September 6, 2012 by A Girl Like Me
I picture you sitting there in your room, heart pounding, palms sweating, reading the words that God gave Heather to give to you. You are left feeling encouraged that you are not the only one in the struggle of lust and yet filled with questions. Full of hope and yet scared out of your mind. And hear I am, a sinner and struggler just like yourself, heart pounding, palms sweating and about to dive into a pool of puzzle pieces that I have a hard time fitting together. All the while Im attempting to bring hope and life into a world that is full of darkness and full of lifeless hearts going about their days in lust as if it’s no big deal. I am passionate and I am afraid all at the same time. Passionate because I too have struggled with lust, I too have desired sex disregarding God and I too have failed many times sexually. I’m afraid that my words will not leave you feeling encouraged but will leave you feeling bad about yourself. My heart here longs to bring encouragement and hope into your weary heart all the while bringing conviction and desire to fight. And as I have read… the Bible is full of both grace and conviction. So will you grab my hand, as we strugglers of lust jump in with both feet and hold our breath for the impact of truth that leads us to repentance and the impact of grace that leads us to the love of Christ?! I begin with a prayer because we need Jesus to open our hearts to truth. “Thank you God that your Son purchased our freedom! Thank you that we are not only no longer enslaved to sin, but we are also freed from the law! Please shine on our understanding and open our hearts to what the Spirit wants to say to us today. And then please grant us grace to see ourselves as we really are: not a slave to lust but your beloved daughter.” Amen
The Spirit knows that what we need isn’t more rules.. it’s freedom! I’ve grown up my whole life being told to not be physical with boys. Don’t hold hands cause that leads to kissing, don’t kiss cause that leads to making out, and don’t make out cause that leads to sex. And sex, well that leads to hell does it not? At least that’s what we were made to believe. Don’t do this…. don’t do that… no no no. Rules! I lived my life believing I had to just obey the rules or else. Or else what? Why do I have to follow these rules when my body is telling me something totally different? It’s not that big of a deal. Everyone does it and they all seem to be just fine. Or at least they look just fine from the outside. Lust for me began as an emotional lust. A crazy desire to have a boy love me. That’s all I wanted. Looking back that is what I spent most of my high school and some of college in pursuit of. I wanted to be noticed so bad that I was willing to stretch the rules until I eventually broke them. I knew that dressing a certain way to get boys to notice my body was wrong.. but I didn’t care. As long as I was noticed than eventually his longing for my body would turn into a longing for my heart. As time went on I began to see that I no longer just wanted a guy to want me I wanted to be sexual with him too. It made me feel loved and accepted. So all this to say I am here to tell you that I failed. I failed in so many ways sexually and it not only affected me, it affected my precious husband not to mention many other people. I only cared about my feelings. I too was left alone in my guilt and shame only to find that one morning I woke up and there was no more guilt and shame. I became numb to it and had found myself no longer feeling the conviction. I felt guilty for not feeling guilty. I had quenched the Spirit and at the same time couldn’t understand why these momentarily satisfactions no longer made me feel secure and loved. So I am here to tell you that rules is not what I offer you, but what I offer you is sweet glorious freedom from not only your shame and guilt and possibly apathetic hearts, but freedom from being bonded to lust! Galations 5:1- ” For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit agin to a yoke of slavery.”
“Slaves have no hope; they resent their maters, and they will always escape if given the opportunity. On the other hand, adopted children who are freely loved will choose to serve out of astonishment at their father’s generosity and their undeserved liberty. Such powerful love endues them to fight against every desire that might displease their father. Slaves don’t love; children do.”- Fitzpatrick
” Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together. As we glance up, we are astonished to find the eyes of Jesus open with wonder, deep with understanding, and gentle with compassion.” – Manning While you were yet sinners, women who give in to lust, Christ died for YOU! You are covered by His grace that covers you like dew every morning. Your soiled robe is washed in His blood. I can focus on all the times that I gave into giving my body to a guy and all the times I gave into feeling good rather than listening to what I knew my heart was telling me. Or I can accept that I have messed up and will probably continue to mess up, but choose to see myself as Jesus sees me. Washed and clean and free. He died so that we may be set free. And free we are and free we can live. ” Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when year after year the longed- for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness and it is as though a voice were saying: You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know but some day will. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted and you will experience grace.”- Paul Tillich If you have failed and have given into your flesh to find that you are no longer a virgin… you didn’t blow it! If you have found yourself giving into lust by masturbation… you are not ruined! If you have given into lust and found that you look at things that you know is wrong… you are not soiled. God does not throw His hands in the air and walk away giving up on you. You are forgiven dear girl! My heart breaks knowing that there are so many of you who have given into lust and now feel like you have ruined yourself for eternity. My heart breaks at the thought of your tears streaming down your face because you have failed and feel like there will never be a Godly man who will look at you with godly love. You have been forgiven. Why else would Jesus die for you!? For me?? He loves us even in our failures… and there are men out there who see what God sees- they see a woman who has been given much grace and probably has a better understanding of the gospel than those who try and live in perfection. There is hope for you, there is forgiveness for you and there is the rest of your life to live not in your shame but with confidence that you are loved and free from yourself. Grace never ever runs out. Take your hands away from around your knees and draw them up to accept this priceless gift.
So now that you see that you are covered in His grace, freed from slavery to lust, and loved no matter what you have done sexually… it’s time to lift your head off the floor and fight it girls.
