What do you think is the greatest hindrance to living a life of sexual purity?
Maybe it’s the easy availability of pornography or the cultural erosion of sexual morality. On an internal level, maybe it’s the powerful pull toward sexual pleasure or that changes to brain chemistry have formed a sexual addiction.
Certainly all these are factors and well worth working through. But reverse all these and you won’t be cured from lust. To my thinking, the greatest hindrance to sexual purity is a lack of love.
You and I are actually designed specifically to love and be loved. Lust corrupts this in us.
And this is a good reason to fast.
Lust is carnivorous. Like the monsters in some of our most frightening horror stories, lust seeks to devour human flesh for its own selfish gratification. A vampire thirsts for human blood. A zombie hungers to feed off human flesh.
As much as we may cringe at the idea, I think in a very real way, the thing we fear in them is the thing we fear in ourselves.
We were created not to lust, but to love one another. Despite what our experience may suggest, lust is a foreign virus—it did not originate in the human person—it was introduced into us through sin. But where lust has infected us, we become consumed with passion for our own selfish pleasure, and so clawing at, devouring, consuming another’s flesh with little or no concern for the real him or her.
We were never meant to taste of lust’s fruit, but now we have grown so accustomed to its diet we have a hard time imaging being human without it.
What is the cure?
There are many ways to avert the effects of lust, many ways to manage the disease. But there is only one cure:
The Love given through the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Where lust consumes the body of another, His love gives its body for the other’s good. Where lust devours for selfish gratification, His love gives by way of self-mortification.
Where have you clawed, grasped, devoured, and consumed the flesh of another? Where have you disregarded or discarded another’s soul for the sake of your own appetites, to feed off other people’s bodies?
Do not hide the truth. Freely admit your appetites. Tell Jesus of your lust. He knows full well, and He does not condemn you. He knew full well long before you did, even when He cried out, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do!” (Luke 23:34).
Perhaps you only know yourself anymore as one consumed by lust. Jesus’ eyes are clear and bright and searching. See Him now. He does not run from you in fear. Nor does He destroy you. He stands and calls you by name. Where you can no longer see yourself apart from lust, He sees you.
Do you want to be cured? Hear Him now:
“Take and eat; this is My body…Drink from [this cup], all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (26:26b – 28).
Why fast during lent? To increase your hunger for the cure.
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Growing in love,