By Laju Iren
There was a time in my life when I saw almost every handsome guy as naked in my mind’s eye. Pretty embarrassing right? It even seems funny now, but it was not at that time. Lustful thoughts followed me everywhere. Even though I was a believer, I seemed to be losing the battle for my mind. Looking back, it seems like such a long time ago…but then, it seemed like it would never end. Now, I only think about one man intimately; the one I married. In this article, I want to share with you how I overcame lustful thoughts, and how you too can be victorious in your quest to think purely.
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- What are you feeding on?
This is the most important weapon when it comes to fighting for purity in your mind. If you feed on garbage, you will think garbage. I used to be one of those girls who read a lot of erotic novels but insisted they didn’t affect me. That was a big lie. If you watch pornography, you will think pornography. If you read erotica, you will think erotica.
Pro_4:23 says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
My husband always says that regardless of what you want to do, you’ll do what you constantly see and hear. What songs are you listening to? What conversations are you listening in on? What websites are you visiting? These are things that will determine what you would think about.
Look at James 1:14,15: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The battle against sin begins with what you feed your mind with daily. This is why you must make sure that lust has no breeding ground to conceive in your life. Even now that I’ve been married for over four years, I still fast-forward kissing scenes in movies. There are some movies I don’t even watch at all. Not because it is a sin to watch them, but because I care about the state of my heart. Others may afford to watch them, but I cannot. I care too much about what I feed my mind with. That’s the mindset I want you to have.
Replace those trashy pieces of information with the word of God. Bored with too much time on your hands? Study your bible, listen to messages pray, read productive books, your mind will thank you.
You can flush out those thoughts with the word of God, but if you don’t have the word in your heart, you’ll be powerless.
- You’ve got a super-power
Sin has no hold over a person who has the Holy Ghost. Dear believer, the same spirit that raised Christ up from the dead lives on your inside. He is the one who gives life to your mortal body, empowering you to walk in the newness of life. The reason why you will win the battle over those sinful thoughts is because Jesus has already won the battle over sin on your behalf. You are seated with him in heavenly places, far above principalities, powers and every lustful thought. And now his spirit is on your inside as a witness to this fact. You’re no longer a slave to lust, now you’re a child of God. The Holy Ghost is your super power. Don’t be ignorant of His assignment in your life. Because you have the helper on your inside, no longer will you say: “I can’t help myself”.
- Speak Up
Did you know that the temptation of Jesus probably took place the same way all temptation takes place: in his mind. It’s unlikely that the devil physically led God in the flesh to the top of a mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a flash. But even though the devil tried to attack his thoughts, Jesus was intentional about using his words. If you saw Jesus when he was being tempted, you’ll probably would have wondered why he was talking to himself. But therein lies an invaluable lesson. If you will win the battle against lustful, depressing or evil thoughts, you cannot afford to be silent.
Pro_18:21 says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Like Jesus, when he was tempted in Matthew 4, we must be able to say: “It is written…” to counter whatever lies the devil may have tried to attack us with.
You might be alone when the thoughts come, or there might be other people present. But please don’t be silent. When the devil says: “Won’t it be nice to do so and so with this person…” Don’t just let the thoughts settle. Shake your head and say: “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. My body is the temple of God where the Holy Spirit dwells. I’m a new man in Christ Jesus. I’m his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. I’m not a slave to lust. I walk in the spirit. I don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
- Get up:
When you believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, you instantly become a new person. It is a legal reality that you are without sin. Your spirit is born again! However, for this legal reality to become a vital reality. You must renew your mind. More often than not, it requires a process. Your spirit is born again, but your mind needs to be renewed. The same way you fed your mind with nasty things that shaped your thoughts over the years, you must now fill it with the beautiful truths of the word that would shape your future thoughts.
Note that I am not saying here that your works are necessary to add to your salvation. Not at all. You are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Your good works therefore are not a pre-requisite for salvation. But a proof of salvation. It is because you have been saved by grace that you are now empowered to do good works. It is because you are saved that you can keep getting up every time you fall, until you get up one day never to fall again.
I talk more about this in my newest YouTube video. Watch it here.
This will be a process. It may not be a sprint. But I can assure you, if you are in Christ, then victory is yours already.
Struggling with pornography or masturbation? Download the free habits notes.