I have written about sexual immorality and what it is, however, now I want to give you practical applications of how to overcome and abstain from it. I know so many times people take time to explain why sexual immorality is bad and all the negative that comes with it, but very seldom do people give you a solution to overcoming it. So this is why I wrote this especially for all of you out there who sincerely want to know key steps into overcoming sexual immorality. Below I have listed 10 things that I believe are the keys to overcoming and abstaining from any form of sexual immorality. Some of these things are not going to be easy to take on, but if you commit to it you will be able to get through it. Please read and if you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
1 REPENT CONFESS AND COMMIT TO JESUS
For Christians, I believe one of the first things that should be done in order to overcome sexual immorality is to acknowledge that we are in sin and repent of that sin. Repentance meaning, decide to no longer seek to indulge in sexual immorality and turn to living a life for Christ. We must realize that sexual immorality is not pleasing to God and to get right we must confess those sins to God. The bible lets us know that God will not hear our prayers if we continue to live in a lifestyle of sin (John 9:31). We must confess our sins to Him so He can forgive us of them. The last thing is to commit! I mean TRULY COMMIT. It’s deciding within your heart that you are no longer making sexual immorality an option. You are choosing Jesus over whatever sin you’re struggling with and you are leaning on Him to give you the strength to overcome.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
***(For those individuals who aren’t Christians, the first step to overcoming sexual sin and any sin for that matter, is to become a believer of Christ through obedience to His word. God loved you so much that He chose to send His only son to die on the cross for your sins. Jesus took on ALL of your sins on the cross so you may be able to be saved. Obeying the gospel of Christ is the answer to overcoming sin in your life. He loves you so much that He wants to help you overcome the very thing that has been holding you back! So to be freed from sin you must be obey the gospel of Christ. Obedience means becoming a baptized believer of Christ in water to wash away your sins (Acts 2:38). When you become a true believer it is then that you have the blood of Christ that cleanses you of ALL OF your sins and continues to cleanse you as you continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:7). Without becoming a true believer of Christ, there is no way anyone can overcome sin. Hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17), believing the gospel of Christ (Mark 16:15-16), repenting of your sins (Luke 13:5), confessing that you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Rom 10:9-10) and then becoming baptized for the remission of your sins allows you to become a true follower of Christ (Acts 2:38). Through baptism you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which then guides and helps you with living the Christian life and helps you to continually overcome sin).
2 STUDY GOD’S WORD
True spiritual transformation cannot happen apart from the word of God. The power lies in the word not just in our works! It’s God’s word that has the power to soften, change, and open our hearts to the things of God. When you infiltrate your mind with the word of God instead of the trash from the world it allows you to be able to fight temptation more effectively. Filling your spirit with the words of the Lord, helps you see things from His perspective and helps you transform your heart to pleasing Him. So in overcoming sexual immorality it’s important to study God’s word and fill your mind with pure things, so when temptation knocks on your door you’re able to fight it off with the “sword of the Lord” (Eph 6:17). Even Jesus himself serves as an example of what to do when faced with temptation. Each time Satan came to Him, He used God’s word to fight Him. Satan had no option but to flee because He knew He was no match for the Lord (Matthew 4: 1-11). So I encourage you, study your word and get it inside your heart and watch how God transforms your life and helps you abstain from sexual immorality.
“For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”- Heb 4:12
3 PRAY PRAY PRAY
I think sometimes we forget the power of prayer. We view it as some minuscule act that doesn’t really do much but serve as a source of venting. But this is not true! There is so much power when a child of God talks to the Heavenly Father. For every faithful Christian, God opens His ears unto their prayers (1 Peter 3:12). God is there to listen to all of our cries, our pains and our challenges. He cares about what we’re going through and He wants to help us make it through! Our prayers go as sweet incense into the realms of Heaven. How amazing is that? Your prayers have the power to change your current state and most importantly change your heart and attitude about your current state. With that being said, pray about your sexual temptations, sins, and struggles. Ask God to give you the strength to overcome them and give you the wisdom and discernment to abstain from them. We must remember that for children of God, He is not against us. He is with us and in our corner rooting for us! So we must keep our communication line open with Him. Prayer is one of the ways God infusing us with strength. Prayer has power! Prayer even has the power to help you overcome sexual immorality (1 John 5:14-15). So pray about everything! Pray about your heart, your relationships, your thoughts, your environments, what you put inside your mind..etc. After you pray, trust and believe that God will answer your prayer.
