How to Overcome Sexual Temptations?

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Secret Sin Series
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Welcome! This post is a part of Secret Sins Series. See all the topics in the series here.

[French Translation] I want to start with being honest. I don’t write this as someone who has mastered and conquered this area. In fact I believe that this is an area that we all have to die to everyday as long as we are on earth.

It is a fact that God has created us to be sexual beings and like anything else, sin tries to distort our perspective on why it was created in the first place and tempt us to direct our urges to the wrong place.

Our culture today bombards us with so much sex that not to deal, teach and study about it would be an apparent failure in the Church.

Almost every other day, I have young people who write to me about their sexual struggles. Some are upset. Some are fed-up. Some are so embarrassed that they are running away from God.

I have to repeatedly remind them that this battle for sexual integrity requires constant vigilance and the key to the standing man is that he got back up from where he fell last!

The enemy continues to roar like a lion seeking whom to devour and to put your guard down even for a minute is to let him tear you apart.

Remember the verse, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, NIV).

1. Understand Your Risk Zones

We cannot fight an enemy that we do not know. Each one of us have different weakness. To know what those are and where the risk zones are is important. Then stay away from those risk zones. If there is a particular place or person or situation that tempts you the most then steer away from it.

If you have identified the kind of people that you are most attracted to, whether the wild ones, professional ones, or whatever your temptation be, avoid connecting with them as you know that you are walking into a risk zone.

You cannot blame for God not stopping those sexual temptations if you have simply not developed the discipline of making healthy choices.

2. What Are You Feeding Your Senses?

Quit window shopping! Your desires are not like Aaron’s golden calf that came out of the fire by itself! Your desires are rooted in what you have been feeding your five senses. Your eyes, ears, smell, taste and touch.

If you have been playing and feeding these senses sensually, then it will cause you to further stir fantasies that will lead you down this dwindling path into sin.

The eye is the lamp of the body. Discipline your vision to look at man or woman’s face or see their bodies in a general way – don’t give the ‘elevator look’ allowing your eyes to stop at your favourite floors. 1 Timothy 5:2 tells us to treat “older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

A friend of mine tells me how he learns to bounce his eyes from his sexual temptation. When you see something that you are lured to, divert your eyes immediately from it without going giving it a second glance. Especially when you see something that you know will get your attention (for example, tight clothing), do not allow go near or linger your gaze. Move on!

3. Are You Fanning the Flame to Your Fantasies?

Before somebody sins in the natural, they have already sinned in their heart. “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (James 1:14-15). We only act out what we have been pondering and feasting on in our thought world.

Therefore, your temptations are simply your undisciplined desires acting out.

Don’t give those sexual thoughts free admission in your mind. You can’t always avoid the sexual stimulation, but when a thought comes into your mind, you can choose not to give it free admission and entertain it as a guest. God has given our minds the power to switch off something we don’t desire to dwell on. Simply switch topics.

4. Have Nothing Hidden

Here is where sexual temptations or any other temptation for that matters multiply! Anything of the dark world multiplies in darkness or secrecy. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:11-14 ESV)”

An important part of this is to understand that you cannot do it alone. Seek help from accountability group and mentors to guide you on how you can overcome your temptations.

It is an added bonus to have a marriage partner who will understand and keep you accountable through your struggles. Remember, secrets always multiply with time. Beware.

5. Let God Meet Your Need

Have a lot of unmet desires? An unsatisfied marriage? Whatever your situation be, God has a solution for it. Letting God help us meet our needs is critical.

Our minds may try to fool us to believe that we are searching for sex but the deep down the search inside is different. The real urge and unsatisfied desires can only be fulfilled by understanding of ourselves in the light of Christ. There in that light all bondages will break and we will no longer be slave to sin.

Go to the presence of Jesus right away and confess all your sins and ask the Lord to fill every vacuum of your heart and He will! Remember to be persistent and follow the first four points too!

Keep getting back up till you fall no more!

How do you deal with sexual temptation? Could you add some point to the above five?

[Next week in the SS-Series: “The Porn Again Christian". Subscribe for free to receive the post in your inbox here.]

Series Navigation<< Masturbation – What Does the Bible Say?Homosexuality – Why Church Sounds Hateful & What The Bible Says About It? >>
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  • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

    Where’s the rest?

    • http://twitter.com/robinflyhigh Robin Singh

      Bro Jherrel, there was some problem in the post content which is now fixed.

    • ElizabethMathew

      Helpful .. :)

  • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

    Where’s the rest?

    • robinflyhigh

      Bro Jherrel, there was some problem in the post content which is now fixed.

