This was a helpful article by Kevin DeYoung at Gospel Coalition – 15 Ways to Fight Lust with the Sword of the Spirit.
The beginning of the article is downright depressing, about how many pastors are giving in to sexual immorality, especially on the internet. I understand and know the problem very well even though I don’t struggle with pornography. I certainly struggle with other temptations. It’s depressing thinking about so many pastors giving in to sexual sin, and yet I also remember Romans 7, that we all do what we don’t want to do, and we are broken, sinful, and will continue to struggle with sin until Jesus comes back. I expect all of us to struggle and fail at times. What scares me for real is the pastors who have the habit of sexual addiction in some form, but they aren’t fighting it or repenting of it. That is very serious.
DeYoung’s Bible passage commentaries are very good. This is a good little devotional.
I am only troubled by #1. It’s easy for Scripture to say to rejoice in my wife, but what if she doesn’t rejoice in sex, but rather only does it because she has to? The marriage bed is not a delight for everyone, and for those of us that have a problem in that area, it sure makes it even more difficult to not give in to temptation. But resist we still must. It’s hard, but – is possible, and Jesus is coming back soon, or we die soon. Either way the struggle is short compared to eternal life. Also DeYoung’s 2nd passage and commentary addresses this concern.
#5 is a comfort to those of us with unwanted temptations. Temptations are not the same as giving in to temptations. We should not judge ourselves for the temptations, nor let others judge us for them. And yet, we should be continually growing in our relationships with God and holiness so that the temptations get weaker and weaker and disappear more over time. In the path of sanctification, not only our actions should change, but gradually our affections and desires should change as well.
#8 is difficult for those of us with a crossdressing temptation. We can get led astray by looking even at a woman who is not particularly attractive just because of her clothing. We get led astray by the internet and television which are hard to go without these days. Even all the news lately triggers us when talking about transgender issues. And we can’t very well ask our wives to put a lock on her closet and the laundry bin. Temptations are there and we must do what we can to minimize them, but ultimately we need self-control because we can’t remove all the temptations.
#15 is a good reminder for hope for change. It CAN happen.