Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lust - Times It Hits Us, And Ways To Combat It




       I went to a Retreat at a nearby church this weekend, and during Sunday School, the Pastor talked about lust. This is based off of that talk, using notes I took. 


       When does lust often hit us the hardest? Whether we admit it or not, we all struggle in this area to one degree or another. Some things make it harder...

      Lust often becomes a problem when I am:


                                                                        Lonely
Unsatisfied
                                                Selfish
                                                Tired


Lust often becomes a problem when I am:
 
Lonely.


            Lonely doesn't necessarily mean "alone", though that can often be a problem for people as well. Lonely comes from feeling disconnected - feeling like you don't belong.
          No one cares. No one will care what I'm feeling, or looking at, or doing - this makes me feel less lonely, to do this. Maybe I can stop feeling alone. 
       
  Ah, friend. Those are lies from the devil, Satan. He wants you to feel lonely. He wants you to look in, instead of look out. He wants you to sin, and then he'll tell you - "You are right to feel lonely. Look what you did! No one really cares. If you told them, you would feel even more alone. They will judge you, and leave you. You've really messed up now." ..... And then the cycle repeats - you sin when you're in this lonely state, and then you feel more lonely because you're afraid to reach out.


          What can you do when lust hits you because you are lonely?

            1) Talk to God. He is your dearest friend. He loves you, and says, 'Never will I leave you, and never will I forsake you.' He says, 'I will uphold you. I will strengthen you and give you peace.' He says, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love. No one can take you from my Father's hand.' He says, 'As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your sins from my sight.' ... So go to Him with your loneliness, and ask Him for His peace.

             2) Find someone to be accountable to. Get connected. We are not meant to walk this road of life alone. We need each other to pray, encourage each other in faith, and find ways to be involved.
               I have found in my own life that it's much harder to want to sin, when I know a friend is going to ask me how I've been doing in this specific area. Don't think you're the only one who struggles. Find someone who cares about how your spiritual walk with God is going, and ask them to keep you accountable. Check up with each other on a regular basis to pray, and see how you can be a blessing to one another.

Lust often becomes a problem when I am:
 
Unsatisfied.


                Being satisfied can be hard. In a world that says, 'You can have it all!' it can often be difficult to respond with, 'No. This will bring me harm.'
               Unsatisfaction that leads to lust can come in many different forms... Maybe you're unsatisfied with your physical appearance. Maybe you're unsatisfied with your relationship status right now. Maybe you're unsatisfied with a partner you do have. Maybe you're unsatisfied with your accomplishments. Maybe... well, maybe you're unsatisfied with life in general.

            What is one way you can battle being unsatisfied? 
   
              "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4 - Great, great Psalm.)

          Delight yourself in God. Find your joy, your life, your strength, in His goodness. When we truly find delight in God, our own desires grow more and more to look like His. He wants us to be satisfied in Him. He wants us to open up our clenched hands that cling to the scraps of this broken world, so that He can fill them with blessings. He wants us to look to Him and say, "In You, I have found my satisfaction."

        *Thinks of this song* 





        Don't keep chasing satisfaction in anything else. It's not too late to turn back and run to God. He can fulfill your heart's desires, and give you satisfaction in Him.



Lust often becomes a problem when I am:
 
Selfish.


             Lust doesn't care about the other person. Lust asks the question, 'What can I get out of this?' It never worries about the other person, or thinks about their well being. We aren't looking for the best of others when we lust - and I'm talking about people on the computer screen as well as people you interact with. Lust sees only itself.

             How can we combat the feelings of selfishness? One way we can do that is to serve. Stop whatever it is you are doing - thoughts and actions - and search for someone to serve. "But what if it's late at night, or no one is around?" Then maybe go sit down and write someone a letter. Go whip out your calendar and look at dates you could go help out at a church function. Go sit down and pray for those in your life... It's hard to keep focusing on your emotions and desires when you are looking for ways to be a blessing.

             Whatever it is you're in the midst of struggling with - Go. Don't stay in the moment where you are - move. Go to another room. Go to another location. Flee the temptation, and run to God. He will stand beside you. That doesn't mean you won't be tempted, or that you'll never fail again, but it is harder to wrap yourself in selfishness when you're looking to give to others, and looking up to God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
              It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
   

Lust often becomes a problem when I am: 
Tired.


           Tired can be because we are not getting enough sleep, or it can be Tired in the sense of being emotionally weary - either way, Satan can use our being tired against us. 
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          I don't know about you, but I have trouble thinking straight at times, when I am tired. My thoughts wander all over the map in a span of mere seconds. Things that I'd normally be able to combat with Truth, seem to run circles in my head. I don't always process my emotions rationally.

       We can tell ourselves, "I'm too tired to keep trying. I'm too weary. It'll make me feel better." Or even on a subconscious level - "I want this."... It's sin, and as much as we wrestle with it, and against it, there is a broken part of our will that finds it attractive... And yet, the more and more we find our comfort, our delight, our blessing, and our rest in God, the more sin will look as it truly is - destructive

       An obvious way to combat sleepy-tired is to get sleep... For some of us, that's easier said than done though. Still, I would encourage you to take care of your physical body. Take a nap if you have to. Aim to go to bed half an hour or so early. Go to bed on time when you can. Sleep is important.

       It's harder to deal with weary-emotionally-tired... Besides prayer, some things that help me are reading through the Psalms, listening to encouraging music, praying/talking with a close friend, or writing about whatever is causing me to feel weary.

       Jesus says in Matthew 11:28  & 29, 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

        Go to God. Go to Him with your feelings of loneliness. Go to Him with your feelings of unsatisfaction. Go to Him with your selfishness. Go to Him with your tired body and heart. 
        God is our comfort. He is our delight. He is our encouragement to serve. He is our true rest. He can help us battle lust, and He has given us victory over sin, death, and the devil, through His Son, Jesus Christ.







Take my faults and my flaws, make me better







~Draw The Line, by Disciple






        This has by no-means been a comprehensive post, but I hope it has helped you think and been an encouragement to you.

        God bless,

~Ophelia - Marie 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, Ophelia. Thank you. :-)

    ReplyDelete

*Smiles* Comments, anyone? :) I don't like, bite or anything. . .