How To Handle Sexual Temptation
It is no shock to say that we live in a sexually energized world. Sexual messages are everywhere – advertising, music and entertainment. It’s usually a message with values that are radically different than what followers of Jesus should follow.
The result is powerful temptations. So how do we handle sexual temptations?
Recognize that God Requires Sexual Purity
Purity is a great thing – not a sign of being a prude.
purity = freedom from contamination
When you drink water, we want it pure; free from contamination.
The highest form of sexuality is pure – free from contamination.
Be pure in your values, your thoughts and actions. It will bring pure power to your life.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 NIV
Drink water from your own well - share your love only with your wife.
Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Prov 5:15-17 NLT
Being an example of purity has a powerful impact on others. Whether you are the friend at church who is determined to practice abstinence or like the former NFL star, Shawn Alexander, who waited until his wedding night to have sex with his wife – what you do is influential.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. I Timothy 4:12 NIV
If you have been sexually active or have been involved in areas of sexuality that are not honoring to God, pursue sexual cleansing. Ask for His forgiveness and the powerful cleansing that comes to our soul by His grace.
….If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV
How to Resist Temptation
1. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in overcoming temptation.
Surrender your sex drive to God.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Cor. 10:13
2. Build up your faith by reading His Word.
How can those who are young keep their way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9,11 TNIV
3. Avoid obviously tempting situations.
Late nights alone in someone’s apartment and long passionate kissing and embraces will lead you to a place of failure when it comes to resisting.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor. 6: 18-20 NIV
4. Put Your Energy in Other Directions
Keep busy. Work more, serve more, get exercise and pursue your God given purpose. People who don’t have much going on or just ‘hang out’ with out much to do become vulnerable to their strongest current urges.
5. Invite Accountability
A friend or leader who will support you, pray for you, challenge you and ask you the tough questions is crucial.
…no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Eph 4.25 MSG Bible
6. Ask God for the gift of celibacy for a season
Wow – now that’s a surprise answer. God gives us gifts to help us and help others.
I wish that all of you were as I am (celibate). But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 1 Cor. 7.7 NIV