Shackled by Lust? Jesus Sets Free!

Why do we long for the forbidden? Why does our lust draw us into sensual and illicit relationships? Lust is a sin that begins in the mind as a temptation, and for some, it goes beyond the mind expressing itself in fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality, or bestiality.

Perhaps a story is fitting to begin with: Jerry looked at his watch. It was almost quitting time, and he could hardly wait for the buzzer to go off celebrating another day of work completed. His mind was racing as he anticipated leaving the factory and heading to the local bar. He was married and had three boys, but since his wife seemed to be constantly nagging him about their finances, he had started drinking. He had also met a nice girl who was pretty and loved to talk with him. She never complained about anything and had suggested he come to her house for a light meal after a drink at the bar. As he drove the few miles downtown and found a spot to park his car, his heart was pounding. But even though he was excited, the anticipation was tinged with guilt. Earlier he had begun watching porn on his new smart phone and now this girl had come into his life. He knew it was wrong, but didn’t he deserve a good time?   

The question today is not whether or not we are tempted, but rather how to find freedom from the shackles of lust. All or most of us are at times tempted with this sin and many are bound by it.

So first, let’s consider some truths about sin, temptation, and lust. The Bible says in James 1:14 & 15, “that every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

It is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it is written, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

According to these verses, temptation is common to every man or woman, and we are tempted when we are drawn away of our own desire and lust. Our heart lusts after the forbidden, and our sinful nature which is alive has a desire for the things Satan offers. Then when we fail, the end result is death.  

Desires are not wrong in themselves. We have been created by God with desire and it is good. What is not good is when we allow our desires to be ungoverned and develop into lust. When this happens, they control us and eventually bind us and keep us shackled with ungodly habits. Someone has rightfully said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” Sin tends to look exciting and feel good for the present moment but becomes more destructive each time that choice is made. Intuitively there is guilt and stress that comes along with immoral choices. Stress affects our health, our marriages, and our homes. Immorality often leads to conflict in marriage that ends in divorce. I spoke with a caller who saw our billboard and called in desperation over his bondage to lust. We and others tried to help him, but he ended up taking his own life because he couldn’t overcome an immoral habit.

Another truth about the desires of the heart is found in Jeremiah 17:9 where it says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

We need to recognize that lust is a sin against a holy God. The laws of God are holy and reflect the character of a holy God. When we live in conflict with God’s order, this is the transgression of the law, or another word more commonly used is sin. Only God knows how sinful our heart is since all sin is against Him.

Some people who rebel against the idea of sinning against the law of God ask why God designed it this way. Why law? Why consequences? Why death? One pastor put it this way, “This is God’s universe, and He does things His way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.”

Satan, the enemy of God, has been out to ruin this beautiful universe from the beginning of time. He uses the things of this world to entice people to disobey God’s holy law. He even uses people to entice us to sin against God.                   

These truths indicate that our hearts are very wicked, sin and Satan are extremely enticing, and lust is overpoweringly enslaving. Since this is a reality for most humans, let’s look at how to escape the chains of sin and habitual lust.

First, we must realize that we are no match for sin and Satan. Between our lust for the forbidden and Satan’s temptations, we are sure to fall. It will only be by help outside of ourselves that we will succeed.  

One of my favorite verses about sin, Satan, and death being conquered is found in Hebrews chapter 2:14 & 15, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he, Jesus, also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”                         

Praise God that Jesus came to destroy Satan’s power and free us from this captivity. By suffering and dying on the cross, Jesus became the perfect sin offering for our sins. He shed His blood to destroy Satan’s power and make a way for you and me to be released from our bondage to the sin of lust. Now we can come to Jesus in faith and repentance and surrender our heart to Him and experience cleansing from sin. God has promised to take away all our sins and forgive us if we confess our sins to Him. After making this choice, our hearts are changed by His mighty power. We become spiritually alive and have new desires and attitudes.

Now, instead of enjoying our lust and habitual sexual immorality, it becomes distasteful and offensive to us. We begin to make choices that please God.

Another important step toward new habits and total victory is to join a local church, be baptized upon your confession of faith, and share your story. Satan operates in darkness. He cannot stand the light. If we walk in the light and confess our sins to fellow members of the church, we are on our way toward complete freedom, that is, freedom in heart, freedom in conscience, and freedom in practice.

Satan will continue to tempt you and me even after we are believers and following Jesus. However, the scripture says in James 4:7, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Because there is power in the name of Jesus, we can resist Satan by speaking the name of Jesus and quoting scripture. This is what Jesus Himself did when Satan tempted Him.

For those of us who want to be free from the shackles of lust, here are a few practical ways to leave behind a life of immorality. Find a quiet place, bow your head, and ask God to help you. Confess your sin to Him. After all, he already knows about it. Acknowledge your specific struggles. Tell God you will do whatever God speaks to your heart so that you can find freedom. A verse in the Bible found in Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” God delights in mercy when we come to Him in humility. Find a Bible-believing church to join. If you are not baptized yet, ask for water baptism. Meet regularly with a Bible study group and be open with your struggles. Read your Bible daily and feast upon God’s word. Also, make singing a part of your daily habit. If you haven’t been used to singing, ask someone to teach you a few simple songs. Be joyful. Another scripture says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength”. Stay away from places and old friends who will tempt you to return to your old habits.

If you who find yourself shackled by lust, Jesus can set you free. Praise His name!


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4 Responses

  1. I believe that the Lord allowed me to see this billboard today, as a divine appointment. I am thankful that I googled 83- for- truth and listened to this message. Thank you

  2. I saw this billboard in zip code 19720. Thank you for bringing this disease out into the open. I am the wife of an SA and a member of S-Anon.

    1. These Gospel billboard calls are taken by a team of several dozen Christian men. Some take calls full time and are paid, while many answer calls part-time along with their other jobs. Many of these men volunteer their time.
      This is certainly not a “generic call center”. All these men have been vetted and are supervised by leaders, both within, as well as the parent ministry, This last website will give you a good idea of all the different ways that this organization serves more than 12 million people each year in 119 countries around the world. All to the glory of God!

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