01 Jul ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust – Jul 11
By: Firman Rianto
I am a guy. My need for warfare against the bombardment of visual temptation to fixate on sexual images is urgent. For women it is less obvious, but just as great. “Lust” means the realm of thought, imagination and desire that leads to sexual misconduct. Here is one set of strategies in the war against wrong desires in the form of an acronym, A N T H E M.
A – AVOID as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire. “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” (2 Timothy 2:22). “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).
N – Say NO with the authority of Jesus Christ to every lustful thought within five seconds. Give it more unopposed time than that, and it will lodge itself with such force as to be almost immovable. Be tough and warlike. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
T – TURN the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction. Saying “no” will not suffice. You must move from defense to offense. Attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ. The Bible calls lusts “deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22). Deceit is defeated by truth. We must stock our minds with the superior promises and pleasures of Jesus. Then we must turn to them immediately after saying, “NO!”
H – HOLD the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out. “Fix your eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). Do not give in too soon. Hold the promise of Christ before your eyes. Hold it. Hold it! Don’t let it go! Keep holding it! How long? As long as it takes. Fight! For Christ’s sake, fight till you win!
E – ENJOY a superior satisfaction. One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal. What steps have you taken to waken affection for Jesus? You were created to treasure Christ with all your heart – more than you treasure sex or sugar. Plead with God for the satisfaction you don’t have: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm
M – MOVE into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors. “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11). “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Get up and do something. Vacuum a room. Mown the lawn. You were made to manage and create. Christ died to make you “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). Displace deceitful lusts with a passion for good deeds.