Dealing With Lust
July 1999
by Rich Murphy

What can $1 do?

Every man, deals with lust in his life. Part of this comes from the fact that men are sexually driven by the hormone testosterone in their system. Without their sex drive being met, they are driven to think about sex constantly, usually with any woman they see.

The lust problem starts when puberty starts.  At this point, testosterone is introduced into the system for the first time.  Actually, the level of testosterone in a teenager's system is much higher than it is in an adult.  All of a sudden, girls change from being something to be avoided, to being something to be desired.  Sexual thoughts suddenly appear, looking for an avenue to operate in.

Boys fuel this sexual desire by sharing dirty jokes and stories, listening to the bragging of older boys' sexual conquests, and looking at pornographic material. Without an outlet for this sexual desire, most boys turn to masturbation. Later, when they have a "girlfriend" to have sex with, their sexual desire is strong enough that they still masturbate when he's not with her.

All this makes for a perfect opportunity for spirits of lust to come in. Any time you repeatedly sin within the same area, you open the door for a spirit to come in and "tag along" for the ride.  This spirit will drive you to continue sinning in that same area (i.e. a spirit of lust will cause you to continue to operate in lust).  Now, I don't know if you believe that evil spirits are active on the world today, or not. But, Jesus believed, and still believes that they are actively working in the world. If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. Since the boys are already thinking about sex, the added thoughts that the spirit of lust gives them are easily accepted as their own, and not thought of as being a problem.

Most men never get rid of the spirit of lust, and it follows them for the rest of their life. Since it joined them at such an early age, they don't even recognize it's presence. Instead, Christian men will feel guilty about their own lustful thoughts, not realizing that they are in part driven by an outside spirit.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that these spirits "possess" the man. I don't believe that a Christian can be possessed by an evil spirit. However, it is quite easy for Christians to be oppressed by evil spirits. All the spirit has to do is follow you around, taking every opportunity to speak thoughts into your mind. Those thoughts are recognized as your own, and either acted upon, or felt guilty about, or both.

Don't assume that you are the only man in the world who doesn't have a spirit of lust oppressing you. Just because you are a man of God, doesn't mean that you aren't on the devil's hit list. In fact, being a man of God makes you one of his prime targets. Just look at the major ministries that have fallen because of sexual scandals. Those men didn't even know that lust was driving them, yet they were eventually destroyed by its actions in their lives.

I want to make it clear that there is a difference between your own natural sexual thoughts and lust. It may not be easy to see the difference, but it is there.

Jesus gave us authority over every "unclean spirit." (Matthew 10:1 & Mark 6:7).  In fact, He said that "these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18). Jesus says that you have authority to get rid of evil spirits, in His name, so you do, regardless of what your particular denomination may teach. All you have to do, is tell the spirit of lust to leave, in Jesus name, and mean what you say. It must do as you say in the authority of Jesus' name.

Once lust is dealt with, the same, or similar thoughts can continue.  It is not enough to only deal with the spirit of lust, the mind must be renewed. There will still be lots of sexual thoughts there, and some of them can still be toward other women than your wife.

Jesus has provided renewing of our minds to us.  This falls within the realm of inner healing.  Any inner healing can only come from the Lord.  To receive a renewed mind, or any other type of inner healing, one must pray, asking the Lord to provide it.  He is more than able, and willing to provide this for us.

One of the most useful things that I've learned is to turn all my sexual thoughts toward my wife. The sexual thoughts will come, but I won't allow them to linger on another woman. If I find myself starting to think about a woman at the office, or in a hotel sexually, I will immediately turn those thoughts toward my wife. It is not only acceptable, but good to have those thoughts about her.

When I first started renewing my mind, it could take several minutes before I would realize that I was having sexual thoughts about a woman other than my wife.  Because of the struggles we were having, and the business traveling I was doing, there was plenty of opportunity for temptation.  But, as soon as I recognized what was happening, I would immediately turn those thoughts toward my wife.

