Proverbs 25:28 “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Ever since I was a small child, I’ve struggled with the sins of lust and masturbation. But until recently, I didn’t realize how deep those sins were rooted.
Five months ago, I was exactly what Proverbs 25:28 talks about – a city defenseless. I would willingly tear down my own walls to please my flesh. My desire for pleasure, amplified by my blatant lack of self-control, caused me to justify my sin of lust. I would tell myself that because I wasn’t acting on it, only fantasizing, it was okay.
I would give into the temptation to satisfy my body instead of seeking the Lord to satisfy my heart.
Then one day, as I was practicing Listening Prayer, I wrote this in my journal:
“Lord, you know what has been in the back of my mind. You know what is bothering me. You know my focus! Lord, I pray clarity into this situation and I pray that you speak to me. I pray that whatever you say, I am able to obediently listen.”
He replied: “Do you believe that I can help you overcome lust and masturbation?
Are you ready to be freed?”
My answer was tentative. I am ready, but…
God said, “Don’t give the devil a foothold. You are MINE, you are PURE, and you do not need to be ashamed.”
I prayed, What do you want me to do?
“First, you give it to Me. You recognize it for what it is. You choose freedom.
Then, you talk.”
The confrontation was direct, but done with love. I had to answer God truthfully. He had given me new eyes, showing me that this sin was a chain holding me back from His unfailing love and His forgiveness. He had compassion on me.
I needed to repent, to come clean. He wasn’t just instructing me to avoid my lustful thoughts – He was telling me to run from them.
The realization finally hit: it wasn’t about how close I could play to the line of sin. It was about how close to God I could get.
Matthew 5:28 says, “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart…”
I was lusting over these men in my heart, which Jesus says is no different from the physical act of sexual sin. I was lusting after the idea of a relationship. And by placing my desire for relationship above the relationship I had with God, I was driving the wedge of lust and masturbation between us.
As soon as I confessed, repented and asked for forgiveness, I felt a weight lifted off me. The veil my sin had created that was hiding me from God’s pure, loving glory was lifted at last.
But that was step one. Next, I shared my struggle with some close friends, and immediately realized how their responses of acceptance, love, and support was the reason God told me to talk about it.
Had I not spoken up, I wouldn’t have felt complete freedom from it. Vulnerability broke the chains of shame.
I also wouldn’t have had accountability.
The best part is this: ever since I confessed the struggle to God, I’m no longer ashamed to bring it before Him in the moments of temptation. I can pray and ask Him for strength – and He gives it to me.
Dear Reader, please know that God wants all of you.
Any sin, big or small, separates you from His love. We need to come clean, repent, and ask the Father for forgiveness. The closer and closer I get to the Lord, the lighter and freer I feel. He is cleansing me, refining me, and making me into His likeness.
If you are struggling with lustful thoughts (or any other sin), you are not alone. God still absolutely adores YOU, and He wants to bring you healing.
And after you take the first step of confessing your struggle to Him, I encourage you to find accountability.
I pray that you walk forward in boldness, that you are freed from the chains of your sin, that shame is lifted off you, and that you are supported as you find new intimacy in Christ Jesus.