So lets be real. This is a struggle that a lot of people have but it’s rarely talked about. I personally struggled with this and I know how frustrating it can be to be pursuing purity and a relationship with God while constantly being thrown off by lustful thoughts.
Now many times, lustful thoughts are a result of our own environments. The music we listen to, the things we watch, the conversations we have, all have the potential to plant lustful seeds in our hearts and minds. Still, sometimes this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you may be doing good at guarding your heart from the wrong things and actively pursuing God, but these thoughts still come.
Recently a lot of people, especially women, have spoken to me about this area in their life which they can’t seem to get a hold on. Sometimes it’s because Satan will randomly put perverse thoughts in their head out of nowhere. Why does he do this? Because he wants to pull you away from God. Lustful thoughts are like bait to lure you into sin. If you latch on to them and indulge instead of casting them down, your thoughts will eventually manifest into the present and lead to things like masturbation, fornication, adultery, addiction to pornography, etc.
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 (KJV)
Sin separates you from God, especially sexual sins. If you are actively committing these sins, you need to repent and be reconciled to God. Thoughts lead to actions and if you don’t cast down lustful thoughts, they will eventually lead to sin. Here’s what the Lord says about sexual sins in 1st Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (NIV)
There are different ways in which you can flee. You can literally “flee” or you can take advantage of the many ways of escape that the Lord provides such as quoting and meditating on the scripture as your form of weaponry, praying to God for help in the moment, calling on the name of Jesus, or consciously making the decision to focus your thoughts on other things. The bible says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)
This verse is what got me through during the time when I had been really struggling with impure thoughts. I kept it written on an index card and would pull it out and recite it whenever a thought rose up in my head. Sometimes all you need is just to recite the word, the scripture. Other times, you may be in a situation where simply reciting a bible verse won’t be enough and you have to take literal action.
One time during the beginning of my husband and I’s engagement, we were together late at night and got a little too close. He got so convicted out of nowhere, jumped up, picked up his keys with these wide open eyes and terrified look on his face, and I started screaming “Flee fornication baby! Flee fornication!” He was out the door and before I could even finish the phrase, he was gone.
Now when we look back we can kind of laugh at the situation but at that moment it was so serious. He literally needed to flee! I wouldn’t have had the time to pull out an index card with bible verses to recite. It was too heated in that moment. After that situation we had to have a talk and set some stronger boundaries in order to really keep our commitment of staying pure before marriage.
Sin and lustful thoughts are not worth being separated from God for. Nothing is worth being separated from God’s presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy, love, peace, and freedom. You don’t want to be separated from that. He want’s you to draw near to Him so that He can draw near to you. He has things He want’s to share with you. He has secrets to tell you. He wants to fellowship with you. Why would you let anything, even as little as a tiny thought keep you away from Him?
No–nothing can separate your from the love of God. The bible does say this in Romans 8:38-39. But God cannot dwell where there is an abundance of sin either.He is HOLY and we are called to be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:15). I hope that this message encourages you to keep striving to dig deeper and flee distractions and sexual immorality.