I Find It Difficult, Even Though I Know God, To Overcome Temptation
Hello there, I am just in the beginning of my spiritual walk with God. I am finding it difficult, even though I know God is with me, because I’m doing my best to overcome temptations. I do have some sexual addictions and low self esteem and I always tend to think lustful thoughts whenever I come across magazines, movies, pictures etc. I have asked God to forgive me of my sins and I know He has but I still feel the urge to do wrong. Whenever I come across something that is sexually impure to look at I get this feeling to either be jealous because I don’t look or have a great body and lustful beauty as that person, or the feeling to desire them starts to burn inside me and I can’t get the image out of my mind. I feel ashamed, embarrassed and hurt because it’s like it will take me forever to overcome and it’s too much.
Also I have added a relative to my Facebook page and he has some obscene pictures of women on there. I didn’t check his page properly and added him now I regret it. The pictures make me feel ugly and that feeling of desiring them swells up in me. I regret adding him now. Can you suggest what scriptures I can look at to overcome my sexual addictions and how I can really fall in love with God. I do my best to pray and avoid the things that God is against but there are times when I do come across things I should not be looking at. Can you help me or show me what I can do regarding my situation. I don’t want to hurt God or myself anymore. I just want to be free so I can serve God wholeheartedly and honestly. I feel as if I’ve failed God and it makes me feel like the situation won’t change and it will take a long time to change. I’m sick of pulling myself down and degrading God. How can I Iook at something without lusting after it or feeling ugly from it? Will you be able to help me, any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you kindly,Â Â
First off, I must apologize because this response is VERY long. But it’s so important and I couldn’t hold back one single word. Please print it off and study these words from God. It will help you so much!
I’m glad that you wrote this because it’s something that has been burning in my heart. There are so many people out there who struggle with the same thing! You are not alone in this. AND, the situation is not hopeless. There is a cure – but it will take work on your part.
The battle that you are waging is in the mind. And that temptation stares you in the face challenging you when you take that first step: looking. There are three things that you can do to overcome this – and it can happen rather quickly but you’ve got to take these steps and consistently do them for the rest of your life.
You are facing an addiction and much like an alcoholic, you need to stay firm and stay clean till the day you die.
#1 is what you asked for – how to fall in love with God. That is the most important step in this battle because the battle belongs to the Lord.
1 Chronicles 5:20,22 1 Chronicles 5:20-22 (Amplified Bible) 20They were given help against them, and the Hagrites or Ishmaelites were delivered into their hands, and all who were allied with them, for they cried to God in the battle; and He granted their entreaty, because they relied on, clung to, and trusted in Him… 22For a great number fell mortally wounded, because the battle was God’s.
Replace the words Hagrites and Ishmaelites with the name of your enemy – lust. You can rely, cling to and trust in God because the battle is God’s. He wants you free of this as much as you do!
Spend time with your Savior. Perform A.C.T.S. every morning. Spend time Adoring God, Confessing your sin to God, Thanking your God, and Supplicating to Him on behalf of all those in need. Then be still and listen (Psalm 46:10).
To Adore God, just tell Him how wonderful He is. You can get a good idea about how to do this by reading Psalms out loud to God. In them, God’s Name is glorified. This puts you in a good place to realize just Who our God is. He is Supreme and Sovereign! Think about Jesus and all the beautiful things He did. And realize that you have the Holy Spirit Who is going to help you through this.
When you confess, call the sin for what it is. Tell Him, “I am a fornicator,” or “I am filled with lust,” or “I am a liar.” You get the idea. When you call the sin in all the ugliness that it is, it helps you see the sin as God sees it. But then the most important part must follow. Say, “God forgive me for…” and put in what you need forgiveness for. THEN – realize that God forgives you. Forgive yourself and get yourself in the mind frame that you are now totally clean before God, and you can walk as if you’ve never done that thing.
Psalm 103:12 (New Living Translation) He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
And most importantly, start reading your Scriptures. Get through the New Testament, and then get through them again. And again. That is the only way that you can arm yourself against the enemy – Satan wants to pull you away from enjoying full fellowship with God. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and get a good commentary on it. Study that one out – there is Power in those verses! Just look at 6:10 in the Amplified version; it is amazing!
