Breaking Free from Lust
Sunday, my lesson is entitled, “Breaking Free from Lust.”
The first thing that may come to mind is such a discussion, of course, is pornography. However, our society is so sex-saturated, we don’t have to be involved with actual pornography to be exposed to explicit materials. Television, movies, magazines, billboards—even catalogs are filled with materials that can lure us down the wrong path. What can we do in such a sex obsessed society?
The first thing to remember is that sex is good! God created the sexual relationship and he has blessed marriage as the ideal and only proper setting for its expression. The Bible is full of verses urging married couples to give full expression to their sexual desires (I’ll be mentioning a few of these in my lesson).
The scripture also teaches that married couples are not to withhold sex from one another. The King James Version uses the word “defraud” in 1 Cor. 7 to describe such withholding. In my opinion, the spouse who is not attentive to the sexual desires of his/her mate is being as unfaithful to them as the spouse who steps outside the marriage and “cheats.” Both have “broken faith” in regard to their marital covenant—this is the very definition of adultery!
If you are having trouble with lust, it is time to talk with your spouse about how you can spend more time together. This is God’s solution. Communication is key.
What if you are not married or your spouse is not responsive? Paul addressed that as well; he had help from God to control his desires (1 Corinthians 7:7). “God’s solution is get married. If that isn’t possible, self-control with God’s help is the fall back plan.”
How does that work? God can handle the desire part, but you need to remove yourself from any situation that can inflame your desire. That may mean avoiding certain people and circumstances or restricting what you read or watch. This especially means avoiding pornography in all forms. Pornography is exploitive and addictive. Using pornography as an expression of your sexual desire leads to an addictive downward spiral of lust as well as an objectification and denigration of what God created to be beautiful. In short, you will lose the ability to respond naturally and normally to one of God’s greatest gifts.
“Desire” is s Morally Neutral Concept in Greek
- It is Used to Describe Beautiful, Healthy Sexual Desire
(Song of Solomon 7:10; Proverbs 5:18-19)
- It is also Used to Describe Sordid, Demeaning Evil Desire or Lust
(Ephesians 4:19; Colossians 3:5)
When does Legitimate Sexual “Desire” Become “Lust”?
- When Desire Turns to Inappropriate Fantasy (Matthew 5:28; James 1:14-15).
- When Desire Cannot be Legitimately Pursued
- The Desire is for Something Sinful (Romans 1:27).
- The Desire is for Someone who Belongs to Another (Exodus 20:17).
- The Desire is for Someone you have no Right to (1 Corinthians 6:18).
- When Desire Controls you (Romans 6:12-13).
- When Desire Twists into Selfishness (Ephesians 2:3).
Breaking Free of Lust:
- No More Excuses
- Repent / Confess Your Sins to God
- Be Accountable to God and Others
- Run Away from Temptation
- Look for God’s Help
- Trust God to Forgive You When You Fail