One of the ways Satan defiles the consciences of multitudes today is through sexual temptation and sin. I dare say most of this is going on in the “virtual” space today. In the past to see an extremely beautiful woman’s naked body you either had to be one of the few people who were married to one or you might do it by visiting a house of prostitution. Then came magazines, later videos – but now we have the internet. All you have to do is type something into Google – the name happens to be a contraction of Go Ogle – and you will come up with something designed to lure you into virtual sin. If you are tempted to do this, it might be interesting to note that everything you search on Google is recorded. If they can record it, so can Almighty God.
Women are more tempted by romantic men who give them time and romantic attention. If you are married, stay away from close friendships with people of the opposite sex. Many have fallen into adultery because they first committed a kind of “emotional adultery” – giving their affections to a man or woman that was not their spouse. You have to be brutal with yourself if you are deeply connected at the soulish level with someone not your spouse. Cut it. Better to lose a friendship than lose your soul. Plenty of people chose the other way.
Back to online temptation. Because pornography is so universally and easily available, and many imagine discreetly available, and because most men find pleasure in this sort of thing, it is not surprising that this particular form of sin is a prevalent one. It is estimated here that 25% of all internet searches in the world are related to pornography. That article will give you some more interesting stats on the issue which is doing a lot of damage in many ways.
OK, enough of the bad news. If you are bound by this, how can you break free?
I would say first of all you might begin by admitting your own personal bankruptcy. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). You can get a lot more help from God by coming to Him in prayer with empty hands than by boasting in His presence about how great you are.
The second key in Matthew 5 is “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. Sorrow for sin, and a willingness to change is helpful. But it is not the total picture.
You need to be meek. as well. You need to be willing to be led by God. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh”.
The one thing we eventually find that we NEED is the activity of the Spirit of God in our lives. Whether your problem is anger, lust, fear, pride or all of the above, you will never escape by the power of seeking out rules and laws alone – even God’s laws. You and I NEED the Spirit of God’s help always. So seek Him out, and go with what God shows you at all times.
We need to HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Set your affection on God and His righteousnte ess, because THAT can truly satisfy your soul, and it never leaves a BITTER AFTERTASTE. Set your heart on God, the things of the Spirit, and seek to be full of the Spirit and in worship towards your Creator who you can see by the eyes of faith.
Some people who are bound by sexual sin and temptation are so BECAUSE they do not take delight in the things of God. Their souls are quite empty, and for that reason they are easily lured into the dopamine hit that pornography and masturbation provide. This is what is actually going on with ALL forms of idolatry. Not all people go into the idolatry of sexual sin and its associated pleasures when they are unsatisfied with God Himself. Others go into workaholism, the worship of Mammon, the pursuit of wordly honor or even gluttony or drug addiction. Folks, this is where a LOT of people live and the solution is to TURN TO GOD. Drink living water from Jesus. Eat the bread of life. Then you won’t hunger and thirst for sin.
One thing Jesus told us to do was to pray “Lead us not into temptation.” How much have you prayed along those lines? Do you pray for that as much as for “your daily bread”? Maybe you would be wise to. Imagine if God heard you!
Don’t lead yourself into temptation. A lot of television shows, while not overtly pornographic, are constructed with a view to luring you into admiring the sexuality of people on-screen. Just stay away from most television and you will do better anyway. There is too much to do in God’s Kingdom and the workers are few.
Jesus also prayed “Deliver us from the evil one”. On this site I discuss the ministry of deliverance from demons and what it can do. Its all part of the provision of God. It doesn’t replace the need for repentance at all. Actually, it shows how VITAL true repentance is to your spiritual survival.
I found myself earlier in life that meditating on believing the promises of God in Roman 6 especially about reckoning yourself to be “dead to sin and alive to God” had a lot of power in defeating sexual temptations and any other kind of temptation really. Somehow, you have to believe that when Jesus was crucified, your sin problem was also. You died with Him, and you rise to newness of life with Him. This is illustrated in water baptism, something which is commanded by the way. If you are not willing to obey the clear instructions of Jesus Christ here I question how effectively you will be able to obey Him in other matters.
You can pray that God changes your desires also. God will answer that prayer.
The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). This doesn’t only mean that God will fulfil the desires you already have (that are from Him). It means that God will GIVE you new desires in accordance with His will. Again, worshiping God and seeking after the pleasures of knowing Him will go a long way towards defeating lust and other sins.
Getting married in some cases is a solution. But there are married men who struggle also, and being married carries its own new set of problems. If you are single and want to be married so you don’t burn with sexual passion, then pray that God give you the gift of Celibacy UNTIL He provides you with the right marriage partner according to His will. God will do this also.
Sometimes God wants us to fast – to deny our flesh food. This can have a great deal of power by humbling our flesh and getting ourselves in alignment with God’s mind. Again, its one tool we have at our disposal. Its not a magic bullet.
Another powerful principle in overcoming temptation is to become part of an accountability group of trusted peers. By realising you are not alone, and that it matters to others how you are going in overcoming temptations to do the wrong thing, you will have an additional level of protection against the deadly power of sexual sin.
If you have been snared in this area, you are not alone. Not only have many been snared, but many have been set free by the power of Christ and His cross. May God bless you and satisfy you with His life.