Breaking the Lust Cycle

Posted on April 24, 2009 · Posted in Ruling Desires

The “lust cycle” is a pattern of thought and behavior that holds many captives in the church. Some are older, respected members of the church and community, while others are teenagers overwhelmed by uncontrolled youthful lusts. In the last post we analyzed the lust cycle in some detail. Understanding this vicious cycle is an important step toward breaking free from its grip. Thus, failure to break free from lust often stems from attacking the wrong part of the cycle, with weapons that are inadequate for the job. Allow me to explain.

Remember, what drives lust is anticipation. The act of lust almost never satisfies. Giving in to lustful desires usually produces responses like that of Amnon. Once he had taken Tamar he was filled with disgust. The same is true for countless thousands who indulge their lusting desires. Once the act is done, despair and disgust settle in. This kind of experience may turn into resignation, and lust becomes an accepted part of life. That is what Ephesians 4:19 describes as having “… a continual lust for more.”

So, how can you break free? After describing what it means to live like the world in verses 17-19, Paul adds this powerful statement:

But that is not the way you learned Christ! (Ephesians 4:20)

Paul is obviously drawing a contrast – a contrast between walking with the world and walking with Christ. Paul specifically says that you did not learn Christ by living like the Gentiles. This is a key point. Give this some thought. How did the Ephesians learn Christ? The answer will be in the next post.