Living a life for Christ is in direct opposition to lust. However, lust will hide in the heart of men throughout the church and uses tricks, lies and deception to stay hidden and out of sight. (Yes, some women struggle with lust as well, but this article is addressed to men.)
If we can recognize lust for the evil enemy it is, we can defeat it easily with Christ on our side.
Lie: Lust is not a problem if nothing bad happens. This is a little lie that lust will use to remain hidden in your heart.
This is another tricky lie of lust. It allows lust to stay and grow in your heart more than other lies. A man who has had a long-term relationship with lust often acclimates to other inappropriate behaviors.
Lust will tell you that how you act out is your problem. Lust wants to focus on the fruits of lust rather than on lust itself. The truth is that to kill lust, you have to kill it at its roots. You need to get serious about stocking your arsenal, sharpening your weapons and giving you toxins to kill lust at its roots.
If you stop lusting, you are less likely to reap the terrible consequences and escalated behavior that come later. If you learn to be lust-free and honor women and yourself, you are far less likely to bear the fruit of lust. Keep an eye on the real problem: lust. Once you kill lust, the fruit of the Spirit can grow in its place, feeding those you love with good fruit. The real problem isn't the actual behavior with which you have struggled. It's lust. Lust is the fuel for sexual sin, period. When you eradicate lust, the fuel these behaviors feed upon is disabled, so the "little lust" really is the big problem to be solved in order to live a lust-free life.
You are presented with decisions to make daily. Many of those decisions must be made without much thought. This means you have to train your immediate responses to avoid lust.
Living a lust-free lifestyle is a combination of several quick decisions. Regardless of how long your road is to get and maintain a lust-free lifestyle, the decisions are the same.
You must decide to become lust-free. You must have the tools you are willing to master on a daily basis. The battle may be minute by minute in the beginning, so you have to commit to brutal honesty with yourself, God and a man (don't keep trying by yourself). You have to commit to start every day fresh. You may lose a fight here and there, but today is a new day, and you are totally forgiven of your past.
A few consistent daily choices create a habit of preparation to defeat lust and make you ready to win. Men who make a daily choice to prepare, get and stay lust-free earlier and longer than those who wait for lust to decide when and where to fight. Be proactive; start daily disciplines as a part of your life, and you will be victorious.
In my book, Lust Free Living, I provide many tools to help fight against lust with daily tips and lies lust will use. I want to see you free and powerful as you overcome this evil enemy. Don't treat it lightly; attack it with all your force!
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 his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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