Where were we? Right. Resisting the urge to scratch the itch.
“Guys struggle with lust. That’s just how it is.” That’s what everyone says. I beg to differ. I did then, and I do now. What I came to realize was that the intense battle I was experiencing was happening for a reason. There was a root cause. A trigger point. And Satan knew exactly where it was and how to push it. Like a really annoying little sister that can always get you to lose your temper and get you in trouble. So annoying. So debilitating.
So one day, instead of just goring the barrage of lustful thoughts on the edge of my trusty spear, I grabbed them by the throat and dragged them into God’s throne room with me. “Here,” I said. “This. This is what I’m feeling every time Satan pushes my buttons. Where’s the button? Where’s this coming from? Take me there. Let’s deal with this thing once and for all.”
And the Spirit of God took hold of my mind, guiding me back to a memory in my formative years that had absolutely nothing to do with lust but everything to do with a number of other issues. As I replayed the memory, I felt the same feeling I get just before the temptations would come over me. Cause as a mentor once remarked, “You can smell a lustful temptation a mile away.” You can sense yourself warming to it, weakening to it, even before it crosses your mind. If you struggle with this, you know what I mean. So God showed me the root, and the misinterpretation of that event I had unconsciously adopted. He spoke his truth into that lie, and POOF-! My war ended, just like that, on a dime.
I’m not kidding. And it stuck. To this day, maybe five years later, I’m still good. I have to make wise choices — I’m not immune to sin. And temptations still come, but I’m telling you, I feel no inner war to resist them anymore. The back of that beast is broken in me, praise Jesus. It’s far more natural for me to stay pure than it is to fall. Now my falls are like, “Hon, I glanced at a TV guide cover for a sec and sensed my heart crossed the line.” That’s it. And they happen maybe every 2-3 months. I’m a free man. And Shauna is a thankful woman.
The tricky part, I’m finding, is learning to re-embrace beauty and let it be what it is. Purity doesn’t mean walking around not looking at anything, with blinders against everyone I find attractive. Ignoring woman isn’t much better than using her. Neither reflect God’s ideal. They’re the bad ends of the spectrum. Godly purity means being able to walk through life, see beauty, appreciate it, and remember that whatever it was in that woman’s body that I found appealing is appealing because she’s made in the image of God, the Ultimate and True Beauty, whom I ultimately am smitten by. See, true beauty embraced by a pure heart spurs worship, not lust — which so refreshing when it happens, let me tell you. The day that happens naturally, I’ll be a much more Christ-like man.
My story isn’t over—not by a long shot. But that’s where I’m at right now. So… what’cha think?
Here are a list of links for all the posts in this series:
My Lust Story, Change My Heart, Mind Games, Accountability, Her, Self Control, A Free Man
I appreciate your openness with this story. More than that, I’m amazed at how your story of deliverance mirrors those I’ve walked through myself over the years on vastly different subjects.
Recently, someone very close said, ‘I like my demons. I’m comfortable with them and I enjoy punishing others.’ This individual is addicted to rage–but doesn’t that sound familiar?
I’m convinced the key to deliverance is three-fold.
You’ve got to want freedom more than anything.
You’ve have to be willing to keep fighting– to keep going and going and take those heartbreaking failures right up to the throne, into the light and let God burn them with His holiness and truth.
You’ve got to love Jesus. Not squishy love, but the kind that walks through fire and would never break His heart. Only that kind of love will get you through the first two 🙂
Thank you for taking time to share this heart journey. Very pertinent healing laughter, from identifying with futile letting go transformed into holding fast to Him. This kind of bold honesty is what the world has needed for a long time. Many will be able to rise to this clarion call, realising what really matters for the way out God offers, and that works long term: not a system of thought but relationship protocol that is transferable. Glad for and with you and all else who discover it. ministered to by the value shifts and habit reformation realised.