Sanctification: How To Stop Lusting
By Larry White
March 19, 2015
The short answer is to lift your sight to the spirit. It takes faith to believe in the reality of the spiritual realm. But that is the type of faith that is needed. Not hoping it might be real or just wishful thinking but an absolute confidence that the spiritual realm is real and is really here.
On the earth we are confronted with many people both good and evil, that impose a certain degree of will upon us - influence, peer pressure. On earth, we are in a proving ground, a boot camp to which we are subjected, so that we can overcome it. When we leave the earth all the illusion goes away and we are faced with the only one with whom we have to do, God - for an eternity. He wants us to be able to resist the evil and do what is right by Him regardless of the consequences. To be able to give our life to Him and for that which is right. Not just his right in the thinking of our relativistic culture now, but the right thing in love.
To overcome we must rise above the desires of the world. We must have a renewed mind that first loves God and is obedient to him, and second has a spiritual sight that understands why we should love him and why he wants us to resist the world.
The Holy Spirit in the new birth causes us to have a disconnect from our attachment to desire (the body of sin is nullified). Our spirits are free in the liberty with which Christ has made us free. We are liberated from desire and fear. We are no longer in the flesh but in the spirit. He translates us or lifts us up to sit with him in the spiritual realm, (Eph.2:5-7). From this position we can see our lives the way Jesus saw his life while on the earth. To be in Christ is to be in the spirit.
Our perspective through the mind of Christ, results in our perception of ourselves as foreign to the body's movement, it's drives - or that the body's passions are foreign to us. The spiritual mind is dis-passionate. We are not our body. The body is exposed to us by the spiritual light as the simple vessel it is, housing us like a tent. We come to that same mind that Jesus had, "and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself..." we also realize the same thing.
Jesus was the "Son of Man". He fulfilled everything God had intended for a man to be. Therefore any insight that we have of how Jesus viewed his life is a light to us to show us the way.
Sin stops spiritual growth. Most people submit to mediocrity and to be average is all that is desired and actually becomes their goal. Jesus was not an average man but a normal man. Sin is that average state of man, which is abnormal. Being without sin is his normal state. The normal state of a man is like Jesus in his earthly life - son of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, growing in wisdom and power. But sin had to be expiated in order to let man be normal again, for which thing's sake Jesus gave his life in sacrifice. The wrath appeased - man is reinstated by faith, the Holy Spirit dwells in his heart, all his spiritual faculties are restored (the regeneration), he can then walk and talk like Jesus did. Spiritual awareness, psychic abilities, personal healings by God, understandings, communion with God face to face - spiritual maturity, and all of it being imbued with love are the normal state of a man. Sin stops all of that. But faith in Jesus and his power that is working in us restores all of that. (Eph. 3:14)
Paul as a man ruled by sin and under law cried out, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom.7:24) He thanked God through Jesus Christ. The next chapter Romans 8, gives us how he is delivered. The rule of the Spirit of life has set me free from the dominion of sin and death. (8:2)
Rom. 8:8 "So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
We (our spirits, our egos, our personalities, our identities, our minds) must not be in the flesh, (controlled by it, colored by it, deceived by it).
Rom. 8:9 "But you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." We are in the Spirit, not ruled by the flesh, (human nature, human desires, human reasoning) but are free in the spiritual realm, with the mind, focus, identity, knowledge, temperament, and love of Jesus Christ.
Rom. 8:10 "But if Christ is in us, the body is dead because of sin," (The state of a Christian in Rom 6). Sin rules in "the flesh of sin", ("the law of sin which is in my members" Rom. 7:23), and that body is crucified with Christ and nullified. The body of sin is destroyed [i.e. annulled, put to death.] It is dead as far as acting out its human desires and allowing sin to have dominion over us. "Because of sin" means on account of sin.
"But the spirit is life because of justification." "If Christ is in us," through faith my spirit now reigns over my body by spiritual life, in life, as life. He doesn't say "is living" but "is life". Our spirit can live in the rarefied atmosphere of the spiritual realm and not be dragged down by "the body of this death". (Rom 7:24)
Rom. 8:11 "He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies, through his Spirit who dwells in you."
We are raised to walk in newness of life, (Rom.6). He gives life also in the sense of "life more abundantly" as Jesus said in John 10:10. "The body of this death" in chapter 7, can become a beacon of life and we can have all our human faculties restored and perfected. Intellectual, artistic, literary, musical all creative avenues and power opened up by the Holy Spirit. All which was once deadened by sin is made alive again. The fresh morning of living life as God had intended it for us, can thus be experienced again. Seeing with the fresh eyes of a child and experiencing all things as new. It's very exciting.
The way to stop lusting is to open your eyes of faith and see what reality is.
For those of you who are in addiction and want to come out of that world, besides the mind-set described above, here are seven suggestions that I found on the Web as to how to stop lusting. I freely expanded, edited and adapted them for our purposes here and in order to elaborate the points a bit.
1. You are not your body. You are a spirit housed temporarily in this vessel. You have a larger purpose and destiny. (see the above article)
2. Ask God the Father to give you the Spirit of enlightenment and strength so you can view things in your life as God would view them, thus quenching the fire of desire. Eph.1:15-18
3. Keep things in perspective. Being tempted is not sin. God takes into account that you are struggling. The struggle is not the problem. Taking the step to give in to it is where you sin. We all suffer temptation. It is how you respond that is important. Take heart in this: If you are a child of God and are trying to overcome, God will not allow a temptation that you will not be able to handle. So don't wig-out and think you have to succumb. God will always interrupt the trial and give you an exit, an avenue of escape so that you will be able to bear it, (1Cor. 10:12-13).
4. Abstain from TV and images that engage your sexual appetite, especially on the web where the Jewish run pornography industry has saturated every search engine. Your flesh can respond to what you see before you are fully aware. Don't get led on and forget who you are.
5. Make a covenant with your eyes to refrain from seductive glances. (Job 31:1) If you are dating, date for a reason, not to hook-up, hooking up is what hookers do, it's fornication that God will judge. Date to find a mate. Have no other reason to be on an individual date. Have fun, but with a view to your future. (Eccl. 11:9-10)
6. Get a clear vision for your life. Try to be what you want to become. When you are active in work that is meaningful to you, your mind is less likely to wander and be distracted with fantasies and lusts. Instead of seeing every pretty girl as an opportunity for lust, keep in mind and focus on your destiny. Don't act godly - be godly.
7. Consider long-term peace and joy over immediate gratification which brings shame. You are not a base animal. Put on the new spiritual man and react to flirtations honestly in truth. Remember you are not of this world and someone sexually flirting with you is not a person with any depth. They will be just like that with other people. Samson was deceived by Delilah. Seek a woman of noble character to whom you can fully give yourself, body and soul (like Ruth or Abigail).
God's will is that we live in a balanced way, participating in all of life's joys in moderation, and growing to a stature of self-respect and humble standing with God.
"Therefore, stand ..." Eph. 6:14
To those who are repenting, "Yea, what revenge!" (2Cor. 7:11)