  • anusha.m

    Disz really a useful post..actually i have many friends struggling with this sin.so this is really true.i just love the words ‘the eye is the lamp of the body’.hope this will be very useful to every teenager and not only them this will be useful for everyone to guard their heart and ofcourse surely their future as many of the people are spoiling their lives because of this sin mainly.thank you shyju bro for this ultimate post and i thank the holyspirit for guiding you for this post:-)

  • anusha.m

    Disz really a useful post..actually i have many friends struggling with this sin.so this is really true.i just love the words ‘the eye is the lamp of the body’.hope this will be very useful to every teenager and not only them this will be useful for everyone to guard their heart and ofcourse surely their future as many of the people are spoiling their lives because of this sin mainly.thank you shyju bro for this ultimate post and i thank the holyspirit for guiding you for this post:-)

  • RAJVADAN.GULLA (DUBAI)

    Super ! Tq so much Bro. Shyju for wonderful word.! i thank God , because God spoken with me through this word….

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Happy to know bro!

  • anusha.m

    this post is really very useful for us as this is the major problem now a days with many of the people.i have some friends who are struggling with this sin.And im sure they’ll get answered for their struggle after reading this.After reading this post.,i had immediately shared this post as it is very important for everyone to get through this as this is the main thing which is spoiling the blessing and ofcourse the future of many youngsters.i heartfully thank shyju bro for this ultimate post and i thank the mighty holyspirit for guiding you in this post.praise the lord!

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      That’s great to know. Thank u for sharing Anusha.

  • http://​www.helium.com/users/​625618 Gen

    Just last night we learned that some temptations are stronger in certain seasons. It’s winter in Namibia so we are told to pray especially against this sin because many ‘unlawful’ pregnancies occur because of lack of watching and praying. And mind you me, in the house of the Lord, I know this may be a shock to our Indian friends.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

      I’m not sure about that. I’d say that we given into lust due to our desires. Weather may just be an excuse :)

      • FaithInGod (Nita)

        Happy Father’s Day!
        It Is Written; “Honor your father and your mother,
        so that you may live long in the land
        the Lord your God is giving you.”
        ( Exodus 20:12 *NIV )
        Dear Friends, Today being a day to honor our father’s, we began the message with the Fifth Commandment. This Commandment is the first one with a promise attached to it!
        So as we enjoy this day with our earthly father, let us not forget our Heavenly Father as well, for after all; Have we not all one Father? Did He not create us? ( Malachi 2:10 )
        Therefore on this day I would like to share the following poem with you. A poem dedicated to our Heavenly Father!
        Never Alone!
        He can calm the troubled waters When you walk in dark despair. There is hope when you feel helpless Knowing that the Lord is there…
        Sharing in your sunshine moments Or in valleys deep and wide, He is always by your side.
        There’s no other friend so faithful Through the sunshine and rain, Through the teardrops and the laughter, In your joy and in your pain.
        We could never, ever thank Him For His love He gives so free, Never changing…never ending Throughout all eternity.
        Oh, the wonder of all wonders As we live from day to day, Knowing that we have a Father Who is with us all the way.
        So to Dad’s everywhere, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, on this your day and throughout the year, and may God Richly Bless You as well! Amen. ( Romans 1:7 )
        ( A World-Wide Ministry for Jesus Christ. )

      • http://www.facebook.com/aradhita.peniel Aradhita Peniel

        Yes!

  • http://​www.helium.com/users/​625618 Gen

    Just last night we learned that some temptations are stronger in certain seasons. It’s winter in Namibia so we are told to pray especially against this sin because many ‘unlawful’ pregnancies occur because of lack of watching and praying. And mind you me, in the house of the Lord, I know this may be a shock to our Indian friends.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      I’m not sure about that. I’d say that we given into lust due to our desires. Weather may just be an excuse :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/aradhita.peniel Aradhita Peniel

        Yes!

  • ElizabethMathew

    Helpful .. :)

  • Mejosh

    Very good post brother Shyju. One thing personally I suggest is get all the verses from Bible on those topics. If Son of God choose the word of God when He was tempted, How much more we need to do that? Read and Meditate on those verses daily. I love what Job said
    Job 31
    “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    Why then should I look upon a young woman?

    • http://twitter.com/LincySV Lincy George

      Destroy all pornographic materials in your possession—magazines, books, videos, and computer files. Make no provision for your flesh (Romans 13:14).
      Get rid of every possible access. Stop feeding the fire.

      If some friendships cause too much temptation, severe those relationships.

      • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

        Brilliant share. Thank u.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

      That’s right. Good thought. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mejosh

    Very good post brother Shyju. One thing personally I suggest is get all the verses from Bible on those topics. If Son of God choose the word of God when He was tempted, How much more we need to do that? Read and Meditate on those verses daily. I love what Job said
    Job 31
    “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    Why then should I look upon a young woman?

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      That’s right. Good thought. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lincy George

    Destroy all pornographic materials in your possession—magazines, books, videos, and computer files. Make no provision for your flesh (Romans 13:14).
    Get rid of every possible access. Stop feeding the fire.

    If some friendships cause too much temptation, severe those relationships.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Brilliant share. Thank u.

  • FaithInGod (Nita)

    Happy Father’s Day!
    It Is Written; “Honor your father and your mother,
    so that you may live long in the land
    the Lord your God is giving you.”
    ( Exodus 20:12 *NIV )
    Dear Friends, Today being a day to honor our father’s, we began the message with the Fifth Commandment. This Commandment is the first one with a promise attached to it!
    So as we enjoy this day with our earthly father, let us not forget our Heavenly Father as well, for after all; Have we not all one Father? Did He not create us? ( Malachi 2:10 )
    Therefore on this day I would like to share the following poem with you. A poem dedicated to our Heavenly Father!
    Never Alone!
    He can calm the troubled waters When you walk in dark despair. There is hope when you feel helpless Knowing that the Lord is there…
    Sharing in your sunshine moments Or in valleys deep and wide, He is always by your side.
    There’s no other friend so faithful Through the sunshine and rain, Through the teardrops and the laughter, In your joy and in your pain.
    We could never, ever thank Him For His love He gives so free, Never changing…never ending Throughout all eternity.
    Oh, the wonder of all wonders As we live from day to day, Knowing that we have a Father Who is with us all the way.
    So to Dad’s everywhere, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, on this your day and throughout the year, and may God Richly Bless You as well! Amen. ( Romans 1:7 )
    ( A World-Wide Ministry for Jesus Christ. )

  • Moondoggie

    Biblical Hermeneutics demand a constant dialogue of the exegete and this subject. First, temptation is not a sin. lusting in your heart falls short of being actual sin. God made women beautiful and man handsome, but that in no way means that we sin just because we look at them. If that were the case, we should all pop our eyes out of our head, rather than look at God’s beauty. When one entertains the though of lust, and begins to act out on it, then it becomes sin. Do I personally think Playboy and the such is sinful, my answer is yes, God said to me many years ago it was. So therefore it would be sin to me, but to a new Christian, they may not have light on it. As they mature in the faith, they to may be checked by the Holy Spirit that it is wrong. Shyju is right, when you feel the temptation happening, be as Paul said, ” I keep my body in subjection.”

    • http://www.pastorpriji.com Priji

      Well, I would like to disagree. If Jesus said that looking with lust is equivalent to commiting adultery, it remains so! God’s word prevails!

  • Moondoggie

    Biblical Hermeneutics demand a constant dialogue of the exegete and this subject. First, temptation is not a sin. lusting in your heart falls short of being actual sin. God made women beautiful and man handsome, but that in no way means that we sin just because we look at them. If that were the case, we should all pop our eyes out of our head, rather than look at God’s beauty. When one entertains the though of lust, and begins to act out on it, then it becomes sin. Do I personally think Playboy and the such is sinful, my answer is yes, God said to me many years ago it was. So therefore it would be sin to me, but to a new Christian, they may not have light on it. As they mature in the faith, they to may be checked by the Holy Spirit that it is wrong. Shyju is right, when you feel the temptation happening, be as Paul said, ” I keep my body in subjection.”

    • http://www.pastorpriji.com/ Priji

      Well, I would like to disagree. If Jesus said that looking with lust is equivalent to commiting adultery, it remains so! God’s word prevails!

  • http://www.facebook.com/aradhita.peniel Aradhita Peniel

    Thank you man of God for helping our generation to be equipped and withstand the wiles of the enemy..

    Not sure if covered in the comments section already:Something that I have learned from my life’s experiences is that no temptation is too big for the Lord and no sin is big enough to drown us away from God’s love…All that the Lord desires is a willing heart that is willing to say ‘no’ and He will also give us the ‘Power’ to say ‘No’..

    For example: I believe we are all called to love the Lord single-minded/heartedly and until we are given to a man or woman in marriage by the Lord we are the LORD’s virgin and we have a love affair going on with the Lord -the Lover of our soul..so if we are not sorry about cheating on him and recklessly / without any regret go on committing the sin and justify it, we are not working with HIM..but if we are truly repentant and are unable to give up a certain sin and are helpless and cry out to the Lord for help ..that’s it! This is all He wants..rest He will do…The Lord is faithful and He will deliver us..

