Rick Warren said, and I quote, "Attraction and arousal are the natural, spontaneous, God-given responses to physical beauty, while lust is a deliberate act of the will." In this instance, the will of the flesh, specifically the eyes.
The word lust, as defined by dictionary.com is an uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite. An insatiable appetite at that. Lust is comparable to an unquenchable thirst. The more you get, the more you want!
Sounds like a loosing battle doesn't it? But don't loose hope, here are a few pointers to help keep you on track.
THE GUIDELINES TO OVERCOMING LUST
- First thing's first. You MUST guard the gate of your eyes!
The enemy, Satan, uses an age old tactic to distract us as believers. TEMPTATION! He will dangle that pretty little fruit in front our eyes, similar to what he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1-6 tells the story of his deception and the fall of man. Satan's end game is to use something that you find visually appealing or may even be lacking or in need of to lure you into committing the sin of lust. He even tempted Jesus while in the wilderness Matthew 4:8.
The Ten Commandments speaks very clearly to lust of the eyes in Exodus 20:17 and it admonishes us "17 No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s." (The Message)
Seek Biblical Counsel & Pray
The Bible addresses lust in a few ways. 1 John 2:16 (NLT), "For the world offers only cravings for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and proud in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but from this world," or 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT) "Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." Job 31:11-12(NLT) explains, "For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own."
As children of the one true King, and direct heirs to His kingdom, we often underestimate the power of communication. PRAYER! Whenever we fall weak, our greatest weapon against the enemy is fervent prayer. (See previous blog on fervent pray: The Importance of Fervent Prayer) James5:16b(NIV) say, "... The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Here is a little prayer you can say in moments of weakness: Exalted Creator, I bless Your holy name. We give You all the praise, honor and glory You deserve, for You are Holy and Righteous. I come before You, gentle Savior, seeking Your help in battling temptations. Cleanse my mind, my body, my soul, of all lustful desires. Deliver me from the evil one, Yahweh, protect me from his deceitful lies.
James 5:16a(NIV) says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." We were never meant to travel the journey of Christianity alone. This was never a solo mission. With that said, I urge you find yourself in the company of fellow believers, ones that you can confide in and who will ensure to the best of their abilities that your walk stays pure. Ones that will not condemn you if or when you fall. Ones that not only offer a listening ear, but also intercede on your behalf. The bible says, "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy," Proverbs 28:13(NLT). "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12(NLT). Did you notice that reoccurring word? CONFESS! There is a saying used in therapy sessions of those who suffer from alcohol addiction, "Admittance is the first step to recovery." In order to address an issue, you must first acknowledge that there is an issue. We serve a forgiving God, and He remains faithful even when we're not. 1 John 1:9 (NLT) says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
My Pastor uses this saying, "The first look is free. The second look will cost you!" In the case of lust, it can cost you your eternity. #dontlook