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
You are not doing this alone,Â God is with you every step of the way. You can rely on Him and trust Him. You will be empowered by spending this time with your Best Friend and the Lover of your soul Who is jealous for you.
#2 – this is the second most important step. Quit looking. Quit looking at photos. Don’t go to the places that feature those photos. When you see an attractive woman walking down the street, instead of looking, turn your head and seek out one of God’s other creations. He’s made tons of them! If you get on the internet often, turn off images. Don’t pick up a magazine at the register in the store. Don’t even glance at them. Check out the other gadgets, or the gum, or the candy, or mentally calculate how much your groceries are going to cost.
This is so important! Just like an alcoholic should never frequent a bar, you should not be checking things out. Delete that uncle that has inappropriate photos on Facebook. If he asks why, be honest and tell him why. Afraid of hurting his feelings? Then remember that he’s an adult and is supposed to take care of his own feelings. You are not in charge of his feelings. You are just in charge of pleasing God, and it is better to please God than man.
Galatians 1:10 (New Living Translation) Obviously, Iâm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christâs servant.
The reason why you keep failing is because you keep doing the actions that cause you to fail. Every time you find yourself looking, tell yourself this:
“No! I am a new creation in Christ! I don’t need this, I just need my God!” Then mentally picture yourself in a field, or the beach, or your favorite place, and running up to Jesus and throwing your arms around Him and hugging Him for all you’re worth.
Run to Jesus! He expects you to lean on Him.
So, because it’s such an important step, I’ll say it again. Stop looking. Stop looking. And stop looking. (This comes with a big hug because it’s so hard to show you the tenderness and love with which I am saying this.)
#3 – the third step is fighting the good fight in your mind. The mind is the battlefield. When you find yourself thinking unholy thoughts, immediately conquer them. Don’t forget who is dropping those thoughts into your head. Satan! He has come to kill, steal and destroy.
Look what our beautiful Savior has to say to you:
John 10:10 (Amplified Bible) The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
Satan wants to destroy your life. The life in you and the life with God. He doesn’t want you to enjoy full fellowship with God. He doesn’t want God to fulfill His purpose in you. You are dangerous to the devil. You, God’s special and unique creation, have something to do for God on this earth which will bring Him Glory and will bring you great rewards in Heaven. And Satan knows exactly how to steal that from you.
The flip side is that Jesus wants you to have a full life till it overflows.
The devil’s favorite battlefield is your mind. He just pops that thought in your mind and watches with glee as you grab it and run with it.
There is not a man on earth who doesn’t get those thoughts popped in. It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference.
So, as soon as an evil thought is popped in, get rid of it quickly – like it was a burning ember dropped onto your brain. Hot and dangerous! How to get rid of it? Easy – like this:
I rebuke that thought in the name of Jesus Christ. I belong to God and He inhabits my heart. I am a new creation and I am no longer the old man. I rebuke you, devil, in Jesus’ Holy Name! I command you by His Authority to get out!”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (New International Version, Â©2011) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
You don’t stop there because there is an empty spot in your head now. If you don’t fill it with something else then that devil will return stronger (Matthew 12:43-45). Also, don’t forget that our human nature is to think about what we’re told not to think about, right? Instead you think about the new scripture that you are memorizing. Get your thoughts pointed in the right direction. You don’t have to fall for that devil’s evil ploy. You have the weapons to fight now. The Word (the Bible) is the most feared weapon for the enemy. He knows that it carries power (Hebrews 4:12).
One more thing, if you fail on your way to overcoming, remember that God wants you to pick yourself up and try again. You can do this with God’s help. The steps are simple. You can overcome! Why? Because…
1 John 4:4 (Amplified Bible) Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.
We are praying for you, sister! God bless you in this journey of victory! I claim victory for you in the name of Jesus Christ!
KatC – Treasure Box
P.S. For thought replacement, you could start memorizing all the scriptures in this response. One at a time. Use them constantly – they are Power!