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Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: ￼This 10th lesson on 'Embracing God's Love, Overcoming Lust' helps bring restoration by suggesting how through meditation we can begin to think what is right and honorable rather than using our minds to carry out our greedy desires.
The battle with lusts only begin by cleaning up the sources of temptation around us. We can greatly restrict what we see, but what if at work we see a nice looking woman who is much more friendly and understanding than your wife? Freeing yourself from suggestive thoughts is only part of the battle that makes life easier.
What else do we do? The real cure is having the light shine in our minds. Philippians 4:8-9 guides us in this process.
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9).
We need to train our minds to think upon that which is lovely and good. The Christian life is one of discipline. Without guarding your thoughts, you will stumble through life. God will help you grow in these disciplines. Remember that the Holy Spirit's fruit includes self-control.
Don't just reject beauty because it is so tied up with temptation. You will put yourself in another trap. Beauty is something to be enjoyed only we must not lust after women (or men, or things, etc.).
Hopefully you have understood that there is a huge difference between healthy sexual desires expressed in marriage and the lustful thoughts and activities that the world propagates. The former is holy while the later is evil. Don't fear sexual desires but only in wrongly using them. God has said much about this and helps guide us through what He has said. Memorize pertinent passages.
Be content where you are in life. You might be single, young or old, married to a cold woman or man, or divorced. Learn contentment and joy in your relationship with the Lord and others. Do not think that sensual relationships will help or that you are missing out on the best. Those thoughts become fuel for a fire.
Many young married people are dismayed to find temptations still happen after marriage! Good Christian disciplines help you for life. By God's grace, master self-control early on. Focus on building good friendships. Enjoy an honest relationship with the Lord.
(More on Being Content in this world.)
Most of us need retraining on how we think about people, God and things. You cannot change without the scriptures and the Spirit working on your mind. This is the major point of this whole series. People change quickly when they begin to meditate on His Word. We have spoken more deeply about this in other places.
Meditation occurs when one reflectively thinks about a verse or phrase before the Lord. ￼While thinking about a verse, ask the Lord to teach you more or shape your life in that way or guard you as the verse teaches. Start with the Philippians 4:8-9 verses. Go slow and deep.
Your sexual desires are God-given. Thank Him for them. But remember God has made those sexual functions different from our eating ones. We cannot go long without food. We need to eat to live. Sex is auxiliary. Talk to Him about your person and desires (though don't focus on them too long). Ask Him to meet your needs as He your Creator sees fit. He made you and equipped you with such desires, but the desires always need to be subject to the rules of love as God defines them.
There are many right ways to think about life, our person, others and God's ways in this world. These right ways are what the scriptures speak of as truth. Truth is light and when we think rightly about such things, the darkness (suggestive thoughts from the evil one) becomes much more obvious and distasteful in light of all the good that God offers.
Continue on and see how to find long term breakthrough for your lusts.