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”- Heb 4:15-16
4 KEEP YOUR HEART AND MIND CLEAN
Our heart (mind) is a powerful thing! It has the power to control our thoughts and ultimately our actions (Proverbs 23:7). So what we put inside our hearts is VERY important. We must be conscious of everything that we allow to infiltrate our brains. From the shows and movies we watch, to the music we listen to, to the images we allow our eyes to see. Everything that goes into our hearts will affect us and the effect will either be a positive or negative one, depending on what is being imputed (Proverbs 4:23). All forms of sexual immorality begin in the heart, and if we want to overcome sexual immorality we must eliminate those things that plant the seeds of lust and that ultimately birth sexual sins. This means we may have to stop watching certain television shows, or certain movies, and certain types of music. Yes that means you may have to put away, the Beyonce, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Miguel even some Marvin Gaye. lol If it’s not glorifying God we shouldn’t seek to introduce it to our minds so it can corrupt our spirits. How do we expect to fight temptation, if the only things in our hearts are ungodly trash? The key to producing righteousness is making sure our hearts are clean and pure.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” –Matthew 5:8
5 SET BOUNDARIES AND STICK TO THEM
God has always been a God of set boundaries (Gen 2:16-17). Sometimes the biggest slip ups happen when we don’t set boundaries for ourselves and for our relationship partners and stick to them! Wisdom sets boundaries, and realizes that certain things aren’t expedient to do because it teases the flesh. First we must set boundaries for ourselves. Most people know their weaknesses or their “triggers.” So If we know this, we must train our minds to abstain from things that will ignite those triggers (1 Thess 4:3).
For example, if you’re dating someone you must set boundaries for yourself and your partner. This may mean, no dates after a certain time or no going inside that person’s apartment/house after a certain hour. Or going out on dates that are in the public, i.e. dinner dates at restaurants, bowling, group dates etc. This may also mean setting certain physical boundaries…ie. how close you’re sitting to one other, how you even hug each other, no kissing, no caressing..etc. This may also include setting boundaries in the way you dress. Such as, no tight skirts or dresses, no tops that show your cleavage, no booty shorts lol And for the guys no muscle shirts or tight fitted shirts that show all of your muscles. You may be thinking, “Man Ashley you’re being very EXTREME right now!” But abstaining from sexual immorality calls for the extreme because we all know that the spirit may be willing to do the right thing, but boy oh boy that flesh is sho’ nuff weak (Matt 26:41)! That’s why the bible says “FLEE” youthful lust and fornication. Sometimes you don’t have time to sit there and explain, or think about it. Sometimes you have to exit stage left in order to save your soul (2 Tim 2:22). We must realize that as a Christian there are just certain things we CANNOT DO if we’re trying to abstain from sexual immorality and save our souls. Yes that means, NO you cannot watch a movie at 1:00 in the morning with your girlfriend or boyfriend at their house under a blanket on the couch lol And NO you cannot spend a night over your girlfriend or boyfriend’s house and sleep in the same bed with them and expect nothing to happen. That is setting yourself up for failure! We shouldn’t seek to tease our flesh or add unnecessary temptation to our lives. If we want to succeed we have to set boundaries and put ourselves in environments that will help us spiritually succeed.
Even for the married folk’ you STILL have to set boundaries for your marriage. Sexual immorality does not just affect the singles. Married people suffer from sexual immorality and temptations as well. So for married people, this may mean being mindful of your interactions with individuals. Not entertaining certain things that you know can lead to sin..ie. texting /emailing a co-worker things that does not have anything to do with work. Or forming relationships and going out with individuals of the opposite sex that your spouse does not know about. Even emotionally venting and sharing information with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. All these things are what I call “danger zones” and can lead to sexual immorality if not monitored and watched carefully. So no matter who we are, we must set spiritual boundaries for ourselves and stick to those things if we want to keep our hearts and lives pure before the Lord.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that you should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” -1 Thess 4:3-4
TO BE CONTINUED
♥ Ashley Moneet