In today’s media-driven, pornography-accepting world, you don’t hear much about lust. Most people won’t admit they do it, much less admit they have a problem with it.
When I was an active sex addict lust ruled my life. It didn’t matter what sparked it… once the idea or image was in my mind, the game was on. And sure as the sun comes up, trouble was ahead. It might not show up today or even tomorrow, but it was coming.
…don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. ~ Matthew 5:28 MSG
Some will argue that it’s alright to break God’s rules as long as no one gets hurt. But the truth is, someone always gets hurt. God doesn’t have rules to keep us from having a good time, but to help us not destroy our lives. Just like a loving parent puts boundaries on a young child for their safety; God’s rules are for our protection.
Take it from someone who knows from experience… Lust is dangerous! From a generational perspective, the lust my father gave in to when I was a child had serious effects on me that I still deal with today. Lust was at the foundation of many bad things that happened in my marriage and my family.
We must beware when attracted to another person we aren’t married to. If given in to, our desires may lead us somewhere we don’t want to go. Lust is a warning sign from God. To stay strong, we must immediately ask God to change our desires before we are drawn into sin.
So anyone who thinks they are standing strong should be careful that they don’t fall. The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ERV
Fantasy shock waves send out ripple effects into the reality of our lives.
In today’s culture many see sexual fantasies as normal and harmless. Women who read romance novels or watch soap operas, who meet people anonymously on Internet chat rooms or are addicted to pornography, spend large amounts of time in fantasy.
As a recovering sex addict I know the power fantasies can have. For years I lived in a continual state of fantasy. It could be a simple daydream because I was attracted to someone, all the way to a full blown sexual fantasy where I planned every step needed to get that person in bed and what I would do once I got them there. Looking back I don’t know how I functioned in my daily life.
Over time I learned if I focused on a fantasy long enough I was able to make it come true. The ripple effects of my fantasies became extremely destructive, not only to my own well-being but to my marriage and my entire family. Sadly my fantasy life became so pervasive it sent shock waves that destroyed the reality I was constantly trying to escape. I lost my job, my car, my family and even my freedom for a time.
Dreams and vision can be good if our focus is healthy and lines up with God’s will for our life. We must be careful that what we imagine is what we really want. Our fantasies may come to pass, bringing with them unknown ripple effects, sending destructive shockwaves that could take years to repair. It took over 10 years to repair the damage made due to one particular fantasy I pushed into reality.
Don’t think for a minute that you can get away with these “harmless” fantasies. If you continue giving them power in your life, it’s only a matter of time before they will take over.
We must make a covenant not only with our eyes but with our mind. Let’s be committed to live out what Philippians 4:8 tells us ~ think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.