You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus moved sin from the action to the intent, from the hands to the heart. Jesus said, in effect, don’t pat yourself on the back if you have refrained from the physical act while giving in to lust. Calvin said it this way: “Let him who does not touch a woman not flatter himself…while in the meantime his heart inwardly burns with lust.” Here are three ways to guard against lust:
- Prepare for the battle.
In his book, The Myth of the Greener Grass, J. Allen Petersen said, “Temptation knows no stranger. Everyone is tempted, and always will be . . . If you have a body in which you live, you’ll be tempted through that body . . . If you are a sexual being, you’ll have sexual temptation.” You are in a battle. Admit it. Prepare for it.
- Plan your strategy for victory.
If something you are seeing is tempting you, stop looking at it. If something you are doing is tempting you, stop doing it. If someplace you are going is tempting you, stop going there. Someone has well said, “If you always do what you did, you will always get what you got.”
- Lock arms with others.
You don’t have to fight alone. You shouldn’t fight alone. Find another person who loves you enough to keep you accountable. Be willing to answer the hard questions. Fighting together is a position of strength.
Let’s talk to God about sexual temptation.
Father, help me be wise enough to prepare, strategic enough to plan, and humble enough to invite others into my life who will keep me strong. I pray for your daily help in the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today on The Journey Broadcast: