|I suggest that you print this article for your study, review, equipping, and application, particularly, on the list of things to do to overcome lust.|
Lust is a common struggle of men and women who have already committed their lives to Jesus. Even with the conviction to attain holiness and righteousness, they struggle against impure thoughts and lustful feelings. They put up a fight by praying, memorizing scripture, rebuking the devil, undergoing occupational therapy, and many more. But the lustful thoughts and feelings just won't go or they keep coming back if they go at all.
Worse things happen if they give up the struggle and let lust take charge. They go into peeping, reading pornographic materials, masturbation, acts of lasciviousness, incest, fornication, adultery, etc. After a time of lusting and committing sex sins, they feel and realize how foolish it is to let lust overcome them, spoiling the joy of loving and worshiping God with all their mind, heart, soul and strength. While suffering dryness and wretchedness, there comes a longing to be set free from lust, longing for a miracle from Jesus, for his presence and awesome touch that will change them, make them an overcomer the rest of their lives. But due to lack of love for Jesus, lack of determination, double-mindedness, unfaithfulness, and the like, these lustful activities worsen, progressing to bondage.
If you are one of them, cheer up! You can overcome lust, just like that. If you love God very much and are determined to overcome lust, you will win the war quickly.
The day I was born again, I became a new creation. It was like love at first sight with Jesus ( 2 Cor 5:17). When the congregation was singing in the Spirit with heavenly tunes and language, I saw a bright light shine upon me, heard Gods voice and felt Gods love. Conviction broke my heart to repentance and tears. That love burned my heart with a passion to stay in his presence. Then seeing heaven and Gods Throne, hearing Gods voice, and seeing his angels in visions and in dreams became a common experience. I was totally transformed. The desire to sin was gone. I felt totally pure and holy, free from any form of sin in thought, word or deed. As I devoured the Bible and pondered on every truth and principle, God showed me the things that I must get rid of. Repentance and renunciation of sins since childhood were the main events all through the weeks that followed.
The first two years of my conversion was a sweet and awesome daily experience with God. Then one day, a brother confessed his sins of lust, asking for prayers. After praying for him, a lustful feeling stirred my body. A familiar fleshly desire stuck on my spirit and I did not know how to handle it. I attempted to drive the spirit of lust and whatever spirits were around tempting me to commit lustful acts. But my prayers seemed futile. The spirit had gripped my body and it felt as if I was losing control and going crazy. Because of that lust, the door was opened for the devil to taunt and defile me. He dug my past pains and bitterness. They were terrible and awful situations my wife and I had to overcome. I was oppressed and became oppressive to my wife. Due to the daily pain and rejection resulting from our petty conflicts, our marriage was terribly affected. My fellowship with the Lord waned. I drifted to self pity, depression, and more lust.
Inspite of my frequent falling, the Lord faithfully lifted me up when I responded to the Spirit's conviction. God never grew tired of forgiving me even when I sinned against him "seventy times seven a day" ( Mat 18:21, 22 NIV). The lustful experience that had become frequent dried my spirit quickly, making me struggle, longing for the presence of God and his anointing which I had enjoyed in earlier years. One day, the devil showed himself to me, jeering and saying " Ha ha ha ha ha, you sinned again. You will never get out of it!" Then he left. I was stunned because I had no authority to rebuke him. What I did was to ask forgiveness from God and declared an all out war against lust.
I refocused my spirit on God, praying, reading the scriptures, meditating, listening to his voice, praying in the Spirit - a non stop activity as long as I was awake. It was tough discipline but it paid off. I saw quick victory which I thought was the result of persevering prayer. Yes, praying against lust powerfully drives lust but just as Jesus has said, the spirit will leave the house empty but when it comes back, he brings other demons stronger than him ( Mat 12:43-45 NIV). But one early morning while I was taking my children to school, the Holy Spirit told me that perfect love will cast out lust from my desires and feelings. When lust comes back, he has no room because love occupies the entire house.
A breakthrough against lust took place in my life when the Holy Spirit led me into the powerful knowledge and experience of loving Jesus with all my heart. I reoffered my life, refreshed my covenant, and devoted most of my time in an intimate fellowship with Jesus, a love affair in his holy chamber.
