Overcoming lust

Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind (Ephesians 2:3 ESV)

overcoming lust showing a woman eating a banana

Our battle with lust will finally come to rest the day our heavenly glorious spiritual body will replace this physical, earthly, and sin-tainted body. Until then, watch and pray! When many of us hear the word “lust”, our minds often think of sexual lust. However, though this is arguably one of the most important lusts, it is only one of many. Ephesians 2:3 above defines lust for us as “desires of the body and of the mind”. Lust is simply an evil desire or bodily craving that makes us go against God. Lust is the mother of sin ( James 1:15). How do we overcome it?

Paul gives us an answer ““But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 ESV). Notice he places Spirit against flesh here. Flesh here does not mean body but “mind and body” as clearly seen in Ephesians 2:3 above. It means “pure” human nature. Flesh is us, that is,  you and me, the whole human person. The only way to escape the lust of the flesh( that is US) is to follow the Spirit’s leading. This is what surrender means. You desire something contrary to God’s will and since you love the Lord and follow Him, you willingly opt to give up your choice and follow His. An example: someone stepped on your toes at work!  YOU felt like “teaching them a lesson”  but the Spirit rather wants you to teach them  how gentle and forgiving God is. You want revenge, and the Spirit wants gentleness and forgiveness. You let go of YOU and follow Him. Until we die to the flesh like this, there is no hope of ever living in the fullness of the Spirit, no matter how much we pray, fast, meditate, study, sow seeds, etc.

When lust gets pregnant in our lives( James 1:15) it produces sin and sin produces death—always, without exceptions. Lust will never produce anything good in our lives. It may temporarily elevate our feelings to the moon, like sexual lust or addiction and then it will drop us from that height to fall and crash. Lust is not a friend but an enemy of humanity. Pray, feed on the Word and yield to the Spirit to escape the deadly hands of lust, wherever your specific area of weakness is.

MEDITATE

What is lust? What area of lust do you struggle with? Maybe sexual lust is not your problem but addiction, food, anger, worldliness, etc is. 

APPLY THE WORD

We do not overcome lust once, and that is it. It is a choice we will make every single day. Continue to yield to the Spirit to overcome lust every day in your life.

PRAY

Ask the Father to help you overcome lust and ask Him for that specific area of weakness in your life too. 

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