Life is War, if we don't realize that, we will loose the first battle for our purity. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This passage isn't talking specifically about sexual purity, but it shares the principle that life is war and we should battle our sin by making it obedient to Christ. This doesn't mean try harder or just be more disciplined. The weapons we need to fight with are not of this world, they are not of just trying harder. The weapons we need to fight with are not physical weapons, but spiritual ones. The problem with lust is that it is a heart issue, not just an action issue. Often we focus on stopping the behaviors, instead of leaning into God changing our hearts.
The way to be pure is to have a HIGH VIEW OF GOD.
When you see who God is, in comparison to your sin, it shows you the proper perspective in life. When you stop telling yourself the lie that this sin will be better than what God has for you, you are taking that thought captive and starting to make it obedient to God. Tell yourself the truth about how much more satisfying and pleasurable God is. Throw away every thought that goes against this truth. I'm not saying this will be easy, but war is never easy. This battle may take years to deal with, and you might have to deal with it in one way or another for the rest of your life, but God is better. Look to God, rely on Him, and use his weapons in this war for purity, not your own weapons. This is where true freedom, even in the midst of the battle, can be experienced.
Below are examples of 4 spiritual weapons you can use in your battle for purity.
1. Pray Desperate Prayers
These are prayers to God that you say at the start of your day, before you enter a situation where you could be tempted, or as you are being tempted. These are magic words, but something to share your pleading with God, to tell Him about your situation.
Example prayers below
- God, thank you for making me with sexual desires, and I don’t ask for you to remove them, but help me to please you with them in my thoughts and actions right now.
- God, my body is screaming out for sexual satisfaction apart from your plan, please quiet my desires. My body was made for you and holiness, not sexual lust. Help me to glorify you with my body and mind.
- God, please help me to keep my eyes on you and not on this person. They are beautiful and I thank you for letting me notice that, but please help me to view them as a person created in your image and not an object of my perverse desire.
- God, I am tempted to lust for comfort and satisfaction. Help me to find my comfort and satisfaction in you.
- God as I turn on the TV, go on the internet, or as I go to school, help me make a promise with my eyes that I will not look lustfully on any other person.
How might your battle improve if at the moment of temptation or at the beginning of each day, you pray one of these prayers? Could you give an example of your own desperate prayer?
When you finish the battle, take time to thank God as well. Share your heart with Him, about how tough it was, but how sweat the victory is that He enabled you to taste.
2. Use your Bible/Sword
What verses do you preach to yourself when you are in the battle, in that moment. If you are not ready to wage war with God’s Word (which changes hearts) you will eventually fall.
Psalm 119:11 says
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
When we memorize the Bible, it is like having a sword to swing at the enemies attack. The Bible shows you the truth, and in the moment of tempation, swing some Bible verses around in your head. The Holy Spirit uses this to remind you of the truth and to strength you to stand and do battle with impure thoughts.
Pick one of these verses to memorize
3. Take Radical Steps to Avoid Lust
Are you feeding or starving your lust? The longer you starve it, the less grip it has on you – most people approach dealing with lust gradually and casually.
Matt. 5:27-30 show how Jesus thinks we should handle sin, radically
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
This doesn't mean you create a list of rules to follow and then you'll be good, but instead this points to loving Jesus so much that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to cling to Him and avoid what will pull you from Him. If you are struggling with the TV, the Internet, with a boyfriend of girlfriend, What radical steps should you take to point yourself towards God, stay pure, and hate sin in your life?
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4. Get Accountability
Lust thrives on secrecy. Expose it to someone you can trust, no matter what shame that brings. Lust will start to lose its grip on you.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Find someone you can trust. A parent, youth leader, mature christian friends can all be great choices for this.
Below are some helpful accountability tips and questions.