Can I really make it?
If you are serious, you sure have a good chance of winning the fight with sexual sins. Those who have given up will not win. You must stand up and run. Many counselors will depress you by talking about control. They mean that you do not have a chance to overcome but only to reduce the excess. We are glad for a lot of their advice but not this. This poisons the very canal we need to drink from. We win because of our faith. I John 5:4 says,
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith.
This 'control' actually fosters unbelief and a toleration of sins which kill any true intimacy between a husband and a wife, not to mention ones relationship with God. God demands purity. When we can seriously pursue this, then our relationships change, our perspective of self changes and we gain a testimony of God's good and powerful grace in our lives. What we could not do, God did!
Can I do it by myself?
There are some who strive hard on their own to make it. Without God, a person can stop many sexual sins by sheer will power (assuming they are inclined to do so). But this does not take that person where he really wants to end up. They usually are happy just to control the excesses. They feel better because they are not so bad. But his relationships are not better. He has not reached the glory of being sexually pure. Who for example would think he is solving a weed problem only by snipping off the tops of the weeds?! Cutting out the excess only gives a person more time. The consequences are still coming though.
Our root problems are not solved when we only cut off the surface problems.
There are other people who get so fed up with the lust scene that they leave it. They reject pleasure and society. They instead choose to become some isolated monk. This however does not solve the root problems we have earlier discussed. We must first by God's grace change our heart and then modify our environment to lessen temptation. Isolation is not our final goal. Living by God's beautiful design in balance is our goal.
What is God's plan for us?
God wants to fulfill His purpose in our lives as sexual beings. (Remember this is only one aspect of our overall lives.) This is His wonderful design. He made us male and female. Without Jesus Christ, our battle with lusts is only on the outward. We cannot change our hearts on our own. Improvements can be made. Reform can be encouraging. However, only the Lord can change our hearts. If God does not fill that deep intimacy that we crave, then we will use our bodies to try to make up for it. When I was overseas, there was a type of chocolate for sale, but it was not like the genuine chocolate bar. The wrapper was the same deep brown, but the candy was almost plastic tasting. Sex is more than the momentary feeling. Sexual intimacy is a deep means the Lord has given to fulfill and develop our marital relationships. The focus is on enriching and caring for one another. This is the reason lust in marriage cannot ultimately fulfill a person. God knows better and therefore leaves our hearts empty until we search His own design.
How does Jesus Christ help?
Jesus Christ is the means God has revealed His genuine care for us.
"There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
(John 1:9, NASB).
By understanding God's love for us, we can grasp the purpose God has made men. One would think we would just grab onto this love. But we don't. We instead go for cheap substitutes. This love does not come naturally. Lusts come naturally to our fallen nature. We need the love of God to be born in our hearts just as a person is born into the world. We gain the power of love by receiving God's love through Jesus Christ. One might think of love as a positive virus. Once we have the love of God in our lives, our total beings and persons are affected.
"By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9, NASB).
If we do not have His love in our hearts, we have no option but to poorly care for ourselves. We need Him to fill that great need in our lives. Think about the implications of living without God's love. Without Christ ruling your lives, your self-oriented desires rules you. You are caught and enslaved by the flirters. You subconsciously focus on pleasing yourself even if you know it is wrong. Your needs come first.
How does lust affect ones marriage?
Living by lusts will slowly destroy the beauty of your marriage because you focus on your own needs rather than your partner's needs. This is counter to God's good design. Here is one practical way selfishness destroys the greatness of marriage. This will help you to start thinking how extensively this problem has troubled your marriage. Women physically and emotionally take more time 'warming' up for enjoyable sexual relations than men. Often the man does not have patience for this. If he seeks his own pleasure, then he will not focus on her needs but his own. The less his patience, the more he has ripped a hole in God's love process. Over time she will become less and less satisfied.
She senses she is not really loved but used. When she is less satisfied, then he becomes less satisfied. The natural beauty of sexual intimacies begins to decay. The couple at this point usually gives up on the relationship and focus on the pleasure aspect as they 'try something new.' The solution is found in asking God's love to fill our own hearts. The choice is between lust or to love. There is no middle ground. There is a world of difference between the two.
The solution is found in the heart of the True Lover.
From God to us to our lover