Summary: This message challenges teens with the issue of Lust and provides some practical steps to overcome the sexual temptations.
Colossians 3.5, “Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, which is idolatry.”
At retreat last year we felt the Lord was speaking to us regarding 3 areas that are attacking our teens, one of them being lust. Many of you that night repented, yet if statistics are true, a good portion of you have fallen back into that trap. Lust is defined as an intense or unrestrained sexual craving. Our text says to us that “lust” is a spiritual problem. Marriage will not solve the issue of lust in one’s heart. Tonight we want to examine the cause of lust, consequences of lust, and the cure for lust. There is an epidemic among the yourselves and your peers and it is the epidemic of uncontrolled sexual passion. It is on magazine covers, movies, billboards and music. The other night I was listening to a radio station and a good majority of the songs I heard were about sex. MTV and it’s videos are very explicit. You are surrounded by the pressure of sex, the pressure is nothing more than gas on the fire of lust that burns within. Paul is encouraging us to “put to death that which belongs to our earthly nature…lust.” Lust is a wall between you and God. How do we get rid of that wall? Let’s examine first the cause of lust.
1. Cause – Col. 3.5
Lust is spiritual problem that must be attacked spiritually. Let me set at ease a common misconception about lust. Having a sexual desire is not lust. God has created you in a way that in your teen years you will go through some changes and begin to take notice of a few things, particularly the opposite sex. Having a sexual desire is not wrong, it is where that sexual desire leads you that is where caution should be taken. Lust is defined as intense and unrestrained sexual craving. If you are having an imaginary party about someone of the opposite sex a you have lust problem. Lust is a fruit of the earthly nature. The earthly nature is a another name for that side of us that wants to do whatever regardless of the consequences whether spiritual or otherwise. I believe though that there are a few other elements that substantiate the uncontrolled lust in many of our teens. You don’t solve lust by joining the monastery and becoming a monk or nun. You solve the problem of lust, by identifying the cause of lust. The cause, a sinful flesh. The accomplices are the need for intimacy, the search for identity and the cultural influence.
a. Need for intimacy: 1 Jn 2.16, 20-23
Teens like everyone else have a need for intimacy and closeness. When that need supercedes your need for intimacy with God then you get in trouble. Do you see how marriage doesn’t solve this problem. I am created first and foremost to love God more than anything else.
b. Search for identity: 1 Pet 4.3
The question “who am I and where do I fit in?” rings loudly in the youth culture. The label that others place on you is often identified with your sexual exploits or the lack of them. I am telling you that you must find total satisfaction in God, not in lust. Am I saying that once you are satisfied in God, that you can fulfill your lustful desires, no, yourl ove for God will override you lustful desires. A passion for God will consume you.
c. Cultural Influence: 1 Thess 4.5
TV programs, magazine ads, commercials, movies, music make a blatant attempt to arouse your sexuality. At a time when your sexual urges are strongest is the time when advertisers strive for you the hardest. Many times we succumb to the pressures of the culture and lust grabs a hold of us and leads down a deadly, dangerous path.
2. Consequences of Lust: Col 3.5, “wrath of God”
God has created to function in a certain way and when we don’t we have faults and problems that arise. It becomes a malfunction emotionally and physically.
a. Emotional distress, “having premarital sex was the most horrifying experience of my life. It wasn’t all the emotionally satisfying experience the world deceived me into believing. I felt as if my insides were being exposed and my heart left unattended… I dread the day Ii have to tell the man I truly love and wish to marry that he is not the only one, though I wish he were… I have stained my life- a stain that will never come out.” Does that sound like God’s will for that young person?
b. Sexual insecurity: The comparing of one sexual partner with your fantasies or other partners. Lust can cause insecurity in your life. God, at the point of marriage, wants you to be totally devoted to your spouse, not having thoughts of others.