Overcoming Sexual Temptation

  

By Shawn Hubbs

YOU GOT TO WANT IT! When linked to Christ's power these tools will work. In the inner core of the Christian's personality lies a desire to please a holy God and discover the joy of the beatitude of Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

The McDonald's mentality will not and does not work. There are no quick fixes!

Here are some useful tools to help in overcoming sexual temptation.

  1. Understand God's forgiveness. (Colossians 2:13) and the freedom He has given us (2 Corinthians 3:17).
  2. Confession. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Notice two things, a) He forgives the sin each time we commit it, and b) He will purify us from this unrighteous.
  3. Accountability. James 5:16 "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." This text gives reference to going to the elders of the church for prayer. It is important to be accountable with some one mature - someone who has overcome - no blind leading the blind.
  4. Fast from sexual stimuli. See Matthew 5:27-30 as an example.
    a. Get smart. Understand what feeds your sexual stimuli-smells, sight, sounds, touching, etc. The temptations (from the outside) feed the desires within us (James. 1:14). Therefore, flee from sexual temptation.
    b. Get weird. Avoid those things which we know will cause us to think (be stimulated) about it. If you struggle with porn, drive the extra mile past the Circle-K store to get your coffee at the 7-11 instead.
    c. Get serious. If your TV causes you to sin, cast it out. If your boss causes you to sin, leave that job. We have to be serious about the sin problem. If we want to truly be free, we must do what ever it takes. No measure is too drastic.
    d. Get real. This must become a lifestyle of self-discipline.
  5. Just say no. (Titus 2:11, 12) The best place to win over sexual temptation is in the mind. Mentally or audibly say no to the thoughts when they first occur. Rebuke them. Begin singing a favorite worship song. Fire off arrow prayers. Find a method of not allowing the thoughts to formulate.
  6. Find the escape hatch. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure. Don't wait too long or this exit will be gone. This is a way out of the temptation before the sin is conceived. Call upon the Lord for supernatural energy for struggle. Seek and find God's way out of the situation.
  7. Tear down the idols. (Ezekiel 14:3) We need to understand that the fantasy (often escapism from reality) we turn for our satisfaction to sedate our desires and to appease our longings is a wicked idol and a stumbling block that will keep us from experiencing the fullness of Christ. We must tear down the things that represent that. Change our actions, avert our eyes, stop certain activities, etc. The Holy Spirit will illuminate specifics for us.
  8. Don't give it the time of day. Fill up empty time with positive habits. Vegging in front of the TV or picking up the swimsuit issue in the waiting room are bad habits that feed lust. Instead, read a good Christian novel that captures your attention, go jogging, build healthy habits.
  9. Renew your mind. (Romans 12:2 and Phillipians 4:8) Memorize scripture: A time proven, powerful method. When lust strikes begin quoting and think about its application. The more time we spend in the Word, the more our mind is filled with its life-changing power. I find that my times of heavy temptation are matched by my times of light reading of the Bible.
  10. Pray when you are sober. Job prayed for his sons partying before they even did it because he knew they were going to. For ourselves, we can pray ahead of time when we are in our right mind. Pray for the strength to carry out these helping tools and to overcome completely. Don't only pray during repentance after the fact but pray ahead.
  11. Be prepared for spiritual warfare. (1 Peter 5:8, 9 and Ephesians 6:10-18) Satan and his demons roam around the earth to try to destroy God's children. They observe our weaknesses and will attack us at those points. Satan is not all knowing nor does he know the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (only God does). However, our patterns and habits can be observed. We can come into bondage through this means. Therefore:
    1. Be aware that Satan has developed a system in the world that is designed to pull us down. We must be on our guard against his schemes. We must realize that the battle will be continuous while we are still in this world and we must never become overconfident lest we fall.
    2. We are commanded to put on the full armor of God to stand in this battle. All the pieces of the armor represent the aspects of our entire walk with Jesus. We cannot expect to be free from lust and yet continue to live in mediocrity. Satan will be looking for chinks in the armor.
    3. We must know of Christ's victory over Satan (Colossians 2:15). We must know that we are with Christ in this victorious position (Ephesians 2:6). We must know that we have the power of Christ for this victory (Ephesians 1:19-21).
  12. Allow no excuses. Sin causes us to build up strong defense mechanisms called excuses: "It's my upbringing that causes this lust," "It's the world around me," "I can't help it," etc. etc. etc. We cannot justify our sin. I sometimes try to claim Paul's case in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." However, I must remember that Paul concludes; "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thank be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!...there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 7:24-8:1). The next time you catch yourself saying, "I can't help it," change the "can't" to "won't." The reality of saying to Jesus "I won't stop lusting" is more honest and more painful but then we can say "by your grace I will stop." As you renew your mind in Christ, you will find it repulsive to say, "I can't help it." It is just like saying, "Christ in me can't help it." Instead, say, "step by step, day by day, I'm becoming more like Jesus." Even more vital is getting to the crux of the matter and using the power of our crucified and risen Lord (Eph. 1:19-20) When you are in Christ, you can help it!

YOU GOT TO WANT IT! When linked to Christ's power, these tools will work. In the inner core of the Christian's personality lies a desire to please a holy God and discover the joy of the beatitude of Matthew 5:8 "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."