Sunday, Nov 28, 2021

My Struggle with Lust: When Celibacy Isn’t Enough

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Jeannette Tyson
I'm Jeannette! Saved by grace at 19 and doing my best to live for the Lord after years of trying things my way. One beautiful daughter, divorced and living just south of Chicago.

God has shown me that our relationship with Him is a steady climb. We should always be growing, moving forward and upward. The fruit in a given season may be tangible or spiritual, but still, you should always be fruitful.

I have always struggled with lust and fornication. After I was saved, I would get convicted and so I modified my behavior. Although it’s a great place to start for sure, behavior modification is NOT deliverance!

I was in a place where I was “doing” all the right things externally, but internally I still had wrong thoughts and desires. I would combat them with prayer (not always consistently), but I think subconsciously I was just trying to faith it till I make it. I was literally in cycles of defeat and even though I hated it, I was having trouble completely breaking free.

Again, I wasn’t always giving in to the flesh, but even when you don’t act on the thoughts you have, it can still be tormenting.

Lust Carries Permanent Consequences

In January 2019 I found out I was pregnant, out of wedlock, and I was humiliated. I had to confess to my pastors and step down from leadership training. I had to tell my mother and everyone who had been counting on me to do the right thing. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to keep writing for Team Jesus Magazine. I felt like such a failure, but more than that, a fraud. I was embittered and resentful. I hated myself and even considered an abortion. It seemed like an easier option. I was trying to live up to God’s standard, but I made a mistake and it came with permanent consequences. I wasn’t able to privately repent and push through it on my own. I had to live with this and it was very hard.

Somehow, by the grace of God, I got through it. I immediately owned up to what I had done. Despite my worst fears, I was received with love and support. I thank God for my baby every day, but I do wish I had trusted my community more with my struggles before I ended up pregnant.

I should have trusted the people God placed in my life. More than this, I should have relied on God’s strength in my weakness. Learning to pray in the moment of temptation will save you from having to repent after giving in.

Deliverance from Lust is an Inside Job

prayWhen you aren’t moving forward, situations will come your way to try and force you backward or further hinder your process. Complacency is not an option, you have to grow even if it’s baby steps.

Yes, it can be scary and uncomfortable, but the good news is that you’re more than a conqueror, victorious through Christ. You can’t lose when you submit to God.

I thought celibacy was enough and so I kept failing. I should have been way more proactive with my deliverance. This was not only a sex issue but by not dealing with it properly, it was holding up my growth in God. Everything God is challenging you with is an opportunity for you to advance!

When you are living life just going through the motions, trying to fit the mold, those unchecked attitudes and mindsets will manifest. James 1:15 says “When the desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” It’s inevitable.

I don’t have all the answers, but I think small groups where you can rely on transparent accountability from your peers, without judgment and condemnation, would help in your journey. If your church doesn’t have one, then start one! Even if you do a Facebook group, you have the tools you need to connect. You are not alone, teammates!

There is so much God wants to do in our lives and we hinder our own destiny by refusing to deal with ourselves. There may be things in you that you consider your “thorn”. We pacify it by saying, “it’s just how I am” or “my whole family does this.” We may try to fight in our flesh to resist only to wind up falling and having to repent and start again – that’s the cycle that God wants to break!

The Lord is calling us higher. New levels are waiting and we can unlock them with obedient surrender.

So, What’s the Play Call?

  • Trust your church family with your heart and allow people to love and support you while holding you accountable for your development.
  • Everything God is asking of you is for your advancement and growth – just do it!
  • There is no coasting in the Kingdom, you’re going to move forward or backward.
  • When you feel anxious about dealing with your stuff, allow Matthew 3:10 to sober you. Trees that are unfruitful will be cut down.

Matthew 3:10 “Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Matthew 25:29-30 “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

God Bless!

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