Do What You M.U.S.T. to Conquer Lust – part 4

Succeed Through Established Practices part 1
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”   Romans 6:12-14 ESV
When God calls us to repentance, it is a grace in which he gives us the strength to do it. My hope is that this point in the outline would not been seen as a legalistic point of action. Rather that as God’s convictions shape your values and as you value what God calls you to in repentance, that you will implement this point through the value of what God’s grace has done for you and has worked a conviction in your heart to say no to temptation and sin’s desire and yes  to God’s presence and power
I have summarized the application for these passages like this: “Feed it, Watch it grow. Starve it, Watch it die” Last time I wrote about how as we grow to understand our triggers, we can govern the nurturing of our spirit and gain self control. We are to take deliberate steps to feed our spiritual walk and set up walls against vulnerabilities in our own life. Consider this feeding and starving.
a. Establish the habit of preferring intimacy with Christ.
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
When we sin, we prefer the lesser promises of temptations call. When our soul is restless we take the easiest refuge that our hearts are used to going to. But when the Lord calls us to repent and to take our sin seriously he is calling us to Himself. God makes a greater promise of satisfaction of calming our souls. So the battle for us is our unbelieving heart in the greater promise of God himself.  Begin to establish the habit of preferring intimacy with Christ overthe false intimacy of your sexual sin. Or any sin for that matter.  You must begin to establish a taste for the Lord’s goodness. The verse above promises that you will be blessed. Feed that taste and watch it grow.
What do you do if you don’t desire God? Pastor John Piper has shared what he does when he finds his heart becoming distant. He calls them the IOUS. Pray these at the beginning of your days.
I – Incline my heart to Your testimonies (Psalm 119:36)
O – Open my eyes that I might behold wonderful things in Your Word (Psalm 119:8)
U – Unite my heart to fear Your name (Psalm 86:11)
S – Satisfy me in the morning… (Psalm 90:14)
If you are double minded about your sin by both being disgusted by it and delighting in it, Start Praying for God to soften your heart. Get a prayer partner in this battle as well.
b. Establish the habit of using your time wisely
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
(Psalm 90:12)
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
(Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)
To be honest, this was a habit I wish I would’ve develop at a young age. I didn’t guard my time as a young man and left a lot of idle time in my life especially in the late nights.  I was foolish enough to have a busy structured day time, with a long unstructured night time. I didn’t go to bed at the same time. My wife would go to bed before me. I thought I deserved down time in front of the tube or the computer. I didn’t stick to the very advise I gave other guys, “Nothing is good on after 10 p.m.”  It is in this idle time that my idols reared their ugly head. Bad habits of surfing the television and internet for any entertainment began to get ingrained into my routine. I share this to show how much of a fool I was.
We have limited days. Therefore we are to live with wisdom. We need to habitually guard against idleness in our life. When we guard against idle time, we’ll guard against idol treasures. We need to starve the foolish habits that lead us into temptation.  Christ teaches us to pray, “lead us not into temptation”. The practical side of that is for us to lead our lives toward wise habits that will be an investing or feeding into ourselves or others- not things.Part 5  Click  here

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