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Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: 'Break free from lusts' is the eleventh lesson on 'Embracing God's Love, Overcoming Lust' which helps shows how to restore the foundation so that you can have long term success in overcoming lusts and strong desires. This lesson is the seventh in a series on "Reaching Beyond Mediocrity."
Lusts made up of chains are not evident until seeking release. Those enslaved in their lusts do not know it until they try to break lose. It is not an easy fight. Usually they end up divorced, single and lonely, enslaved and far from God before they realize what has happened. Some have fought the fight with hedonism by adopting a contrary and unbiblical notion of spiritualism.
These burnt-out Westerners adore and adopt ascetic religions like Buddhism or Hinduism, thinking that true spirituality will be found. Indeed they think they have found a way out, but it is only into another pit of deception.
The only real way to find freedom is through Christ Jesus,
"If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
There is wonderful healing through the blood of the Lamb. ￼We need a sacrifice and gladly we find God to forgive us all our sins through Jesus' sacrifice for us. This is the first step to freedom. We must repent and find forgiveness.
As His children, we still can fall, but we must, as many times as needed, go back to the cross. It is through Jesus' righteousness we are accepted and not through our own. We have no personal righteousness that is accepted before God but do not allow the evil one make you feel that God will not forgive your sins.
The Lord does want us to live holy lives, free from our selfish manipulation of others and free to treat others kindly whether in thought or in deed.
We need to recognize that a fight is needed. The fight, however, is not what we generally think of. Restoration helps but be careful. It is easy to think that now because we are more determined not to sin, that we will be that strong for ever. It does not work that way. The evil one can wait, but he is already lining up a row of circumstances that will bring us back into sin.
This faith to stand strong helps and is good, but it does not replace the fallen foundations that need to be restored. Devotion only helps for a little while, but it cannot live long without firm truths in place.
You must not think going around saying, "I will be pure. I will be pure" will work. It is a good start because it motivates you to make changes. Ephesians 6:17 says the sword is the word of God. We need to replace the fallen pillars of our lives through the Word of God.
Repeated failures in any area of our lives reveal fallen pillars. ￼If the foundations (the pillars) are not properly set, then the floor is weak.
We might be able to sustain some pressure but finally our lives will give in. If we properly have the Spirit of God build the foundation, we will stand. I have seen this in my own life and so I share this with you.
"Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust" (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Several challenges stand before us. We have misplaced values. We have come to believe false things are true. I have earlier pointed out how there are two particular areas that need to be rebuilt.
The first challenge is regarding what we value. Do we treasure what God treasures? Do we really believe His ways are better? Do you think God is keeping the best from you by His commands for purity?
If we cannot speak very confidently about these things, then we need to go back to some basic truths of God's Word and begin to trust the Lord and treasure His Word. As we treasure His Word, God will set up the pillars of truth. Here are some truths that might need to be restored. They have been noted in different ways in the text above.
Meditation suggestions: Psalm 139, Genesis 2, Song of Solomon, Galatians 5:16-25.
Meditation suggestions: "Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth" (Proverbs 5:18). Malachi 2:14-15.
Meditation suggestions: Matthew 5:27-28, Galatians 5:16-25, Philippians 4:8-9.
Meditation suggestions: Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:4. Daniel 1-2. (Think how Daniel overcame life's hardship (made captive in a foreign land and made an eunuch)).
Meditation suggestions: Hebrews 12:1-3, Philippians 3:7-11, Romans 12:1-2.
Meditation suggestions: Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 2:12-16.
There might be other problems that need to be worked on. In my life because of my broken family, I had a lot of other restoration work that needed to be done. Satan was able to get me down because once he got in, I did not have the proper truths to easily cast him out.
I had a poor concept of God as Father (doubted His good will), did not understand constant love (doubted his continual presence especially when I fell), and did not understand godly relationships (doubted how His ways were always best). These all combined into what seemed an impossible hurdle that was not jumped over without much rebuilding.
In summary, keep seeking God's grace. I have fallen on my face many more times than I would like to admit (probably many more than you). But God in His amazing love has granted me a wonderful wife and beautiful family of ten (8 children).
Check out the much fuller series on overcoming lusts. This helps rebuild the values for long-term restoration.
￼The psychologist stated that I would probably get a divorce. Without God's rebuilding of my life, I don't doubt this would have been one of the many horrible consequences. I had too many personal problems (think sin).
These awful lusts that settled in my life during my early years were not thrown off until later. There were demonic attacks associated with them. Without being very conscious of what I was doing, God slowly rebuilt His truth through my regular quiet time with Him each day.
I slowly began to enjoy God's gift of purity and power in His strength through His truth and Spirit, Today I enjoy the wonderful freedom in Christ. I am not controlled by lusts, though still tempted. God can do that for each of you who trust and follow Him. He led me step by step, always ready to pick me up from my guilt-ridden falls.
The Lord now is by treasure, my hope and my all. Temptations still come but are usually easily dismissed. But whatever the case, I must keep vigilant on my devotion to my wife and not be embittered with her.
The complete book with the exercises, Reaching Beyond Mediocrity, can be purchased at our BFF Store!
Also look at the extended series on overcoming lusts. Colorful graphics and diagrams make this study refeshing and helpful.
Discipleship at the 2nd level
by Paul J. Bucknell
God's Word comes alive as you learn how to use it to overcome personal struggles like anxiety, depression, pride, lust and anger. God has made you strong! Many worksheets! (300+ pages). This is the full resource with all the complete and updated pages included!
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988