    I have learned that the desire to give up the sin is given by the Lord and the strength and power too..we cannot do it on our own BUT the DECISION is what we can take..Jesus wants us to make that decision and He will take us through the rest of the journey in walking out of that sin…Thank you Jesus for your Abundant Love & the Holy Ghost.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aradhita.peniel Aradhita Peniel

    Thank you man of God for helping our generation to be equipped and withstand the wiles of the enemy..

    Not sure if covered in the comments section already:Something that I have learned from my life’s experiences is that no temptation is too big for the Lord and no sin is big enough to drown us away from God’s love…All that the Lord desires is a willing heart that is willing to say ‘no’ and He will also give us the ‘Power’ to say ‘No’..

    For example: I believe we are all called to love the Lord single-minded/heartedly and until we are given to a man or woman in marriage by the Lord we are the LORD’s virgin and we have a love affair going on with the Lord -the Lover of our soul..so if we are not sorry about cheating on him and recklessly / without any regret go on committing the sin and justify it, we are not working with HIM..but if we are truly repentant and are unable to give up a certain sin and are helpless and cry out to the Lord for help ..that’s it! This is all He wants..rest He will do…The Lord is faithful and He will deliver us..

    I have learned that the desire to give up the sin is given by the Lord and the strength and power too..we cannot do it on our own BUT the DECISION is what we can take..Jesus wants us to make that decision and He will take us through the rest of the journey in walking out of that sin…Thank you Jesus for your Abundant Love & the Holy Ghost.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Neelam Yadav

    Whenever any temptations or any wrong desire come in my mind i stop it by commanding in the name of Jesus……….its work really amazingly.
    Thanks For your post……

  • Neelam Yadav

    Whenever any temptations or any wrong desire come in my mind i stop it by commanding in the name of Jesus……….its work really amazingly.
    Thanks For your post……

  • Terence Hoefdraad

    Hi, thank you for this wonderful article.I too, struggle with sexual temptation a lot, and because of my lack of self-discipline I keep giving in over and over again. But it is the Holy Spirit Who is always encouraging me to stand up again and move on each and every time, and Christ’s blood cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:9)

    “And if you right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you … and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you …” (Matt. 5:29,30)

    So, what I believe Jesus is trying to tell us here, is that ‘intentions’, regardless of how good are spiritual they may be, are not enough, because we can not trust our heart which is ” … deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9), and therefore, we need to take additional drastic, practical measures to prevent ourselves from sinning.

    I realize that this is exactly the reason why it’s so heart for me, because I keep promising myself that I will be strong next time – and sometimes I do overcome temptation, and maybe a second, third and forth time, but then, when my sexual energy starts to build up again … I drop all resistance. I did take measures however, but I must admit that they don’t go far enough. For instance, I have Blue Coat, a free web filter, installed on my computer, and appointed a friend of mine to admin it, but I still haven’t asked him to also block a certain proxy site, through which I can still access pornography occasionally. Also, I still haven’t decided to limit access to social media or to end privacy by sharing my password with someone who I can trust, making it hard for me to engage in risky conversations. And I believe I will really benefit from having a accountability partner. I must make haste to do all these things, before temptation strikes again …

  • Terence Hoefdraad

    Hi, I posted a comment a few minutes ago, but after I edited it and saved it, it disappeared But underneath the title of this article it says “22 comments”, but here, in the comments section, it says that there are 21 … what happened?

  • Terence Hoefdraad

    Hi, I posted a comment a few minutes ago, but after I edited it and saved it, it disappeared But underneath the title of this article it says “22 comments”, but here, in the comments section, it says that there are 21 … what happened?

    Edit: Oh, never mind, I suppose it’s got something to do with the link I added to my response – it must have gotten removed because of that. And now I gonna have to type my message all over again, sigh …

  • RAJVADAN.GULLA (DUBAI)

    Super ! Tq so much Bro. Shyju for wonderful word.! i thank God , because God spoken with me through this word….

  • anusha.m

    this post is really very useful for us as this is the major problem now a days with many of the people.i have some friends who are struggling with this sin.And im sure they’ll get answered for their struggle after reading this.After reading this post.,i had immediately shared this post as it is very important for everyone to get through this as this is the main thing which is spoiling the blessing and ofcourse the future of many youngsters.i heartfully thank shyju bro for this ultimate post and i thank the mighty holyspirit for guiding you in this post.praise the lord!

  • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

    Happy to know bro!

  • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

    That’s great to know. Thank u for sharing Anusha.

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