Fighting The Fires Of Lust

God created us as sexual beings. Each sex, male and female, is created to desire deep intimacy with the opposite sex. Our sexual drives and the resulting intercourse between the man and woman in the bonds of marriage are God’s good gifts. They are not to be despised. Without these sexual relations the mandate that God gave the first man and woman can’t be realized. Being “fruitful and multiplying” requires that both the man and the woman desire sexual intimacy with one another. Within the context of a loving marriage, sexual relations at every level, from flirting to intercourse, are beautiful. God wants us to enjoy the goodness of his sexual gifts.

However, sin, as it does with all of God’s gifts, perverts our sexual desires so that they become lust. Lust is the idolization of sexual desires. God’s creation becomes that to which we look to find the life that only he ultimately gives. When sexual desire is idolized, the beauty of God’s gift is turned into a hideous creature that consumes its worshipers.

You don’t have to look very far in our world to see just how much we are consumed in the sacrificial fires of lust. Perverted sexual fantasies are just a click or “swipe right” away. If you don’t like the messiness of dealing with a human that has real needs, there are sex toys, virtual reality, and even robots that are designed for your sexual gratification. The fires burn. The more these offerings are offered to appease, the greater the fire. The worshiper is left empty and the fires unquenched. This god will not be satisfied until the worshiper himself is completely consumed in death.

The church not only lives in the culture but has, in many ways, adopted this culture. Comparing the statistics between those who are part of the church (it matters not which denomination) and those outside the church, you find that they are practically mirror images of one another. The church only lags behind a few percentage points. Many (so-called) churches have just given up the fight altogether, adopted sinful sexual practices as “normal,” and, thus, have entered into the temple of Lust. The sin nowadays in some churches is denying your deviant sexual desires as deviant. Denying yourself ... well ... that just can’t be the Christian thing to do ... no matter what Jesus said.

We who desire to stay faithful have an uphill battle that we must fight within and without. It is constant and unrelenting. Chastity is not easy, nor is it always fun. It is a discipline. As you practice the discipline of chastity, you are developing a love for sexual purity. Disciplines shape what we love. The more you discipline yourself in an area of your life, the more you begin to love what you are doing. The discipline of chastity helps develop a love for purity. This is vital discipline. The person who doesn’t practice chastity is in danger of hell (cf. Mt 5.27-30; 1Cor 6.9-10; Gal 5.19-21; et al.). Lust is inconsistent with the life of God, and those consumed with it cannot participate in his life.

There are no easy three-step solutions to dealing once-for-all with the sin of lust. As mentioned, chastity is a life-long discipline that must be exercised every day. There are a few necessary weapons that we must wield at times in the war on lust. First, there is the weapon of flight. We are told numerous time in Scripture to “flee” from sin (cf. e.g., 1Cor 6.18; 10.14; 1Tm 6.11; 2Tm 2.22). If you find yourself in a compromising situation, run. Get out of there.

Another weapon we have is to fight. We fight by fleeing, but we also fight by pursuing righteousness. We need to busy ourselves with the dwelling upon and pursuing what is good so that there is less time to pursue what is evil. Develop a desire for the beautiful and the ugly won’t seem as appealing. 

Last, there is the weapon of fright. Be scared. Sexual sin is frightening at many levels. Being consumed with lust desensitizes you over time so that you can never be satisfied with any normal sexual relations. There is also the possibility of disease with multiple partners. But most of all we must fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Be afraid of the judgment of God. This fear is the beginning of wisdom in your sexual life. 

This fight is not easy, but it is a fight that we must and we can win. Stay faithful.