There is a war. A battle for your soul because that is just how precious and valuable you are. Manning says- ” We secretly tell ourselves that the call of Jesus is too demanding, that surrender to the Spirit is beyond our reach. We start acting like everyone else. We don’t fight, we wallow and hope that eventually we will just wake up one day and the desire will be gone.” Don’t you feel that way at times? Have you given up? Or so focused on yourself that you don’t see the importance of this? Satan approaches us in two ways. First with temptation. He feeds us lies such as these- “You deserve this! Why not give in? It feels so good and everyone is doing this. You want to feel loved don’t you? You’re missing out on what everyone else is enjoying. This is the ultimate satisfaction.” The lies fill your head faster than your heart can stop them. Slowly you begin to give in… a little more here.. a little more there until you find that you have just fallen in completely. It is in this moment that Satan than approaches you with accusation. ” See, you’re disgusting. You’re not worthy of love. Look how much you have failed. Look at yourself, naked and ashamed… God doesn’t love you. You’re worth nothing. No one will ever really love you now.”
Does this trigger any of you? It sure triggers me… because I have seen this at work in my own life. I have believed these lies more times than I want to admit. But that’s just it! It’s all lies strait from the pit of hell. And we can fight against these lies. This is where my passion comes in because I don’t want you to do what I did. I went through so many years not fighting. I stayed in my little apathetic world thinking it wasn’t that big of a deal if I got naked with this guy or had oral sex with that guy, I lived under the Grace of God and yet had no regard for Him. And now I see the consequences. I see the hurt I have caused so many people and I have battled with feeling shameful even after being married. Sex no longer was a good thing… it was a shameful thing. What God intended for my good… I abused it until it started to eat away at me. So I’m here telling you to fight the urge. Fight the lust and the sin that so easily entangles you.
The root cause of lust and the lack of fight comes from NOT KNOWING GOD! You know what your fighting against, but you may not know what you are fighting for. Knowing God draws you to Himself and away from your flesh.
1 Thessalonians 4:3- 8- ” For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD….. because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you!” Do you know God? So what kind of “knowing” am I talking about here? For the Bible says that even demons declared that Jesus is the Son of God. They had more head knowledge than the disciples. So this is not the kind of “knowing” I’m talking about. It is the knowledge of God’s GREATNESS, GLORY, BEAUTY, POWER, JUSTICE, GOODNESS AND TRUTH. Unlike mere head knowledge it HUMBLES YOU, WINS YOU, RAVISHES YOU, DELIGHTS YOU AND HOLDS YOU! It is a fierce and satisfying love. Knowing God is so real and so satisfying to your soul that when any attitude, thought, emotion or addiction threatens to take that knowledge as though your very life were threatened… you fight it!!! 1 Peter 2:11- ” Beloved, I urge you to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
It also says the Lord is an Avenger! Those who ignore this commandment to stay away from sexual impurity will face the wrath of God. It is a tough pill to swallow girls. It’s hard words to hear… but this is the Word of God. If you ignore His commandment to abstain from sexual immorality there will be consequences you would never want to face. So I urge you!!!! I beg you… do not ignore this. Let me be more clear… to ignore this commandment of God is to say that you struggle with lust but you don’t care to do anything about it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t struggle with it and aren’t fighting against it with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of whether or not you pick yourself back up, take the cup of forgiveness and drink it down, and fight again. There is a battle for your soul. Get up off the floor, throw out your computer if you have to, get rid of your phone if you have to, surround yourself with godly people who can encourage you and help pick you off the floor when you fall.
The way to fight lust, dear girl, is by feeding faith with the knowledge of an irresistibly glorious God! Do you meditate on His word day and night? Do you read great books of God’s character? Do you surround yourself with godly people who can encourage you and lift you up off the floor when you fall? Do you pray daily that God would awaken your heart, that you would have the capacity to be ravished by the glory of God with the emotion and a joy overpowering all the passions of lust? I know there are those of you fighting. Yet you believe that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and can do it yourself. But then find that sooner or later you are confronted with the painful truth of your inadequacy and insufficiency. Your bootstraps are cut. Which leads to discontent that flowers into gloom. But God is whispering to you all the while…” My grace is enough for you: my power is made absolutely perfect in your weakness.” Rely on His power and not your own dear girl. It is a fight that not only you will be fighting but the Spirit will be fighting for you. You can fight it because you have the power that is made perfect in your weakness. You can rest in His goodness and love which will then lead you to fight against your flesh and die to yourself.
So I leave you with the best news of all. Jesus took your punishment while He hung there on the cross. He took your lust, your impurity, your failures and dirtiness upon Himself. He saw the time you gave your body to that guy and He took that upon Himself. He saw the time you masturbated in your room and He took that from you and laid it on HIs own shoulders. He saw your thoughts when you looked at that guy and He took them to be His own thoughts. We deserve the punishment of death. But praise be to God that He gave His only Son to take our punishment for us. Why? Because He loves you and He wants you to live free. You are free to struggle, and you are not fighting for freedom but you are fighting the fight of faith driven by a love that far outweighs any feeling that this world has to offer. Do not live in your past mistakes or in fear of what the future holds. Today live as who you really are. A child of the Kings. Blameless and pure. One day at a time. And the shame and the guilt will fall from your shoulders whenever you fail. Because Jesus is so in love with you and He will be there at every moment you need help lifting your head when you fail. Accept His grace and allow His love to draw you away from yourself and into His arms. God can and will make something beautiful out of you.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God!”- Matt. 5:8