What do you do when you deal with lust all day every day but don’t give into it but it won't go away either?
Whew, you are not alone. For years I tried to wrestle against my lust by convincing myself that I was weird, strange, and just not wired right. But then I realized that my wiring is perfectly normal and part of God’s design of the male psyche. So, then my focused turned from trying to re-program myself into trying to harness my thought life and wiring towards beneficial objectives. As you know, lust is a powerful emotion – men have sacrificed their marriages and families because they could not control their lust. They have raped, murdered, and spent lives in prison because of lust. But what is at the core of lust? Pride. The desire to meet your needs and your needs only – not considering anyone else, including your wife, your kids, your family, your job, the object of your lust….and, oh yea, your Savior, Jesus Christ. What you need to recognize and harness in your walk with Christ is that you live for him – that your powerful emotions need to be soaked in purity and laced with truth. With all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you are to live for him.
Your Heart: your passions, what gets you fired up, what makes you angry. Your purity and the purity of those around you should be one of the things that gets you fired up. When I hear of a guy (or girl) who is focused on saving protecting their physical and mental purity for marriage, I get jacked. When you are passionate to focus your heart on things eternal, the battle with lust gets easier.
Your Soul: the eternal part of who you are, where you truly connect with God, and things eternal. If you understand the eternity of the soul of every person – male AND female – then you will be first and foremost concerned about the soul of that girl you are checking out and not her body. Try praying for that girl you are checking out – I promise that will make it pretty stickin hard to lust for her while you are talking to God and asking Him to draw her closer to Him.
Your Mind: what occupies your thoughts. When the Bible tells us to mediate on God’s Word day and night, and pray without ceasing, is this an impossible task? No, not when you are living a life saturated by God. This doesn’t mean you have to carry your Bible around and keep it in front of your eyes 24/7. But when you have Scripture in your mind already, then you can go to it at a moment’s notice. This is why it is so critical to be in God’s Word – memorizing key verses, understanding core principles of God’s truth about relationships, purity, and marriage. When a tempting thought enters your mind, re- route it through Scripture. The thought will lose all momentum pretty quickly.
Your Strength: sometimes, we as guys just have to get up and get out. We may need to get out of a situation, a bad location, a tempting moment. We need to have the discipline to change our bad habits. There were certain times, places, and triggers that I could rely on to provide that instant temptation. These are the habits that need to be thrown out – have the strength and discipline to be a man. I Corinthians 16:13 says, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." Let the last part of that verse sink in…being a man means being strong. I am an equation guy, so to me this means Man = Strong. Not man = not strong. So make your choice…man or whatever a "not man" looks like….I lived long enough as a "not man" and it is not fun.
Finally, consider how God views sin. That is a pretty tough to do sometimes, so try this. Picture the most disgusting middle aged, greasy, porn addict, child molester, sicko dude sitting in front of his computer on one of those gray metal high school pep rally chairs, about 120 pounds overweight, a slimy combover. Picture him eagerly searching for his next porn site, because he has already exhausted the 1000’s of pictures at the previous site he was on and they were all old hat now. He spends hours searching and finding new sites, sorting through different image banks, breathing heavily with two day old breath, accelerating towards a self-gratification process that he will repeat over and over, day after day, without ever being satisfied, with no purpose, and no meaning. Now consider where you are when you are engaged in porn…and recognize that at the core, you are not any different than sicko porn addict. You can choose to make the disgusting, revolting image of that story part of your life, your marriage, and your legacy, or you can choose purity, freedom, and the incredible, overwhelming blessing of God in your life. A no brainer in my book.