Earlier this year, I received an encouraging email from a reader of the book Overcoming Lust. He identified himself as DP. Here is what he wrote:
Jim, just finished your book…life changing. As I have started paying attention to the ongoing thought activity in my mind, I am overwhelmed by the volume that is lustful in nature. When I go to a shopping center, church, anywhere there are females I am constantly on the prowl—all in my head but as you suggest there is no room for God because of the lust. I have started memorizing scripture and turning away when my eyes are diverted and have made the decision that I am going to change. Thank you!!
DP “gets it”—his life is changing for the better.
My question for you: Is your “life changing” or are you stuck in a rut? A rut has been described as a grave with both ends knocked out. Christians are never meant to be in a rut. We are meant to be constantly changing from “one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
If you are in a rut and not being constantly transformed for the better it is because of some form of sin in your life. You cannot blame the world. You cannot blame the church. You cannot blame the devil. Your own evil heart is where your sin comes from and it is choking you and stopping you from maturing as you should (Luke 8:14).
DP experienced what I experienced. By God’s grace, his deeply rooted sin has been made clear to Him. He is no longer confused by or resigned to his condition. His mind is no longer hijacked by lust. The Holy Spirit is consistently convicting him of sin each and every time he gives into it.
When DP found out about this new blog, he brought me up to date on his progress and wrote me to say he was still fully engaged in the struggle to overcome lust.
It will take a while for DP’s life to move out of this difficult stage. Overcoming lust after we have become a slave to it is a lengthy process from what I have seen and experienced. But, when we step out in obedience, things begin to fall into place.
Temptations that once inescapably tripped us up lose their grip. Misdirected desires and improper thoughts no longer inevitably worm their way into our hearts. We no longer automatically manipulate them in order to experience illicit sexual gratification.
Instead of giving in, we increasingly abstain from lust. As a result of our obedience and by consciously taking on new positive behaviors—like actively meditating on Scripture—our lives change. We grow up. No longer helpless babies, we experience maturity, strength and the joy that only God can give.
Will you join DP and step out in obedience by abstaining from lust? Will you pray for him and others like him who are determined to emerge from the rut—to see their life changing?