e-devotionals.org 2003-11-19 - Lust

Fatal Distractions Series, Part 4

Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (New Living Testament)

Paul is very clear in the above verse. Do not walk, do not crawl – but, rather, run from sexual sin. Paul understood that our minds are playgrounds that cannot be trusted.

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out, so that you will not give in to it. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 (New Living Testament)

Remember, God never gives us temptations. God will test us. But it is Satan who tempts. Tests are for building up. Temptations are for tearing down. So, why do we flirt with temptation? Why do we want to see just how far we can go with a temptation? Why do we think we can handle temptation on our own?

Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1: 12 (God’s Word)

Characteristics of Lust

Lust … Rages in the Eyes and Heart

They think it is fun to have wild parties during the day … all they think about is having sex with someone else's husband or wife. There is no end to their wicked deeds. They trick people who are easily fooled, and their minds are filled with greedy thoughts. But they are headed for trouble! 2 Peter 2: 13-14 (Contemporary English)

Lust moves from our eyes to our heart. For most of us, it starts out as “innocent” fun. But it then rages and gains control of our hearts. Nothing good comes from lust. Lust is all about me - what I want, what I need, what I can conquer. Lust pushes God out of our hearts.

Lust … is Complicated by our Culture

The temptation to give into evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. James 1: 14 (The Message)

What are some of the ways we are daily bombarded with lustful temptations?

Lust … is Impossible to Satisfy

Like a hungry beast, lust can never be satisfied. The more we feed it, the hungrier it gets.

Winning the War on Lust

Admit the Struggle

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. John 1: 9-10 (New Living Testament)

Admitting any problem is always the first step in solving the problem. Start by admitting the problem to God. What are ways we can build accountability into our lives?

Monitor What You Look At

Run from anything that gives you evil thoughts … but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. 2 Timothy 2: 22 (Living Bible)

Lust normally starts out small and then grows. What are some seemingly “innocent” activities that can lead to evil thoughts?

Optimize Your Marriage

Be happy with the wife you married when you were young. You should be attracted to her and stay deeply in love. Proverbs 5: 18-19 (Contemporary English)

What are some practical ways to optimize your marriage?

Minimize the Opportunities for Temptation

And Magnify the Consequences

The pleasure of sin lasts for a short time. Hebrews 11: 25
God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins … the Lord will punish people who do those things. 1 Thessalonians 4: 3; 6 (New Century)

No one wakes up in the morning and wants temptation to trip us up. What are the ways for us to minimize the temptations?

Think about the consequences of your actions. I have heard people say, “What harm am I doing by looking at some “soft” porn on the internet? Or, “I am not hurting anyone with this. It is just me and the magazine, movie, internet.” But lust not only damages our relationship with those closest to us; it also blocks our relationship with God.

Be prepared for the evil one’s tactics. Know in advance how you we handle lust. Don’t wait until you are hanging over the edge by one branch, to then decide, “Oh I should not be here.”

On your own:

This week I will do _____________________________ to minimize my temptation to lust.

A person that could hold me accountable for this is:

Memory Verse for the Week:

Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (New Living Testament)

David Massey

[email david] david@e-devotionals.org