How to Overcome Lust

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13, ESV)

overcoming lust showing a woman eating a banana

Are you battling sins or destructive behaviors that leave you perplexed, ashamed, or distressed? Often, these struggles are rooted in humanity’s formidable enemy—lust. Whether manifesting as sexual temptations, insatiable greed, uncontrolled anger, or financially damaging habits such as excessive spending, lust is an ever-present adversary. This devotional explores the sole effective means for Christians to conquer lust: reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Lust encompasses the desires of both body and mind (Ephesians 2:3), leading to sin (James 1:5). Its power lies in its origin: our desires. Battling against oneself presents a unique challenge. How do you fight against your inclinations?

Lust’s influence transcends age, gender, status, and social standing. It’s a force that defies religion, education, or etiquette. The key to mastering lust lies not in human efforts, often ineffective, but through Christ’s work, particularly the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As Paul reveals in Romans 8:13, overcoming lust requires us to ‘put to death’ the deeds of the body through the Holy Spirit. The key is reliance on the Spirit, not our human abilities. Reflect on the times well-educated individuals acted shamefully, or consider your own experience of personal regrets from yielding to lust.

The process of subduing lust through the Holy Spirit is straightforward yet challenging. When confronted with a sinful desire, we face a choice: succumb to what we desire or follow the Spirit. For instance, when feeling the urge to retaliate or harbor resentment, the Holy Spirit prompts us towards forgiveness and releasing bitterness. Here, we must decide: follow our destructive desires or heed the Spirit’s guidance.

The Holy Spirit primarily leads us through God’s Word. There’s no need to wait for audible voices or visions; the Scriptures are the Spirit’s primary voice in our hearts, illuminating our paths to discern lust from holy desires. Additionally, the Spirit gives us the strength to say no, so we are not alone in this battle.

As you consistently align with the Spirit’s direction, the grip of lustful desires weakens, gradually losing their hold over you. Yield to the Spirit, embrace a life guided by Him and witness the diminishing power of fleshly lusts.


Please take a moment to meditate on Rom. 8:13 above—ponder and mutter upon it.

Apply The Word

Christianity is by the power of the Holy Spirit. As I said in a previous devotional, please do not attempt to fight lust on your own, or it will humiliate you. Instead, learn to yield to the Holy Spirit.


Is lust still ruling in an area in your life? Ask the Spirit to help you overcome it.

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