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3 Biblical Strategies for Fighting Lust

Staff Member
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2:22

The above Scripture verse is probably one of the most concise bits of advice reminding us how we should engage in the fighting lust. Commit it to memory. Chew on this verse daily. Let your mind marinate in it.

1. Run From
“So flee youthful passions”

“Passions” refer to our cravings, our longings, our desires. More specifically the passage speaks of “youthful passions.” These fleshly lusts are said to “wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). On the surface these cravings are anchored in the members of our body (Romans 6:12), but as we look deeper we find they stem from our sinful hearts (Romans 7:7). Ultimately these passions are forms of idolatry (Colossians 3:5), revolving our lives and desires around created things rather than the Creator.

We must run from these things. Every Christian, even though he or she is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, still lives in a mortal body surrounded by worldly amusements. These youthful lusts stubbornly cling to our heals. As we see these passions stirred in us, we must habitually flee from them.

  • This might mean mentally fleeing: bouncing our thoughts away from lustful imaginations.
  • This might mean visually fleeing: bouncing our eyes away from lustful images.
  • This might mean physically fleeing: walking (or running) away from tempting situations.
2. Run To
“. . . pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace”

It is not enough to flee from youthful lusts. We must run toward a new passion. We are to “pursue,” that is, eagerly and swiftly run toward Christlikeness.

Christ promises His people a heart of . . .

  • Righteousness (real integrity, a passion for justice, and a life pleasing to God)
  • Faith (strong and welcome conviction and trust in God)
  • Love (benevolent affection toward God and others)
  • Peace (tranquility in the heart and harmony with God and others)
We are to run hard after these things each day knowing these character qualities are how we were created to live. We pursue these things knowing it is our destiny to live this way. A billion years from now, when sin is a distant memory, we will be living lives of love, peace and righteousness in the kingdom of God. Have this hope we purify ourselves, just as He is pure (1 John 3:3).

3. Run With
“. . . along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

We must not only run from lust and toward God’s vision for our lives, we must also run with our brothers and sisters with the same vision. We must all find companions for this stretch of the road, those who share our faith and convictions, those in the common struggle for holiness.

These friends should be those who “call on the Lord,” an expression for those who are saved (Acts 22:16; Romans 10:13). These are other men and women who have also cried out to God for the forgiveness of their sin from a “pure” (genuine) heart.

Running with others involves a certain level of intentionality. It is not enough to simply know others around us are on the same journey because they profess a Christian faith. We must have real running companions, those who actually help us flee youthful passions and pursue a Christlike heart.

James 5:16 and Hebrews 10:24-25 offer a structure of what this kind of accountability looks like.

Building a good accountability relationship takes time. There are benefits and blessings along the way, but the ripest fruit comes after a real friendship is built.

Thinking of these four building blocks together, they form a structure that gives purpose and shape to our accountability relationships.

The foundation is meeting together. This includes all the basic methods of communication and conversation: meeting for coffee, talking on the phone, writing e-mails, or anything that involves a meeting of minds.

The central pillar in the room is confession of sin: getting honest with God and one another about what we are doing that we shouldn’t do or not doing that we should.

The outer walls that support and protect this relationship are prayer and encouragement.

original source: 3 Biblical Strategies for Fighting Lust
Taken from my quiet time with the Lord today in the reading of 2 Timothy 2:

Flee and Pursue
(vv. 22-26)

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he put our sins to death so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Through his resurrection, he conquered sin, death, hell and Satan on our behalf. Through true faith in Jesus Christ, thus, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). What this means for us is that when we were dead in our sins, we were free from the control of righteousness, but now that we have been set free from slavery to sin, we have now become bond-slaves of Christ’s righteousness (Ro. 6:1-23). We are not slaves to sin any longer, so we should stop thinking and living like we are! We need to live like we truly believe Jesus set us free!!

So, how do we do this? Well, first of all, we don’t, at least not on our own or in our own strength and willpower. We can only be successful in conquering sin in our sinful flesh in the power of what Jesus did for us in dying on the cross for our sins. It is by the Spirit that we are putting to death the deeds of our flesh, so that we might live with God for eternity (Ro. 8:1-14). So, in that power, and in the strength of God’s Spirit within us, we flee (run away from) evil desires. And, that is where a lot of Christians get hung up, because they say they want to be free from sinful behaviors, but they are not willing to cut out of their lives what leads them into sin, and they are not actively running away from sinful desires, but they are toying with them. And, then they wonder why they are not gaining victory over sin.

We have to die to sin if we want to live to Christ and to his righteousness. We have to put off lying and tell the truth; put off stealing, and work with our hands and give to others, and put off adultery and put on faithfulness, and the list goes on and on and on. If we are not willing to cut the cords of what leads us into sin, we will never gain victory over sin. We are not running from (fleeing) sin if we are still tempting fate or dabbling in it even a little. So, cut the ties to sin, in the Spirit’s power, and then you can pursue all that is godly and holy.

And, yes, if you truly get radical about sin, and dead serious about walking in holiness, the devil is going to go after you to try to get you back, so he will send all kinds of opposition your way, but do not let it unsettle you. Instead, speak the truth in love to all who oppose you in hopes that they will repent of their sins, and no longer be taken captive to do the devil’s will. Remember, Jesus died to free you from sin, so LIVE IN FREEDOM!
My husband and I started reading this book together this evening. It is called "Broken Windows of the Soul." "Broken Windows of the Soul reveals the destructive nature of infidelity, sexual perversion and pornography and its effect on the culture and the church. Unless the cracks are quickly repaired, more "broken windows of the soul" are soon to follow..." Broken Windows of the Soul: A Pastor and Christian Psychologist Discuss Sexual Sins and the Prescription to Heal Them: Arnold R. Fleagle DMin, Donald A. Lichi PhD: 9781600662751: Amazon.com: Books