As men we are taught and conditioned by society, by this world’s system to be slaves without knowing it. We are taught to be slaves to lust, and to accept that we will always be slaves, that there is something inherent in us that renders us helpless from leaving those prisons, and to even be proud of them; as they are associated with “true manhood”. One would assume it to be obvious that this train of thought is pure folly, but sadly it is not obvious for many.
We are taught that if placed under the right circumstances a man’s attempts to overcome the temptation of lust will always fail, that we are like animals unable to control our desires. This is where the conditioning begins, it is the first lie, and if accepted it will tuck you neatly away in your prison forever. You are not your desires, you are a spirit that has a soul that lives in a body. The desires of the soul and body only control you if you let them. I am not referring to fallen man here, I am talking to my brothers in Christ who have been redeemed, whose spirits are new creations and no longer bound.
Freedom is awesome, and we have been made free in Christ, but some of us walk right back into our fetters and chains to sin. Yes you can be so free that you can see the most attractive woman in the world, with clothes that leave nothing to the imagination, and instead of lusting after her, you can view her as a daughter of God that needs to know her worth and gain her true identity in Christ. Her looks and her body do not have to inspire lust, you do not have to desire her in your heart, in any way shape or form.
If you have never experienced this freedom, then you have no idea how powerful it is. Are you aware of how many great men have fallen, how many leaders had their testimony and legacy destroyed because they succumbed to the temptation of lust? How easy is it for your enemy to destroy a leader and bring down those who have their eyes on him instead of Christ? It’s as simple as putting a woman in his path, that can cause him to stumble through adultery, fornication or any inappropriate relationship.
How do we gain this freedom? As men who are in Christ you have already been set free, but you need to know how to continually walk in that freedom. First your heart must desire to love and please your God. Without this desire you will not have the strength and motivation to overcome. As light, you must have no fellowship with darkness, you must be aware of what desires you feed your soul. We are constantly bombarded with sexual images, but we can choose to turn off the flow. Be mindful of the movies, television you watch and even music that you listen to. Songs and sound can create powerful images that feed the desires of the fallen man also.
We must renew our minds by reading and listening to the word. Lustful thoughts and imaginations cannot be tolerated, they must be taken captive and fought with the word. A great scripture to do this: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”(Philippians 4:8 NKJV) However the most important and effective way of walking in freedom from lust is to present yourself before The Father and ask Him to deliver you from it, to give you the grace to overcome, until you are walking in complete freedom. You cannot ask amiss, you must believe that He is willing and able to set you free and help you to walk in that freedom. We must come to Him in humility, knowing that we can to nothing of ourselves, but can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
He did this for me years ago, so I know He can do this for anyone. Freedom is so beautiful.
Know this, a man cannot be a man, what and who he was created and intended to be, without God. Who has taught you about love, has the world? If so, that thing which you call love is really self seeking, because love is selfless, and requires nothing in return, has no conditions that must be met to be given. Who has taught you about forgiveness? Have you ever uttered the words, “I will forgive but never forget”? Then you have not truly forgiven; when your Heavenly Father forgives He removes our transgressions as for as the east is from the west. If you are still holding on to the record of the transgression of another you have not forgiven. Forgiveness is intended to give us a fresh start, making all things new.
Who has taught you about truth, the importance of a man’s word? God and His word are one, there is only truth in Him, He will never go back on His word and His word never returns to Him void. There is universe creating power in your words, the power of life and death is in the tongue. There is a reason why God will judge every idle word released from our mouths; because every time you speak something is created or destroyed. There are limitless possibilities in the form of invisible particles waiting for the instructions of the sons of God. They can release darkness or light, angels or demons.
Who taught you about money? Did someone tell you to acquire money at any cost, that the end justifies the means? In the music you listen to, have you ever heard a rapper sing about giving to charity? Faith comes by hearing, it shapes what you believe, it shapes your reality. It can build up lustful and selfish desires, making you a lover of money and self rather than a lover of God, and the things of God. Your savior teaches, give and it will be given, good measure, pressed down shaken together and running over will it be given into you bosom. We are to be faithful stewards of what has been given to us, to increase it not just for ourselves, but to take care of those in need around us. God says that when you give to the poor you are lending to Him.
Who taught you about women, to collect them like trophies, and pursue them like predators? Have you been taught that it is ok to fantasies, to meditate on sexual desires, because it harms no one? Your savior has taught that if you lust after a woman in your heart you are an adulterer. Why is this? Because your heart is what God looks at. It is where your true desires and intentions lie. It can experience an unseen reality that is even more powerful than the limited one of physical bodies we reside in. It is the bridge between the physical and spiritual world. You may be able to hide the intents of your heart from men, but never from God. What’s in your heart is who you truly are. We are to love the women in our lives, protect them, bring them closer to God and help them fulfill the plan and purpose that God has given for their lives. The only woman you should fantasies about is your wife.
When thinking about who taught you what you know, meditate on this scripture. “But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23 NKJV). Jesus was addressing who influenced Peter’s words to Him in the previous verses. “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Matthew 16:21, 22 NKJV) This may seem like something noble, to say that no one is going to touch your Lord, but if Peter had been mindful of the things of God he would have rebuked satan’s attempt to use Him to tempt Jesus away from the very purpose for which He had come. He came to die for us and rise again in all power and authority. Without His death and resurrection we would have had no means for salvation and still be lost and in darkness. If we are not mindful of the things of God we open ourselves to be taught and tempted and directed by the prince of this fallen world. Who has taught you what you know, who has taught you how to be a man? Let God and His son, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit He has sent to lead us and guide us into all truth, be our teacher, role model and mentor. The world can teach you nothing of God, seek to be taught of The Lord and pursue Holiness. “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9, 10 NKJV)
By: Roderick Skeete