Why and how can I fight sexual lust?
This was not the question we wanted to reply to. We were close to tackling issues such as making out, pornography and masturbation and even though we know those thing are very relevant to young adults, we are certain everything comes down to sexual lust. We all know in the deepest part of our hearts that masturbation is wrong, porn is wrong, making out is grey (better not to go there) and French kissing is not the way to go either for unmarried couples that are abstaining from sex. The guilt, shame and uneasiness that come with all those things are enough to convince anyone and everyone.
The world is trying to eradicate the shame and sense of accountability, but when it’s just you in the corner of your room, truth is those things takes toil on your soul (and spirit if you are a Christian).
So it doesn’t seem like God is trying to take something pleasurable from you, you have to understand the purpose of sexual desire. The first commandment God gave man in Genesis 1, was to have sex. Yes, you read that right. “Be fruitful and multiply”. So God created man, and he created woman, and he created sex. Sex is only put into right context within the confines of marriage. Think about that for minute.
You need to fight lust before it destroys you. For clarity we will go over why you need to still fight something Jesus has already paid for and freed you from on the cross. The “why” is simple. Your spirit is redeemed but your flesh is not, your flesh is still flesh and still wants fleshy things. Better put, we are regenerated souls dwelling in unregenerated flesh. Matt 26:47. 1 Peter 1:14-16. It wouldn’t be a Christian walk if we were allowed to keep all the stuff we had before know knowing Jesus. Quoting Lecrae, “if you didn’t know Jesus, would your life look the same?” Gal 5:16-18.
But hey! Walking in the spirit, seems vague and unpractical.
Paul wrote to his dear friend and mentee in 2 Tim 2:22 to steer his passion in the right direction. That means we all have a choice in how we chose to channel our desires, so there must be input from our end. But this input as Paul frankly states in 1 Cor 15:10 is from God. God is the source. God gives the grace, we either make it in vain, or work, work, work, work, work, work that grace and produce results.
How do we “work” the grace of God and not make all he did on the cross meaningless?
1. Confess with your mouth: Don’t be lazy about speaking. Affirm your place in Christ by constantly speaking it out. That’s one of the reasons we have something going on our social media account hashtaged #GoodMonday. It’s a reminder to speak life into you week, but it doesn’t begin or end there. When you wake every morning say “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” because you are and sometimes you might forget it, say it so much and so intentionally you never forget. Where God’s word has taken root in your spine, saying and living it is more of reflex than a result of conscious effort. Christ became flesh so that we could become spirit and life. Heb 1 &2. But all of that amazing exchange and sacrifice will be for nothing if we don’t acknowledge it.
2. Walk in the spirit: it’s tending towards the gray impractical corner again right? Well, no. we will break it down in a minute. We accept the grace of God; we believe that we died with Him to our flesh and rose from the grave in righteous and so we walk in this reality. But what does that even mean, walking in the spirit? Acknowledge that you are dead. Actually die to yourself. That is, keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t contradict yourself, pick a side. Don’t say you are dead to sin and keep panicking and obsessing about falling short. Someone who is truly dead has no such worries. Focus on your new life. Focus on Jesus. Think about Jesus. Speak about Jesus. Dream about Jesus. Be consumed by this phantom that is Christ. Be obsessed with what has happened on the cross. Let your stream of thoughts revolve around Jesus. However, you probably cannot obsess about something you practically know nothing about. If the only time you actual hear the word of God or open your bible is when you’re at church then it will be hard (very) to keep your mind on Christ because you’ve dedicated an awfully small about of your time to filling yourself up with the knowledge of Him. Compare Church service on Sunday to the amount of time you spend on WhatsApp or Instagram in a week. See? Obsession is a clear choice. The practical act of mediating on God brings about a subjection of your will to Him, most times unconsciously. God goes to work in you like it says in Phil 2:13. This whole Christianity thing is all about process and training. Think of yourself as a young boy who needs to be trained to be a man. Technically, he is already a man. He’s male. So also, you are already who you are but you still need to grow into the best you can be. And a lot of intentionality goes into that growth.
3. Pray: Prayer is no small input. You already know the bible says pray as often as you breathe. You are not going to get by with your walk with God if you think you can do it alone, if you think for a second that you don’t need Him, you are definitely doomed to fail. When Christ and Paul were admonishing us to pray at all times, they weren’t mincing words or eating cashew or drinking garri. If you aren’t praying you’re simply looking to yourself for answers. And frankly no good thing ever comes from that in the long run. God-dependence is key. God dependence leads to praying always.
4. Be tight with your Christian buds: There’s nothing like a strong circle of believers. We could go on and on about why you need them and why they are important but you guys already know most of it. And by circle of believers we don’t mean, bible study or Sunday school, we mean people you do life with closely such that they can have a significant life on life impact on you. You might be wondering where to find these superhumans. It’s easy. Be exactly what you are looking for, in real life and on the internet. A thirst for God is attractive to someone that’s thirsty for God, so no worries, y’all will find each other. But the evangelist in you is going, I also want to be able to reach and be relatable to people that are not Christian. I want to be able to influence them too. There’s a need for balance. You should see your Christian friends as family. Think of your nuclear family. You have a home in which you sleep and wake and then everybody goes about their business everyday only to come back to fellowship, eat, sleep, wake, and repeat. This is what your relationship with your Christian friends should be like, they should be your home, your safe zone, the ones you call when you are in trouble. And when you think about it, they really are family. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t exchange the two. Don’t make those you are trying to draw into the goodness and abundance of God’s family your backbone. Don’t make them family. They’ll end up influencing you.
5. Be willing to obey: all will mean nothing, if at your core you really don’t want to obey. Know that whatever God wants you to do is ultimately for your good and benefit. He has good thoughts for you and so when he leads you, trust Him enough to actually follow. Sometimes it’s difficult, but hey that’s your flesh dying, and your spirit being made manifest.
You guys, the good news is that you can do all this through Christ. The grace to live above sexual sin is already upon you. You only need to be aware and take hold of it. And we hope we’ve helped in stirring your attention towards that.
If you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in your comments.
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