“Here we go” right? “Another high and mighty Christian boy bashing sex and porn and masturbation and fooling around with my boyfriend or girlfriend.”
Right! and also very wrong. Lust has been a struggle for billions of people and with the world we live in, it is understandable. Everything is sold using sex from food and drink to cars and insurance. Sex is in our movies, TV shows even cartoons and shows for kids! So struggles with lust are understandable but lust is, as it always has been, unacceptable.
I have wrestled with lust of the flesh, lust of the heart, lusting after a woman, after an item I wanted, more money, etc. For now, lets focus on lust of the flesh. Lust is greedy and deceives you. To lust is to want what you do not have, and were not meant to have. Lust goes beyond attraction, an appreciation for beauty, or even a healthy desire for sex. Lust is a promise of pleasure in some form, usually physical, but it is always a false promise. Lust leaves an emptiness when pursued that only gets greater each time we listen to its lies. Lust damages relationships, marriages, families. Sex, is beautiful and I am in absolutely no way against it. But keep it where it was meant to be, in marriage between husband and wife as God intended. Lust is a perversion of God’s gift of passionate sex. What, did you think God is against sex? Not even a little, He created it! Song of Songs is dedicated to celebrating PURE sex in marriage.
The real trap of lust, is that it can never, ever be satisfied. You fall into its snare once, then you want more and more and more until you are so far in you cannot see the light anywhere you turn. We try to fight it ourselves, making promises to God like, “I will not engage in sexual activity for a month” or “I will not masturbate for a year…starting right after this one.” Our willpower is useless against acting in lust. “What do I do! I feel so hopeless!” Find the root of the disease and cut it out. “But isn’t fantasizing about my girlfriend or boyfriend ok? We are in a relationship after all.” That is how it starts, even beyond that, it starts with a single look. Let me throw a verse at you about how much lust is ok. “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3
Did you read what I saw in there? “Not even a HINT” It starts with a glance, an ‘innocent’ thought, then before you know it, you no longer recognize yourself. I hurt people around me with my lust. People I cared about. People I loved. Love and lust are two very very different things. Ladies, do not listen when a guy you barely know says “I love you”. No he does not. Love is born of trials together and knowing each other inside and out. Sex comes later, after marriage as God intended. Pure sex in marriage is a beautiful thing. You know the person you are giving yourself to will still be there tomorrow. There is no fear of rejection, they married you after all! Sex in passionate, love-filled marriage is one of the most amazing expressions of that passion we have. Lust destroys that. Parentless children, broken hearts, STD’s being passed around to unsuspecting people. All because we could not WAIT to get to know someone, we could not WAIT to experience true pleasure in purity with our spouse. Gotta have it now! I’m sad so I want some physical comfort. That lie has been succumbed to so many times. That physical “comfort” will leave you with shame, fear, emptiness, and a feeling of hopelessness. Trust me. Ooo I have heard people say that before as well to get what they wanted from someone. “Trust me, I care about you” “I won’t think any differently of you” lies. “Trust me” from someone in a sexual situation is a very clear indicator they are the least trustworthy person around you. If you are hurting and someone wants to make you feel good physically to fix it, RUN. They are not trying to help. They are acting out of lust and greed. They want you to make them feel good. Not help you through whatever you are struggling with. I promise. Do not trust me, you do not even know me, ask people you do trust. If they have been through this, they know I am correct. God said, “Not even a hint” not because He does not want us to have fun, but because we are His and Daddy wants to protect His children from the pain lust brings. Good things come to those who wait is especially true with sex. Learning about your potential spouse without sex brings a much clearer picture of who they are. Lust brings confusion and regret to things that should be amazing experiences.
Movies. Sooo many movies are choc full of lust. Tons of recent ones are blatantly about nothing but lust. Magic Mike comes to mind. If you are trying to avoid lust, stay away from sleezy movies and shows that throw naked people at you or have outright sex scenes every ten minutes. Lust is not a battle of willpower or of the mind, lust comes from what is in our hearts! What we let in. Lock the gate. I have said it a few times before in other writings pertaining to other subjects, GUARD YOU HEART. Eyes are the gateway to the soul. Looking in a beautiful lady’s eyes can tell you much, talking to her openly about life and dreams and goals and passions tells me so much more than staring at her breasts and picturing her naked. Not even a hint. Same for ladies to guys. Thinking about his body is where it starts. Lust is a slipstream with a heavy undertoe. You dip your foot in, just to test the water, and WHOOSH! You are rushing, out of control, into the swirling abyss with nothing to grab onto and all the willpower in the world is not enough to float you to the surface, let alone pull you out. Lust is always seeking a new sensual thrill. The only way to avoid being sucked in, is to avoid the river altogether. Not even a hint. When temptation rears its head, run the other way, sometimes literally. Run from that guy or girl who is seducing you. Just get out of the room, out of the house/apartment/dorm, get out of their life if you must. There will always be other people who want you and will say what they think will get you to take your clothes off. Especially using “friendship” to get close to you. “Oh, don’t cry, come lay in my arms until you feel better.” Run.
There will also always be people who truly want to uplift and encourage you. Which is which though? How can we tell who is extending a hand in friendship and who is a viper waiting for your vulnerability to show? WAIT. Not even a hint. Very soon, the viper will start asking, maybe even just mentioning or “joking” about sex with you. When you refuse, they may back off for a bit, but they will quickly try again, searching for you weakest point. Say no, and mean it. Cut the head off the serpent and watch how it squirms and dies. Those vipers, want whatever lovely lady or gentleman comes across them and will do anything to unzip you. When you tell them no, and mean it, sometimes repeatedly until they get it, they will just go to the next person and start their game over again. They are not worth having in your life. I do not want them in mine, I have tricked myself before. Surround yourself with real friends. Deep inside, you know the difference. Listen to that. Be cautious of the “diet mentality” with lust. Cutting back or having just a little lust here or there won’t kill me, will it? Not even a hint. Getting too intimate on a date, watching that movie screaming sexual thoughts into your head, ungodly fantasies, all of it feeds lust. Just like sumo wrestlers, the one you feed more, is the one that wins. The diet mentality sets up a standard lower than God’s that seems more doable on the surface! Just a little every once in a while seems easier than not avoiding it altogether. Even makes you feel good about yourself! At first, anyway. “Yeah, I resisted! I’m sooooo strong. I can let it slip next time as long as I resist MOST of the time.” Nope! Not even a hint.
Willpower is nothing but a faulty life preserver. It will fail. Only the power of the cross can break the power of sin that ensnares us. I am currently reading a book by Joshua Harris called, “Not Even a Hint”. He is a great writer and I highly recommend this book. Here is a quote from him – “Despair or pride about changing won’t work either. Only the motive of grace-trust in the undeserved favor of God-can inspire us to pursue holiness free from fear and shame.”
Here is another two to end our time together today, “Part of the challenge Christians face in a lust-filled world is remembering that neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. Lust is our enemy and has hijacked sexuality. We need to keep reminding ourselves that our goal is to rescue our sexuality from lust so we can experience it the way God intended.”
“In (The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis) Lewis show the connection between killing our lust and finding life. It feels as though destroying our lust will destroy us. But it doesn’t. And when we destroy our lustful desire, we come not to the end of desire, but to the beginning of pure desire –God-centered desire, which was created to carry us into the everlasting morning of God’s purpose.”
Thank you all again for letting me pour out to you. Is lust something you struggle with? Let the angel of the Lord kill the little red lizard, that is, lust, whispering in your ear that you can rise into glory finally.
Grace and Peace, with much love,