DEFINITION: Lust is a strong or uncontrolled desire for someone or something. It is also called evil desire and a work of the flesh in the Bible.
FACTS ABOUT LUST:
Lust is a work of the flesh. Paul lists several works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 and concludes by saying that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Lust conceives and gives birth to sin. The Bible says that sin starts in the heart with lust, which when conceived, brings forth sin. Sin, when it is finished, results in death (James 1:15).
God does not tempt you to lust. The Bible says: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:13-15, KJV).
You cannot defeat lust in your own strength. Read Romans 7 where Paul describes his struggle in this area.
You can overcome lust through the power of the Holy Spirit. Read Romans 8 where Paul explains how to walk in victory over the flesh.
DEALING WITH LUST:
Ask forgiveness. Lust is sin, and as in the case of any sin, forgiveness from God must be sought. If your lust has affected another person (i.e., led to pre-marital sex), then you must seek forgiveness from the person who was wronged.
Internalize God’s Word. The psalmist said: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). The more of God’s Word you have in you, the less that fleshly lusts will operate.
Pray regularly. Prayer will help you overcome the sins of the flesh.
Control your mind. Lust begins in the mind and culminates in sin. Discipline your mind to think only on good things (Philippians 4:8).
Walk in the Spirit. You lived your old life according to the dictates of the flesh, doing what you wanted when you wanted. Now you must live life in the Spirit according to the Word and will of God: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:16-17).
Avoid compromising situations. Avoid being alone with someone for whom you have had lustful feelings. Don’t flirt, as this leads to lustful behavior. Stay away from places where lust is being manifested openly, ie., discos, bars, ungodly parties, and places where drugs are being used.
Guard your senses. Be careful about what you view, what you read, and what you listen to, as the ear-gate and eye-gate are often where Satan gains access to your mind.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT LUST:
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. (Job 31:1)
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)
You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12)
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. (1 Corinthians 10:6)
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (Galatians 5:16-17)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
Let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
Encourage the young men to be self-controlled. (Titus 2:6)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. (1 Peter 4:3)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)