Sexual lust is a formidable foe that seeks complete domination. It is not content to stay within our mind and thought life; it invades our soul and flesh with a passion few sins can rival. But not even our physical reality is enough; it is just as comfortable in the world of fantasy.
It’s becoming clear from porn statistics on this site that sexual lust may even prefer the fake world. Unrestricted by reality, lust can completely express itself in all its depravity.
Sexual lust is proactive and quickly becomes a preoccupation. Other sins, lying for example,
require a situation where lying is an option. After lying or exaggerating I’ve never heard someone say, ‘I want to lie again so bad!’ or ‘When will I get the chance to exaggerate again?’ Not so with sexual lust.
It will create the situation where it can express and feed itself. Time will be put aside,
schedules will be changed, risks will be taken, and money will be spent. Lust will get its meal. Its appetite can never be satisfied.
God’s Word, the Bible, is not ignorant of lust’s power. James 4:7 says to ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee…’ but when it comes to sexual lust, 1 Corinthians 6 implores us to do the opposite. Verse 18 commands us to ‘flee’. Scripture seems to suggest that it’s better to go head to head with the devil than to tempt yourself with sexual lust.
Lust may be powerful and proactive, but so is fleeing. Fleeing is the most effective counter-attack for sexual lust. The effectiveness of fleeing is well demonstrated in Genesis 39:11-12. When Joseph was faced with the temptation to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife he ‘fled and got out of the house’. To stay and resist was not an option for this wise man who became the Prime Minister of Egypt.
We need to be like Joseph and practise the ancient technique of fleeing from lust. Some of us need to see our private computers and mobile devices as ‘Potiphar’s wife’ and leave them. Don’t believe the lie that running from lust at any cost is cowardly. Fleeing takes guts; just ask anyone who has been tempted in front of a computer screen how hard it is to leave.
Fleeing will cost us. Joseph lost his coat, job, and for a time his freedom (see verses 13-20).
But he kept his character and conscience, which are infinitely more important than temporary
pleasures. The price Joseph paid makes the inconvenience of having no computer in the privacy of our room or installing a strict internet filter hardly worth mentioning. There is a cost. And by paying it we can rest assured there is reward. Verse 23 tells us that even
while Joseph was in prison before he was PM ‘the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed’.
It’s time to take 1 Corinthians 6 seriously. Verse 18 is more than good advice, it’s a command. ‘Flee from sexual immorality.’