Help for Fighting Lust: A Meditation Plan (1 of 5)

The following is a guest post by Joe Tyrpak, Assistant Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. Though the posts he and I (Chris) are making on the topic of lust will have some overlap, we’re hopeful that together they will cover the topic thoroughly.

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You’ve been tempted to lust many times in the past. Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to think clearly when you’re in the heat of this battle?

You will be tempted to lust many times in the future. Have you spent any time developing a plan for how to think when you’re faced with sexual temptation? Do you have a series of verses that you deliberately call to mind? Or is your battle plan still pretty random?

I would urge you to create a deliberate meditation plan for battling this temptation. Through a series of posts at My Two Cents, I’m going to explain my five-part battle plan for meditation (rooted in Proverbs 1-9). I’ve used the basic components of this plan since I was a teenager. And even though I’ve failed numerous times since then (I’ve created and developed this plan because of all my failures!), God has used this to protect me from falling many times as well.

Let me try to correct one potential misunderstanding before I begin. I’ll be writing one point in each blog post. However, I’m not suggesting that any one of these points should stand alone. I’ve come to learn that every point (especially the last point) should be reviewed together. In the last few years especially, as I’ve grown in my understanding of biblical theology, I’ve begun to realize the particular importance of point #5 (“Call to mind your union with Christ.”). So, please don’t think that this one post is the “end all.” Don’t judge my plan until you’ve read all five blog posts. And, please don’t think that I’m recommending a Christ-less solution to your battle with lust. I’m not! In fact, through all of my study in Proverbs, through all of my failures, and through all of my victories, I’ve come to learn that Jesus Christ is the only solution to my lust problem!

Meditation Plan (Part #1): CALL TO MIND THE DECEPTIONS OF SINFUL SENSUALITY.

This involves two aspects: (1) calling to mind the enticements, and (2) calling to mind the deceiving realities behind each of those enticements. Here’s what that looks like:

  1. The pleasure of kissing her lips is like the pleasure of eating sugar-coated poison (5:3).
  2. The promised satisfaction of her caresses and lovemaking will be very short-lived (7:18).
  3. Her seductive speech is all playacting; she does this to lots of guys (6:24; 7:5, 14-20, 21).
  4. Her beauty is only surface (6:25; 31:30).
  5. Her eyes are a lure (6:25).
  6. Her enticing dress is advertising something that does not belong to me (7:10).
  7. Her aggressive manner is put on (7:13).
  8. Her description of “the perfect situation” is baiting me to her trap (7:14, 19-20).
  9. The sensual environment she’s prepared is really a graveyard (7:16-17).
  10. Her “devoted” pursuit of me is a lie meant to feed my inborn self-worship (7:15).

Calling each of these direct enticements to mind often brings immediate objectivity to the temptation I’m facing. It also allows me to deliberately refute them one by one.

In a way, it’s kind of how we lessen the intensity of a scary part of a movie. As we sit on the couch and sense our tenseness increase and our breathing decrease, we remind ourselves, “It’s just a movie; they’re acting on a Hollywood stage; this is probably the tenth filming of this scene; the music is deliberately suspenseful; and, if the camera panned a little to the left, I’d see a bunch of technicians.” Similarly, we can take some of the strength out of temptation by thinking Scripturally about its various deceptive enticements.

I have found this to be particularly helpful in reacting to the bulk of pornographic temptations that constantly barrage me. I call to mind the allurements of her eyes, her beauty, her aggressive look, her promised pleasure, and remind myself that each of them are deceptive. Further, I remind myself that it’s highly calculated, fake, and impersonal. I tell myself, “The models have been selectively chosen, the make-up painstakingly applied, the lighting deliberately angled, the outtakes selected from thousands and carefully retouched by a professional photo editor.” More than that, I remind myself that the temptations themselves are strategically placed and timed by the enemy of my soul (and all his host, cf. Eph. 6) who is prowling about seeking someone to devour.

Although meditating on this point isn’t the “end all strategy” for moral purity, it is one helpful facet in a more comprehensive plan that I’ll continue to unpack.

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Previous posts in this series:

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4 Responses

  1. […] is a guest post by Joe Tyrpak, Assistant Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. In part 1 of his meditation plan, he suggested that believers should arm themselves with a specific plan for biblical meditation […]

  2. […] Call to mind the deceptions of sinful sensuality. […]

  3. […] Call to mind the deceptions of sinful sensuality. […]

  4. Reblogged this on memoirandremains and commented:
    Here is a useful regime of meditation. The Christian life first begins in how we think, which leads to our affections and then our conduct.
    I would add a final step to this process: a greater pleasure. It must also be noted that Christianity by no means seek to destroy pleasure but rather seek a greater pleasure without sorrow. Take for example Proverbs 5 which is referenced in this passage. The temptation is to be avoided because it leads to damage, “in the end she is bitter as wormwood”. But that is not the end of story, one turns from the temptation to that which is better. The proverb then goes on, “rejoice in the wife of your youth” and “be intoxicated always in her love”. Moreover, these temporary pleasures are there to raise our expectation to the greater pleasure and joy of God himself, “You make know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

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