Sexual stirrings are not necessarily a resident lust, particularly when the stimulus is not your heart, mind, or body. Lust is acquired not inborn. It may be acquired at home or somewhere. Sources may be carriers like: a person, an object, item, material, photograph, picture, scene, movie, sounds; and the culprit: demons of lust.
Lust is acquired in the spirit realm manifesting in the physical realm. It may help you to overcome lust quickly if you know how it gets you or how you get it.
At a certain age level, a sexual feeling in the body takes place. Sex is not necessarily the making of lust. God designed sex for a divine purpose. And it is divine only when it is functioning within God's purpose, method, designated place and timing with the spouse under the covenant of godly marriage. Outside this godly order, any sexual activity or manifestation is lustful.
Lust starts with a desire, develops into a feeling, scheming and seeking to possess, and be released but still aiming for more because lust is never satisfied. Lust may be sexual or asexual in nature. Lust is also possible among married couples in their sexual relationship. A husband may be lusting for his wife and vice versa.
It is wrong to consider marriage as a solution to lust; Jesus is the way out. A spouse who makes love lustful also defiles his or her partner. Therefore I recommend that lust must be thrown out of your life before going into marriage because it may throw out your marriage.
Lust can be best described as
a desire, craving, longing
to have, possess, control, and use for a selfish purpose;
also a sexual or asexual feeling emoted
in a method, place, and timing outside of God's will
When one craves for food, clothing, luxuries of life or anything other than sex for selfish purpose, the craving takes control of the person, taking control of his time, emotions, and actions. The desire that grows into a strong craving may drive the person to acquire by hook or by crook. The subtle entry of lust of the eyes among men and women, young or old is the "crush " syndrome common in all places.
It seems that the Church regards having crushes as proper or even godly. Worse, it is practiced by some pastors and ministers who want to enter into a romantic relationship prior to marriage. I have observed that this is a common infection in the Body of Christ in the Philippines, a deception on love and romance, a form of idolatry. And it has not been properly addressed in the Church.
When it is defined as mere appreciation or admiration of a certain person or personality, it seems harmless. But this is not the real score in the spirit realms. It is the sinful nature at work. So it must be subdued. Christians need to understand what it is, how it works, and how it affects our purity in Christ.
Crush: What it is & how it works
This is how I perceive: Crush is a sensual admiration ability (SAA)--- a human nature of being attracted to a particular person that may progress to sensual desires. What makes a person attractive could be certain qualities which are physical, psychological, or spiritual in nature. And the basis of attraction varies. One person can be attracted while others are not. Or, others are attracted while one is not. This is because the ability to be attracted is relative, a personal choice. One who indulges in crushes has set the standard of who is attractive. When the person with those set qualities comes into view, his/her SAA is activated. He/she has a crush on the person.
Normally, the SAA is activated in adolescence and adulthood because this is the period in life where a person develops the desire to enter into a romantic affair. But our lustful and idolatrous environment is predisposing even little children to idolatry and lustful involvement. Tolerating crushes or encouraging it is permissively preempting physical romantic intimacies.
The qualifications or qualities of what is attractive to us may come from the mold of our home, friends, school, church, media, arts and entertainment, business, society, and government. Authority figures at home or elsewhere influence us a great deal.
Crush is harmful
If you are single and preparing for marriage, setting the biblical qualifications for your future partner is wise. But activating your SAA is unnecessary, sinful, and dangerous. Once you activate your SAA, lying and lust demons are quick to jump on this opportunity opened for them. They will invade your thoughts and situations with lies and lust so that you will be defiled and miss out on the will of God. Destruction is soon to follow.
Identifying your future spouse is by hearing Gods voice, confirmed by your parents, family, spiritual authority and the Church. Visions, feelings and signs are dangerous grounds for verifying your future spouse. The devil can mislead in visions, feelings and signs, particularly if you have imagined and desired a person in your own mind and heart.
Crush starts by taking notice of the physical, emotional or spiritual qualities of a person. This is a horizontal process of assessing the person, the object of crush. Such particular notice makes the object of crush as a standout among others. The face, personality, appearance, character, soul, or even the spirit occupies a certain place in one's memory and feelings. Your crush then becomes a frequent thought content, an imagination and even hallucination. This develops into a desire to see, to touch, to smell, to hold and to possess the crush. Because of this, it easily stirs up sexual feelings to be expressed in bodily contact or actual physical union, or cleaving. Short of the ability to express the feeling in the sexual act of cleaving, this is manifested in masturbation, pornography, fornication, adultery or other filthy lustful acts. Simply it started as a seemingly harmless crush.
