summarized: The White Elephant | Murder in the Members x Dr. Matthew Stevenson (5/7)

The journey into lust never happens overnight, but the way you go in is the way you come out. One feel-good church service won’t turn everything around. There were levels to you going in to sin, and there will be levels to you coming out of it. Without revelation, repentance does not last. If you don’t have a reason to repent beyond just knowing something is wrong, you’ll take your repentance back. Being apologetic doesn’t mean that you’re repentant. There’s a difference between feeling remorseful and being repentant, thought they have a similar impact on the heart. When you’ve repented of something, you’ve lost the desire to do it, and you’ve taken it upon yourself to continue do things that will keep you away from it.

You have to study lust to come out of it. Studying it makes it a target and gives you an accurate aim. Make lust and sexual sin an object of your study life. It takes more than hearing about it; you have to learn why you should hate it so that God can birth that hatred in you. Why do you have to hate it? You don’t get delivered from your friends, you get delivered from your enemies. Study it until a disdain is formed in you that provokes you to repent and stay away from it. Revelation, remorse, repentance. 

When you repent from one thing, you’re running to something else. 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to flee. Repentance gives you the power to run. 

If you have a distracted study life, your aim won’t stay on your target. Discipline your studies; go into a season of gathering information. Take that motivation you felt in church on Sunday and use it to motivate you to study lust for yourself throughout the week. Let your revelations lead you to repentance. Anchor yourself in what the Bible says about sex and sexuality. 

When you confront lust, you have to confront your members. God is confrontational. Yes, He is love, but He is direct. Love that is not direct is abuse. Love that is not exact is perverse. God has an exact way that He wants things done. To do things His way, you have to start confronting your members, one by one.

The Bible uses members to highlight how the different parts of your body have different agendas.

““The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.”

Matthew 6:22 NKJV

The eye is the lamp of the body. If it’s healthy, then your body will be full of light. If it’s unhealthy, then your body will be full of darkness. Every member has its own agenda. Your eye isn’t worried about your tongue, and your tongue isn’t worried about your loins, and your loins aren’t worried about your feet. Who you are as a person is a partnership of several collaborative members that will do what they want until something takes charge. Your eyes will roam until you tell them to stop. Your tongue will talk until you crucify it with the power of the Word. By the time you’ve fallen into sexual sin, your members have had a board meeting and unanimously agreed to disobey God. One of the things we know about the loins is that the Bible says the they’re liars. They need to be girded with truth. If you listen to their whisperings, their burnings, you’re listening to lies. You need to put on truth. 

“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”  

Matthew 5:30 NIV

It’s better for you to go to heaven handicapped than to go to hell whole. If your hand is causing you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. The agenda of your hands can cause your whole body to fall. 

“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” 

James 3:5 NIV

This is just another example that highlights the different agendas that each member has. There is no way to gain victory in or from lust if you don’t directly confront your members.

“IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [Ps. 110:1.] And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory. So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will), Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices]. But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. [Gen. 1:26.]” 

Colossians 3:1-10 AMPC

Study the word mortify – to cause death to come upon, to open up to death. Certain translations aren’t always accurately translated and can replace this idea with the word “subdue”. Lust cannot be put on a leash, but it can die.

Lust will distort your aim; always seek your target. Verse 2 tells you how to confront the members. Your mind has to be set. Your mind is a powerful member, next, or synonymous, to your heart. It won’t tell you that it can be set, but it can. Program it to respond how you want it to. A desire to come out of lust won’t lead to discipline, it takes more than time.. Discipline teaches you to set your mind. Train it, work on it. It takes time. Practice is not the same as training, because training is developmental in nature. Train your mind to stay focused on the things above, because the things of this world are not of the Father. We have a hypersexual culture. To be delivered from lust, you have to detox yourself from technology. Give your brain some room to breathe instead of giving it data from the world to refer to in times of stress.

Verse 5, lust lurks, lingers. It knows when you’re focused on your Bible study, when you’re fasting. It’ll stay quiet and camouflage itself, because once it’s recognized, you can deal with it. Not every diagnosis is a label. If something can’t be called what it is, it can’t be addressed. Lust is not a pet for you to feed and take care of, it is a beast. Kill it. Only the Bible can show you that it’s wild and ravenous. Everybody thinks puppies are cute until they grows into rabies-having dogs. Beware, even of puppy lust.

Every desire that is unholy is misleading. Desire governs your days. You do things because you desire to do them. Lust can manifest itself in all of the things listed in Verse 5. It’s an appetite for what you want but don’t have. The Word of God is repetitive from Genesis to Revelation, “come out of sin”, regardless of the translations. His will is sanctification. Being in sin means being in disobedience. If you’re addicted to lust and sexual sin, you’re disobedient, because you’re not being lead by the Spirit of God. The anger of God comes upon those who are children of disobedience. Remove yourself from those who aren’t led by the Spirit of God, before you become a target of God’s anger. Don’t let Him rock your world until your only place is on your face. Even if it’s from a place of pain, you will go to Him. He has feelings, and He will not agree with your sin. Don’t have a docile, Mr. Rogers view of God. Your routine disobedience angers Him. You can’t be an addict to sin while being a servant of God. Your actions are not in your hands, and there’s no room for obedience in you; you have to clean yourself out completely and get rid of that spirit of addiction.

Don’t dismiss lust as a behavioral issue in young girls and boys, saying “just let them live a little”. Recognize lust for what it is so your children won’t run around in sin. There are a lot of things, a lot of government programs, that we wouldn’t need if we were living right. If you’re gonna be a stripper, it should be to take off the old you like Verse 9 says to. Everyday, take off something that resembles what God hates. Be naked before Him, don’t be ashamed. And in the literal sense, clothe yourself to the degree of your consecration. Fashion is amazing, but when you’re going through a season of getting out of lust, focus on that completely. Dress in a way that doesn’t bring attention to you. Don’t provoke people to approach you sexually. You know your intentions; strive to avoid attention. Concern yourself with getting out of lust more than having people like you and what you look like.

Identify what agenda is in what member. Know what you need to be careful of. Change how you dress if you need to, change how you hug people if you need to. Set up parameter measures and train your members in what to do. Be renewed, always.

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