Men, once our mind is renewed, we can actually reach a point that sexual thoughts with other women don't occur.  Oh, they might try and enter our minds, but the mind will be trained to immediately turn those thoughts towards our wife.  Although this reaction may not be automatic at first, with time, and practice it can reach the point where it happens without us even realizing it.

Since the purpose of sexual intimacy is to create the "one flesh" relationship, that is going to happen whether we intend for it to or not.  The term that is most commonly used to describe the bond between two people who have been sexually intimate is a "soul tie."  As part of this renewing process, we must break any soul ties that have been formed with previous sexual partners, other than our current spouse.

You don't have to have sexual intercourse either to create a soul tie.  Any person that you join into an emotionally close relationship with you will form a soul tie with.  That can include your parents, old drinking buddies, former girlfriends, people you served in combat with, and your wife.

Soul ties can be thought of as spiritual threads that connect us to other people.  Some soul ties are supposed to be there, because we are in relationship with those people, others are there because of previous relationships.  These ties will cause us to think about that person, and will to some extent have sway over our decisions, because of the emotional attachment we have with that person.  What we want to do is eliminate those that shouldn't be there.

We have authority in Jesus' name over these soul ties.  To break them, all we have to do is speak out something like "I break the soul tie with (enter name) in Jesus name.  That person will no longer have any hold on me, and cause me to have thoughts about them, or have any control over my life."  Repeat this for as many people as you have to break the soul ties with.  If you can't remember the name, but remember the circumstances, just mention that, God knows their name. 

To go along with the renewing of our minds, we must train our minds on what to look at.  God has designed men in such a way that they are visually stimulated.  That means that if we continue to look upon women's bodies, we will continue to put ourselves in a position where temptation can come.

Job said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).  Job realized that if he were to look upon a maid (young woman), he would be tempted to think of her sexually.  So, to prevent himself from having any opportunity to sin in this way, he made a decision to avoid looking upon young, attractive women.

What, you say?  Don't look at women!  Why, that's unamerican!  Even though I'm married, I can still look!

What's more important to you, looking at those women and being in sin, or not looking at them, and staying pure and holy before your God?  That's a decision we each have to make.  Many men think that they have a right to look at women other than their own wife, but I say they don't.  At least not look at them if it is going to cause them to sin.  Not only that, but Jesus said that looking at them lustfully is sin.  Don't tell me you're just appreciating the beauty of their hair, or something.  I'm a man too.  I know what you're really thinking about!

God has given us a couple of great inventions to help us in this "covenant with our eyes."  The fist one of them is called eyelids.  You know what?  If you close your eyes, you can't look at those young girls in their too small bathing suits, or the women on the magazine covers, either.

The other great invention that God gave us is a neck.  When you turn your neck, it turns your whole head, moving your eyes from looking at the girl with the short shorts to something that is less likely to cause you a problem.

Let me give you an example of how this inventions work together.  My wife and I were at a swimming pool with our kids a couple of years ago.  We were at the baby pool, because our youngest was still young enough to enjoy that.  As we stood there talking, a woman with a good figure, and a hot pink bikini walked into the baby pool area with her child.  Where she was standing, I couldn't avoid seeing her, especially with what she was wearing (or not wearing), she was behind, and just a little to the side of my wife.

I then put a modification of these inventions to work.  Here it is.  I asked my wife to change places with me.  That way, she'd be looking at the women, and I wouldn't have to.  Although she didn't like looking at this women, she didn't have the potential for trouble with it that I did.

Ladies, if your husband does something with you, don't call him a pervert (which is what most women do).  Just be glad that he loves you enough that he's asked your help in keeping his sexual thoughts on you.

The last step in the process of dealing with lust is to set the sexual area of your marriage in order.  Because God created men with a strong sex drive, it will cause men to think about sex often.  If we don't have our marriages in order, then the man is at risk of being tempted by other women, no matter how spiritually mature he is.

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Copyright © 1999 by Richard A. Murphy,  Maranatha Life  All rights reserved.