Crush is harmful. It debases our pure senses to a sensual level so that an attractive person becomes an idol and an object to possess, imagined or real. This spiritual state becomes a festive ground for lust and lying demons. This is why crush is not a gift from God but a sinful nature that we must get rid of aggressively. There must be only one standout in our eyes, thoughts, feelings and emotions: Jesus. Because there is only one perfect man worthy of praise and admiration. For married couples: their husband or wife next to Jesus.
Crush is not a godly ingredient in marriage, courtship and love. The godly process of marriage must be by hearing the word of Christ. By faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV). The marrying partners are going into a marriage covenant only because they are responding to the rhema and logos word of God. Other reasons would not fit in the godly principle of marriage when we belong to God's kingdom, having offered all our desires to Him. Other reasons would only satisfy human purpose, knowledge and wisdom. Is it not best to delight in the heart of the Lord for this is a profound reason for marrying? Psa 37:4 NIV
This kind may have started accidentally or intentionally. To the human perception, most situations seem to have accidental beginnings. In the spirit realm, nothing is accidental. Every event is a planned situation. If it is not God's plan, it is the devil's plan. However, there is the law of choice which God has ordained on man that the devil cannot violate. This is a protection. In fact, God's laws governing the heavens and the earth are to protect us from harm and evil. It limits the devil not us.
God has ordained limits for sex to protect us from lust. This is why it is a relationship applicable only to those who are duly married. Sex outside marriage is entirely wrong no matter how "godly" the setting seems. Many are deceived into thinking that their illegitimate or their nth time marriage is divinely ordained because in that current relationship they both came to know Jesus. Their divine encounter and relationship with Jesus must draw them into putting their lives in order. If you are in this mess, get out of it.
Sexual Thoughts & Imaginations
They come thru visual experiences: peeping, pornography, video, TV, internet, obscenity, actual experience. They get stuck in the memory having been fabricated by the lustful mind.
Sexual Feelings & Urges
Sexual feelings are most of the time mishandled. How to handle such feelings and urges have not been taught to us by our spiritual teachers. This is more explained in the Topic: exploring the spirit realm. Understanding the biblical principles below may give you a better picture of the situation. Basically, feelings are detectors of the spirit realm. The infestation of lustful spirits may cause you to experience lustful feelings and urges, quickly transmitting the signal to the mind where sexual pictures are stored, activating lustful imaginations. You must put this sexual feeling and urge under your feet.
This is often a result of sexual feelings and urges progressively seeking release. The act of masturbation easily meets the need to release, falsely provides relief and is sinful. Some Bible teachers think otherwise, admitting it as normal, harmless and good for maintaining sanity. This is deception. The masturbator cannot be healthier or saner than the one who does not. The act of masturbation is immoral no matter how pleasurable the feeling is because human pleasure is not the gauge of what is pure and moral. It is a sin of the mind and of the body, even if its your own body, because that body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our sexual ability must be operational only with our spouse at the right time, place, and method.
In men, the emission contains the seed of life which must be contained in the right receptacle. The act of bringing it to the brink of spilling, and then spilling it, has the ingredient of premeditation: to let the seed die. This is irresponsibility for a selfish pleasure, definitely not pleasing to God. Gen 38:4-10.
1) Love God above all things, above your flesh or the flesh of others particularly those you are lusting after. (Mat 22:37, 38 ).
This revelation came to me after some days of praying against lust. The Lord spoke to my spirit, telling me that lust can easily come in to a person who does not have the love of the Lord. Someone who is hurting, bitter, angry, exasperated, depressed, afflicted with rejection or pain is a target of LUST. Lust offers a counterfeit pleasure for them to allay pain and sorrow. Its entry is very subtle. The carrier of this demon may be a sweet person offering affection to a person with love deficit. But lust can never fill the deficit.
