Fighting Lust

Read Matthew 5:27-30

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I’m not sure how many women’s bible studies are talking about this topic, but we’re going there.

Lust

Lust: an intense desire or need, a sexual urge

This is more than a glance or being attracted to someone, this is letting your mind wander into fantasy, craving a sexual encounter. In this context, lust is referring sexual temptation, a strong desire to be sexually intimate with someone who is not your spouse.

Our generation is over sexualized. It’s no secret. Commercials, songs, music videos, store ads, TV shows, even sitcoms are sexualized. I can’t turn on the TV without something sexual popping up in my face. We’ve tried watching so many shows that people rave about, only to get a few episodes, or minutes into the series, and there’s a graphic sexual scene.  In fact, just the other night I was scrolling through Facebook and child, who is in Jr.High, posted and up-close picture of a man’s well, you know what. I can’t even go on Facebook now without my eyes being scorned.

According to Covenant Eyes, 1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography. Global pornography revenue is in the billions, with lots of it coming from the US. In fact here’s an info graphic I found worth sharing:

internet_porn

In other words, lust isn’t going away, in fact it’s only getting stronger. Lust doesn’t always give way to affairs or viewing pornography, but it can still be destructive.  Lust is letting your mind wander into a place it shouldn’t.  Jesus tells us in this passage that long before the act of adultery is committed, lust in the heart is found.  This is where true adultery begins.  So what do we do? Here are 3 tips for fighting lust:

1. Guard Your Heart (and Mind)
Jesus whole teaching on sin is that it always starts in the heart. Lust is conceived in the heart and born in the mind. We have to be able to fight sin as drastically as Jesus told us to. That starts with guarding your heart and your mind. Lust maybe purely physical, but I’m not sure that’s always the case. At times sexual immorality is born out of loneliness, seeking comfort in the wrong things. Run to God with these desires, nip them in the bud before they begin to grow, and ask God to change you from the inside out.  Temptation always starts with one little bite, so search your heart for those little places you’re allowing sin to grow.

2. Walk in the Light
Nothing is more difficult than to fight sin in the dark. Trying to do this on your own, in your own strength is a death sentence. Find others you can be honest with. Remember Jesus’ advice for fighting sin isn’t “try harder” or “be better”, it’s “tear your eye out”. Do what you have to do fight sin and bring this into the light. Take drastic measures. Sin must be dealt with drastically because it’s deadly; it kills both physically and spiritually. The best way to fight lust in the heart is in community and authenticity.

3. Preach the Gospel to Yourself
I mean it. Preach the Gospel to yourself. You made by our Creator God and redeemed by Jesus our Savior.  The same power that raised  Christ from the dead now lives in you. Repentance is the road to freedom. Remembering whose you are and who you are in Christ, regularly coming back to that, will help you breakdown strongholds. While putting up moral fences may work for a time, the only true long-lasting road to freedom is Calvary.

Fight. Guard your heart. Renew your mind. Live in community. Find accountability. Preach the Gospel to yourself.

  1. What are there circumstances in your life that cause you to lust?
  1. Why would Jesus say, “tear your eye out” and “cut off your hand” in regards to fighting lust?
  1. If lust is something you struggle with, write out some action steps for how you’ll fight it.
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