A wise friend told me of a time when he wrestled intensely with the leviathan of lust. He lived in beach country, where scantily clad people were in no short supply.
By God’s grace, he never acted upon his adulterous thoughts. But, as a married man, he marveled at how violently these “youthful lusts” churned in his mind (2 Tim. 2:22). He loved his faithful wife. She was his ministry partner and dearest friend. He was ashamed of the lustful thoughts stewing in his heart.
After a long period of confessing his sin to the LORD, he finally confessed to a close friend, who recommended they pray together for the Lord Jesus to reveal the root of his struggle. After prayer, searching Scripture, and intentional listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice, the root became clear.
He was discontent with the wife the LORD had given him. She experienced some health issues that made the sexual part of their relationship difficult. He confessed his discontentment as sin, agreed with Christ that his relationship with his wife was a wonderful gift, and repented. He experienced a renewal of contentment, and the serpent of his lust was slain.
For many, a root of lust may be discontentment with singleness. To follow Jesus as a single is to be single-heartedly devoted to Him. It is the opportunity to unreservedly pursue intimacy with Jesus. Christ-focused singleness enables a believer to mature into the man or woman the LORD desires and, in so doing, prepare for the possibility of marriage in the future.
The Bible calls believers the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:6-9). His followers are not available to lust and adulterate ourselves to sin. We belong to Jesus. He is our First Love (Rev. 2:4-5).
Every sin can be traced back to roots that need to be weeded out—this tangled mess of weeds can include discontentment, pride, doubt, idolatry, and more.
My godfather, an Italian immigrant and master gardener, would say: “A weed is any plant you no longer want to grow.” As long as we nurture and feed poisonous plants, flourish they will…
Guard your contentment in Jesus by telling yourself the truth, praying the issue through, even declaring aloud: “I am content in Christ. I find my complete fulfillment and have my every need met in Him alone!” When we rest content in Jesus, we drive a cross-shaped stake through the heart of the dragon that is our doubt and discontent, spraying weedkiller all over our sin.