First of all, you must be born into the kingdom of God. As a member of God's family through Jesus Christ, you have the right standing to enter the presence of God and ask his grace and mercy. (Rom 3:23, 24; Eph 1:7; Eph 2:4, 5)
As the Lord of your life, God must be the most important person in your heart and mind. He must be enthroned there and take charge of your affairs, little or big. He must be the God who is real and awesome in your spirit, the God that you worship, adore and love above all things. You must give everything of your life to him, your needs, concerns, wants, desires, dreams, visions, plans and everything because this is love. Pray out these things to God now because He must be the foundation of your warfare against lust. Your victory against lust is possible only when you are intimately relating with God who must occupy your mind, heart and body.
Love is enough to overcome lust but such love must be that of God, not of this world (1 John 2:15, 16 ). Love is pure because it does not lust. The desire to be intimate with a girl or boy is very dangerous when one's heart is not under the kingship of Jesus. Such desire must be surrendered. In fact, everything must be surrendered to the Lord ( Luke 14:33; 2 Cor.5:15; Gal 4: 20 ). A Christian must master his heart to be intimate with Jesus. He must develop his love affair with him by submitting every thought, feeling, desire, plan and action to God. Every thing that concerns you, your breath, your fear, your faith, your lack, your plenty must be brought to God. Let him speak. Let him rule over you and you will find out that that is intimacy. God is not a hard taskmaster. When he requires total submission to him, it is meant for us to enjoy that intimacy because his requirements are meant for intimate relationship where there is love, peace and joy. Some Christians cannot appreciate the idea of submitting to God every plan and action in one's personal affair. They cannot appreciate the talking and asking relationship with God. These people cannot appreciate this because they cannot hear God. But if you are desperately looking for answers, do it and you will enjoy the love of the Lord. How wonderful it is to hear his voice.
One time Jesus said to the crowd, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.". Mat 18:3. He spoke of children as the illustration of humility and openness. Children are honest. They inquire and ask many questions. They ask many whats, hows and whys. I believe that God wants us to be inquisitive like children. God wants to talk to us, teach and train us to move and have our being in the Lord. Adults do not ask questions even when they need to know because they don't want to expose their ignorance and lack of knowledge. Such attitude is pride. Children don't have this hang up. They ask when they do not know. Be like children; ask God when you don't know. You used to go into your thoughts squeezing your intellect to provide you answers; but, in the Lord, you connect to God and let your intellect seek the mind of Christ. Now your intellect and God's intellect merge. They become one. That's powerful. The devil cannot win in such a situation. Lust cannot come in
Here is a checklist:
a) If you own lustful pictures, magazines, calendars, posters, reading materials or items, destroy them.
Pluck your lustful eyes. Make a warfare gesture of pulling off that lust of your eyes and receive new pair of spiritual eyes from the Lord that takes pleasure in seeing the beauty of His presence.
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. Job 31:1
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
Burn or destroy the materials of lust as your warfare gesture declaring your love for God, renouncing your liking for this pornographic materials, and using authority in destroying lust and wickedness in your life and in your surroundings.
I will set before my eyes no vile thing. Psalm 101:3
b) Gifts given by your former girl/boyfriend,
Destroy them. It is not necessary to inform the person who gave you the gift on what you are to do with it. If it is something very expensive and functional like a car or house, you must give it up. Return it or give it to the person or organization that God wants you to give. Ask God. Seek counsel and advise from a counselor or pastor who is free from lust, agrees with these principles and hears God's voice. Do not seek the advice of a person who has not overcome lust and does not agree with this principle.
c) Pornographic files in your mind. Those pornographic pictures, movies, actual scenes you saw in the past and sexual experiences.
Delete them by praying something like this:
As God's son/daughter now dedicated to remain pure and holy, I delete all pornographic pictures, visions, and dreams, lustful experiences and records in my mind, spirit and body.
How do you know if lustful files are deleted from your memory?
Try to retrieve your file. If it is deleted, you cannot see any lustful picture of your past.
When you are in a place infested with lust and you see lustful pictures of your past, this indicates that your file is not yet deleted. So delete it now. I have learned from the Lord that undeleted lustful pictures and experiences are retrieved everytime lust gets stuck to my spirit. This happens in a place infested with lust or when a person carrying lust is around. When my lustful files were deleted, I will not see pictures of my lustful past anymore but feel pain on my forehead or lustful sensations on my body or see visions of lustful activities not my own past but of the people involved.
3) Sanctify your room, office, house, village, town, city or wherever you are where impure thoughts or feelings are harassing you. You must understand that you are a spirit with a physical body (Job 32:8; Psa 34:18; Prov. 16:19; Isa. 54:6; Zec. 12; Mat 26:41.
