“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
When we appear in church all dressed in our Sunday best, it’s easy to think that Christians don’t have struggles. But as a pastor, I’ve learned that quite a number of Christians struggle with sexual addictions and it’s important that they are taught how to overcome them.
The best way to begin is our approach to handling temptation. James 1:14, 15 says: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Sin is always the end product of a long process. What you must do is nip it in the bud before it begins to bear fruit. When you are dating someone who isn’t a Christian, you’re already feeding lust. You don’t get addicted to pornography in one day; it must have begun from the first time you decided to just take a look. You must shake the thoughts off before lust becomes impregnated. Guard the gates of your heart. Regardless of what you want to do, you’ll eventually do what you see and hear.
Going forward, you must understand that the most potent way to live above sin is to walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:16, 17 says: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
The solution is not to take an oath, or swear never to do it again. The solution? Yield to the spirit’s influence. The desires of the flesh are contrary to that of the spirit and vice versa. When you yield yourself to the spirit of God, the works of the flesh like fornication and adultery will not find a foothold in your life. In Mat 26:41, Jesus told the disciples: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He wasn’t asking them to keep on praying against temptations. Instead, he was saying in other words that if you make it a culture to watch and pray, you will not enter into temptation. You must learn to acknowledge daily who you are in Christ. The man in Christ is seated in heavenly places far above principalities and powers and habits of any kind. Because you’re in Christ, your flesh has been crucified with all its affections and lusts (Gal 5:24). You must constantly remind yourself of what God’s word says about you. Some people misunderstand this to mean that, since you know who you are in Christ, your behaviour doesn’t matter. But that isn’t true. Because the spirit of God now lives you empowering you to will and do of his good pleasure.
When you yield yourself to him, you naturally bear fruits of love, joy, peace, self-control consistent with your new nature. If you’re struggling with sexual sin, acknowledge who you are in Christ and walk in the spirit. When you do these consistently, you will experience triumph in that area.