Fighting Sexual Temptation
Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” Temptations of all types will be with us during our sojourn in this life, and sexual ones often seem the most sweet. Too many times, though, we dwell on fighting these desires instead of focusing upon the desires that we should have. In Kevin DeYoung’s fine book on the Heidelberg Catechism, The Good News We Almost Forgot, he has this to say in his discussion on the seventh commandment . . .
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8). This has been the most helpful verse for me in fighting lust and the temptation to sexual immorality. We need to fight desires with desires. Satan tempts us by holding out something that will be pleasurable to us. We aren’t tempted to gorge ourselves on liverwurst, because for most it doesn’t hold out the promise of great pleasure. But sex does. Pornography does. A second look does. The Bible gives us many weapons to fight temptation. We need to fight the fleeting pleasure of sexual sin with the far greater, more abiding pleasure of knowing God.The fight for sexual purity is the fight of faith. It may sound like nothing but hard work and gritting your teeth, the very opposite of faith. But faith is at the heart of this struggle. Do we believe that a glimpse of God is better than a glimpse of skin? Do we believe that God’s steadfast love is better than life. (Psalm 63:3). We’d probably sin less if we spent less time thinking about our sins, sexual or otherwise, and more time meditating on the love and holiness of God.