General Identity Relationships Self-Management

Practical Tools in the Battle for Sexual Purity

When you are a boy, you know what you know and not much more. I was ten when I made the decision to follow Jesus. Ten is a fun age. Still a kid, but starting to realize there is more out there in the world that you don’t understand. I recall being ten and starting to understand adult conversations going on around me. I was growing up, I guess.

The next few years sent me into a world spinning with emotions, changes, and temptations I’d never imagined! Honestly, puberty brought out the worst in me. What were all these new feelings? Where did all these cute girls come from? My emerging sexual drive felt like I was going to explode at times! All this while trying to follow Jesus. Choices with my body, things like masturbation and treating girls in less than a godly way were becoming an increasing part of me. My twenties weren’t much better. Pornography. Lusting. Sex consumed my secret mind. Is this how a man who follows Jesus is supposed to handle his body? His life?

That’s when my entire view of sexuality began to change. Maybe my boyish thinking was finally giving way to a better way of viewing life. God’s way.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”  Matthew 5:8 NIV
When the Bible talks about purity, it includes more than victory over lust, but it certainly includes it.

The same sermon by Jesus says this about lust: You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. ʼ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:27-30 NIV

Jesus clearly goes beyond the seventh commandment which says You shall not commit adultery, straight to the eyes and the heart. I may have been a virgin when I got married, but according to Jesus’ words, I was an adulterer. Purity was nowhere in my wheelhouse. Sinful me was secretly running the show. Jesus? Yeah, I believed, but did I yield to the Spirit?

Jesus spoke of radical action against and consequence for a life of lust. Despite my growing faith, this one area, my sexuality, was an unwilling candidate to his Lordship. As time has progressed, His grace to change me in this vital area has proven victorious.

Seven Keys to Battling Lust

1. Truth About Sex

Sex is a God-ordained means of life-producing pleasurable union between a husband and his wife. We need a God-centered positive vision of sex. A shame-filled negative view will only empower the sin principle in us. The very thing I did not want to do, I did…

2. Pre-emptive Action

Most men are only talking to God on the backend of failure instead of on the front end of desire. Pray for the sanctification of your sexuality regularly and especially when you are not in the struggle. This includes seeing your body and your sexuality as a gift from God. Holiness and healthy ways to glorify God with your life. When temptation arises, before giving in, try the pre-emptive action by reaching out to a trusted friend.

3. Turning the Lights on

Aloneness and secretiveness provide the context for a demonic influenced misdirect and release of our sexuality. So we need to turn the lights on which is found in the context of relational accountability. Accountability partners, filters on phones and computers, group TV watching, and other means are like turning the lights of relationship on in the room called aloneness.

4. Holy Spirit Walk

Galatians 5:16 calls us to focus first on walking in the Spirit as THE means of not gratifying the sinful nature. Many try to figure out how not to gratify first. This is the wrong focus upon the fruit of the problem not the root of the problem. Our main problem is not a givenness to lust, it is our not walking in the Spirit! The Spirit-filled life provided for us IN CHRIST is a life walking free of lust.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 ESV

5. Seeing God as the Goal

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 NIV
Anonymous Author Leadership Magazine:1982 The thought hit me like a bell rung in a dark, silent hall. So far, none of the scary, negative arguments against lust had succeeded in keeping me from it . . . But there was a description of what I was missing by continuing to harbor lust: I was limiting my own intimacy with God. The love he offers is so transcendent and possessing that it requires our faculties to be purified and cleansed before we can possibly contain it. Could he, in fact, substitute another thirst and another hunger for the one I had never filled? Would Living Water somehow quench lust? That was the gamble of faith. (p. 43–44)

6. Going Big on Desire

It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.  C.S. Lewis

7. Battling at the beginning of the Hunt

We are being hunted by seducing spirits and pre-emptive
to our fulfilling lust is the rise of a hunting spirit in ourselves. You can discern that the sanctification of your sexuality is increasing when you begin to fight the battle for purity at the beginning of the Hunt!

Warrior On!

Sam McVay
Founder/Director at Disciple Nations | Website

Sam and his wife, Amy, are the founders of DN and currently live in Kansas. They are the parents of 9 children and a growing army of grandchildren. They have been in ministry for over 25 years and are passionately committed to prayer and disciple-making so that the nations are filled with the glory of God leading to the return of Christ.

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