After being freed from lust, you must realize that you are totally free from it. But lustful demons may come back to harass and defile you or you may experience the same things when you happen to be in a place infested with lustful demons (Luke 11: 24-26). Why? Because your spirit picks up the frequency around you. That frequency is translated into your body, mind, feelings, hearing, smelling and taste.
Since this sinful thought or feeling is not coming from within, you cannot get rid of them effectively when you repent of them as your sin. They are not yours.
What should you do to repel them?
Sanctify yourself and sanctify the place, the atmosphere. Pray, intercede, and drive out the lustful spirits from the place.
Scan the people around you. See if somebody is serving as access or enhancer of lust in the atmosphere. Once you have identified the access or enhancer, you will experience a release. Pray and seal off the access, enhancer and the people in the vicinity.
Praying for the place is equally important because lustful spirits are demons who occupy places which are used for sexual immorality. They occupy such places and use them as their territories. They take hold of the places, which become their strongholds. Anyone who steps into their territories will be under their influence, power and spell unless he or she is strong in the Lord. After being freed from lust, you are totally free. Next time you experience lustful thoughts and feelings, you know that there are demons of lust and sexual immorality in the place where you are. Sometimes you will experience this when a lustful person is in your vicinity.
After your victory over lust, you will become sensitive to the presence of lustful spirits and people who are defiled or oppressed with lust in their lives. This becomes your ability in discerning spirits, particularly when the Lord has called you to spiritual warfare. You will easily know when lustful demons are around or not because you are now clean, free of lust.
4) Declare truth in your prayers (John 8:32).
They are powerful and effective. The devil's power and influence is in his ability to deceive. Many lustful people believe that lust is exciting and delicious. This is a lie. Holiness and righteousness are exciting and pleasurable. Declare this in your prayer upon yourself and in the heavenly places because this truth will sanctify lies and deceptions engineered by the devil upon you. Know the scriptures and write them in your heart, mind and body. We know his will through an intimate relationship with him. We must pray God's will, not our will. The will of God declared by our mouth will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10 NIV). We must realize that our prayer relationship with God must be an avenue of receiving truth into our being so that we grow in the knowledge of his will and grow in wisdom as we apply those truths in our situations.
Our prayer, therefore, must be complete with listening, speaking and doing. But we Listen and obey more than talk to receive more knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and truth from God. This listening, which is not that easy to many, must be enhanced, developed, and perfected. With sharp spiritual ears, we can enjoy our relationship with God who planned wonderful things for our lives.
5) Do not ask God to drive the demons away from you. Drive them out yourself.
Don't ever command the Lord. It is written:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:7, 8 NIV).
This verse clearly indicates that we are commanded to resist the devil, not God resisting the devil for us. Jesus showed us how to deal with demons. In Luke 10:19, He gave the authority to his disciples to trample down snakes and scorpions and all power of the enemy. This same authority he gave to every believer (Mark 16:16, 17 NIV).
You may speak like this: In Jesus' Name, I command you, demon of lust, to get out of my room (house, office, building, etc.).
I advise you to open your eyes when you are dealing with demons. In warfare, deliverance and healing ministry, you must be alert, watching the physical and spirit realm with your physical and spiritual eyes (Eph 1:18).
Volume of voice in rebuking the devil or demons is not the measure of authority or effectiveness. However, a Spirit-filled Christian is led by the Spirit in his manner of dealing with demons. This includes his voice volume. To others, their loud voice is an expression of authority and emphasis of their obedience to God, but this manner may be rude among quiet people. Among loud people, quiet rebuking may be a boring and unchallenging manner in warfare. As a person who loves and obeys the Lord, it is best to be in tune with him rather than being structured in the demands and culture of men. One who is sensitive to God and his people is not a threat nor a bore to any culture who loves the Lord.
Guidelines on counseling
If you need some help, do not go to a Christian who has not overcome lust. Go to a godly person you know whose victory over lust is evident and certain. If you are male, do not seek help from a female. If you are female, do not seek help from a male.
For ministers, It is wise to minister with your wife or with a partner or small team to a person privately seeking deliverance from lust.
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® created: 4/5/1998 ~ modified:03/07/02 09:09 AM
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