective on the opposite of love. We have all heard various phrases about opposites such as, "that's like oil and water." The polar opposite of love is lust, much like oil and water. The origin of lust is our own self. Love, on the other hand, not only comes from God, it is God.
When we lust, we are moving in the opposite direction of God. We take a woman and reduce her to an image or object. We depersonalize her for our consumption. A loving behavior is to expand our view of her by seeing her as God's child, a wife, mother, and friend. Love expands who she is. Lust reduces her.
You can always tell which direction you are going with a woman by how you are expanding or reducing her. You can always grade where you are with lust and love anytime by using this guideline. Simply ask yourself if you are reducing or expanding her.
Once you have your answer, you know whether or not you are living a lust-free lifestyle. Practice this when you are out and about publicly. To become loving will lead you to become and stay lust-free your entire life.
However, we need to take steps to make sure we stay loving and keep lust out of our lives. If we don't constantly stay on guard against it, lust will creep back in. Let's explore a couple more lust lies and ways to fight them.
Going back to the Garden of Eden, we realize lust can be very sneaky. Lust tells you every woman is potentially yours and because of that, you are allowed to inspect and assess any woman you want. Lust makes you believe women in general are yours to do with as you please.
The truth is that only one woman is yours, and that's your wife (or future wife). For most men, God has or will give you one woman as an inheritance. She is yours to bless, maintain, protect and provide for. She is the jewel in your proverbial crown.
This truth means that no other woman, real or imagined, is yours. Other women are God's first and they were made for His glory regardless of whether they act in accordance with this truth.
In most cases, each woman will eventually become another man's wife. That woman is some other man's inheritance. She is not yours to objectify, lust after or to view her image for the purpose of lust. She is not yours to behold. Simply put, God has not given you permission to lust after another man's inheritance.
However, lust will bring evidence to lie to us as well. It will use any means of rational excuse or reason to convince you to take part in lust.
Lust has many friends and uses opportunities to introduce you to these friends on a fairly regular basis. One of these friends is the deception or illusion called control. Lust tells you, "It's okay to lust or view images, porn and fantasize because, after all, you can control how much, how long and even what behaviors you do."
Control is a lie on so many levels. Scripture tells us that lust is a seed (James 1:15). You can kill a seed by putting it in the light and not watering it, but you cannot stop a seed from growing once planted. You can't sit on it, yell at it or in any other way keep it from growing once you've planted it.
Once you plant a lust seed and incubate it in your soul, you can't stop this seed from growing into sin and death. Lust tells you you're in control so it can grow and get your life out of control.
You can't stop a weed or a tree from growing. You can kill it or chop it down, but you can't keep it from growing. Never believe the lie that somehow you are in control of lust. This lie will keep you sick and get you sicker than you ever imagined.
Destroy lust before it takes root. You cannot control lust if you feed it. However, you can destroy lust by starving it.
As you take up this battle against lust and the lies lust will tell you, seek resources to help you in your fight. Find other brothers in Christ who desire to live a lust-free lifestyle as well. Share your victories as well as failures in this area to remove the shame which gives lust it's power.
I also encourage you to read books and work material designed to help you in this area. This is a formidable foe, but it cannot stand against you if you truly take up the fight against it.
I also encourage you to listen to top leaders in the field of sexual purity. There is a conference which gathers all the top leaders in the industry in one place for you to learn, grow, and equip yourself for the fight. It is called Integrity Journey Conference. For more information or to get signed up for their next event, visit integrityjourney.org/.
At this conference, you will be given an arsenal of weapons to fight lust and the lies and take the steps to actively remove lust from your life and live a life of purity.
As always, I'm praying for you and all the men who are battling, and I'm excited about the prospect of a clean church, nation and world. A lust-free lifestyle is possible, but it takes action. Join the fight!
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 Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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